There’s just something comforting about the smell of brown sugar and cinnamon, the sweetness of the warm mashed sweet potatoes, and toasted marshmallows that just make me happy. I mean… all types of food make me happy but you know what I mean. ;)
Let’s talk about how incredibly easy it is to bring all this together.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Sweet potatoes – The star of the show! I usually buy medium sweet potatoes and peel them. If you can only find small or large ones, make sure to get 2 1/2 lbs worth. That should give you the 8 cups you need for the recipe.
- Cold water – You don’t need much! Just enough to create steam to soften the sweet potatoes in the pot.
- Brown sugar – The molasses in brown sugar complements the sweet potatoes so well. It sweetens the deal!
- Unsalted butter – This adds richness and flavor to the sweet potatoes. I like using unsalted butter so I can adjust the salt myself.
- Vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt – The vanilla and spices also enhance the flavor of the mashed sweet potatoes. It all comes together to make this the perfect Fall casserole!
- Candied Pecans – These candied pecans made with maple syrup, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon give the sweet potato casserole the perfect amount of crunch in every bite. If you have a nut allergy, I’d omit any nuts from the recipe.
- Mini marshmallows – The mini marshmallows are toasted and sprinkled on top of the soft, buttery mashed sweet potatoes. This marshmallow topping is the cherry on top of this delicious dish! I like to add these right before serving so they are perfectly toasted at dinner time. If you don’t have access to an oven at dinnertime, you can use a kitchen torch!
When you’re done making this casserole, make my easy & delicious Candied Sweet Potatoes!
How To Make The Best Sweet Potato Casserole
- Boil the potatoes. Place the peeled and cubed sweet potatoes in a pot with cold water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat. You do not need to fill the whole pot with water. You want to STEAM the sweet potatoes. The potatoes will become fork-tender with boiling water and steam. Simmer for 15-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender enough to mash. Drain. Let cool slightly.
- Mash the potatoes. Transfer tender sweet potatoes to a medium bowl. Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher or use two forks.
- Mix in the ingredients! Add brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 1/4 cup of pecans (save the rest for later). Stir until all is well combined.
- Assemble the casserole. Add the sweet potato mixture evenly into the casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining candied pecans (if using) and mini marshmallows (if using) in an even layer on top of the sweet potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes or until marshmallows is toasted. Remove from oven. Serve and enjoy!
This Staub casserole dish is absolutely incredible! It has a porcelain-enamel finish and is microwave/dishwasher safe!
Make Ahead Instructions
Yes, you absolutely can! You can make the sweet potato mixture up to the step right before adding the pecans and marshmallows (step 4).
Once the sweet potato mixture has cooled and all the spices are well combined, add the mixture to the casserole dish and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap.
If you’re making it a day in advance
If you are making the sweet potato casserole 1 day in advance, you can place it in the fridge until the next day.
The next day, bring the casserole dish to room temperature, top it with candied pecans and mini marshmallows, and bake!
If you’re making it more than a day in advance
If you are making the sweet potato casserole more than 1 day in advance, you can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure it is tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
When you’re ready to bake, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge to thaw overnight. Top with candied pecans and mini marshmallows and bake!
Alternatively, if you don’t have access to an oven at dinnertime, you can use a kitchen torch for the marshmallows.
The blow torch is ideal for caramelizing sugar on creme brulee, toasting marshmallows, glazing a baked ham, searing a steak, roasting bell peppers, melting cheese, and toasting bread crumbs.
Ta-daaaa. See how easy that is?! That’s why I make this every year! You just can’t go wrong.
The final outcome will always be ooey gooey, cinnamon-y, and toasty. I promise there won’t be any leftovers.
I hope you make this and absolutely love it!
More Recipes You Might Like:
- 5-Ingredient Crispy Sliced Roasted Potatoes
- Caramelized Onion Pear & Walnut Stuffing
- Mini Sweet Corn Casseroles
- Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Gratin
- Cuban-Style Three Meat + Plantain Stuffing
- Chorizo Mac and Cheese with Cheesy Pork Rind Topping
- 5-Ingredient Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Bourbon Caramel Apple Galette
- Moist Carrot Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting
- Espresso Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Galette
- Leftover Cranberry + Turkey Turnovers (Thanksgiving Pastelitos!)
- Leftover Turkey Arepas with Cranberry Goat Cheese
Originally posted in November 2016; Updated recipe and photos in September 2022.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Pecans + Marshmallows
- 2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (6-8 medium sweet potatoes or ~8 cups chopped)
- 1/2 cup cold water (just enough to create steam; no need to fill the entire pot)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (sub for vegan butter to make dairy-free)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup candied pecans divided, optional or add more to taste (omit if you have a nut allergy or only using marshmallows)
- 2 cups mini marshmallows optional (or sub for vegan marshmallows)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a casserole dish or deep baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a pot with the cold water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat. The sweet potatoes will become fork-tender with the steam. Simmer for 15-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender enough to mash. Drain. Let cool slightly.
- Transfer tender sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher or using two forks.
- Add brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 1/4 cup of pecans (save the rest for later). Mix until all is well combined.
- Add the sweet potato mixture evenly into the casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining pecans (or more!) and mini marshmallows, if using, in an even layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Remove from the oven. Serve and enjoy!