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This sweet potato casserole recipe will steal the show at Thanksgiving

Level up your sweet potato game with a crunchy, nutty surprise

Pinch of Yum sweet potato casserole
Pinch of Yum

One of the beautiful things about so many Thanksgiving dishes is that, on any other day, for any other meal, they would be considered desserts. It’s kind of similar to the way cake has been masquerading as a breakfast food for years under the alias of “muffin.” Are people really buying it? For the sake of traditional Thanksgiving, foods, and the magic that is the wonderful holiday, we’ll play along. Just know that if you want to eat this sweet potato casserole as a dessert, that would make sense, too. Otherwise, pile it right next to the green bean casserole.

Unlike many traditional, sweet potato casserole recipes, this one leaves out the marshmallows. Blasphemy, you may cry! But hear us out. While we all love a sweetly toasted marshmallow, the salty crunch this topping provides will have the white fluff out of your mind in no time. This topping adds a gorgeously nutty texture to an otherwise strictly creamy sweet potato casserole dish, and we are here for it. The savory nuttiness from the pecans is also a welcome addition, adding a depth of flavor and interest to the traditional side.

So this year, mix it up with this easy and delicious sweet potato casserole with a brown sugar topping. (OK, for you traditionalists, we’ve also included a classic sweet potato casserole recipe — you’re welcome.)

Sweet potato casserole dish
Pinch of Yum

Sweet potato casserole with brown sugar topping

(From Pinch of Yum)


Sweet potatoes:

  • 3 cups (1 29-ounce can) sweet potatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt, to taste


  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup pecan pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash the sweet potatoes and add all the other sweet potato ingredients, stirring until incorporated. Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish or a cast-iron skillet.
  2. To make the topping, combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl, using your fingers to create moist crumbs. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  3. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and the top is golden brown.
  4. Let the mixture cool and solidify before serving.
Whole sweet potatoes.
chefkeem / Pixabay

Traditional sweet potato casserole

(From Eating Well)

We know some of you just have to have the traditional marshmallow-covered sweet potato casserole, and we won’t judge. Here’s a recipe that’s got you covered. This year, you could make both recipes and see which one is the favorite.


  • 2 1/2 pounds whole sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cut finely chopped pecans, divided
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows (you could make your own)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the sweet potato cubes into a Dutch oven and cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. When it’s boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very tender.
  5. Drain and let the sweet potatoes cool slightly.
  6. Put the potatoes in a large bowl and add butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla.
  7. Smash the mixture with a potato masher.
  8. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans.
  9. Transfer the mixture to an 11-by-7 baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  10. Sprinkle with the remaining pecans and top with the marshmallows.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden.
  12. Enjoy!

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Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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