Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Potato Casserole

By Tessa Arias
November 8th, 2018
5 from 14 votes
5 from 14 votes

This crowd-pleasing sweet potato casserole has both a pecan topping and a marshmallow topping for the best of both worlds!

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 1 hour 25 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: I love the slight hint of maple and nutmeg in the filling and of course either topping just makes you feel like you’re eating dessert for dinner in the best possible way.
Texture: The filling is rich, soft, and creamy without being too whipped and of course the texture of the topping depends on which spoonful you go for – crunchy pecan topping or gooey marshmallow.
Ease: Very easy, even when using fresh sweet potatoes.
Appearance: So fun!! This really shines on any Thanksgiving table.
Pros: You get the best of both worlds and the filling recipe is quite scrumptious.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Absolutely, every holiday season!

My favorite Thanksgiving side dish has been sweet potato casserole ever since I can remember. That’s probably because the casserole is basically dessert disguised as dinner. That’s something I can ALWAYS get on board with. I’m particularly fond of that buttery brown sugar pecan topping. However, I know many people and families prefer the marshmallow topping.

This crowd-pleasing sweet potato casserole has both a pecan topping and a marshmallow topping for the best of both worlds!

That’s why this is such a crowd pleasing recipe. You can offer your Thanksgiving guests BOTH so everyone is happy! You can even put the best of both worlds on your own plate if you can’t decide.

This recipe is actually an adaption of one of the first holiday recipes I ever posted on the blog way back in 2009. Many years later and I think I’ve only further perfected this recipe! Using fresh sweet potatoes makes a big difference.

The casserole I grew up eating relied on canned yam puree which does cut the oven time down, but it also cuts the flavor. Bake your potatoes ahead of time and refrigerate the flesh until you’re reading to make the casserole.

I also don’t use any processed sugar inside my filling, instead I rely on maple syrup to add sweetness and a nice depth of flavor. Since the topping is so sugary, you really don’t miss the sugar and it makes this casserole slightly more acceptable to eat as a part of dinner.

This crowd-pleasing sweet potato casserole has both a pecan topping and a marshmallow topping for the best of both worlds!

What’s you favorite part of Thanksgiving? The side dishes? Dessert? Turkey?

More Thanksgiving Side Dishes:

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5 from 14 votes

How to make
Crowd Pleasing Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
This crowd-pleasing sweet potato casserole has both a pecan topping and a marshmallow topping for the best of both worlds!


For the casserole:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the toppings:

  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (44 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) pecans, chopped (or more, depending on preference)
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and place on a foil or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until they are tender on the inside, about 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Let the potatoes cool slightly then slice open and scoop the flesh into a large bowl, discarding the skins. Mash with a potato masher, being careful not to over-mash. Add the milk, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg and stir until just combined.
  2. In a small bowl combine the flour and butter, cutting the butter into the flour with the back of a fork. Add the brown sugar and pecans and stir until combined.
  3. Spread the potato mixture into a 13 by 9-inch or similarly sized baking dish. Sprinkle the pecan mixture in diagonal rows over the sweet potatoes, leaving a 1 1/2-inch gap between rows. Bake at 350°F oven until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and gently place the marshmallows between the rows of the pecan mixture. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the marshmallows are just golden brown. Serve.
Course : Side Dish
Cuisine : American

Photos by Patty Kraikittikun-Phuong.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Amanda — December 19, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    I’ve made this for 6 years now. BEST recipe in my opinion! Everyone I’ve ever made it for loves it too. The topping combo is the best part.

    • #
      Emily — December 20, 2021 at 1:12 pm

      So happy to hear how much you love this recipe, thanks for the comment!

  2. #
    Jennifer — December 3, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Best version of this ever and so cute on the table! Would make just for me, myself and my fork.

    • #
      Emily — December 7, 2021 at 9:35 am

      haha YES!! So glad you loved this recipe 🙂

  3. #
    Paige — November 26, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Will it make a taste difference if you peel and boil the potatoes on the stovetop instead of baking them in the oven?

    • #
      Emily — December 1, 2021 at 11:42 am

      Nope! We just found that baking them in the oven is easier 🙂

  4. #
    Brittany — November 24, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Hi! Could I pre make the casserole and finish it off with the toppings tomorrow for Thanksgiving?

    • #
      Emily — November 24, 2021 at 9:20 am

      Hi Brittany! Yes, that should work fine 🙂 Enjoy!

  5. #
    Kay — November 22, 2021 at 2:45 am

    Absolutely love!

  6. #
    Rhonda — November 20, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Do you think almond flour would work just as well as a substitute for the white flour?

    • #
      Emily — November 22, 2021 at 2:54 pm

      We haven’t tried that, Rhonda, so I can’t say for sure how it’d turn out! Please let us know how it goes if you give it a try 🙂

  7. #
    Gwen — March 9, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Family favorite!

    • #
      Tessa — March 10, 2021 at 12:12 pm


  8. #
    Ellie — December 6, 2020 at 1:18 am

    I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it! It’s so easy to make and is the perfect amount of sweetness without being too sweet. I’ll definitely be making this again soon!

    • #
      Tessa — December 7, 2020 at 10:36 am

      Thrilled this recipe was a hit!

  9. #
    Susan — November 29, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Everyone raved over this dish and said it was their favorite side of the meal!

  10. #
    Melissa — November 5, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    I made this recipe for Thanksgiving last year and it was a huge hit! Everyone is looking forward to me making it again this year.

  11. #
    Corina — April 21, 2020 at 7:10 am

    I’ve made this recipe a few times and everyone loves it! thank you thank you so much.

  12. #
    Gayle — April 19, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    Made this recipe last Christmas for 2 separate family dinners! Looked and tasted amazing! Doubled the recipe and the prep work and baking was a little longer but it was well worth the effort! The maple syrup is a great addition to the flavour of it! I give it 5 stars and a real keeper!

  13. #
    Berta — December 4, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Love it how can I get the recipe to stay in my computer

  14. #
    Brandon — December 1, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    It was a crowd pleaser for sure!!

  15. #
    Tomi — November 27, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Been looking through a ton of recipes, and I liked that this was the only one without any complaints.
    My question is; when you say maple syrup, you mean the realVdeal straight-from-the-tree kind right? The only kind I have is pancake syrup, would that still work?

    • #
      Tessa — November 28, 2019 at 11:16 am

      I would only use real maple syrup!

      • #
        Dianne — December 18, 2019 at 3:08 pm

        What’s the difference between real maple syrup & pancake syrup? I want to make this on Saturday so not sure what to buy for syrup.

        • #
          Tara — October 11, 2021 at 6:33 am

          Pancake syrup is usually flavoured corn syrup …maple syrup is real concentrated sap from the maple tree. In Canada the food law states if it doesn’t have real maple in it …it cannot be called maple syrup.

  16. #
    Bobb — November 27, 2019 at 7:42 am

    We have an hour and a half drive so we leave pretty early. Have you made the day before and reheated? I thought I could make the casserole the night before? Then add the toppings in the morning, and put in oven. We can keep warm for the ride.

    • #
      Tessa — November 27, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Yes, that should work fine 🙂

    • #
      kelly — November 27, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      I was wondering the same thing. Can I put this together tonight and bake it tomorrow? I’ve never made a sweet potato casserole before so I’m not sure of the rules. LOL

  17. #
    Michelle Sands — October 31, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Can you use evaporated milk with this recipe

  18. #
    Sue — November 22, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    I added orange zest and it was delicious! Everyone loved it!!

  19. #
    Sabrina — November 16, 2018 at 7:58 am

    very nice dish, especially since I love sweet potatoes and always appreciate a new recipe, thank you!

  20. #
    ngarmpis custy — November 9, 2018 at 10:27 am

    it looks very delicious, will try to make it

  21. #
    Kevin in Fla — December 14, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Made it for Turkey day. GREAT Making it for wife’s Christmas party.
    Grandkids loved it.

  22. #
    Greg — November 4, 2014 at 5:05 am

    Can this dish be made ahead and refrigerated, then cooked for the meal? Seems like it, Maybe not put the pecan mixture on until ready to put in oven? Trying to plan my Thanksgiving meal prep. Thanks.

  23. #
    Tahnee — December 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I made this recipe for Christmas dinner and it was a HUGE hit! 2 of the people didn’t like sweet potato and another didn’t like sweets and they all loved it and got seconds. Everybody alao raved about how pretty the dish was. I will be saving this recipe to make again. Only changes I made to the recipe was add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the sweet potato mash and omit the flour in the pecan mixture.

  24. #
    Danika — November 28, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Made this for today and everyone LOVED it. It was perfect since I couldn’t decide on which toppings to use. I didn’t have maple syrup so I added a little brown sugar. And the parchment paper for roasting saved on washing dishes time. Thank you for our new go to recipe

  25. #
    Samantha — November 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I split the recipe in half and made it for my boyfriend and I to accompany a maple glazed pork tenderloin I made this past weekend. This was AMAZING! I have a feeling this is going to be an oft-made side dish from now on. The maple syrup really makes this dish and adds a great subtle flavor to the sweet potatoes.

  26. #
    Gaby — November 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    So clever to make everyone happy with one casserole! Plus it looks so wonderful!

  27. #
    Nichole @ Green Cuisine Queen — November 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Everything about this sounds so good, I love the pecans on top. A great topping is the key to Sweet Potato Casserole! This makes me so excited for Thanksgiving!

  28. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — November 20, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Love that you used maple syrup as the sweetener! I bet it adds another great layer of flavor!

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