Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

Southern sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans and warm spices is a southern staple side dish during the holidays in my home. It’s creamy, smooth light and luscious. It offers some lovely sweetness alongside your classic savory, hearty meals.

A picture of sweet potato casserole in a white baking dish topped with pecans and marshmallows

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Growing up, southern sweet potato casserole was always served alongside our Turkey. As a kid, it was one of my favorite side dishes. It felt festive and it was a little sweet. I mean, it’s an excuse to eat marshmallows for dinner! What’s not to love? I decided to update the recipe and put my own spin on it, by using roasted potatoes in the filling.

Some people may call this sweet potato pudding or sweet potato soufflé but my grandmother insists that it’s a sweet potato casserole. I’m not going to make grandma mad, so I’m gonna call it sweet potato casserole too. 

Why This Sweet Potato Casserole Works

You probably have most of the ingredients to make it! This casserole uses ingredients you probably already have. I opt to roast my sweet potatoes instead of boiling them, because it has a more sweet savory flavor that way.  The filling in this casserole is light and smooth and it’s not overly sweet.  This sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans  is so easy to make and guaranteed to please your entire household!

A picture of sweet potato casserole  topped with marshmallows


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How to Cook the Potatoes

Before you assemble this southern sweet potato casserole, you need to prepare the sweet potatoes. Here are two options.

  1. Roast the sweet potatoes. Poke holes all over the sweet potato. Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and poke several holes into the foil.  Roast in the oven until very tender.Roasting times will vary depending on the size of your dice. The bigger the potato the longer it will need to bake. I baked mine for about an hour.
  1. Boil the sweet potatoes. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them in half, and place them in a pot filled with water and some salt. Bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Typically, this takes about 20 minutes.

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole in Advance

 Sweet potato casserole is a forgiving dish that you can prepare fully cooked ahead of time for the holidays. First you’ll need to put the marshmallows to the side for a bit. Cover and store the casserole in the fridge.

To reheat, simply set stove to 350-degree Fahrenheit. Place the casserole in the hot oven and baked until warmed through. Then top it with the marshmallows and bake until the marshmallows are melted and golden. 

You can also prepare the sweet potato filling. Then pour it into a container with a tight fitted lid. When you are ready to make it, just pour the filling into a greased baking pan and proceed with the recipe directions below. 

Alternatively, you can prep your sweet potatoes one day in advance. Oil them and roast them and store in the refrigerator. The next day, all you’d have to do is mash the potatoes, brown the butter (optional) or melt it then make the filling, and bake the sweet potato casserole in the oven.


Tips for Southern Sweet Potato Casserole 

  • Salt – If you boil the sweet potatoes, use more salt than you think you’ll need. Most of the water is going down the drain when the sweet potatoes are cooked, and you want to ensure the sweet potatoes are well-seasoned throughout.

  • Melted Butter – I used brown butter but if you don’t have time you can just melt your butter before whisking into the filling. Melted butter mixes in with the filling much more effectively. If you don’t know how to brown butter, check out Bonappetit easy recipe. 

  • Filling Texture – If you like your sweet potato casserole to be velvety smooth, roast your sweet potatoes and use an immersion blender, electric mixer or a food processor to achieve that perfect consistency. If you prefer yours to have a thicker texture and some  and chew, mash by hand with a fork or potato masher.

  • Add-Ins – Different households incorporate different spices into their sweet potato casserole recipes. You can add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and / or allspice if you enjoy the flavors of these comforting spices.

  • Toppings – If you want to add some crunch to your casserole, top with your favorite nuts.  

A picture of sweet potato casserole in a white baking dish topped with pecans and marshmallows

How to Speed Up Cooking Time

If you’re boiling the potatoes, the best way to speed up the cooking time of your casserole is to cut your sweet potatoes in halve. If you prefer, cut the sweet potatoes in half. They will roast quicker in the oven this way.  To save on prep time, I keep mine whole.

You could also fill little ramekins with your casserole filling, top with marshmallows, and roast. Small ramekins will cook in a shorter time than one big casserole dish. The down side?  You’ll end up with more dishes to clean at the end of the night!

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

  1. Boil or roast the sweet potatoes. I roasted mine. FYI, foil isn’t necessary. It’s just my personal preference. 

    Roasted sweet potatoes in a white baking dish
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit . Prepare your filling. You’ll need to add all the ingredients in to a bowl and then use whatever appliance you have to make the sweet potato casserole smooth.

    If you like a thicker filling, just mash the potatoes with a fork or masher. I might be biased, but this is how my grandmother used to make it. It was never thick or heavy. So, to make a smooth light filling that’s not too thick (once it cools off) and similar to her casserole, I use my food processor.  I actually had too much as you can see so I had to improvise by processing the sweet potato filling in two batches.

  3. Assemble the sweet potato casserole. Grease the pan all over with butter. 

  4. Pour the sweet potato filling into a the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. 

    Sweet potato casserole in a white baking dish
  5. Lastly, take the sweet potato casserole out of the oven. DON’T turn off the oven just yet.

  1. You can leave it as is (without pecans or marshmallows) or make it more decadent by topping it with marshmallows and pecans.  Once you add the toppings, bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the marshmallows are gooey and golden brown. This is best served at room temperature. 

If you make this sweet potato casserole recipe, please let me know by leaving a comment below!

A picture of sweet potato casserole in a white baking dish topped with pecans and marshmallows

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows and Pecans

April Boller Wright
Sweet potato casserole is a staple side dish during the holidays in my home. It’s creamy and luscious. It offers some lovely sweetness alongside your classic savory, hearty meals. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine soul food, Southern American
Servings 10 people
Calories 460 kcal


Browned Butter

  • 1 cup unsalted butter Browning the butter is optional – the casserole will still taste delicious with melted butter instead. If not browning the butter, be sure to melt it before mixing into the sweet potato filling.

Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 2 lb sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs plus one yolk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • small pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar plus an additional 2 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup white sugar plus an additional 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or regular milk


  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 16 oz marshmallows


Browned Butter

  • Chop butter into small pieces. Over medium heat, melt butter in skillet until liquid. Let butter simmer until it pops and turns yellow. Stir constantly as color changes to light brown. Remove from heat when brown bits form.

Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub sweet potatoes with oil and wrap in foil. Bake for 1 hour until very soft. Allow to cool slightly. Reduce oven temp to 375F.
  • Scoop out flesh into a bowl. Use a food processor, an electric hand mixer or beat by hand to mash the sweet potatoes until smooth. Mix in eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, pineapple juice, heavy cream and browned butter until well combined.Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, top with marshmallows and pecans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until marshmallows are lightly browned and have a gooey appearance.Allow casserole to cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy


  • Roast the sweet potatoes. Poke holes all over the sweet potato. Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil. Roast in the oven until fork tender.Roasting times will vary depending on the size of your potatoes. 



Serving: 1gCalories: 460kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 224mgPotassium: 371mgFiber: 3gSugar: 46gVitamin A: 13376IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mg
Keyword sweet potato casserole, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, sweet potato pudding, sweet potato souffle
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