Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel Topping

Real sweet potatoes whipped with eggs and milk make this the best sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel topping around. There’s an unmistakable hint of vanilla that you’ll love!

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel Topping

Ok, time for honesty. As if there ever isn’t a time for honesty, but that’s another discussion altogether.

Who’s ever had dessert for dinner?

I’m not talking dessert before dinner, but dessert in place of dinner.

*Raising hands high* I have!! Dessert for dinner is one of the best ideas ever. Now all of you diehard healthy living friends aren’t going to like this and I can already feel the head shakes, but when apple dumplings, Reese’s peanut butter cake or pumpkin crumb pie is in the house you can bet that there’s a good chance I’m skipping the main course and going straight to dessert. I want to enjoy those delectable desserts when I’m hungry, not after I’m full of pot roast. (Although, let’s be honest. That garlic bacon pot roast is amazing.)

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The Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

This sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel topping officially qualifies as a side dish, but it’s creamy sweetness is like a dessert. Mmm…it’s the best.  In fact, this is one of those casseroles that I’d eat simply by itself as a dinner and dessert together. It’s got sweet potatoes so it’s healthy, right?

Don’t burst my bubble. It’s perfect.

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Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients

This popular Thanksgiving side dish is simply sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, eggs and sugar. Evaporated milk adds richness. You can use regular milk if you’d like, but use whole milk for best results if you choose to do that.

Canned Sweet Potatoes Vs Fresh

I truly recommend using real sweet potatoes for this recipe. I’ve made it both ways, but by using fresh sweet potatoes instead of canned sweet potatoes, your casserole will taste much lighter and fresher.

How to Make the Perfect Sweet Potato Casserole

Prepping the sweet potatoes will take about 15 minutes. If you’ve made mashed potatoes before, you can do sweet potatoes, too! Peel the sweet potatoes (to get exactly 3 cups I used 8 small sweet potatoes), then cut them into cubes. Throw the cubes into boiling water and let them boil for about 10-15 minutes. The exact time will depend on how big you’ve cut the cubes, so watch them closely. Once they are soft, drain the potatoes and then mash them. I like to use my hand mixer to beat them so they get nice and fluffy.

And now for my favorite part…..

Pecan Topping for Sweet Potato Casserole

You guessed it. The pecan streusel topping… a crumb topping of pecans, brown sugar, a touch of flour and vanilla get mixed together and sprinkled on top.

Many sweet potato casseroles have marshmallows baked on top. And I love my marshmallows just as much as anyone else, but nothing beats this brown sugar pecan topping that has a hint of vanilla. Streusel beats marshmallows any day.

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Can you make sweet potato casserole in advance?

This recipe is best served right after baking, but you can put together the casserole before baking and bake right before you need it. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Remove the casserole 1 hour before baking so it can come closer to room temperature. Then uncover and bake as directed!

Tools for Making Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Pastry Cutter: I use this tool all the time. It cuts butter into flour perfectly for streusels, crusts and other pastries.
  • Potato Masher: Mash potatoes easily by hand with this fine-grid potato masher.
sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel topping
sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel topping

Sweet Potato Casserole

4.86 from 7 votes
Real sweet potatoes whipped with eggs and milk make this the best sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel topping around. There's an unmistakeable hint of vanilla that you'll love!
Servings 9
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes I used 8 small potatoes*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk**

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, use a mixer to whip together the mashed potatoes and eggs until completely blended.
  • Stir in the sugar and milk.
  • Pour this mixture into a pie plate or an 8x8 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour and pecans.
  • Cut the butter into small chunks.
  • Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the sugar mixture until it is coarse crumbs.
  • Mix the vanilla into the streusel topping.
  • Sprinkle the streusel over the sweet potato mixture.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Video

Notes

To prepare the sweet potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Boil them in water over medium heat until they are soft (about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the sweet potato chunks). Drain off the water, then mash them with a potato masher or a mixer. You can also use canned sweet potatoes if you'd like. Drain the liquid off and mash. *Instead of evaporated milk, you can also use a high fat milk or cream (whole milk, half & half, or even heavy whipping cream for a rich flavor). ***You can double this recipe and bake it in a 9x13 pan. This will most likely take at least 10 minutes longer to bake.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 6540IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Author Julie Clark
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 278
Keyword how to serve sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes, thanksgiving side dish

Real sweet potatoes whipped with eggs and milk make this the best sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel topping around. There’s an unmistakeable hint of vanilla that you’ll love!

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have had a great time looking at your recipes, thank you so much. I have a new binder just for your recipes.

  2. 4 stars
    Doubled the recipe for big Thanksgiving group. Couldn’t bring myself to put 1 1/2 cups gradulated sugar in with mashed potaties in addition to sweet topping. I used 3/4 cup of hoeny instead. Everyone raved over it. Almost stole the show from the turkey. Thanks.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi there, this looks great! Just one question, do you use raw pecans or roasted pecans? Thanks!

  4. My dad never considered yams to be sweet potatoes…and baked sweet potatoes often…I would like to use sweet potatoes not yams in this recipe do you a problem with this?

  5. Oh yes, sweet potato souffle as we call it is a dessert to me. My mother had restaurants as I grew up. She would make it and add coconut and crushed pineapple to the potatoes. I LOVED it! She never used marshamallows. Always the pecans, flour, brown sugar, etc.on top. Always used fresh sweet potatoes. I have been baking my potatoes then mashing them up. No peeling and boiling water to deal with. They are worth it no matter how you do it.

    1. I like this idea then you can just scrap potatoes out of skins and they likely even have an improved flavor that way. I’ll try it next time.

  6. 5 stars
    This is awesome! I’m not a huge baker but I do like sweets 🙂 Thanks for breaking down the instructions and telling us how you do it, that helps me a lot because I’m just getting in to baking. I also appreciate the links to amazon with your preferred baking tools. My arsenal of kitchen utilities is steadily in growth mode and knowing the tools the experts use is a huge help! I’ve got a new pastry cutter on the way! Thanks again, love this recipe and I can’t wait to make it for my fam!

  7. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Pretty close to my old recipe that makes a 9×13. I wanted something that made less and this is perfect. I also add some vanilla and cinnamon to the sweet potato mixture. It’s awesome, thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe this year and my family really enjoyed it. It’s a keeper. I would make one change though. I put together the casserole the day before Thanksgiving and cooked it for 30 minutes right before the meal as you suggested. It turned out a bit soupy and my family wasn’t all that impressed. When I reheated the pan two days later for 30 minutes at 350, everyone raved. I will definitely make this again but I will prebake and reheat. Other similar recipes I have seen use twice this much topping. I love that I tried yours first. More topping is unnecessary. 😍

  9. Help! This recipe is basically my Mom’s sweet potato casserole, a longtime family favorite during the holidays. I’ve watched her make it many times over the years, and have taken over the preparation myself recently. Here’s my S.O.S. – when I made it this Thanksgiving, the streusel topping kind of melted together into a chewy, cookie-like consistency. I think my ratios were ok (1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, 1 cup pecans), so maybe my process was off? Mom passed away last year, so I’m trying to figure this out solo. Any help would be much appreciated.

    1. Did you use melted butter? That seems to work best for us. Did you make the casserole in advance and let it sit before baking? Maybe the topping absorbed too much moisture?

    2. Ahhh…the butter! That has to be it. I let it come to room temp, but didn’t melt it. That’s probably why I got the “pie crust” texture instead of the crumble. Thank you!

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