This sweet potato casserole with pecans is guaranteed to be a big hit at your next Thanksgiving dinner table. It is creamy, sweet, and has the most delicious crunchy and spiced pecan streusel topping. Follow along with this easy recipe to find out how to create your new family-favorite casserole dish!
Some people opt for marshmallows as their topping, but if you’ve never had a pecan crumble on it before, I dare you to try this and see if you ever go back.
Since you are here and love pecan and sweet potatoe dishes, check out this Pecan Pie Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes recipe, this Rich Maple Pecan Bread Loaf with Creme Fraiche, or these Easy Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies.
This is the Best Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans
This sweet potato casserole recipe stands out as a fine example of culinary excellence. It offers a blend of flavors and textures that elevate your taste buds to unparalleled heights.
The sweet potatoes are prepared to achieve a perfect balance between natural sweetness and savory undertones. But what truly sets this recipe apart is the addition of the pecan streusel topping, adding a delightful crunch and nutty richness that complements the velvety sweet potatoes.
The marriage of those two ingredients plus cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of vanilla in the custard-like filling creates a combination of warm, comforting flavors that evoke a sense of home.
Whether served as a holiday side or a comforting dish, this sweet potato casserole with pecans undeniably earns its title as the best.
Ingredients for this Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans
Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for the detailed ingredient measurements.
For the Sweet Potato Base:
- Sweet Potatoes: You will need about 3 or 4 large-sized sweet potatoes that will make 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes.
- Brown Sugar: Even though the sweet potatoes will naturally become sweet, brown sugar is added to sweeten it up even more.
- Eggs: Eggs help hold the casserole together so it’s not runny and has more body.
- Unsalted Butter: Use unsalted butter specifically over salted butter so that you can add salt on its own and have more control over how much goes in.
- Half-and-Half: Like the butter, half and half is used to make the creamy sweet potatoes and creates a richer mouth feel.
- Vanilla Extract: The essence of vanilla heightens the flavor of the entire dish.
- Salt: Just a small amount of salt added into sweets helps balance the sweetness and other flavors.
- Cinnamon: Because what better pairing than sweet potatoes and cinnamon?
For the Pecan Streusel Topping:
- Pecans: Pecan streusel is the star of this casserole.
- All-Purpose Flour: To make a brown sugar pecan streusel, flour is needed to get that crumbly texture.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds extra sweetness and caramelization.
- Salt: This also balances out the sweetness of the dish even more!
- Cinnamon: A little extra spice for the topping goes so well in this dish!
- Unsalted Butter: Unsalted butter is the moisture that holds the pecan brown sugar streusel together.
How to Make this Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans
Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for the full step-by-step instructions!
- Fill a large pot of water and place it on medium-high heat. Add in the cubes and peeled sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until very soft. It will take about 20-30 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and then butter a 9×13 inch pan and set aside.
- Grab a potato masher and mash the sweet potatoes. Then add in the brown sugar, lightly beaten eggs, melted butter, half and half, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix with a hand mixer until it’s combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together chopped pecans, flour, brown sugar, and cold butter using a fork or your fingers to create a crumbly streusel mixture.
- Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly into the greased casserole dish, then sprinkle the topping ingredients evenly on top of the sweet potato mixture.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake until the sweet potato mixture is set, and the streusel topping is golden brown. Allow the casserole to cool down for a few minutes before serving.
To make the perfect pecan brown sugar crumble, you want to make sure the butter is cold so that it creates that perfect crunchy topping.
You might think it should be more soft so it can mix better but that is not the case, the streusel crumbles hold much better when the butter has some structure to it.
Why You Need to Make This Recipe!
- This is hands down the best version of any sweet potato sides that will ever come across your Thanksgiving table.
- This easy sweet potato casserole is the perfect side dish for any special occasion.
- All of the ingredients are easy to find at any grocery store.
- It’s so good it might become the best part of your Thanksgiving tradition!
Frequently asked questions – FAQ
How to Store Leftover Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans
First, you will want to wait until it cools down to room temperature before anything. Once it has cooled, there are a couple of different options you can do. If you don’t mind leaving in its baking sheet and you have room in your fridge, simply cover it with plastic wrap and you’re good to go.
If you don’t want to keep it in the tray that it’s in, transfer it an airtight container with a sealed lid and store it in the fridge.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
It is not recommended that you make the whole thing ahead of time because you want make sure that the streusel stays crunchy.
To make your recipe somewhat ahead of time, prepare the potatoes and the streusel and wait until the last minute to bake them to ensure your topping stays pristine.
Can I Freeze the Leftovers?
Of course! I recommend you using a couple smaller containers, especially if you have a lot left. That way you don’t have to reheat the whole thing if you won’t be able to finish it all.
What Variations Can I Make to the Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans?
If you’re a sweet potato fan like me, maybe you’ve had this before and want to switch it up. Or maybe you just want to impress your family with a unique twist. Here a couple variations you could try:
- Purple Sweet Potatoes: Purple sweet potato, also known as Ube, is a delicious cousin to the orange-fleshed sweet potato we’re used to and would provide a beautiful color change for everyone’s eyes.
- Corn Flakes: Add a handful of crushed cornflakes to the topping mixture to give it an extra crunchy texture.
- Maple Syrup: The addition of maple syrup will enhance the natural caramel-like flavor of the sweet potatoes without completely altering it.
The Best Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans Recipe
Sweet potato casserole with pecan topping
For the Sweet Potato Base:
For the Pecan Streusel Topping:
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup unsalted butter Cold
- Fill a large pot of water and place it on medium-high heat. Add in the cubes and peeled sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until very soft. It will take about 20-30 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl.3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F then butter a 9×13 inch pan and set aside.
- Mash the sweet potatoes then add in the brown sugar, lightly beaten eggs, melted butter, half and half, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and salt. Mix until combined.½ cup brown sugar, 2 large eggs, ¼ cup unsalted butter, ¼ cup half and half, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/33 teaspoon cinnamon
- In a separate bowl, mix together the chopped pecans, flour, ground cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, and softened butter using a fork or your fingers to create a crumbly streusel mixture.1 cup chopped pecans, ½ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup unsalted butter
- Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly into the prepared dish, then sprinkle the pecan streusel evenly on top of the sweet potato mixutre.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potato mixture is set and the streusel topping is golden brown. Allow the casserole to cool down for a few minutes before serving.