You're going to love this easy sweet potato casserole with streusel topping. Instead of marshmallows, your topping will be a divine pecan, brown sugar, and butter topping everyone will obsess over.
Even better? The pureed sweet potatoes get combined with vanilla and maple syrup, which makes this the most decadent and delicious sweet potato recipe out there!
Why You'll Love this Streusel Topped Sweet Potato Casserole!
If you're wondering if there's another way to enjoy this classic comfort food without the usual marshmallow overload, that answer would definitely be yes! Our decades-old family favorite recipe replaces the traditional marshmallow layer with a buttery, nutty, and downright delicious pecan streusel topping.
- Perfectly Crunchy: That streusel topping? It's a game-changer.
- Family Favorite: Even the kids will dive in, trust me. This "almost" tastes like eating pie!
- Easy to cut the recipe in half: We've done this many times depending on how many people we're feeding
- Thanksgiving Ready: The ideal side dish for your holiday meal that can be assembled ahead of time and baked the day of the festivities.
- Diet-Friendly: Gluten-free since there's no flour in the streusel, and it can be easily adapted for vegetarian, dairy-free, or sugar-free guests!
I can personally attest that this is literally the BEST sweet potato casserole with streusel recipe. I've personally been making it for 20 years as the designated Thanksgiving hostess to my entire family.
Truth be told, it's always a toss-up if THIS recipe is the best on the table or our stuffing with sausage. We'll let you decide but, truly, if you make both of these dishes you'll be signed up for life to bring them to all future Thanksgiving dinners!
Sweet Potato Casserole Streusel Ingredients
brown sugar - the sweetener in the delicious topping
raw pecans - get raw nuts and not roasted since they're going to bake in the oven. Otherwise, the nuts will get too dark.
butter - for the streusel. This can easily be swapped with margarine or even coconut oil.
garnet yams - we highly recommend these, they are the red-skinned sweet potatoes and not the lighter-skinned sweet potatoes. They truly have much more flavor and make this dish stand out!
maple syrup - the real deal and not artificial
fresh lemon juice - fresh is always best and has the brightest flavor.
salt - we use fine sea salt
- 9x13 Baking dish
- Food processor, blender, or mixer - to get the cooked sweet potatoes a silky smooth texture
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
Step 2: Make the streusel topping for the sweet potato casserole: In a small bowl, mix the sugar, pecans, and butter until crumbled, you can use either a fork or a pastry cutter. Chill the mix in the fridge until you're ready to use it in the recipe.
Step 3: Cook the sweet potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, which takes about 12 minutes. Or you can follow our easy Instant Pot cubed sweet potatoes recipe if you have a pressure cooker. Drain, and let the hot potatoes cool in a colander for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Puree the cooked sweet potatoes in a food processor or blender until they're smooth.
Step 5: Beat the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the pureed sweet potatoes.
Step 6: Transfer the sweet potato casserole ingredients to the 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the pecan mix over the top.
Step 7: Bake the sweet potatoes with pecans and maple syrup until the casserole is set and the top is bubbling, which takes about 1 hour.
Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite holiday sides and enjoy!
As written, the sweet potato casserole is gluten-free, and it's easy to make some swaps if you have any guests with dietary considerations.
- Vegetarian: Replace butter with vegan butter or coconut oil.
- Dairy free: Substitute the butter for plant based margarin
- Sugar-free: Replace the brown sugar with a low carb 1:1 sweetener like golden monkfruit. Likewise, replace the maple syrup for a sugar-free substitute as well.
- Make sure your sweet potatoes are well-cooked before mashing for a smooth texture. You don't want lumpy potatoes. We honestly think an Instant Pot does a fantastic job at this if you have one!
- This is an easy recipe to cut in half if you want to serve a smaller group. Just use a 9x9 or 8x8 baking pan instead.
- Feel free to add cinnamon, nutmeg, or a little pumpkin pie spice for warmth.
- Any nuts or seeds can be used here if you don't want to use pecans, walnuts or pumpkin seeds would be a good alternative. Or you can skip the pecans entirely and just make a topping with the butter and brown sugar!
Storing and Reheating
Storing: Keep the sweet potato casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezing: This casserole is consumed fresh but can be frozen for up to a month.
How do you reheat Sweet Potato Casserole?
Warm in the oven at 350°F until heated through, which could take up to 40-60 minutes depending on how much you're reheating. If you have an individual serving, you can just microwave it.
FAQ's for Sweet Potato Streusel Casserole
The basic American sweet potato casserole recipe adds a layer of sweet marshmallows on top instead of a streusel topping. Our recipe can attest, you do NOT need to use marshmallows and in our opinion, a sweet potato streusel casserole is WAY better!
If you want a sweet potato casserole with streusel but no pecans, we recommend swapping them for chopped walnuts. You can also just skip the nuts and make a topping with butter and brown sugar.
While fresh sweet potatoes offer the best texture and flavor, canned sweet potatoes can be used in a pinch. Just be aware that the texture and sweetness might vary.
Canned sweet potatoes will add extra moisture to the dish so it's possible it'll need to cook a little longer for the liquid to evaporate. Be sure to cover the dish with aluminum foil to prevent the pecan streusel topping from burning.