Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

My Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe with Marshmallows is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that just screams Thanksgiving! Fresh sweet potatoes are cooked and mashed with brown sugar and cinnamon, then spread in a casserole dish and topped with ooey-gooey marshmallows!

Sweet Potato Casserole is the must have side dish for your Thanksgiving Turkey, along with the Best Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes and Classic Sausage Stuffing.

My Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe is a classic Thanksgiving side dish with fresh mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, cinnamon, and topped with marshmallows!

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

For year upon year I refused to eat sweet potatoes. I would casually pick away the marshmallow topping, but to actually put the orange stuff in my mouth was just not going to happen. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas it was the same – I’ll pass on the sweet potato casserole thank you very much.

Becoming an adult does funny things to you though, like making you feel all grown up and like you can take on anything – even tasting the aforementioned sweet potato casserole, with marshmallows of course. I did, and I fell in love. This is that casserole and now it’s your turn to fall in love!

My mom was made the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows for our holiday gatherings each year. She tells me that she basically just mashed up sweet potatoes, added a little salt and threw a bunch of marshmallows on top. According to my dad there were never enough marshmallows – that was the running joke in our family.

To take that casserole completely over the top, I’ve added a few things to sweeten it up and make it extra creamy. This is the only Sweet Potato Casserole recipe that I will eat!

How to Buy Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are available year round in most places, but in abundance during the fall and early winter. You want to look for small to medium sized potatoes, which are going to be sweet and creamy. The skin of the sweet potato should be firm, smooth and even in color. The darker the skin, the richer in flavor the potato will be.

Sweet Potatoes Healthy and Delicious!

While sweet potatoes have a little more natural sugar than regular potatoes, they are really high in fiber and other nutrients. Sweet potatoes are a good choice for a healthy side dish! They provide essential nutrients, fiber and they taste good too!

Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows in a baking dish.

HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

  1. Start by mashing the sweet potatoes. Cook the peeled potatoes in boiling water until their soft and break apart easily with a fork. Drain all of the water, then mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher or whip them with a hand mixer, depending on how creamy you want them, I like a little more texture so I just mash them with the masher tool.
  2. Add the flavor. Sweeten up your sweet potato casserole by adding brown sugar and cinnamon. Butter and salt add a savory, creamy component. Add a little bit of milk until you have a consistency that you like. I prefer thicker, so I add just a couple tablespoons of milk.
  3. Bake. You’ll want to have your oven preheated to 375 degrees F. Spray a 1 1/2-quart (about 11″ x 7″) baking dish or with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly in the dish and top with marshmallows. You can be skimpy with them or you can go all out. It’s your party. Sometimes I’ll dot the top with some candies pecans as well for a little texture, or even mix them right into the sweet potatoes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the marshmallow are puffy and golden brown.

What is the Best Way to Cook a Sweet Potato for a Casserole?

Sweet potatoes are cooked just like a regular russet or other type of potato. For a sweet potato casserole recipe, you don’t need a crispy skin so boiling without the skin is the easiest method to use.

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil the peeled sweet potatoes until they are nice and tender. It takes about 20 minutes, then you will drain the water off.
  2. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher (or a hand mixer for no lumps) until smooth. I personally like the lumps as they give a little it of added texture.

Sweet potatoes can also be baked like these Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes or cut up and baked into fries.

Sweet potato Casserole in a small dish with a serving on a fork.

Can I make Sweet Potato Casserole ahead of time?

Another note about this casserole – it’s a great Thanksgiving Dinner make ahead recipe! Just refrigerate the potato mixture in the casserole dish overnight and leave off the marshmallows until you’re ready to bake. let the casserole sit out on the counter for 30 minutes before baking to bring up the temperature slightly. Bake for 20 minutes, then add the marshmallows halfway through the baking and cook for another 20 minutes.

Can I used canned sweet potatoes for this recipe?

Yes! While I definitely recommend using fresh sweet potatoes for this recipe, you can use canned in a pinch or to save time.

  • You’ll need 3 29-ounce cans of cut up sweet potatoes. Drain the liquid out using a mesh strainer to get as much liquid out as possible.
  • Mash the sweet potatoes and add butter, cinnamon and salt. Omit the milk as the canned potatoes are wet enough.
  • Taste and add brown sugar if you want them sweeter. They are canned in syrup so they are sweet already.
  • Spread them in the baking dish, cover with marshmallows, and bake.

Can you freeze sweet potato casserole?

Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing after baking is not recommended. However, you can freeze the prepped sweet potato without the topping. Spread the mashed sweet potato in a casserole dish, or even in a freezer bag, and squeeze out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and a wooden spoon.

More Thanksgiving Side Dish ideas:

Tools used to make this Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Hand mixer – Helpful for beating the sweet potatoes to a creamy consistency, and also perfect for shredding chicken or beating cream cheese. Love this brand because it’s got it’s own storage case to keep the beaters handy and the cord stowed away.

9-inch Baking Dish – This ceramic dish is a beautiful as it is useful. Cooks evenly and goes swiftly from oven to table.

Jet-Puffed Mini Marshmallows – This is one ingredient I won’t skimp on – Jet Puffed marshmallows for the win!

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that just screams Thanksgiving! Fresh sweet potatoes are cooked and mashed with brown sugar and cinnamon, then spread in a casserole dish and topped with ooey-gooey marshmallows!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 340kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and roughly cubed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • Toasted Pecans for garnish optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil sweet potatoes until fork tender; about 20 minutes. Drain.
  • Mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. (Use a hand mixer if you want absolutely smooth with no lumps).
  • Stir in brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Add the milk a small amount at a time to reach desired consistency.
  • Spray an 11-inch x 7-inch (medium sized) casserole baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread sweet potatoes evenly in the prepared casserole dish and top with a layer of the marshmallows.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with toasted pecans.

Notes

If you find the marshmallows are starting to burn, remove the casserole from the oven sooner. You just need the casserole to be hot throughout, so there's no worry about under-cooking anything.
To make this ahead of time: 
Refrigerate the potato mixture in the casserole dish overnight and leave off the marshmallows until you're ready to bake. Add 5-10 minutes to the baking times and add the marshmallows halfway through the baking to avoid burning.

Nutrition

Calories: 340kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 307mgPotassium: 658mgFiber: 5gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 24325IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 116mgIron: 1mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I made this for our Christmas dinner and it was delicious! I used coconut sugar instead and it still turned out good! Thank you for this recipe!!

  2. Hi could you tell me what the consistency should be like abd how much of the milk do you think I should use recipe says 1 cup,also can I use a hand whisk and potato masher as I do not have a hand mixer

    1. Think of it like mashed potatoes and the consistency you’d want them to be. Sweet potatoes break down the same way. I recommend adding half a cup, then more as needed if you’re concerned they will be too thin. I’d use a potato mashed and a wooden spoon.

  3. The recipe says “large” marshmallows in the ingredients, but it is clearly mini marshmallows in the pictures. So, should that be 2 cups of mini marshmallows not large?

    1. You’re absolutely right! We decided to go with mini after the recipe was written. Honest mistake, enjoy the recipe! 🙂

    1. Sweet Potatoes are a member of the morning glory family. They have a firmer skin and can be an assortment of colors including copper, purple, white, orange or red. The color of the flesh varies as well to include orange, yellow, purple and white! As the copper skinned sweet potato most resembles a yam, the name was applied to the tuber to differentiate it from it’s lighter counterpart. from https://spendwithpennies.com/sweet-potato-vs-yam/

  4. This is my first time baking this and I got to say, the instructions were easy to follow. Also it turned out delicious!

  5. Hey Kristin, just curious about this nutmeg listed in the cooking directions. Is this a mistake? How much should I add, if not? Thanks!