Enjoy spoonfuls of buttery, fluffy sweet potatoes with a nutty, crunchy brown sugar pecan streusel topping for holidays, special meals and Sunday dinners. A Thanksgiving tradition, Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping is pure sweet potato heaven!
This classic southern casserole has been a favorite in my family for decades and can easily double as a side dish or dessert! It’s so easy to put together and bakes up almost souffle-like thanks to a splash of cream, a little vanilla, butter and a couple of beaten eggs.
But it’s the pecan topping that really sets this dish apart. A simple nutty, brown sugar crumble bakes up golden brown and adds the perfect light cinnamon crunch to the clouds of fluffy sweet potatoes beneath!
Related Recipe: Fluffy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
What To Serve with Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole most often shows up on the traditional Thanksgiving table. It is one of the positively best partners for savory Creole Roasted Turkey or ham and a big spoon of cornbread dressing.
Special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and dinner with guests call for this Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping cozied up next to Perfect Skillet Steak and Pear & Fig Salad with a Molasses Vinaigrette.
Ingredients for the Best Southern Sweet Potato Casserole & Pecan Topping
- canned cut sweet potatoes in syrup– an easy prep short cut, as long as potatoes are drained and rinsed.
- granulated sugar– extra is required if fresh potatoes are used, see below
- eggs- binds the dish together and gives the potatoes a light, fluffy rise
- half & half
- vanilla extract– just a tad elevates the flavor; it’s the difference between plain and delicious!
- brown sugar
- flour- mixed the brown sugar, it makes the brown sugar pecan streusel topping
- ground cinnamon– a hint of cinnamon has always been my secret ingredient of choice for the topping.
- pecans– chopeed
How To Make Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar Pecan Topping
Prepare the Potatoes. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip together drained and rinsed sweet potatoes with sugar, eggs, butter, half & half and vanilla extract. Some butter will still be visible in the potatoes. That’s ok. It will melt as the casserole bakes. Spoon sweet potato mixture evenly into an ungreased 8×8 baking dish.
Make the Pecan Topping. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon with a fork. Sprinkle this brown sugar mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes. Evenly top with chopped pecans. Gently press topping down into the sweet potatoes. Drizzle melted butter over the pecan and brown sugar topping.
Bake. Bake in a 350° for 45-50 minutes or until edges and center is bubbling. The center must be bubbling before the dish is removed from the oven. Remove & allow to sit 10-15 minutes before serving.
Can I Use Fresh Sweet Potatoes
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.
Make It Ahead
Sweet Potato Casserole is an ideal side dish to make ahead of time. Simply make the casserole without adding the brown sugar pecan topping. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 3-5 days. Remove from fridge, add topping and bake as directed, allowing for 10-15 more minutes of bake time since casserole will be cold going into the oven.
How to Freeze & Reheat Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole can even be made up to 3 months in advance and frozen! Prepare casserole, again without brown sugar pecan topping. Cover tightly with several layers of plastic wrap and freeze.
To reheat, allow casserole to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Make the topping and add to dish before baking as directed on recipe card, allowing 10-15 minutes extra cook time.
Other Thanksgiving Side Dishes You’ll Love
- Southern Chicken & Dressing
- Homemade Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
- Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese
- Southern Cornbread Pudding
- Classic Green Beans & New Potatoes
If You Make This Recipe, I Can’t Wait To Hear All About It!
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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
- 45 ounces canned sweet potatoes in syrup, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large beaten eggs
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- ⅓ cup half and half
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip together sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, butter, half & half and vanilla extract. Spoon sweet potato mixture evenly into an ungreased 8×8 baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon with a fork. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over sweet potatoes to completely cover. Evenly top with chopped pecans. Gently press topping down into sweet potatoes. Drizzle melted butter over pecans and brown sugar topping.
- Bake in preheated for 25-30 minutes or until edges and center is bubbling. Remove from oven. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.