Sweet Potato Casserole

(The Robyn & Nance tandem recipe post will be up in a few days. Christmas is less than two weeks away. We’ve been busy!)

I had never had sweet potato casserole before I moved to Alabama. My first Thanksgiving in the South we had it with dinner, and I was HOOKED. This stuff is awesome – it’s sweet, but it’s got sweet potatoes in it, so what that means is that it’s practically health food.

(Just go with it.)

I’ve had it at Thanksgiving – and very often at Christmas – every year since. I don’t think Thanksgiving would be complete without a big spoonful of sweet potato casserole next to the turkey.


Before you can start putting the casserole together, you have to have cooked sweet potatoes (which you’ll then mash and measure). You can roast them in the oven and I’ve done it that way – pierce your sweet potatoes, bake them in a 375ºF oven, start checking them for doneness at 40 minutes. When a fork easily pierces the flesh of the sweet potatoes, they’re done. We get some pretty big sweet potatoes down here, so I’ve had some of the bigger ones take an hour and a half. Which is why I usually just microwave them. Stick them in the microwave and cook them for five minutes (if you don’t have a turntable in your microwave, flip them over at 2 1/2 minutes).

Test for doneness, and if they’re not easily pierced by a fork, continue cooking them for 3 minutes at a time.

When they’re done cooking, let them cool a bit, scoop the flesh out, and mash it with a fork. You’ll need three cups of mashed sweet potatoes for this recipe.



Mashed sweet potatoes, vanilla, margarine or butter (I use butter), sugar, beaten eggs, and milk.

Throw everything in the mixer and mix. (You could also stir it together by hand if you’re so inclined.)



Spread it in a lightly greased 9×13 pan or two 8×8 pans.

Now time to make the topping!

But first, a kitten interlude.

SPCKitties (1)

SPCKitties (2)

SPCKitties (4)
“Is time to eat yet? ::thlurp::”

The topping ingredients:


Brown sugar, flour, butter, chopped pecans.


Put the butter, sugar, and flour in a bowl, and cut together with a pastry cutter (or two knives, if you don’t have a pastry cutter).


When the mixture is crumbly, stir in the pecans. I’d say that the pieces of butter should be about the size of peas.


Sprinkle the topping as evenly as possible over the sweet potato mixture.


The butter/ flour/ sugar mixture melts together to make the best butter/ sugary/ floury/ pecan-y crust you’ve ever had in your life.

(I should add that I’ve made this using walnuts as well, and it worked out well. I usually use pecans since we’ve always got some on hand.)


This stuff is so amazingly good that you’ll want to hide it in the back of the fridge and claim you forgot to make it, just so you can have the whole thing to yourself.


(Not that I’ve ever done that.)

SPCKitties (5)
“Suuuuure you haven’t.”

Yes, it’s got a lot of sugar and butter in it. But come on – the holidays only come once a year. If you can’t eat sugar and butter on Thanksgiving and/ or Christmas Day, when the hell CAN you?


Sweet Potato Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: side dish
Serves: 12
  • Casserole:
  • 3 c. sweet potatoes, baked and mashed
  • ½ t. vanilla
  • ½ c. margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ c. milk
  • Topping:
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. flour
  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 c. chopped pecans (or walnuts, if you prefer)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together first 6 ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 or two 8 x 8 (or 9 x 9) baking pans.
  3. Use a pastry blender to cut butter into brown sugar and flour until crumbly. Mix in nuts. Sprinkle topping mixture over sweet potatoes.
  4. (At this point, dish can be refrigerated, covered. I always make it a day ahead.)
  5. Bake uncovered for 45 - 50 minutes, until browned and bubbly.



Sweet Potato Casserole — 39 Comments

  1. I haaaaate pecans.

    Which is kinda ironic because I grew up in the city that is the Home of the World’s Largest Pecan. It’s true. It’s on display downtown in front of the courthouse.

    I’ve never been a fan of the sweet potato thing with the marshmallows and this seems kinda like that. I don’t usually like sweet stuff with my dinner.

    I like sweet potatoes, just not with sugar and stuff.

    Now I feel like Fred and his cheese/salad hangup.

    Can you tell I’m bored?

    I wonder where Amanda is.

    I bet she came back and was like “Oh SURE your posse rolled up in here and jumped all over me. I am OUTTA here. Bitch (ypoo).”

    Yes in my mind Amanda is a middle-aged uptight white woman who talks like that in a vain attempt to sound cool and hip.

    Or phat.

    I think I took too much cold medicine.

  2. I never liked sweet potatoes growing up but now I love them. I make something very similar to this recipe every thanksgiving…I cut up the sweet potatoes, roast them, then add the topping. Yum!

  3. Yum! I’d like some delivered post haste, please. So there’s no discernable taste and texture difference between the baked sweet potatoes and the microwaved jobbies?

      • Don’t be so modest, Robyn — your taste in pussycats is sublime! (Just to let you know, despite my always clicking on all five stars, they never register; I blame my iPhone . . .)

      • Shit, I read that as sublime taste in pussy and my brain did a big giant record scratch whhhhhaaaaattttt?????

        Ahem, as to the recipe, I don’t think I could handle that much sugar but I’d be willing to try it with 1/4 of the called for sweet stuff.

      • Prevert. 🙂 (Intentionally misspelled because I amuse me so.)

        If you try it with less sugar, let us know how it turns out for you!

  4. Oooohhhh yesssssss!!! *slobber slobber*. I leave the flour out of the topping, boil the sweet potatoes and sub condensed milk for regular, but HOT DAMN Robyn if you aren’t on to something here!!! This stuff is the JAM. My thanksgiving guests fight over it every year. I could forget the turkey and as long as there’s sweet potato casserole, no one would blink!

  5. This is like the sweet potato casseroles I grew up eating in the South. Just say “no” to the marshmallow toppings!

    I was at a friend’s house for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago and we were almost done with dinner when she looked around and said “where the hell is the sweet potato casserole?!” She had so many “hands” in the kitchen that we all overlooked the casserole sitting in the refrigerator! But she warmed it up and served it along with the desserts. No harm, no foul. 🙂

    • Fred’s stepmother is allergic to nuts, so one year we made the version with the marshmallow topping. No one ate more than a few bites of it. It just wasn’t right!

  6. Shirley wants to try this. I can’t make the marshmallow casserole to save my life (nobody likes it) so around here, Shirley fries the pre-cooked potatoes in butter and brown sugar. Yes, FRIES them. Happy high cholesterol!

    This year we’ll make this, but Robyn, I have one question. What kind of force do you have down there that you use with cooking? I’ve not heard of that yet, but then again, I’m not a Jedi.

    When a force easily pierces the flesh of the sweet potatoes, they’re done.

    • DAMNIT. I even proof-read this shit (which I NEVER do) before I posted it!

      Also, bite me. 🙂

      Also also, pretty much every food in existence can be improved by frying it in butter and brown sugar.

      • At a local bar, they serve sweet potato french fries with butter and brown sugar in little cups on the side. Of course, the RickMonster is all about that shit. I haven’t tasted a sweet potato in years, but I’m going to try some this year when I make Robyn’s dish. Fingers crossed!

  7. I love me some sweet potatoes, but not in casseroles. But having sad that, I am going to try this recipe – only I will substitute almond flour for the regular flour (no gluten). Almond Flour is slightly nutty and should only add to the nutty flavor right? I am trying to convince myself it will work. But what the hell, If it is bad, my dogs will eat it. They love everything. Especially things made with expensive ingredients (like AF).

      • Bwahaha. You confused the Nance’s! Filthy minded Nanc is Nanc in Ashland.

        I’m just Nance with almond flour (and a non-filthy mind, although I do like to throw around the cuss words).

        Dammit, Nanc in Ashland, you’re getting my ass in trouble! – Although your comment did make me LOL because my brain does that sometimes too.

  8. These sound exactly like the ones my dil’s cousin makes, except hers are chunky. I was in the i-love-sweet-potatoes-just-not-in-sweet-stuff camp until dil brought these to Thanksgiving and we had them for dessert. I am now a I-love-sweet-potato-casserole-just-not-with-dinner person.

  9. We have had this at our Thanksgiving dinner in recent years and it is marvelous.

    My wife is from a large family — there were 47 or 48 of us gathered for dinner this year (I lost count) — ranging in age from my mother-in-law down to her newest great-grandson — and this is one of the most popular dishes.

      • I spazz out at getting everything out on the table and hot at the same time. Could you see me trying to get 48 people to sit down and eat while it’s hot?


        But part of me thinks that is super cool to have that much family want to spend time with each other on a holiday. 🙂

  10. I’m a southerner, so I’ve eaten sweet potatoes all year round since I was a kid. I love them. I make this casserole every year – my oldest begs for it – but I add a little cinnamon. Even “I swear I hate yams” crowd will eat them if you do that, and the house smells fabulous and it tastes great. I also make Shirley’s “fried” sweet potatoes every year – here in the South, those are ‘candied yams’. You make the candy in the skillet with butter, brown sugar, and when it’s sticky and ooey gooey good, you add the cooked, chunked potatoes and stir to coat. Nirvana.

  11. I made an entire casserole dish for myself on Xmas Eve. It is half gone now. I expect they’ll be taking the doors off the house to cart my rapidly expanding ass to the ER when I stroke out sometime tomorrow.

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