Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans is a must-have Thanksgiving side that’s full of wonderful texture and flavor. From the crunchy pecans to the toasty sweet marshmallows this one is a favorite in our home. It’s also easy to make, and can be made ahead of time making this an overall winner!

Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans in black bowl.


 

There are many ways to prepare sweet potato casserole, and while everyone seems to have their own version, I think this is the best recipe.

It’s not too sweet, is so easy to make, and the array of different textures make this sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans one that’s loved by my family.  

Despite how stuffed everyone is, they always have room for seconds of this casserole!

And the best part is this marshmallow sweet potato casserole can be made ahead of time!

Serve this with a roast spatchcock turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, and some Brussels sprouts for a perfect Thanksgiving meal!

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: sweet potatoes, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, milk, salt, butter, marshmallows, pecans, and eggs.
  • Sweet potatoes. This recipe calls for 3 pounds of sweet potatoes. I recommend buying larger-sized sweet potatoes as the smaller ones tend to be more fibrous. To make things easier, consider microwaving the sweet potatoes instead of baking since baking will take about 1 hour.
  • Eggs. Eggs help to bind and hold the sweet potato mixture together making this more of a casserole than just a tray of mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Milk. I recommend using full-fat milk for great consistency, but you can also use milk with less fat content.
  • Butter. I used unsalted butter for this recipe and most recipes since starting with unsalted butter affords you greater control over the sodium level in your dish.
  • Brown sugar. Light or dark brown sugar can be used for this sweet potato casserole.
  • Pecans. I love the way pecans complement the flavor of sweet potatoes. Feel free to swap with walnuts, or to omit entirely if desired.
  • Flavoring. Vanilla extract and a teaspoon of cinnamon add great flavor and pair perfectly with the other ingredients.
  • Mini marshmallows. Highly recommended, but can easily be omitted!

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Preheat your oven to 375f and set the rack to the middle level. Chop 1 cup of pecans. Using a fork, pierce holes in 3 pounds worth of sweet potatoes and microwave until soft (approximately 10-12 minutes).  Alternatively, the sweet potatoes can be baked for 45-60 minutes (or until soft) at 375f (Photo #1).
Sweet potato casserole recipe process shot collage group number one showing fork piercing sweet potatoes and removing their skin.
  1. Check for doneness by inserting a knife through the potatoes.  If the knife goes through with no resistance, they’re done.  Once they’re cool enough to handle, remove the sweet potato skins along with any fibrous material on the ends.  Roughly chop the sweet potatoes and place them into a large bowl (Photo #2).
  2. To the sweet potatoes, add 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of melted unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a 1/4 cup of brown sugar.  Blend the ingredients until incorporated and give a taste test making any adjustments to spices as needed.  Then, add two eggs and beat the mixture on medium speed until smooth (Photo #3)Note: We forgot and put the eggs in before the taste testing in pic 3 below.  Though we think the flavor is spot on, be sure to mix first, then taste test before adding the eggs.
Recipe process shot collage group number two showing mashed sweet potatoes in mixing bowl with eggs being beaten with electric mixer and mixing nuts into mixture with spoon.
  1. Using a spoon or spatula, fold in half of the chopped pecans (Photo #4).
  2. Spread the mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and top with 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows, the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and the remaining chopped pecans (Photo #5).
Recipe process shot collage group number three with unbaked casserole being topped with pecans and final shot of baked casserole.
  1. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the marshmallows are lightly toasted and golden on top (Photo #6).  Enjoy!
Overhead shot of sweet potato casserole in blue baking dish.

Top tips

  • The sweet potatoes. To make things easier, we recommend microwaving the sweet potatoes instead of baking as baking will take roughly an hour.  
  • Sweetness. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet so if you’d like to reduce the amount of brown sugar used, you can certainly do so.  Additionally, the marshmallows are optional, but we enjoy their texture and think the toasted tops really add visual appeal to the sweet potato casserole.
  • Eggs. The eggs help to bind and hold the sweet potato mixture together. That being said, if you prefer to omit the eggs you can definitely do so.
  • Taste test. Hold off on adding the eggs until you’ve given the mixture a taste test in case you’d like to add any additional cinnamon, vanilla, etc.
  • Make ahead.  This sweet potato casserole can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking.
Closeup shot of sweet potato casserole in baking dish with a spoonful removed.

More of our favorite holiday side dishes

In addition to the turkey and sides we mentioned above, here are some other great holiday side dishes.  And don’t forget to save room for amaretto pumpkin pie and apple crostata!

If you’ve enjoyed this Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

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Sweet Potato Casserole

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Sweet potato casserole with toasted marshmallows and chopped pecans is loaded with wonderful fall flavor and is a must-have side for Thanksgiving!

Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pecans divided, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375f and set the rack to the middle level.
  • To save time, pierce the sweet potatoes and microwave until soft (approximately 10-12 minutes). Check for doneness by inserting a knife through the potatoes, making sure the knife goes completely through with no resistance. Alternatively, the potatoes can be baked for 45-60 minutes in the oven at 375f or until soft.
  • Discard the potato skins and remove any fibrous material on their ends. Roughly chop the potatoes and add them to a large bowl.
  • Add the melted butter, milk, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and half of the brown sugar to the potatoes. Beat until smooth with an electric mixer then taste test. Adjust any cinnamon or brown sugar to taste then add the eggs and mix until smooth and fully incorporated.
  • Hand mix half of the pecans into the bowl.
  • Spread the mixture into a 9 by 13 baking dish and top with the marshmallows, remaining brown sugar, and remaining chopped pecans.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top. Enjoy!

Notes

  • The eggs are for binding but can easily be omitted.
  • Marshmallows are completely optional but add a great look and texture.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the oven or microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 64.1g | Protein: 6.1g | Fat: 16.2g | Saturated Fat: 5.1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 1438mg | Fiber: 8.4g | Sugar: 13.4g | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love these potatoes…sometimes i add a small amt orange zest or oj about quarter of cup..gives it a nice flavor also..