Classic Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole — An EASY recipe for the BEST sweet potato casserole with pecans! Tender and creamy sweet potatoes, the subtle crunch of a buttery pecan crumble, and gooey marshmallows make this comfort food side dish an automatic family FAVORITE! It’ll be on repeat for your Thanksgiving, Christmas, and holiday celebrations every year!
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
Nothing screams “Thanksgiving” like sweet potato casserole topped with lightly toasted marshmallows and pecans! When I think of classic Thanksgiving side dishes, I can’t think of anything more traditional.
Well, maybe Green Bean Casserole, is a close second in the festive sides department.
I used my favorite Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping recipe as jumping off point when creating this recipe for Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole. It’s been a reader and fan favorite for years now!
Every holiday season I’m flooded with glowing reviews, comments, messages, and emails, and I am so honored so many of you have chosen to put my recipe on your holiday table. There is no higher praise.
Being that it’s such a fan favorite due to those sweet, creamy, and tender sweet potatoes, topped with the most lovely buttery pecan crumble topping for a texture contrast that I personally adore, it was about time for a marshmallow-topped rendition.
Today’s recipe is virtually the same, but with a marshmallow twist. My daughter says they’re her favorite part!
Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients
For this sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans, you’ll need the following easy-to-find ingredients:
- Sweet potatoes
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Ground nutmeg
- All-purpose flour
- Pecan halves
- Mini marshmallows
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
As I mentioned, I used my favorite Sweet Potato Casserole recipe as the base, and then added marshmallows. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Step 1: Begin by boiling the sweet potatoes in a large stockpot of boiling water until they’re fork tender.
Step 2: Then, add the cooked sweet potatoes to a large bowl along with the eggs, butter, milk, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Step 3: Transfer the mixture into a greased 9×13-inch casserole dish or similarly sized 3 to 4-quart baking dish and set this aside.
Step 4: Now you can move onto making the sweet potato casserole topping by melting the butter, then using a fork, toss it with brown sugar, flour, and salt. You’re looking for the mixture to take on a crumbly texture.
Step 5: Gently toss in the pecans, and then sprinkle the pecan crumble topping over the sweet potatoes in your baking dish.
Step 6: Bake the sweet potato casserole with pecan topping until the top is lightly golden brown, the edges are set, and the center is mostly set. In the final 5 minutes of baking, this is where you add the marshmallows and bake until they’re just golden browned.
The whole family will be gathering round waiting to dig into this true family-favorite side dish that also makes your house smell like Thanksgiving and the holidays!
How Long to Cook Sweet Potato Casserole?
I recommend baking your Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole for roughly 40 to 45 minutes at 350ºF.
Start checking the casserole at 30 minutes. Bake just until the top is lightly golden browned, set on the edges, and mostly set in the center.
Can You Make Sweet Potato Casserole Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can assemble the entire casserole the night before, cover it tightly with foil, and refrigerate it until ready to bake.
I suggest letting the casserole sit at room temp on your counter for 30 to 45 minutes before baking if you have refrigerated it overnight so that you don’t need to extend the baking time at all.
How Many Sweet Potatoes Are Equal to 4 Pounds?
The best advice here is to weigh your potatoes on the grocery store scale in the produce department. That is the only way you’ll for sure.
Sometimes you’ll come across massive jumbo sweet potatoes that weigh close to two pounds each! Whereas other times you’ll find more petite or long cylindrical potatoes.
Therefore, don’t guess and go by the actual weight.
What Type of Milk Should You Use?
I’ve made homemade sweet potato casserole with 2% and whole milk. I think half-and-half would also be fine.
Cream may be a little too much, but then again, this side dish is being served at a meal that’s all about decadence.
Previously I’ve also used unsweetened cashew milk, and I’m sure soy or oat milk would also work, although I haven’t personally tested the final two.
How to Store Sweet Potato Casserole
Since this is one of those true crowd favorites, I don’t expect you’ll have too many leftovers.
But sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week, although there’s no way my sneaky family members would be able to leave it alone for that long staring back every time you open the fridge.
Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Casserole?
Yes, it’ll keep airtight in the freezer for up to 4 months. However, I recommend freezing it without the marshmallows on top for best results.
How to Reheat Sweet Potato Casserole
First, let it sit at room temp for at least 15 to 30 minutes if you can plan ahead. Then, you can reheat the casserole in either the microwave or the oven:
- Microwave: The one issue with this is that the marshmallows will tend to expand. This is why the longer you can just let it sit out on the counter before you need to zap it in the micro, the better.
- Oven: I recommend covering it with foil so the pecan and marshmallow topping doesn’t burn, and then placing it in a warm oven. It’ll likely need to be in the oven for a solid 15 to 20 minutes at 300 to 325F.
There’s a fine line between beginning to actually re-cook the marshmallows and pecans, which you don’t want to do, but still making sure you’ve got the sweet potato portion warmed through.
Tips for the Best Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
When you’re mixing together the boiled sweet potatoes with the other ingredients including the sugars, eggs, and milk, I recommend beating the ingredients together with a handheld electric mixer for a nice, smooth texture. Although you can use a potato masher for this task if you like a chunkier texture.
Make sure when you’re mixing together the melted butter with brown sugar, flour, and salt that you’re fluffing the mixture with a fork, and not stirring it. If you stir it, you’ll create more of a paste but we are look for crumbles which is why fluffing is important.
Use a light hand and don’t overmix it. The crumbles will range in size from marbles to very fine dust and crumbs.
One thing I like to suggest as well is to place your baking dish on top of a sheet pan when baking the marshmallow sweet potato casserole.
If there’s any overflow, of either the crumble topping or later on with the marshmallows, the sheet pan underneath is great insurance to catch an accidental overflows so you don’t have to clean your oven after an already long day in the kitchen.
After you add the mini marshmallows in the final 5 minutes of baking, make sure to keep a very close eye on them. All ovens bake differently and since marshmallows are inherently prone to burning, which is the last thing you want to have happen right before your special holiday meal!
So just keep a watchful eye on them. Set a timer too since multi-tasking is the name of the kitchen game that day. I am not a fan of broiling the marshmallows, although there are recipes out there that suggest it. Way too risky for me.
While the recipe states 2 1/2 cups marshmallows, if you want to bump that up to closer to 3 cups, or whatever you need to exactly cover your casserole dish, go for it.
Don’t be skimpy with the marshmallows since they happen to be many people’s favorite part of this Thanksgiving side dish!
What Goes With Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole?
Any holiday entree or side dish would go nicely with this sweet potato marshmallow casserole! Here are some recipes I like to pair with the casserole:
- Entrees: Orange Pineapple Glazed Ham, Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin, Honey Baked Ham, Roasted Turkey.
- Vegetable sides: Bacon Green Beans, Sweet and Spicy Roasted Acorn Squash Slices, Loaded Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Balsamic Brussels Sprouts.
- Rolls and breads: Parker House Rolls, Pumpkin Dinner Rolls, No-Knead Dinner Rolls.
- Desserts: Pumpkin Pecan Pie, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Roll, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie.
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Sweet Potato Filling
- 4 pounds raw sweet potatoes, peeled, diced into large chunks, and boiled
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup milk* (See Notes)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups mini marshmallows, or as needed
- To a large stockpot, add the sweet potato chunks, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until sweet potatoes are fork tender; about 20 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 3 to 4-quart baking or casserole dish or a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
- To the large bowl with the sweet potatoes, add the eggs, butter, milk, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt, optional nutmeg, optional cinnamon, and beat with a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy. Alternatively, if you prefer a coarser texture that's more chunky, you can use a potato masher.
- Turn out into baking dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula; set aside.
- To a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute.
- Add the brown sugar, flour, salt, and gently toss with a fork (or your fingers) until moist crumbs form.** (See Notes for Tips)
- Add the pecans and gently toss to incorporate.
- Evenly turn topping out over filling.
- If making ahead of time - stop now. Cover tightly with foil, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. If you've made it ahead, allow the sweet potato casserole to sit out at room temp for 30 to 60 minutes. Don't put it straight into the oven from the fridge because the baking time will be altered.
- Bake the sweet potato casserole for about 40 to 45 minutes; start checking at 30 minutes. Bake until top is lightly golden browned, set on the edges, and mostly set in the center. Tip - Place baking dish on a sheet pan to catch any accidental overflow to save on cleanup later.
- Remove the casserole from the oven, evenly sprinkle with the marshmallows, and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the marshmallows are lightly golden browned. Tip -Keep a very watchful eye on the marshmallows since they are prone to burning. Set a timer so you don't accidentally forget about it.
- Serve immediately. Extra will keep airtight for up to 1 week in the fridge and up to 4 months in the freezer.***(See Notes)
Sweet Potato Filling:
*I’ve made sweet potato casserole with 2% and whole milk. I think half-and-half would also be fine. Cream may be a bit decadent but is fine. I’ve also used unsweetened cashew milk, and I’m sure soy or oat milk would also work, although I haven’t personally tested the final two.
**Make sure that you’re fluffing the mixture with a fork, and not stirring it. If you stir it, you’ll create more of a paste but we are look for crumbles which is why fluffing is important. Use a light hand and don’t overmix it. The crumbles will range in size from marbles to very fine dust and crumbs.
***Reheating options - First, let the casserole sit at room temp for at least 15 to 30 minutes if you can plan ahead. Then, you can microwave it gently. The one issue with this is that the marshmallows will tend to expand. This is why the longer you can just let it sit out on the counter before you need to zap it in the micro, the better. Conversely, you can reheat it in the oven. I recommend covering it with foil so the pecan and marshmallow topping doesn’t burn, and then placing it in a warm oven. It’ll likely need to be in the oven for a solid 15 to 20 minutes at 300 to 325F. There’s a fine line between beginning to actually re-cook the marshmallows and pecans, which you don’t want to do, but still making sure you’ve got the sweet potato portion warmed through.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 574Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 316mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 7gSugar: 54gProtein: 7g
More Sweet Potato Side Dishes:
All of my sweet potato recipes here!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping — This is the BEST sweet potato casserole ever!! The sweet potatoes are tender and creamy, while the streusel topping adds a delightful buttery crunch thanks to the pecans!
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Bacon – If you thought sweet potato casserole couldn’t get any better, wait until you taste it topped with candied bacon and pecans! The sweet potatoes are smooth and creamy and the candied bacon topping is the perfect texture and flavor contrast!
Sweet and Savory Sweet Potato Casserole — A fun and EASY twist on classic sweet potato casserole that uses potato chips in the topping for a SALTY-SWEET flavor the whole family will love!! Great for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations!!
Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole — A HEALTHIER and DELICIOUS twist on sweet potato casserole!! The potatoes and apples retain some texture with the perfect amount of crumble topping! Put it on your holiday menu!!
Twice Baked Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes – Sweet, creamy, decadent, and reminiscent of sweet potato casserole but individually portioned! FAST and EASY enough for family dinners or make them for more formal holiday celebrations! Either way, these are always the PERFECT comfort food side dish that everyone devours!
Sweet Potato Bites with Marshmallows and Pecans – Slices of sweet potatoes are brushed with a maple cinnamon-and-sugar mixture, baked, and then topped with marshmallows and pecans! Sweet, decadent, FAST and EASY!
Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey-Cinnamon Dip – The honey glaze and the creamy cinnamon dip make these potatoes irresistible!!
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad — Goodbye mayo-loaded, mushy, boring potato salad. Hello to a Mexican-inspired potato salad full of flavor and texture with corn, black beans, peppers, and cilantro!
Honey Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes — Soft, tender potatoes with crispy skin and the most HEAVENLY melted honey butter on top!! EASY comfort food that’s a perfect side dish anytime!!