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When it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, there are some that are classics that beg to have a place on your dining room table—and this easy sweet potato casserole is one of them! With a sweet, creamy filling and a crunchy, nutty topping, it has the perfect flavor to compliment any Thanksgiving meal. Try serving it with your turkey, ham, or chicken dinner and see why this classic recipe has been handed down over several generations.

Close view of baked sweet potato casserole in a white baking dish on a serving rack.

Overhead of all ingredients needed to make an easy sweet potato casserole.

What is in this sweet potato casserole?

This savory-sweet Thanksgiving side dish has a simple ingredient list. Before beginning, make sure you have:

  • Four or five sweet potatoes
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated and brown sugars
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Chopped pecans

Wholefully Protip

Have extra sweet potatoes that you don’t know what to do with? Try making them into a coconut sweet potato pie! The sweetness of the potatoes makes them the perfect ingredient for a tasty dessert.

Why does sweet potato casserole need eggs?

You need to use eggs in this easy sweet potato casserole recipe because they act as a binder. They help hold all the ingredients together while stiffening the base of the casserole. Eggs are the perfect binder because they give form to the casserole without making it heavy or dense, leaving you with a fluffy casserole.

How do I make it?

This is a really easy sweet potato casserole to put together and even if you’re completely new to hosting Thanksgiving, it’s sure to be a big hit because it’s just so darn simple to whip up!

Collage of six images showing the easy steps to make sweet potato casserole. A text overlay reads, "How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole."

 

  1. Bake the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet for 60-70 minutes—there’s no need to peel them. The exact time will vary depending on how large your potatoes are. Make sure they’re pierced with a fork before baking to allow some steam to escape.
  2. Once the potatoes are tender and soft in the center, allow them to cool, then cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop all the cooked potato out of the skin, then use a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla and stir until well combined.
  4. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. You can also use 11″x7″ baking dish.
  5. Mix together the butter, brown sugar, flour, and pecans, then sprinkle your topping over the filling in an even layer. Bake for 50-55 minutes in your preheated oven.
  6. Serve!

Wholefully Protip

A time saving tip—make Instant Pot sweet potatoes instead of cooking them in the oven! Oven space is at a premium on Thanksgiving and this will free up oven space for other side dishes, desserts, and your main course!

How do I know when my sweet potato casserole is done?

Your sweet potato casserole is done when the pecan topping has turned a golden brown. The center should be firm. If you allow the sweet potato casserole to cool for 10-15 minutes on the counter before serving, the ingredients will set, making it even easier to serve.

A spoonful of sweet potatoes with a sweet and crunchy topping held up on a wooden spoon, the full baking dish in the background.

Can I make it ahead of time?

Yes! There are two ways that you can shave off a bit of time when making these Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. For starters, you can bake the sweet potatoes a few days ahead of time and store them in an airtight container the fridge. If you choose to pre-bake your sweet potatoes, make sure that you use melted butter when it’s time to make the recipe.

You can also make the whole recipe up to three days in advance. Assemble the casserole, then place the whole thing—unbaked—in the fridge covered in plastic wrap. When it’s time for your Thanksgiving dinner, bake the casserole as described in the recipe directions.

Wholefully Protip

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for four to five days.

How do I make gluten-free sweet potato casserole?

This easy sweet potato casserole recipe uses all-purpose flour in the topping. However, you can make it gluten-free by swapping your favorite gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour. It’ll still come out tasting sweet and delicious!

Overhead of baked Thanksgiving side dish on a metal serving rack with wooden handles.

Can I make it vegan?

This recipe has both eggs and butter, so it’s difficult to adapt it to fit a vegan diet. Your best bet is to find a dedicated vegan sweet potato casserole recipe since the Wholefully family has tried and tested this casserole to work perfectly with butter and eggs.

 

Overhead of a Thanksgiving casserole with a spoonful scooped out showing the filling beneath the topping.

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield:
8 servings

Prep Time:
1 hour 10 minutes

Cook Time:
55 minutes

Total Time:
2 hours 5 minutes

Sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness that is the perfect compliment to a savory Thanksgiving meal. This easy sweet potato casserole recipe is also a great side dish for ham or chicken.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 sweet potatoes (about 4 1/2 to 5 cups mashed)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the whole sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, pierce several times with a fork, and bake in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until soft all the way through (it may take more or less time, depending on the diameter of your sweet potatoes). Set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then scoop out the flesh and place in a large bowl. Mash until smooth.
  3. Add 1/2 cup butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla to mashed sweet potatoes and stir until combined.
  4. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish or an 11”x7” baking dish. Spoon the sweet potatoes into the prepared dish in an even layer.
  5. Mix the topping ingredients together until crumbly. Spread evenly over the potatoes.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes, or until browned.

Notes

  • Sweet potatoes may be baked a day or two in advance. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until the day you’re making the casserole. If you do this, make sure to melt the 1/2 cup butter before adding it to the sweet potatoes.
  • To save oven space, you can also cook the sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot.
  • You can make this with gluten-free all-purpose flour—the gluten-free version comes out just as great!
  • This can be assembled up to 3 days in advance, and baked just before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 547Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 52mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 4gSugar: 41gProtein: 5g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

 



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