Sweet Potato Casserole

Without question, this is the best sweet potato casserole recipe I've tried! Smooth and creamy sweet potatoes are topped with a savory pecan crumble.

Sweet potato casserole

This sweet potato casserole recipe is one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. I haven’t always been such a sweet potato casserole fan. When I was growing up, my family had sweet potato casserole with marshmallows every year, and I never loved it. For me, sweet potatoes plus sweet marshmallows is just too much sweet.

But this sweet potato casserole recipe won me over. I swap out the mini marshmallows for a pecan crumble topping. It’s savory and crunchy—the perfect complement to the creamy sweet potatoes underneath.

Make this recipe for a holiday meal, and I promise it will be a hit. It’s healthy and flavorful, and—best of all—you can make it ahead. You and your guests will love it!

Healthy sweet potato casserole recipe ingredients

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this sweet potato casserole recipe:

For the sweet potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes, of course! You’ll need 5 large for a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Butter or olive oil – For richness.
  • Milk – It helps the sweet potatoes blend into a smooth and creamy puree. Use any kind you like!
  • Ground ginger – For warm depth of flavor.

For the crumble topping

Some sweet potato casserole recipes feature a brown sugar streusel topping like you’d find on an apple crumble. This isn’t one of them. Instead, I make a savory topping with these ingredients:

  • Pecans and walnuts – I pulse some into the crumble and leave a few whole for garnish.
  • Old fashioned oats – For hearty texture.
  • Fresh rosemary, sage, and dried thyme – For savory autumn flavor.
  • Garlic – Along with the herbs, garlic gives this sweet potato casserole its delicious savory taste.
  • Pure maple syrup – It adds a touch of sweetness to the nutty topping.
  • Butter or olive oil – To help the topping crisp up in the oven.

And of course, you’ll need sea salt and fresh black pepper to make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Pecans, walnuts, oats, and herbs in a food processor

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

This easy sweet potato casserole recipe has 4 basic steps:

1. First, roast the sweet potatoes. Prepare them according to this baked sweet potato recipe.

Bake the potatoes until you can easily pierce them with a fork. You want them to be super tender so that the sweet potato mixture gets totally smooth!

Pecan topping in a food processor

2. While the sweet potatoes are baking, make the pecan topping. Pulse the nuts, oats, herbs, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor until just combined. The mixture should clump a bit, but it should still have lots of texture.

Sweet potatoes in a food processor

3. Then, blend up the filling. Instead of using a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes, I use a food processor to get them super smooth.

Peel the cooked sweet potatoes, and place the soft orange flesh in a food processor.

Sweet potato casserole filling in a food processor

Add the milk, ginger, salt, and pepper and pulse until well combined.

Sweet potatoes in a baking dish

4. Layer and bake! Spread the creamy sweet potatoes in a large baking dish.

Hand sprinkling pecan topping over sweet potatoes

Add the topping…

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

…and a few whole pecans and sage leaves for garnish.

Bake at 425°F until the topping is nicely browned and crisp, and enjoy!

Easy Sweet potato casserole recipe

Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions

Wondering if you can make this recipe ahead? The answer is yes!

  • Up to two days in advance, bake the sweet potatoes and blend up the filling. Store it, covered, in the casserole dish or an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Make the pecan topping, and store it in a separate container in the fridge.

When you’re ready to serve, assemble the casserole and bake!

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To reheat, warm them in the microwave or bake in a 325°F oven until heated through.

Can you freeze sweet potato casserole?

Yes, you can also freeze sweet potato casserole. 

If you’re freezing it before a holiday meal, I recommend ONLY preparing the sweet potato filling.

  • Spread it in the baking dish and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Let thaw overnight in the fridge before adding the topping and baking according to the recipe.

If you freeze the fully assembled casserole, the topping will lose its crisp texture. This may not bother you in the case of leftovers, but for a Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving dinner, I recommend adding the topping once the casserole thaws for the best crunch.

Sweet potato casserole with pecans

More Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes

If you love this sweet potato casserole, try one of these delicious sweet potato recipes next:

Looking for more holiday side dishes? Check out my best Thanksgiving side dishes or Easter side dishes!

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Sweet Potato Casserole

rate this recipe:
4.85 from 59 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Serves 6 to 8
You'll love this healthy sweet potato casserole recipe! Find make-ahead instructions in the blog post above.


  • 5 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter, plus more for drizzling
  • cups milk, plus more if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh sage leaves, for garnish

Crumble Topping

  • cup whole rolled oats
  • ½ cup pecans, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup walnuts, plus more for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush an 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
  • Use a fork to poke a few holes into the sweet potatoes. Place on the baking sheet and roast until very tender, about 60 minutes.
  • Make the crumble topping: In a food processor, place the oats, pecans, walnuts, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper and pulse until just combined. Remove and set aside.
  • Scoop the cooked sweet potato flesh out of the skins and place in a food processor. Add the olive oil, milk, ginger, salt, and pepper and process to combine. Spread the mixture into the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with the crumble topping, additional nuts, and sage leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, or until the topping is browned and crisp.

This post is in partnership with ALDI.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Eve

    Hi Jeanine, Just wondering whether it would work to bake this in the morning or even a few days ahead of time. Our Thanksgiving oven will be occupied, and even if I can squeeze it in my other dishes need to be at 350, not 425.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Eve, you could bake the sweet potato casserole in the morning or a day ahead! I would then reheat it, covered, at 350°F with your other dishes. Uncover for the last few minutes to help the topping crisp up.

  2. Erica

    Can I use fresh ginger instead of ground ginger? If so, how much and is simply mincing it ok? Thanks!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Erica, you can totally use fresh ginger, but I would recommend grating it so that it seamlessly incorporates with the sweet potatoes. I would start with 1 teaspoon and add more to taste.

  3. Shelby

    Have you tried this in a crockpot? I’m thinking I could make the two components ahead of time for an out of town thanksgiving. I would maybe roast the nuts a bit to crisp them up and bring out the flavor before chopping them. Then I can add them to the crockpot right before serving. What do you think?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Shelby, the topping will be more toasty and delicious in the oven.

  4. Alane Anderson

    5 stars
    I made this today and wow, we loved it. What a nice change from the overly sweet casseroles we have all tasted in the past. The crunchy, nutty topping really makes the dish. I’m looking forward to making this for our large gathering at Thanksgiving. And, it’s an easy yummy side for any time of the year.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  5. Dawn

    Where does the maple syrup come in. I didn’t see it in the crumble, or in the sweet potato? Did I read it wrong

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Dawn, it’s in the crumble in step 3.

  6. Claire Freeland

    Can the mashed sweet potatoes be frozen and can the topping be frozen? Defrosted and baked day of?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Claire, I haven’t tried freezing these components but I think it should be fine.

  7. Lana

    Are you supposed to leave the oven at 425 when you bake with the crumble on top for 20 minutes?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lana, yes, the oven stays the same temp.

  8. Cainim Truax

    5 stars
    Another month gone and another great recipe from Love and Lemons to add to my rotation.

    A delicious “Thanksgiving” dish for any time of the year.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Katie Valentine

    The savory flavor was so good! I would cover the top with foil for some of the baking time next time as my top came out a bit too dark.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Katie, I’m so glad you liked the recipe!

  10. Stacey Rivenburg

    So delicious and made the house smell so good while baking!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Stacey, I’m so glad you loved the recipe!

  11. Erika Rivera

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! This is my go-to side for Thanksgiving every year!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Erika, So glad you love it!

  12. Laurie

    5 stars
    This sweet potato casserole was so creamy, and I loved the topping. My store was out of fresh sage, but I subbed ground, and it was still so delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  13. Shannon Heiliger

    Submission for November Cooking Club-saved until the big day! To be honest, I’m a pescatarian and I do not like Thanksgiving usually but every year for the past 5 years, I have made one of your recipes as they are healthy and vegetarian. I was a little nervous about this one and there was work involved, but everyone loved them and will definitely make again!! Also thank goodness no marshmallows always hated those!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Shannon, I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the recipes over the years! I’m not a fan of marsmallows either 🙂

  14. Emily

    3 stars
    I really liked the roasted sweet potatoes instead of canned. Lovely!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. Shemina

    5 stars
    Loved the savory flavors and the texture of the crumble on top!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  16. Kristie

    5 stars
    This casserole was delicious and a hit with my Thanksgiving guests. Thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  17. Cari

    Can the crumble be left on the counter, covered overnight? Doesn’t need to be refrigerated, does it? Not baking this until tomorrow. Can’t wait to try/serve it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Cari, it should be refrigerated overnight (sorry I didn’t see your comment yesterday)

  18. Samantha Ventura

    5 stars
    As someone who prefers savory food over sweet, this sweet potato dish really hit the spot. The flavors in the topping were perfection and the addition of the oats really rounded out the texture/body for me. It’s a definite make-again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  19. Kiley Gansert

    5 stars
    Made this with white sweet potatoes as an alternative to the super sweet marshmallow version for friendsgiving and it was a hit! It all came together super easily and the crumble was delicious

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kiley, I’m so glad it was a hit!

  20. Denise Fraser

    5 stars
    I love sweet potatoes! Organic are better than others, and I am really into the purple ones now. Tried this recipe with purple potatoes and it came out great. The topping has the perfect balance of sweet and savory. I saved some to try on some other dishes. It is the bomb!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Denise, I’m so glad you loved it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.