Sweet Potato Casserole

A thick pecan crust on top of creamy, sweet potatoes.
This is the best sweet potato dish you will ever have, promise!
I know thats saying a lot. But I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. There is never a crumb left when I make this dish. The recipe comes from my husband’s great-grandma Gertrude. So it’s been around for some time. But in case you have never had this version of sweet potato casserole, I am excited to share the recipe with you today. Also, if you have ever been to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, this is very similar to the sweet potato casserole served there. It is one of my brother’s favorite things ever so when I made this casserole for a family party he was pretty excited to try it. He said it tasted just like the one he gets at the restaurant! Even if you think you don’t like sweet potatoes, give these a try. You just might change your mind :)
Another great thing about this dish is that you can make it the day or two before Thanksgiving. I am all about saving time in the kitchen! I love Thanksgiving but also feel like we should get to spend more time eating and enjoying our time with friends and family than slaving away in the kitchen all day, right?! You can prepare the potato mixture then store it in the fridge. Then on Thanksgiving all you have to do is bake it, make the topping (which is easy!) and bake it an additional 15 min with the topping.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is the best sweet potato casserole! It is so good you could call it dessert :)
Recipe type: Side Dish
  • 3½ to 4 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ cup buttermilk*
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • For the topping:
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a casserole dish (about 2½ quart size)
  2. Combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and butter in a medium bowl using an electric mixer or by hand.
  3. Pour into your casserole dish.
  4. Bake at for 25-30 minutes. (Or if you want to make this dish ahead of time, cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Take it out and bake uncovered.)
  5. While it is baking, make the topping. Combine the flour, pecans, butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. When the casserole is done baking remove from oven and sprinkle topping over the top. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. You want a lightly browned, crunchy top.
  6. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
-Milk will work if you don't have buttermilk. I bake my potatoes in the oven. Wash, dry and pierce with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-45 min at 375 degrees or until it passes a fork test. Let them cool, then peel the skin off or cut open and scrape out the insides. You could also use canned yams if you were pressed for time. I use salted butter, if you prefer unsalted, add a ½ tsp. salt to the potato mixture.
-You can use less sugar if you prefer your sweet potatoes not so sweet.

UPDATE 11-11-14: I recently made this for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. I added a little more sweet potatoes (probably a ½ cup. A total of 4 medium sized) I didn't adjust the recipe other than that, but I baked in a 13x9" pan and it worked great! It was a for a large sized group so I wanted it to go farther and there wasn't a bit leftover :) It makes the crust not as thick but nobody seamed to mind.

If you don’t have a 2 1/2 quart baking dish, I love the CorningWare white dish I received as a wedding gift years ago. Comes with a lid too! They even make them with handles now. Here is a link to the one I used in the pictures on Amazon. You can bake this in a 3 quart or 9×13 as well. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.

Looking for more dinner or THANKSGIVING recipes?! Check these out:

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes-4

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes (Super creamy!) 


Lemon & Tomato Green Beans


Potato Knot Rolls


Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars


Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole

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    • says

      I would guess 2-3 pounds. I haven't ever weighed it. I will do that next time I make it. If you use 4 medium sized potatoes that should be enough. Hope that helps! Happy Baking!

    • says

      It should be enough for 14. If you wanted to do my updated version (at the bottom of the recipe) and cook in a 9×13' dish just add a little more sweet potatoes (I added about 4 cups) it would for sure feed 14. It just makes the crust a little thinner. Or you could double the recipe because leftovers are always great too! Especially this dish, in my opinion :) Hope that helps and that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. says

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I will definitely be replacing my old sweet potato recipe with this one, though I will add a little pineapple to mine. Happy Thanksgiving

  2. says

    This looks delicious! We will be tailgating for Thanksgiving and I would love to try this recipe…but I am trying to figure out a few short cuts. Have you ever used canned sweet potatoes? And do you think I could cook it in a crock pot?

    • says

      I have not made this with canned sweet potatoes but you could if you needed to. If you cook it in a crock pot it won't have as crispy of a top but will still taste good. I've never done it that way but I think it could work.

    • says

      After the topping sits for a little bit the butter should thicken up and you can sort of "sprinkle" on the topping breaking it up in your fingers. Hope it works out for you! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. says

    This is absolutely amazing! This was a hit for our thanksgiving dinner. I doubled the topping and it was perfect. Everybody loved it! I will be making it every year for the holidays. I've already been told that I must make this again for Christmas! Seriously, thank you so much for sharing!

  4. says

    Now THIS is off the chain! My son loved it so much he wanted me to make another pan of it today so he could take it back to college with him when he leaves this afternoon. Its going back with the southern fried pork chops I made for him. I asked him if he was going to share with his roomies and he just looked at me like I had lost my mind… LOL AWESOME recipe!

  5. says

    When u make ahead do u bake it and then refrigerate or just mix and let it sit in the fridge to bake the once. Also I'm simultaneously baking a ham at 325. How long do you think it'd take at that temp? Thx

    • says

      Refrigerate it after you mix it up (don't bake yet). Then you will bake it the day you are serving it. Then add the topping and bake the additional 15 min or so. You may need to bake it a little longer if you have the ham in there too. You want the top to look set and not "wet". Hope that helps and you enjoy!

  6. Erin says

    This is way too sweet for my liking – do you think it would still be good without any of the sugar added to the sweet potato mixture? The crumb topping is amazing. I can see myself using that for other recipes. Delicious.

    • bakedinaz says

      I haven’t tried it without the sugar but I think it would work fine. Sweet potatoes are already sweet so if it was too sweet for you I bet you would like it that way. If you do try it, let me know how you liked it without the sugar :) I agree, the crumb topping is my favorite part!

  7. Erin says

    I think it’s important to read reviews prior to trying a new recipe – so I was compelled to share my thoughts. I LOVE sweet potatoes, however I am not a fan of super sweet recipes unless I am making dessert. As soon I read to add 1 cup of sugar to the sweet potato mixture I knew it was going to be too sweet for me. I added 3/4 cup of sugar (thinking that was probably too much as well). I enjoy sweet potatoes plain – they are sweet enough on their own. I LOVE the Pecan topping!! I am going to give this recipe another shot only this time I will not add any sugar to the sweet potatoes. Wish me luck.

    • bakedinaz says

      yes, please let me know how you like them without the added sugar! thanks for trying the recipe. I agree, the pecan topping is the best!

  8. Stephanie W. says

    I’ve made this for several family dinners and there are never any leftovers! Even my husband who doesn’t like sweet potatoes loves it! SO delicious!!

    • bakedinaz says

      Thanks so much! And it always makes me happy when we can make something everyone loves, even those who aren’t usually a fan :)

  9. Nicole says

    Hi! I know you mentioned this recipe could be made up to two days before and stored in the fridge uncooked. If I were to make it tonight or a Sunday night event would that be too far ahead since it is 3 days? Or do you think it would be fine? Thank you!

    • bakedinaz says

      I am so sorry I was not able to get back to you sooner! If you made it 3 days ahead I am sure it would be fine! I hope it worked for you and everyone enjoyed it. Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Hannah says

    When you say “sweet potatoes, mashed”… do you mean boil them and mash them previous to any cooking that needs to be done?

    • bakedinaz says

      Yes, you cook the sweet potatoes (I usually bake mine) then peel and mash them up. Then you add the rest of the ingredients and bake it again.

  11. Ashley says

    What do you think would happen if I baked this ahead of time without the topping and then added the topping when it was reheated?

    • bakedinaz says

      I would reheat the casserole first then add the topping for the last 10-15 min. I wouldn’t want your topping to burn and the casserole to be cold in the middle :) But I think that would work! You could cover with foil if the topping is done and the casserole isn’t warm enough yet. Hope that helps, Happy Thanksgiving!

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