mashed sweet potato with toasted marshmallows on top in a casserole dish with a spoonful missing
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4.14 from 109 votes

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

A simple yet classic sweet potato casserole made with cinnamon, nutmeg, chopped pecans and then topped with toasted mini marshmallows!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: casserole, sweet potato, sweet potato casserole, thanksgiving, thanksgiving side dish
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 217kcal
Author: Jamie Silva


  • 2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (6-8 medium sized sweet potatoes or ~8 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 cup cold water*
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (half of one stick or 1/4 cup) 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 pecans (or walnuts) chopped, divided (optional, omit if you have a nut allergy or only using marshmallows)
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows optional (or sub for vegan marshmallows)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish or deep baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Place the sweet potatoes in a pot with the cold water. (I PROMISE 1/2 cup of cold water is enough water to steam sweet potatoes. There is no need to cover all of the sweet potatoes in water. TRUST ME.)
  • Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat. The sweet potatoes will become 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. 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. Top with remaining pecans and mini marshmallows.** Bake for 15 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted. Remove from oven. Serve and enjoy!



*I PROMISE 1/2 cup of cold water is enough water. There is no need to cover all of the sweet potatoes in water, they will steam with this amount of water JUST fine. Trust me. :)
**Feel free to omit pecans to make nut-free and/or replace regular marshmallows with vegan marshmallows. You can also omit marshmallows entirely and just use pecans or walnuts.
You can make the sweet potato mixture 1 day in advance, place it in a baking dish, cover the top with foil then refrigerate until the next day. Before serving, bring sweet potato mixture to room temperature, top with pecans/marshmallows then place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees F.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.5g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 13.5g | Saturated Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 342mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 12.9g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2.5mg