This Praline Topped Sweet Potato Casserole will win over the whole family! A quick-to-prepare Thanksgiving side dish recipe that trumps the marshmallow version. My dad commented, “this tastes like candy,” as he went for his second helping!

Even if you think you don’t like sweet potatoes, this Southern Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe will change your mind!

Praline Topped Sweet Potato Casserole in a baking dish.

Why You Must

  • It’s definitely decadent enough for a holiday side dish!
  • The process is not taxing, in fact, it’s very easy to make.
  • Like my dad said after his first bite, “It tastes like candy!” Though recently, I cut the amount of sugar in half and it’s still plenty sweet! I’ve given a range in the recipe card.  
Small white bowl with easy sweet potato casserole and a red handle fork.

How to Make

  1. Mash your sweet potatoes. I prefer using baked sweet potatoes as boiled ones can be too watery.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º and butter a 2-quart baking dish.
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, vanilla, and milk, and mix well. Pour into baking dish and smooth top.
  4. Mix the flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Cut in butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  5. Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potatoes.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
3 photos of making sweet potato casserole

Expert Tips

After recommending our local Junior League’s sweet potato recipe to a friend, I realized I hadn’t posted this Sweet Potato Casserole recipe with you all.  These candied sweet potatoes are a more elegant version of the classic marshmallow-topped casserole.

  • I like baking and mashing my own sweet potatoes to use in this recipe. Using canned sweet potatoes will eliminate those steps.
  • I’ve cut down the sugar from the original recipe. Taste the filling before adding the topping and adjust according to your palate.
  • I use pecans in the topping but feel free to use walnuts if you prefer those.
  • PRO-Tip: This casserole can be assembled the day before to streamline your holiday prep. Just bring it to room temperature before baking (or add more time if necessary).
Overhead view of Praline Topped Sweet Potato Casserole in a white, round casserole dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes?

Bake, boil or open and drain a can of sweet potatoes. Use a potato ricer, masher, or mixer, and process until smooth. Add milk, sugar, and/or seasonings to taste.

For this recipe, the mashed sweet potatoes will be measured out as part of the recipe, so there is no need to add any seasonings.

What Is In Sweet Potato Casserole?

It depends on the recipe. Many are topped with marshmallows but this one is crowned with a mixture of brown sugar, flour, butter, and pecans.

The sweet potatoes have vanilla, sugar, and milk added to them. Other ingredients can include cinnamon and other spices, maple syrup, and/or nuts.

What’s the Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Yams are not commonly sold in the US even though some canned sweet potatoes are labeled as yams. A yam’s flesh can be white, yellow, purple, or pink and the skin is dark and bark-like. They’re starchier than sweet potatoes and not as sweet.

Sweet potatoes have moister flesh that can be white, orange, rosy-colored, or purple. Their skin is smoother.

Can Sweet Potato Casserole Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes! Both the topping and the mashed and sweetened sweet potato mixture can be made a day or two ahead of time. Store the components in the refrigerator, but bring them out to take the chill off for about an hour before baking.

Spread the sweet potatoes in your baking dish, then crumble on the topping. Bake as directed, but note that it may take extra time if it did not come to room temperature after being in the fridge.

How to Reheat Sweet Potato Casserole?

Single servings can be microwaved. To reheat the whole casserole, cover it with foil and place it in a 300-degree oven for 15-20 minutes depending on how much is in the dish.

Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Casserole?

Yes, your leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months if it’s kept airtight. The praline topping might get a little soft when it defrosts, but it will still be tasty.

Be forewarned, though. This dish could almost pass for a dessert, so it’s perfect for a carb-heavy turkey day meal. But it may be a wee bit too sweet to serve any time but a holiday, but definitely worth the calorie splurge!

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Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes collage with 4 photos and a text box
Praline Topped Sweet Potato Casserole - Perfect Thanksgiving side dish--even sweet potato nay sayers will love it!

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 8 servings

A terrific sweet potato recipe that will convert even your biggest naysayer!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes (about 3 large)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Set aside.
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, vanilla, and milk and mix well. Pour into baking dish and smooth top.
  4. Mix the flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Notes

Adapted from Winners cookbook

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 4gSugar: 33gProtein: 4g

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Holiday Side Dishes

Tried and true side dish recipes that are perfect for the holidays! They're ideal for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and more!