Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Casserole

This old-fashioned sweet potato casserole recipe, with a brown sugar and pecan topping, is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish! This easy recipe is perfect to make ahead for a family dinner.

the best sweet potato casserole from above


Sweet potato casserole is just as important to Thanksgiving dinner as the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. It's an essential side dish for holiday meals! And, today, I've got an old fashioned sweet potato casserole recipe for you.

the best sweet potato casserole close up of pecan topping

What really makes this casserole special is the pecan crumble topping. The texture and flavor of the pecan topping work perfectly with the creamy, spicy sweet potatoes.

Pecan Topping vs. Marshmallow Topping

The age old debate. 😉 I personally grew up with both (one grandmother used marshmallows, one used a pecan crumble) but I've always gravitated towards that crispy, crunchy pecan brown sugar topping. It just plays so well with the overall flavor of the casserole and adds a little bit of texture!

With that being said, you can absolutely omit the pecan topping from this recipe and use marshmallows instead. Either one gives the sweet potato casserole recipe that dessert-like sweetness that the casserole needs.

the best sweet potato casserole on a plate

Can I make ahead of time?

You can absolutely make this recipe ahead of time! This is a great Thanksgiving side dish to make ahead the day before. Simply prepare as directed (without baking), cover, and place in the fridge. Bake as directed within a day or two of preparing.

Step by Step Tutorial

Let's take a look at this easy recipe!


Leftover Storage

The leftovers of this casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days after baking. Simply cover your baking dish with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container for the fridge (smells can very easily get into this casserole and ruin it, go airtight!).

And yes, you can absolutely freeze sweet potato casserole! Simply bake in a disposable foil baking pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and freeze. When you're ready to serve, thaw the casserole and bake at 375 degrees (uncovered) for 30 minutes, until the top is brown and crispy.

Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Casserole

This old-fashioned sweet potato casserole recipe, with a brown sugar and pecan topping, is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish! This easy recipe is perfect to make ahead for a family dinner.
5 from 2 votes

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 262 kcal


For the Brown Sugar and Pecan Topping


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 1" chunks. Place in a microwave-safe baking dish with ¼ cup water, cover, and microwave for 10-12 minutes, until fork-tender. Allow steamed sweet potatoes to cool and drain any remaining liquids before proceeding.
  • In a large bowl, mash sweet potato chunks with a potato masher until pureed to desired consistency. To the mashed sweet potatoes, add ½ stick butter, half and half, eggs, 1 cup brown sugar, vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon nutmeg. Mix well.
  • Pour sweet potato mixture into a large baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

For the Brown Sugar and Pecan Topping

  • Melt ½ stick butter in the microwave. Stir all remaining ingredients together until mixture is combined and slightly lumpy. Sprinkle casserole with crumble.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350° until brown sugar and pecan topping starts to brown.


If you would like to make this recipe with canned yams instead of fresh sweet potatoes, that is an option! Use 2 15oz cans of yams in syrup and drain the excess syrup off of the yams before using in the recipe. If you use canned yams, omit half a cup of brown sugar from the sweet potato mixture.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 3gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 101mgPotassium: 193mgFiber: 2gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 4244IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate it in the comments below!

I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving classic! Check out a few more great Thanksgiving recipes below.

xo, Leslie - signature at the end of post.

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  1. I'm excited to tell you this post will be featured in this week's Tuesday Turn About Link Party! Hope to see you at the party this week! Pinned

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      That is exciting, thank you so much!

  2. LILLIE WRIGHT says:

    5 stars
    It's very good l