sweet potato casserole with brown sugar pecan topping

Sweet Potato Casserole

Let me start off here by telling you that I am not a sweet potato kinda girl. I’m all for the idea of sweet potatoes; they’re healthy, they’ve got fiber, etc., but I’ve just never liked them.

Until now. Let me introduce you to this life-changing sweet potato casserole. Dramatic much? Maybe a little, but this casserole deserves it.

So let’s get acquainted with this situation.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Smooth sweet potato goodness, with a lil melty butter, a splash of milk, a touch of cinnamon, and some brown sugar love. Swoon.

Once you’ve discovered this casserole, you will look back on all previous Thanksgivings with a twinge of sadness because this casserole was not a part of them. This is the year to change that.

And we must talk about this topping situation.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Honestly, the topping makes this. The sweet potato filling is good on its own but it really thrives when paired with something crunchy to balance its own softness.

Enter this glorious golden crust situation.

Pecans, soft butter, flour, and a pinch of cinnamon come together to make the most glorious topping to anything you have ever eaten. A minute and 10 seconds (no more, no less) under the broiler takes what was already amazing to a wholeeee new level. Perfectly browned, perfectly crisp and you will be happy to know that this topping does NOT get soggy in the fridge, should you choose to make it the night before (I tested it – even after two nights it wasn’t soggy.)

This will surely steal the show at your Thanksgiving celebration. And, you won’t have any pesky leftovers to worry about. One less thing to try to fit back into your refrigerator. I have a feeling that this is going to make an appearance at more than one holiday gathering this year. ❤️

Sweet Potato Casserole



  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (a little over 2 cups once cooked & mashed)
  • 6 TBS melted buter
  • 3 TBS milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBS maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cane or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs


  • 1 heaping cup of pecans
  • 6 TBS butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • scant 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

For the filling: Cook the sweet potatoes. I did this in my Instant Pot (affiliate link). Wash them and place on trivet in the Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water. Cook on manual for 5 minutes. If your sweet potatoes are larger you will need to increase the time (this is a good guide to follow). Let the pressure release naturally. If you don’t have an instant pot, cook the sweet potatoes as you normally would in a microwave or oven.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, you should be able to easily peel the skin off. Put the sweet potatoes in a bowl and mash ’em up! Then add all the remaining filling ingredients EXCEPT the eggs. Mix by hand until smooth. Beat the eggs (with a fork, not a mixer) in a separate bowl, then pour them into the bowl with the filling and stir by hand until fully incorporated and smooth. Spread this mixture into your prepared pan.

For the topping: Pop the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds to soften it. Add the butter, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, and pecans (I used whole pecans) into a food processor or high powered blender and pulse on and off util the mixture comes together into a sort of thick clumpy weirdness. It’s gonna be weird and it’s going to be sort of doughy (not sprinkle-able) and you’re gonna wonder if it will work but trust me – it will.

Crumble the topping mixture over the sweet potato filling. Bake for 28 minutes (the top will start to brown but it won’t be as dark as in these photos). Then, put your oven on “broil” and broil the casserole for one minute and 10 seconds – this is super important! If you let it go any longer you risk tragically burning the entire thing. So, stand watch for one minute and 10 seconds to avoid this.

Yield: About 6 servings. You can double this if you need to feed a larger crowd for Thanksgiving.

*Notes: One of my sweet potatoes didn’t get quite as soft as the others, so I just popped it in the microwave for 30 second intervals for about 2 min and then it was fine. The baking dish we used was 11″ x 8 1/2″ but you can probably use any baking dish you want – it will just change the thickness of the layers. You can also use canned sweet potato if you want to shorten up the prep time!

Tips for making ahead: If you want to make this the day before I recommend either

  • Assembling everything and waiting to bake it until Thanksgiving – cover it with foil and keep it in the fridge overnight
  • OR making + baking it the day before, and reheating it in the oven for a few minutes on Thanksgiving – if you microwave it to reheat the topping will get a bit soft

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

This post contains an affiliate link for the Instant Pot. We earn a small fee if you purchase that item using our link. This helps us to maintain the blog but it does not in any way affect the price of the item. 

25 thoughts on “sweet potato casserole with brown sugar pecan topping

  1. I’m a huge fan of sweet potatoes – but this crunchy, crusty topping would only make them better. I notice the topping layer is almost as thick as the sweet potato layer – LOVE IT!

  2. This really looks fabulous! I love sweet potatoes, but hate it when people feel the need to make an already sweet vegetable even sweeter with marshmallows. This toppings look delicious and not too sweet.

  3. I have never like any of the sweet potato dishes served at Thanksgiving because of those darn marshmallows. I’m loving your idea of the crumble on top, this I can get in to!

  4. I LOVE the sweet potato casserole without the marshmallows on top, therefore I love your recipe. I did a post very similar to this and brought it to my work Thanksgiving potluck last week. It was one of the few dishes that was cleaned out. Pinned it!

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