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Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel Topping

Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel Topping is a classic recipe for your holiday table! Make this baked sweet potato casserole in advance to get a head start on cooking. This classic recipe includes gluten-free and dairy-free options.

Finished sweet potato casserole on a white backdrop with fresh raw pecans scattered around.

I’ve confessed this many times before, but Sweet Potato Casserole is my all-time favorite holiday side dish. 

Followed closely by my Healthy Green Bean Casserole.

This easy baked sweet potato casserole recipe features rich, creamy, perfectly sweet and silky mashed sweet potatoes with the most incredible crunchy pecan streusel topping.

It is very similar to my Healthy Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole recipe, but it is baked in the oven instead of prepared in the slow cooker.

I also decided to double the topping because let’s face it: the topping is a significant portion of the fun.

There are many ways you can modify this recipe based on your dietary preferences or your tastes. See the Recipe Adaptations section below for some common ingredient swaps.

For a grain-free version, make my Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole or my Healthy Paleo Sweet Potato Souffle

If you’re looking for a savory sweet potato casserole recipe, make my Cheesy Sweet Potato Casserole

Easy to make ahead of time, this simple recipe can be prepared days in advance.

It tastes even better the next day and the following 2-3 days after preparing it, so I encourage using it as a make-ahead side dish. 

This recipe serves 12 to 14 people, assuming there are other side dishes. If this is the main side dish, it should serve 8 to 10 comfortably.

Large casserole dish of sweet potato casserole with pecan crumb topping.

Let’s chat about the ingredients for sweet potato casserole. You can find them at any grocery store!

Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients:

Fresh Sweet Potatoes (Garnet Yams or Jewel Jams): The star ingredient in sweet potato casserole! We call it sweet potato casserole, but typically we make it with yams.

I buy garnet yams or jewel yams. You’ll need 5 pounds for this delicious recipe!

Eggs: A few eggs helps bring a light and fluffy texture to the sweet potato casserole. If you’re able to remember ahead of time, bring the eggs out of the fridge 10 minutes in advance to bring them to room temperature.

Pure Maple Syrup: Used to sweeten the casserole, I like using pure maple syrup for a refined sugar-free option.

Replace it with ½ cup to 1 cup of brown sugar if you prefer using granulated sweeteners.

Full-Fat Canned Coconut Milk (or regular milk): Added to bring rich flavor and creamy texture to the casserole, we add some full-fat canned coconut milk.

Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk from a can and don’t swap it out for 1 cup of any other plant-based milk. If you aren’t dairy-free, use regular whole milk or better yet: half & half or heavy cream.

Pure Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla extract brings warm flavor to the casserole. 

Ground Cinnamon and Sea Salt: Warm cinnamon and sea salt are added both to the sweet potato filling and the pecan crumble topping.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (or regular all-purpose flour): Used as for the streusel topping, we need either gluten-free all-purpose flour or regular all-purpose flour.

I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and I love the way the texture of the pecan streusel topping turns out. 

Coconut Sugar or Brown Sugar: Used to sweeten the streusel topping. Coconut sugar is lower on the glycemic index than regular sugar and also has a rich caramel flavor. Swap it out for dark brown sugar if you’d prefer.

Unsalted Butter or Coconut Oil: The delicious fat portion of the streusel topping that brings all of the ingredients together and also creates that delectable flavor. I prefer the melted butter version, but coconut oil is great for a dairy-free option.

Looking for ways you can customize this recipe? Here are some options for the best results.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Make it egg-free (or vegan) by omitting the eggs and adding 2 tablespoons of flour, gluten-free flour, or cornstarch plus. Note that the texture will be different from the original version, but it will still taste great.
  • The pure maple syrup in the mashed sweet potatoes mixture can be replaced with ½ cup of brown sugar, coconut sugar, or regular cane sugar.
  • Replace the coconut sugar in the topping with regular brown sugar to make a brown sugar streusel topping.
  • To keep the casserole dairy-free, use coconut milk in the filling and coconut oil in the streusel topping.
  • In order to make gluten-free sweet potato casserole, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. If you aren’t gluten-free, use regular all-purpose flour.
  • Use chopped walnuts instead of pecans in the topping.

If this is your first time making this classic sweet potato recipe, no worries. I have an easy step by step tutorial below!

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole:

Step 1: Cook the Sweet Potatoes:

Cook the sweet potatoes using your preferred method. I boil them on the stove top. To do so, peel the potatoes and chop them into 1.5 to 2-inch thick rounds. Transfer the chopped sweet potatoes to a large pot and fill it with water so that the potatoes are fully covered.

Bring the pot to a full boil on the stove top and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes, or until they are fork tender. 

Chopped sweet potatoes in a large pot, ready to be boiled.

Drain the sweet potatoes into a colander and set the cooked sweet potatoes aside to cool.

Step 2: Make the Streusel Topping:

Add all of the topping ingredients to a large bowl and mix until completely combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Pecan crumb topping ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Step 3: Prepare the Sweet Potato Casserole:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large 13” x 9” casserole dish with cooking spray or lightly grease it with butter.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, mash them using a potato masher or a hand mixer until creamy. I use the same pot I used to cook them in. 

Potato masher mashing sweet potatoes in a large pot.

Add the coconut milk, pure maple syrup, whisked eggs, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, sea salt. Mix everything well using the potato masher or a wooden spoon until completely combined. 

Note: if the coconut cream is separated from the coconut water, pour the whole can into a jar or microwave safe container and microwave for 40-60 seconds until the coconut milk stirs together easily.

Pot of mashed potatoes, coconut milk, pure maple syrup, eggs, cinnamon, and salt.

Transfer the mashed sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it into an even layer.

Sweet potato mixture in a large baking dish.

Sprinkle the streusel topping mixture evenly over the sweet potato layer.

Mashed sweet potatoes topped with pecan crumb topping, ready to go into the oven.

Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and crispy.

Serve sweet potato casserole with your main dish and enjoy!

How Long To Bake Sweet Potato Casserole

If your sweet potato casserole doesn’t contain eggs, bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until the topping reaches your desired level of crisp.

However, if your sweet potato casserole filling does contain eggs, bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the center of the casserole reaches a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

The final cooking temperature for eggs is 160 so you want the casserole to reach 160 to be fully cooked. Insert a digital thermometer in the center of the casserole and wait until the numbers stop moving to get an accurate read.

If you’re using a different topping like mini marshmallows, there may be some variation in the baking time with marshmallow topping.

In addition, if all of the ingredients are cold going into the oven (i.e. you made the recipe ahead of time and refrigerated it), you will likely need to add another 2 to 5 minutes of bake time.

While some people like their topping to be crispy, others prefer it soggy. If you don’t prefer a crispy topping, cover the casserole dish in aluminum foil so that the topping doesn’t get too dry or crunchy.

How to Store Sweet Potato Casserole: 

Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

If there is only a small amount left, you can transfer it to an airtight container to save room in the refrigerator.

How to Reheat Sweet Potato Casserole:

Using this as a make-ahead recipe? Simply prepare the recipe in full (including baking it), then store it covered in foil in the refrigerator. Reheat the casserole at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is warm enough for your liking.

Large white casserole dish of sweet potato casserole with a wooden spoon taking a scoop out.

And that’s it! My all-time favorite sweet potato casserole recipe that’s made with wholesome ingredients. 

Serve it alongside Garlic Butter Prime Rib, Garlic Butter Boneless Turkey Breast, Beef Tenderloin, or Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs.

This classic side dish is one of those favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, but it is also lovely for a Christmas feast too.

Casserole dish fresh out of the oven with pecan streusel sweet potato casserole. A classic recipe for the family favorite.

Looking for more side dishes to enjoy for your Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner? Here are some of my personal favorites.

Although gooey marshmallows are a great topping for the traditional side dish, I absolutely adore the buttery pecan crunch in this easy recipe.

More Healthy Side Dishes:

This easy sweet potato casserole recipe is a family favorite! It is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving menu, Christmas table, or any gathering necessitating food. Classic sweet potato casserole is always a big hit!

Truthfully, I eat it for dessert instead of pumpkin pie whenever the opportunity presents itself. 

Gluten-free sweet potato casserole for breakfast, side dish, and dessert!

Large casserole dish of sweet potato casserole with pecan crumb topping.
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5 from 2 votes

Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel Topping

A classic recipe for sweet potato casserole that features a pecan crumb topping for a family favorite. A great way to add color and a delicious starchy root vegetable to the Thanksgiving table for an unforgettable meal. See all of the options below to customize this recipe using various swaps.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Side Dishes & Snacks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 536kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

Sweet Potato Filling:

Streusel Topping:

Instructions

Cook the Sweet Potatoes:

  • Cook the sweet potatoes using your preferred method. I boil them on the stove top. To do so, peel the potatoes and chop them into 1.5 to 2-inch thick rounds. Transfer the chopped sweet potatoes to a large pot and fill it with water so that the potatoes are fully covered.
  • Bring the pot to a full boil on the stove top and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes, or until they are fork tender.
  • Drain the sweet potatoes into a colander and set the cooked sweet potatoes aside to cool.

Make the Pecan Streusel Topping:

  • Add all of the topping ingredients to a large bowl and mix until completely combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the Sweet Potato Casserole:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large 13” x 9” casserole dish with cooking spray or lightly grease it with butter.
  • Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, mash them using a potato masher or a hand mixer until creamy. I use the same pot I used to cook them in.
  • Add the coconut milk, pure maple syrup, whisked eggs, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, sea salt (the remaining ingredients). Mix everything well using the potato masher or a wooden spoon until completely combined. Note: if the coconut cream is separated from the coconut water, pour the whole can into a jar or microwave safe container and microwave for 40-60 seconds until the coconut milk stirs together easily.
  • Transfer the mashed sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it into an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping mixture evenly over the sweet potato layer.
  • Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve sweet potato casserole with your main dish and enjoy!

Notes

*5 pounds of sweet potatoes is about 3 huge sweet potatoes or 5 medium to large sweet potatoes. For the best result, weigh the potatoes at the grocery store to be sure you have the right amount.
**If you don’t need the casserole to be dairy-free, you can replace the coconut milk with 1 cup of regular milk (I recommend whole milk or half & half). 1 cup (2 sticks) of melted butter will also work if you want the casserole to taste absolutely divine. 
***You can replace the pure maple syrup with honey or brown sugar. Use up to 1 cup for a sweeter casserole.
****If you want the topping to be crispy, use 8 tablespoons instead of 12.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 14) | Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 623mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 29g

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