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Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

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A classic favorite sweet potato casserole recipe, loaded with familiar comfort food flavors and simplified to make your time in the kitchen much easier. What’s not to absolutely love about that?

Sweet Potato Casserole with a hand pulling a serving spoon piece out

Sweet Potato Casserole has always been a favorite of mine at the Thanksgiving table. Add some marshmallows and pecans and I’m sold.

I just love the way the marshmallows brown up. It’s like a s’more topping for a dinner side dish! Even better, this recipe uses canned yams to make it that much easier to make!

This sweet potato casserole is now a staple at our holiday dinner table!

Which is it, vegetable side-dish or dessert? You decide. With brown sugar, cinnamon and marshmallows, Southern sweet potato casserole is decadent enough to be dessert.

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post: 

  • What ingredients you’ll need to prepare a scrumptious Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Step-by-step instructions from beginning to end, for preparing this super easy, and delish recipe
  • A few tips to simplify the process and help you get this casserole perfect on the very first try

Get ready to learn exactly what to put on your shopping list and what to do with each item. When you’re done, you’ll have a mouthwatering dish to be proud of.

Ingredients needed to make this sweet potato casserole in seperate bowls

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

The steps for this recipe are so straightforward, your kitchen will soon fill with the gorgeous aroma of sweet potatoes baking in brown sugar and cinnamon!

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

STEP TWO: Drain the canned yams. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl, and mash them with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, egg, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.

To make this easy recipe even easier, you can also use a food processor for this step.

Collage of mashing the canned yams and mixing together the sweet potato casserole ingredients in a bowl

STEP THREE: Spread the mash evenly in the prepared baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and top with the marshmallows and chopped pecans.

Casserole dish with marshmallows and pecans on top uncooked

STEP FOUR: Turn on the oven broiler, and return the dish to the upper-middle rack. Broil for 1-2 minutes, or until marshmallows are lightly browned. 

You’ll want to stay nearby and watch this process. It only takes a few seconds too long for the top to get very blackened.

STEP FIVE: Serve and enjoy!

Love Sweet Potatoes? Try these other sweet potato recipes!

Is There a Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?

Yes! While the United States tends to use the terms sweet potatoes and yams interchangeably, there is actually a difference.

Sweet potatoes are the root veggie we always see in the produce department. Unless you shop at ethnic markets, there’s a strong chance you’ve never even encountered an actual yam. Yams are not orange inside, but white. 

Yams are starchier than sweet potatoes and have a rough, bark-like skin. American products labeled “yams” are almost always sweet potatoes.

So all those orange beauties, as well as the purple ones are really sweet potatoes and not yams.

For this recipe, you want the vegetable that is orange, not white, even if it’s labeled as “canned yams.”

Finished sweet potato casserole with roasted marshmallows and pecans and a serving spoon inside

What If I Want to Use Fresh Sweet Potatoes Instead of Canned?

It’s perfectly okay to sub fresh cooked sweet potatoes for the canned version. You’ll need about 4 to 5 sweet potatoes for this recipe. 

Follow these easy steps to use fresh sweet potatoes:

  1. Peel and cube 4 to 5 medium sweet potatoes and add to a pot of cold water on the stove, covered with water completely.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Allow the sweet potatoes to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until they are very tender to pierce with a fork.
  3. Drain the sweet potatoes and continue the recipe as stated.
Scoop of finished casserole being held up with a spoon over full casserole dish

Can I Make This Recipe Ahead of Time?

You can make the main part of this sweet potato casserole ahead of time and store it covered in your refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. You can even make it 2 days in advance!

Wait to add the marshmallows until the end of baking. Marshmallows on a refrigerated casserole could break down and get gooey in a bad way.

If you like to prepare and plan ahead, you can even freeze this casserole without the marshmallows. Just add them at the end of baking, as the recipe describes.

Closeup of sweet potato casserole in serving dish with serving spoon inside

Can I Double This Recipe?

Yes! If you have people coming over for a large Thanksgiving dinner, you can double this recipe by using a 2QT dish and doubling all ingredients.

The casserole will still cook at 350 degrees but will take longer to cook, about 45 minutes, before adding the marshmallows.

How Do I Store the Leftovers of My Sweet Potato Casserole?

If everyone doesn’t gobble every yummy bite up right away, you can save what’s left for later. 

This sweet potato casserole will stay good in the fridge for 3-4 days tops. Just cover it with plastic wrap, or keep it in an airtight container.

Scoop of sweet potato casserole in a white bowl with a spoon

How to Reheat Sweet Potato Casserole

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook the leftover casserole for 20 to 25 minutes, until thoroughly warmed.

You can also heat slices of the sweet potato casserole back up in the air fryer. Just preheat it to 320 degrees and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until warm.

Do not reheat this recipe back up in the microwave as the marshmallows can explode.

Scoop of sweet potato casserole being held over serving dish

Can You Freeze This Sweet Potato Casserole?

Yes! You can freeze the sweet potato casserole before and after cooking.

To Freeze Before Cooking

Prepare the casserole up to spreading the mashed sweet potato mixture in the baking pan, then freeze. Once ready to make, thaw in the fridge overnight, bake, then add the marshmallows and pecans as directed.

To Freeze After Cooking

Remove the marshmallows from the cooked sweet potato casserole (freeze before cooking if freezing the entire casserole whole).

Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight before cooking.

I recommend taking the marshmallows off and using new ones when you reheat after freezing. They can become gooey and just not appealing.

Other Recipes You’ll Love:

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

Finished sweet potato casserole with roasted marshmallows and pecans and a serving spoon inside

Sweet Potato Casserole is even easier to make with canned yams, roasted marshmallows, and pecans!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (40 ounce) canned cooked yams, drained
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces miniature marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Drain the canned yams, transfer them to a large mixing bowl, and mash them with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, egg, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Spread the mashed sweet potato mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and top with the marshmallows and chopped pecans.
  4. Turn on the oven broiler and return the dish to the upper-middle rack. Broil for 1-2 minutes, or until marshmallows are lightly browned.
  5. Remove from the oven and enjoy!







Notes

How to Use Fresh Sweet Potatoes in this Recipe:

1. Peel and cube 4 to 5 medium sweet potatoes and add to a pot of cold water on the stove, covered with water completely.

2. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Allow the sweet potatoes to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until they are very tender to pierce with a fork.

3. Drain the sweet potatoes and continue the recipe as stated.

How to Reheat Sweet Potato Casserole:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook leftover sweet potato casserole for 20 to 25 minutes.

(You can also reheat a piece in a preheated air fryer at 320 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 2g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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