Fluffy, souffle-like sweet potatoes topped with a pillowy crown of golden, gooey melted marshmallows and a crisp streusel topping make this classic southern Sweet Potato Casserole a star side dish on the Thanksgiving table, and a most-wanted for Christmas, Easter and Sunday dinners!
Sweet poato casserole? It is THE EASIEST of all holiday side dishes! But I’m not going to lie. I grew up in a pecans topping only family. And I loved it.
I never thought I might be a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows girl too… Until I made this recipe. And y’all. I am not kidding when I say this might be my favorite sweet potato casserole ever!
It is so rich with deep sweet potato flavor and the golden vanilla puffs of marshmallows are perfectly complemented by the brown sugar streusel. Side dish? Dessert? I found myself dreaming up reasons to get another little bite here and there after dinner.
What Makes This Recipe Work?
I knew the marshamallow and streusel topping was going to bring all the sweets, so I cut back on the sugar in the tender sweet potato filling. Even The Engineer (who does not go for the overly sweet at all) bragged on this casserole and went back for seconds.
I also used heavy cream, eggs and white sugar (instead of brown- brown sugar adds extra moistness) to whip as much airy-ness into these potatoes as I could. You could even add a 3rd egg for more of a souffle texture.
- canned sweet potatoes in syrup– an easy prep short cut, as long as potatoes are drained, rinsed and patted dry.
- granulated white sugar– extra is required if fresh potatoes are used, see below
- large eggs– gives the casserole a light, fluffy rise & souffle-like texture
- salted butter
- heavy cream– better than milk or half & half for creating the light, whipped souffle-like texture
- vanilla extract-just a tad elevates the flavor; it’s the difference between plain and delicious!
- mini marshmallows– preferable to large or jumbo marshmallows, see Tips for why
- brown sugar– these last ingredients are for the streusel topping that goes with the marshmallows to create a nice crunchy texture
- cinnamon, nutmeg, salt
Are Yams and Sweet Potatoes the Same Thing?
Yes and no. If you see only “canned yams” in your grocery store. It’s ok. Those are really sweet potatoes and perfect for this dish. Many times, in the United States, the terms yams and sweet potatoes are used interchangeably to identify different types of sweet potatoes.
However, real yams, are a tuber native to Africa and have a dark, rough skin, a white, not so sweet flesh that is dry and starchy and not commonly found in American grocery stores.
Can I Use Fresh Sweet Potatoes Instead of Canned?
Absolutely! Using canned sweet potatoes is a nice short cut when there is a lot to be prepared and cooked on holidays, Sunday dinners or special occasions. But if you would rather make your own potatoes, either wash, peel and boil or bake and remove skins from fresh sweet potatoes, then mash and add to rest of recipe in place of canned potatoes, adding ¾ Cup – 1 Cup of granulated sugar instead of ½ Cup.
How To Make Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping
Make the Sweet Potato Filling. Rinse and drain the canned sweet potatoes. Whip sweet potatoes with sugar, eggs, butter, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Some butter will still be visible in the potatoes. That’s ok. It will melt as the casserole bakes. Spoon sweet potato mixture into an 8×8 baking dish.
Add the Toppings. Top sweet potatoes evenly with mini marshmallows. Mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt with a fork. Add just enough melted butter to create a crumble mixture with the texture of wet sand. Sprinkle it evenly over the marshmallows and in any spaces.
Bake. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Tips
- I put my streusel topping on top of the marshmallows instead of underneath like many recipes so it bakes with a crunchy, crisp texture that’s a nice contrast to the fluffy potatoes.
- Draining the syrup from the potatoes, lightly rinsing them and allowing them to dry before putting them in this casserole is a must for making a light casserole that isn’t watery.
- Salt is important because it heightens all of the flavors in the dish.
- Room temperature eggs and butter are needed for this recipe, but the cream needs to be cold so that it whips up nice and fluffy in the potatoes.
- Mini marshmallows are best for this recipe. Large or jumbo marshmallows don’t cover the top of the casserole as well, make it difficult to serve and brown much quicker than the minis, making them prone to burning during the cook time.
Making it Ahead
Sweet Potato Casserole is an ideal side dish to make ahead of time. Simply make the casserole without adding the toppings. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Remove from fridge, add toppings and bake as directed, allowing for 15+ more minutes of bake time since casserole will be cold going into the oven.
What To Serve With Sweet Potato Casserole
For the Holidays
- Creole Roasted Turkey
- Southern Pecan Crusted Ham
- Cranberry Bacon Walnut Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- Holiday Prime Rib
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Southern Chicken & Dressing
- Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole (with no canned soup)
- Ultimate Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese
- Homemade Jalapeno Orange Cranberry Sauce
- Autumn Pear Salad with Figs + Molasses Vinaigrette
- Southern Cornbread Pudding
- Easy Sweet Potato Cornbread
If You Love Sweet Potatoes & Have Made This Recipe, Give It All The Stars & A Fun Comment! Or Tag Me @SouthernDiscourse On Social Media To Be Featured. I Love Hearing From You!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping
- 45 ounces canned sweet potatoes in syrup, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 stick butter, room temp
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Using an electric mixer, whip together sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl. Spoon sweet potato mixture evenly into an ungreased 8×8 baking dish.
- Sprinkle mini marshmallows evenly over the top of the sweet potato mixture.
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt with a fork. Add just enough melted butter to create a crumble mixture with the texture of wet sand. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over the marshmallows and in any spaces between marshmallows.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until edges are bubbling. Remove from oven. Must sit 5-10 minutes before serving.