Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

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!

A freshly baked sweet potato casserole in a baking dish with a wooden spoon scooping some out

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.

A bite of sweet potato casserole on a spoon with mini marshmallows in the background

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!

  1. Heat Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine Ingredients: Add the brown sugar, butter, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla to the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix well.
  4. 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.
  5. Add Marshmallows: Place the marshmallows on top of the casserole, covering the sweet potato mixture completely.
  6. Bake Again: Bake your casserole until the marshmallows are melted and browned on top.
  7. 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.
A warm sweet potato casserole topped with gooey toasted marshmallows inside of a white baking dish

Serving Suggestions

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
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A warm sweet potato casserole topped with gooey toasted marshmallows inside of a white baking dish
Recipe

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Add brown sugar, butter, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Put sweet potato mixture into an 8×8 casserole dish.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes.
  5. 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!

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Recipe rating

51 Comments
      1. Megan

        Would you double the cooking time to 36-40 minutes, as well? I’ll be using a disposable 9×13.

      2. Lindsay

        I’m not entirely sure if you’d need to double it, but you would definitely cook it longer. I’d say 30-40.

  1. Laura Gregorovic

    I plan on making this to bring to family for Thanksgiving. If I prepare the night before do I bake it the night before and store in fridge and then reheat? Or do I bake it on the day it is being served. We have a 4 hour drive. Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      I usually prep the night before and bake the next day. If you bake it from cold though, it may take a little longer to bake.

  2. Liberty

    We made and reviewed this recipe via live stream on twitch last night. Absolutely beat our expectations for an easy side and honestly its better than pumpkin pie the next when its cold. We did add 1/4tsp cloves for an extra little pop but this is a winner!

  3. Kyleigh Corbin

    Definitely going to make this recipe? How would I alter the cooking time in one of those disposable tin foil pans? We travel to families house for Thanksgiving and I try to bring disposable stuff so that way I don’t have to tote it home with me.

    1. Lindsay

      If anything, you may need to reduce it a bit but it should be fine. I use those disposable ones at home all the time to help with less clean up.

  4. Meghan Cunningham

    I only have the 40 oz can of sweet potatoes.. can you let me know the measurements? I’m so terrible with fractions lol

    1. Lindsay

      Well, you could use 3/4 of the can and then follow the recipe as written. Or you could use the whole can and add about another fourth of the rest of the ingredients to it.

    1. Lindsay

      That is totally fine. We actually just did that tonight. Just bring the casserole to room temperature prior to baking or add a little bit more bake time to account for it being colder when you put it in the oven from the fridge.

  5. Brandie

    Great recipe! I made this for thanksgiving and for Christmas too.. everyone loves it! I doubled the recipe and just doubled  the time.
    Thank you!!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing. You’ll just either want to bring it to room temperature before baking it or expect it to need a little longer to bake. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Leah

    Hi, Excited to try this recipe. Do you think I could make it in a slow cooker? Any idea how? High/low and how long? I am NOT good at cooking, and it doesn’t matter how easy a recipe is, I CAN mess it up! Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m really not sure. I’ve never tried it. I imagine it would be fine, I just wouldn’t know what settings to use.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s really hard for me to say. Increasing it that much, you will clearly need to use multiple pans. Baking time is going to very much depend on the size of the pan and how much of the casserole you have in there. I would cook it until it’s at least between 150 and 160 degrees, the temperature that eggs should be cooked to.

    1. Lindsay

      The egg helps to thicken up the mixture and hold it together a little better. You can leave it out, but it does change the texture of the potatoes a little bit.

  7. Lori

    My daughter made this for a “Friendsgiving” get together. We didn’t have a lot of time so we looked for a recipe using canned sweet potatoes. It was a BIG hit. Delicious! Just the right amount of nutmeg and cinnamon. 5 stars!

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  9. Samantha

    Hi, love to make this but can’t get canned sweet potatoes in the uk. How many uncooked sweet potatoes would I need, and do I just bake them first? With anticipation!!!

    1. Life, Love and Sugar

      Hi Samantha! I’ve never used regular sweet potatoes for this recipe, so it’s hard to say. I googled for you and the answer I found is 3 large sweet potatoes. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but you could try it. And yes, you’d want to bake them until tender first.

  10. Jessie Homemaker

    Looks so yummy!! Sweet potato casserole is delicious…but I think green bean casserole has to be my all time favorite Thanksgiving food group lol, with LOTS of extra french fried onions. I like to add a little bit of sugar as well to add a sweet note to it as well 🙂

    1. lifeloveandsugar

      Green Bean Casserole is another requirement of mine. I usually add a little worchestire sauce and hot sauce though to give it a little kick. I’ve never thought to add sugar and make it sweet before. What a great idea!

      1. Jessie Homemaker

        I add worcestershire sauce to mine too!! The hot sauce sounds good! I love spicy things almost as much as I love sweet things!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12