There always have to be sweet potatoes on the table on Thanksgiving in some guise. Not at the expense of mashed regular potatoes — that’s a non-negotiable buffet item (don’t get between my sister and a bowl of mashed potatoes). But the more potatoes, the merrier, in general, and never more so than on Thanksgiving or another holiday and celebratory menu.
A sweet potato casserole is a classic sweet potato holiday side. This one is sweet and spiced in all the right ways. It goes perfectly with other traditional Thanksgiving favorites like Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Sauce, Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage, and of course, Roasted Turkey.
Table of Contents
Sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving are pretty non-negotiable, and this casserole gives them a starring role.Tweet This
- Sweet potatoes – Use orange-fleshed sweet potatoes for the most appealing holiday-esque color.
- Eggs – Helps bind the casserole and give it structure.
- Milk – Add creaminess; I like whole milk for this purpose.
- Brown sugar – Helps amplify the natural sweetness of the potatoes.
- Cinnamon and cloves – A perfect balance of warm spices.
- Unsalted butter
For the Crumble Topping
- Unsalted butter – I always use unsalted butter in cooking so I can control the amount of salt.
- Brown sugar – The molasses in brown sugar gives it a deeper flavor.
- Flour – Add structure to the crumble.
- Cinnamon – The quintessential autumn spice.
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
- Remove the flesh: Cut the baked sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the cooked potato. Or you can peel the skin from the potatoes. Either works fine.
- Mash: Place the cooked, peeled potatoes in a large bowl and mash them with a fork or potato masher. You can also put them through a ricer or a food mill.
- Add the seasoning and eggs: Stir in the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, butter, orange zest, and salt until well combined.
- Make the crumble topping: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
- Assemble: Turn the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Distribute the crumble topping evenly over the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake and serve: Bake for about 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are hot throughout and the crumble topping has browned and crisped up a bit. Serve hot.
Tips and Substitutions
- You can make the potatoes with a potato masher or a fork, or put them through a ricer or a food mill.
- You can use maple syrup instead of the brown sugar.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of grated or ground nutmeg (I’m allergic, so leave it out) if you want a more intensely flavored casserole, or sub it for the cloves.
I would definitely suggest you try to find orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, which will give the casserole that appealing bright orange color. You can also make this with half white sweet potatoes and half orange. Either way, the flavor will be terrific.
To bake the sweet potatoes, prick them in a few places with a fork and cook them in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 1 hour until a knife slides easily through the potato. You can cook them directly on the oven rack (there may be a drip or two this way, but nothing major) or bake them on a sheet pan.
This is a sweet casserole with a slightly crunchy, sweet brown sugar topping that makes it feel very holiday-ish and special. It’s basically a streusel, though without as much crumbliness. It adds a layer of texture and flavor and smells pretty heavenly.
Making Sweet Potato Casserole Ahead of Time
- You can make the mixture for the casserole and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It can be kept for 3 days. Then, the day of, transfer it to the casserole dish, top it with the brown sugar topping (which can also be made 2 days ahead), and bake. If you bring it to room temperature before baking, the cooking time will be the same, or if you are baking it chilled, add about 15 minutes of baking time.
- You can also assemble the entire casserole, cover it with foil, and keep it in the fridge for 2 days before baking.
- If you want to reheat a baked casserole, just heat it (from room temp) in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until hot throughout. Again, if it is chilled, add 10 to 15 minutes of baking time. You can also reheat the casserole in a microwave, but the top will not crisp back up.
What to Serve With Sweet Potato Casserole
More Sweet Potato Recipes
- Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Spoon Bread
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Smashed Garlic Butter Sweet Potatoes with Feta
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
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Sweet Potato Casserole
- 5 large sweet potatoes (baked and cooled completely; see Note))
- 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For the Crumble Topping:
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup light or dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 2-quart (8-cup) baking dish.
- To remove the flesh from the cooked sweet potatoes, either cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the cooked potato or peel the skin from the potatoes. Place the cooked potatoes in a large bowl and mash them with a fork. Add the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, butter, orange zest, and salt, and mash everything together until well combined. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly.
- Make the Crumble Topping: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Distribute the crumble topping evenly over the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are hot throughout and the crumble topping has browned and crisped up a bit. Serve hot.
- You can make the potatoes with a potato masher, or a fork, or put them through a ricer or a food mill.
- You can use maple syrup instead of the brown sugar.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of grated or ground nutmeg if you want a more intensely flavored casserole, or sub it in for the cloves.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.