The Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe for Thanksgiving

Each year I bring Sweet Potato Casserole to Thanksgiving. I’m sharing my stand-by recipe and a cute Thanksgiving story below! Bon appetit!

sweet potatoes cutting board wooden cooking

For many of us, holidays like Thanksgiving are filled with nostalgia. I have wonderful memories of big family Thanksgiving meals – and the great family time (and naps) that followed. Over time, things change and traditions evolve. One thing that has been a constant through many Thanksgiving meals is Sweet Potato Casserole – with NO marshmallows. Sweet Potato Casserole was the dish my mother would bring to family Thanksgiving meals. So, it makes sense that it’s my turn now.

I lived in Israel for 4 years in the mid 2000s. A group of ex-pats and American olim (immigrants to Israel) would get together to re-create a traditional American Thanksgiving. The first year, I volunteered to bring the Sweet Potato Casserole, of course! Well, I waited to shop until the last minute and it turned out that at that time there was no such thing in Israel as canned sweet potatoes. EMERGENCY! I ended up buying raw, whole sweet potatoes, boiling them, and removing the skins. I was frantic because I had not planned for all of that work. I didn’t have enough time to wait for the potatoes to cool before I removed the skins, so I had HOT fingers. Eventually it all came together. That year the sweet potato casserole was particularly good!

Here’s the recipe I use for Sweet Potato Casserole:

For the sweet potatoes
3 cups (1 29-ounce can) sweet potatoes, drained
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 beaten eggs
salt to taste

For the topping
5 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 cup pecan pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mash the sweet potatoes and add the melted butter, milk, sugar, vanilla, beaten eggs, and a pinch of salt. Stir until incorporated. Pour into a shallow baking dish or a cast iron skillet.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, flour, and pecan pieces in a small bowl, using your fingers to create moist crumbs. Sprinkle generously over the casserole. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and the top is golden brown. Let stand for the mixture to cool and solidify a little bit before serving.

For folks with nut allergies: I’ve replaced the pecans in the topping with oatmeal and it’s really yummy too. You might have to play with the amount to have a crumble-like topping. It’s a nice alternative if folks in your family have nut allergies.

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