Creamy mashed sweet potatoes are flavored with brown sugar and fall spices, then covered in a gooey marshmallow topping! This classic Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows is a delicious Thanksgiving side dish that feels like a fancy dessert.
If you’re looking for more Thanksgiving ideas, we love this easy green bean casserole!
Easy Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
Is it really Thanksgiving without a big serving dish full of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes? Not to me! I spent years perfecting this recipe until it was absolutely perfect. The sweet potato part isn’t too runny, the flavors are to die for and the level of sweetness is just right.
This festive casserole comes together in less than 30 minutes, and you can even make it in advance to focus on your main dish and other sides on Thanksgiving day. Some sweet potato casseroles contain pecans, but I prefer to leave them out and let the potatoes and marshmallows speak for themselves. However, if you’re craving that nutty, crunchy element in your casserole, you can totally add some candied pecans underneath or on top of the marshmallows!
What You’ll Need
Let’s go over the short list of ingredients you’ll need to make this iconic side dish. Once you gather them up, you’re practically halfway done with the recipe!
- Canned Sweet Potatoes: Drain them very well.
- Brown Sugar: For sweetness and flavor.
- Salted Butter: Melted.
- Egg: To bind all the ingredients together and give the mixture a fluffy consistency.
- Cinnamon: This warm fall spice is a must-have!
- Nutmeg: For a truly festive taste.
- Vanilla: This enhances the other flavors in the dish.
- Marshmallows: For the topping.
Are Canned Yams and Sweet Potatoes the Same Thing?
In the United States, the word “yam” is often used to describe certain kinds of sweet potatoes. So if you’re only seeing canned yams at the grocery store, don’t worry about it! They are simply softer sweet potatoes with a darker skin, which taste just as yummy in this casserole. Actual yams come from Africa, and they’re rarely found in American supermarkets.
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
Putting together this casserole is a walk in the park. It only takes about 5 minutes of prep time!
- Heat Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Mash Potatoes: Mash the drained sweet potatoes in a large bowl. I used a fork, but if you have a potato masher you can use that instead.
- Combine Ingredients: Add the brown sugar, butter, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla to the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix well.
- Bake: Transfer the sweet potato mixture to an 8×8-inch casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.
- Add Marshmallows: Place the marshmallows on top of the casserole, covering the sweet potato mixture completely.
- Bake Again: Bake your casserole until the marshmallows are melted and browned on top.
- Enjoy! Serve warm.
Can I Make This in Advance?
Sure you can. This casserole can be prepared a day or two ahead of time and kept well-covered in the fridge. Just hold off on storing it until it has cooled completely. To reheat your casserole, warm it in a 350°F oven until it’s heated throughout. Just add the marshmallows shortly before they are done so that they melt but don’t over brown.
Tips for Success
All the time I spent fine-tuning this recipe left me with a few important takeaways. Here are my tips and tricks for making the ultimate marshmallow sweet potato casserole!
- Drain the Sweet Potatoes Thoroughly: If you don’t drain out all the excess moisture from your sweet potatoes, your casserole could come out runny. Take your time with this step to keep that from happening.
- Can I Use Fresh Potatoes? If you’d like to substitute the canned sweet potatoes for fresh ones, you’ll have to boil them first. Cut 3 large sweet potatoes into cubes and place them in a pot of boiling water. Once it returns to a boil, turn down the burner to low heat. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until they’re nice and tender. Drain them well and continue with the recipe.
- Cover the Potatoes Completely with the Marshmallows: You want the marshmallows to form a sort of seal over the sweet potatoes so that no air pockets are present. If there is space between the marshmallows, your topping will have gaps in it. Using mini marshmallows is a great way to ensure that the sweet potatoes are completely covered.
Want to introduce some new dishes to your Thanksgiving feast? The following recipes go great with this casserole.
- Serve with Roasted Veggies: These Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts are an unexpected way to get picky kids excited about eating vegetables. The recipe features butternut squash and cranberries to keep everything festive for Thanksgiving.
- Pair with a Savory Casserole: Casseroles are the kind of comfort food that everyone deserves to enjoy at a holiday dinner. Serve this sweet potato bake with an equally delicious savory casserole like my Classic Green Bean Casserole!
- Serve with Stuffing: Whenever my family is making plans for our Thanksgiving dinner, I get asked if my Classic Homemade Stuffing will make an appearance at the table. And nobody ever takes no for an answer!
- Pair with Garlic Mashed Potatoes: It never hurts to have multiple options available when it comes to potatoes. These Chunky Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a great dish to serve beside this sweet potato casserole!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Once cooled, leftover casserole should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy it within 4 days. You can reheat individual portions in the microwave for no more than 30 seconds at a time. Larger amounts can be warmed up in the oven as directed in the make-ahead instructions.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes, you can freeze this casserole if you leave off the topping. Bake it, let it cool, then cover the baking dish tightly in two layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze it. Alternatively, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe container.
Thaw out your casserole in the fridge before adding the topping. I recommend reheating the potatoes before you add the marshmallows and cook. Otherwise, you will either have a cold casserole or your marshmallows will over-brown.Print
Creamy mashed sweet potatoes are flavored with brown sugar and fall spices, then covered in a gooey marshmallow topping! This classic Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows is a healthy Thanksgiving side dish that feels like a fancy dessert.
- 1 29-oz can sweet potatoes, drained
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp salted butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- About 3 cups marshmallows
- Mash sweet potatoes from the can in a large bowl. I used a fork, but if you have a potato masher you could use that.
- Add brown sugar, butter, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Mix well.
- Put sweet potato mixture into an 8×8 casserole dish.
- Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes.
- Add marshmallows to the top of the casserole and bake in the oven until melted and browned on top.
Keywords: easy sweet potato casserole, baked sweet potato, best thanksgiving sides
More Thanksgiving Sides to Try
This fall holiday is all about the food. And I have even more recipe recommendations for you!