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!
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!
HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
More Thanksgiving Side Dish ideas:
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Best Mashed Potatoes (Make Ahead)
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- One Hour Dinner Rolls (From Scratch!)
- Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Easy Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
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!
Sweet Potato Casserole
- 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 large marshmallows
- Toasted Pecans for garnish optional
- 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.