Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole is a classic dish that brings a sense of warmth and nostalgia to any meal. Whether it’s a holiday gathering or a Sunday supper, this beloved Southern delicacy has a way of making everyone feel right at home. With its rich, creamy sweet potato filling and a crunchy, pecan-studded topping, it’s a culinary masterpiece that has been passed down through generations. In this blog post, we’ll take you through a detailed, step-by-step recipe, explore variations to suit different tastes, and share some pro tips for making the perfect casserole.


For the Sweet Potato Filling:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Pecan Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set it aside.
  2. Prepare the Sweet Potatoes: Wash the sweet potatoes and pierce them with a fork. Bake them in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until they are tender. Allow them to cool, then peel and mash them in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix the Filling: To the mashed sweet potatoes, add the softened butter, granulated sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt. Mix everything together until it’s smooth and well combined.
  4. Prepare the Topping: In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, melted butter, and chopped pecans. Mix until it forms a crumbly texture.
  5. Assemble the Casserole: Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly in the greased baking dish. Sprinkle the pecan topping over the sweet potato filling.
  6. Bake: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is set.
  7. Serve: Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes before serving. It’s best enjoyed warm.


1. Marshmallow Topping: For a sweeter twist, you can substitute the pecan topping with marshmallows. After the casserole has baked for about 20 minutes, remove it from the oven and cover the top with mini marshmallows. Return it to the oven and bake until the marshmallows are golden brown and bubbly.

2. Coconut Flair: Add a tropical touch by mixing shredded coconut into the sweet potato filling. It adds a delightful texture and flavor to the casserole.

3. Savory Style: If you prefer a less sweet casserole, skip the sugar and sweet spices in the filling. Instead, season the sweet potatoes with a pinch of salt, pepper, and a touch of paprika. Top with breadcrumbs for a savory crunch.

Tips for the Perfect Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Use fresh sweet potatoes whenever possible. They have a more natural sweetness and creaminess than canned varieties.
  • If you’re short on time, you can microwave the sweet potatoes instead of baking them. Simply prick them with a fork and microwave for 10-15 minutes, rotating them halfway through.
  • To avoid a lumpy filling, make sure your sweet potatoes are thoroughly mashed and well-mixed with the other ingredients.
  • Don’t forget to let the casserole rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and makes for a more appealing texture.
  • Experiment with the topping by adding a hint of orange zest or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a unique flavor kick.
  • The casserole can be made ahead of time. Simply prepare it up to the point of baking, cover, and refrigerate. Bake when you’re ready to serve.

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole is more than just a side dish; it’s a cherished tradition that brings comfort and happiness to any table. Its rich, velvety filling combined with the sweet and nutty pecan topping is a combination that never fails to please. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or venture into one of the delightful variations, this casserole is sure to become a staple in your family’s culinary history.

As you savor each bite of this Southern favorite, you’ll taste the love and heritage that has been handed down through generations. It’s a dish that transcends time, blending the old and the new, and it’s a symbol of the South’s enduring culinary legacy.

So, the next time you gather with loved ones for a meal, consider bringing Southern Sweet Potato Casserole to the table. With the aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg wafting through the air, you’ll be reminded of the warmth and togetherness that this classic comfort food represents. Enjoy, savor, and create your own memories with this timeless Southern delight.

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