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Best EASY Southern Sweet Potato Casserole (with Marshmallows and Pecans)

Our best, easiest, most deliciously authentic Southern Sweet Potato Casserole recipe uses less sugar and adds a dash of cinnamon for a comforting, classic holiday side dish. It’s perfect to top with marshmallows and pecans – or other favorite nuts!

southern sweet potato casserole with marshmallows

It’s time for the holidays, which means we are getting ready for comforting casserole season. Yay!

Layered, deep, luscious casseroles are, in my opinion, one of the best types of dishes to enjoy for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any time the family is gathering for a big meal.

They tend to be simple to make in one handy dish, while still packing big, satisfying flavors.

I’m typically not a huge fan of the southern classic sweet potato casserole, because traditionally it’s too sweet for me.

However, this Easy Southern Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is my favorite… It uses less brown sugar, and includes a generous dash of cinnamon to really balance out the rich flavors.

baked sweet potato casserole with pecans and marshmallows

The BEST Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

By far this is the easiest foolproof recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole. We use a food processor to quickly make the smoothest, creamiest casserole – and then it bakes in one dish!

Best of all, our version is as delicious as it is easy to make. Cutting back on the sugar and adding ground cinnamon creates a more savory, spice-filled casserole that actually tastes like the holidays. It’s topped with mini marshmallows and pecans, then baked to perfection for a wonderfully familiar – yet slightly unique and completely fabulous – Southern Sweet Potato Casserole.

This goes great with an Amazing Gluten-Free Stuffing and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Beer, or nearly any of your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes!

marshmallows and pecans

What Ingredients You Need

This casserole is super simple, yet incredibly satisfying.

Here is everything needed to make a more savory, totally authentic Southern Sweet Potato Casserole for the holidays:

  • Sweet potatoes scrubbed, baked, and peeled
  • Butterof course, to create a wonderfully smooth and rich casserole
  • Brown sugarfor elevating the sweetness of the sweet potato, while not being as sweet as refined while sugar
  • Saltto balance the sweetness
  • Cinnamonperfect for adding a taste of the holidays
  • Vanilla extract – the secret for having a more mellow but bold sweet flavor
  • Chopped pecansor other nuts you like
  • Mini marshmallows or feel free to use large marshmallows, if you prefer

Now, I know what you’re thinking…

Just what exactly is the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?

While they are both tubers, yams are more starchy and dry, and sweet potatoes are, well, sweet. And, it turns out that pretty much all options at most grocery stores are in fact sweet potatoes. You definitely want to be sure to purchase sweet potatoes for this recipe!

baked sweet potatoes

How to Make the Easiest Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

This casserole is so easy, you can even get going several days ahead of time!

You need to bake the sweet potatoes for about an hour, until they are fork tender. I recommend doing this up to 3 days in advance of when you plan to make the casserole, and then keep the cooled potatoes (with skin still on!) in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

Then you’ll only need about 30 minutes to make the casserole with your ready-to-go baked sweet potatoes!

To do so, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and get out a large mixing bowl. Peel the loose skins off the baked sweet potatoes, and place them in the bowl with the butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Use an electric mixer to beat the sweet potatoes into a smooth, creamy mash.

Next, set out a large baking dish, scoop the sweet potato mash into the dish, and spread it out in an even layer.

smooth casserole for Thanksgiving

Sprinkle the sweet potato casserole with chopped pecans. Then, sprinkle the mini marshmallows over the pecans in a single layer.

Get the Complete (Printable) Best EASY Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sweet potato casserole marshmallows are golden and puffy. Serve warm.

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, or stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.

baked casserole

What Other Nuts Can You Use on Top of Sweet Potato Casserole?

I love chopped pecans, but this recipe is also great with chopped walnuts or cashews.

Or, feel free to leave the nuts off completely if you prefer.

Can Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows Be Made Ahead?

Yes, there are a couple of different ways to make this easy recipe in advance and save yourself some time!

Sweet potatoes can be baked and peeled up to 3 days – and kept in an airtight container in the fridge – before using to make the casserole.

The entire Sweet Potato Casserole can be prepped ahead and frozen before baking. Just wrap tightly in plastic and aluminum foil, and keep in the freezer for up to a month. Then unwrap and bake from frozen for one hour at 350 degrees, uncovered, until the marshmallows are golden.

southern sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans

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Best EASY Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
The best, easiest, most authentic Southern Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is topped with marshmallows and pecans for a delicious side dish!
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until very fork tender. (This can be done up to 3 days ahead. Refrigerate the baked sweet potatoes if making ahead.)
  • Change the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Set out a large mixing bowl. Peel the loose skins off the hot baked sweet potatoes. Place them in the bowl. Add the butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Use an electric mixer to beat the sweet potatoes into a smooth mash.
  • Set out a 9X 13 inch baking dish. Scoop the sweet potato mash into the dish, and spread it out in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top. Then sprinkle the mini marshmallows over the pecans in a single layer.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the marshmallows are golden and puffy. Serve warm.

Notes

You can use large marshmallows over the top if you prefer.
You can also omit the pecans, or swap them for walnuts, or cashews.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup, Calories: 303kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 646mg, Potassium: 544mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 21687IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Holiday, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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2 comments on “Best EASY Southern Sweet Potato Casserole (with Marshmallows and Pecans)”

  1. This is such a really amazing side dish! I love that it is so easy to make!

  2. My all time favorite side dish at thanksgiving dinner meals!