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Southern Style Sweet Potato Casserole

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Southern Style Sweet Potato Casserole is a delicious dish made with creamy sweet potato filling and topped with an oat and brown sugar mixture. This dish is perfect for Sunday dinner or as a side with a beautifully roasted turkey.  

a scoop removed from the corner of the casserole dish with a spoon sticking out

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When it comes to sweet potatoes, I have my favorite ways to make them. We like candied sweet potatoes, and we also love a good Southern sweet potato pie. But I had to share this delicious sweet potato casserole to round out our love of sweet potatoes. This will be your favorite way to make this southern-style casserole this year!  

What is a southern-style sweet potato casserole?

This version of sweet potato casserole is lighter and made without a marshmallow topping. It’s topped with light brown sugar, melted butter, oats, and cinnamon for a wonderfully warm flavor combination. 

The best part of this southern sweet potato casserole recipe is how easy it is to make and the sweet yet comforting flavors. You won’t be able to put down your fork!  

Ingredients

ingredients labeled in small bowls for southern style sweet potato casserole

These everyday ingredients can be found in grocery stores at any time of year.

Filling: 

  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Sugar 
  • Eggs 
  • Butter 
  • Heavy cream 
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Salt 

Topping: 

  • Butter 
  • Brown sugar 
  • Flour 
  • Oats 
  • Cinnamon 

How to make sweet potato casserole 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry sweet potatoes. Use a fork and poke the sweet potatoes all over. Place the sweet potatoes on a lined sheet pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until the sweet potatoes have softened. Remove from the oven and allow the sweet potatoes to cool. 

Reduce the heat of the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and place the sweet potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixture. Beat the potatoes on low speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar, eggs, butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and kosher salt, and beat the mixture for about 1-2 minutes until combined. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and set aside. Rinse and dry the bowl of the stand mixture. 

sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl

Next, prepare the topping by combining cold butter, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, oatmeal, and ground cinnamon in the bowl of the stand mixture. Beat the mixture on low speed until combined, and it starts to stick together in about 1 minute.

brown sugar topping in a mixing bowl with a white paddle

Break the topping up and place the topping over the sweet potato mixture in the baking dish. 

casserole sprinkled with brown sugar topping in a white casserole dish on a white background

Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is golden and the bottom is bubbly around the edges. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

topping spread out over the casserole

Expert Tips

These tips and tricks will help you make the best southern-style casserole you’ve ever tried.

  • You can also air fry or microwave your sweet potatoes if you need them done a bit quicker. To air fry, cook them at 400° F for 35-40 minutes. To microwave, cook them for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway, until they’re fork tender.
  • You can combine the filling by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer using a large bowl, a potato masher, or a hand mixer. For the topping, use a pastry cutter, two butter knives, or your fingers to combine.
  • Use cold unsalted butter in the oat topping. It’ll allow the oat topping to be nice and crunchy, which is the perfect pair to the smooth sweet potato filling.

Variations 

Here are some different options you can try when making your casserole dish.

  • Add mini marshmallows for a different topping.
  • Make a streusel topping with pecans or walnuts.  
  • Add a splash of bourbon for a classic southern flavor.
  • Use white, orange, or purple sweet potatoes for a fun color change.  
a scoop removed from the corner of the casserole dish with a spoon sticking out

What’s the difference between yams and sweet potatoes?  

Sweet potatoes and yams are often confused by shoppers looking to make classic southern sweet potato casserole.

There are a couple of ways you can distinguish the two.

Sweet potatoes can be sold in white, orange, or purple and have soft exterior skin. The flesh is sweet and starchy like a regular white potato.

Yams have tough brown skin and white flesh. They aren’t as starchy as other potatoes and are not sweet.

If you’ve found that you’ve purchased yams instead of sweet potatoes, don’t worry! You can still make an amazing casserole with them. 

Add some pure maple syrup to the dish to sweeten it up a bit, and everyone will enjoy a different dish this year.

How to freeze southern-style sweet potato casserole  

If you’re a prepper, you can make this sweet potato casserole recipe up to three months before the holiday season! 

This is a great way to prepare a large Thanksgiving dinner with many side dishes. You’ll need to let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then pop it in the oven when you’re ready to serve. 

This can cut down on the time you spend in the kitchen and allow you to enjoy the holiday rather than worrying about preparing everything.

This classic recipe can also be frozen if you have leftover casserole. Put it in an airtight container or freezer bag and keep it in the freezer for up to three months. 

It’s also a good idea to write the date and title on the bag or piece of tape and stick it to the container. This will help you remember what you saved all those months ago.  

a scoop removed from the corner of the casserole dish with a spoon sticking out

How to serve 

Serve this easy sweet potato casserole with other side dishes depending on your traditions and your meal.

If you’re making it for Sunday dinners, serve it with southern green beans, cornbread, or a beet and orange salad.   

Pair it with candied sweet potatoes, cheesy scalloped potatoes, or soft dinner rolls to serve for special occasions.

How to store southern style sweet potato casserole

To refrigerate: Store leftover creamy sweet potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can easily reheat a scoop in a small bowl in the microwave in 30-second increments. Stir when the time ends and continue microwaving until the potatoes are warm all the way through.

To meal prep: This dish is perfect for making ahead to have with your Thanksgiving meal or Christmas dinner. You can prepare it through baking or bake it the day you’re going to eat. Either way, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve, follow the directions for baking or reheating.

a scoop removed from the corner of the casserole dish with a spoon sticking out

FAQs

Why do you add eggs to sweet potato casserole?

Eggs bind the sweet potatoes together and provide a bit of liquid to help keep the casserole moist.

Can you use canned sweet potatoes?

You can use canned potatoes for this recipe; fresh sweet potatoes have the best flavor and texture.

How do you thicken sweet potato casserole?

This casserole shouldn’t need to be thickened since the potatoes are a natural thickener. If you find it does need to be a little thicker, you can cook the dish a little longer until the moisture evaporates.

Can I boil the sweet potatoes for sweet potato casserole?

I recommend roasting your sweet potatoes for the best results. Sweet potatoes release natural sugars when roasting, giving this dish the best flavor. If you prefer to boil your sweet potatoes, peel and chop your sweet potatoes before placing them in a pot with water that covers the potatoes by 2 inches. Boil the sweet potatoes until tender before draining.

If you have tried this Sweet Potato Casserole recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

a scoop removed from the corner of the casserole dish with a spoon sticking out
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5 from 1 vote

Southern Style Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Southern Style Sweet Potato Casserole is a delicous dish made with creamy sweet potato filling and topped with an oats and brown sugar mixture.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword sweet potato casserole
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 540kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 medium-sized sweet potatoes, about 8 ounces each) or 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Topping

  • 8 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter diced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry sweet potatoes. Use a fork and poke the sweet potatoes all over. Place the sweet potatoes on a lined sheet pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until the sweet potatoes have softened. Remove from the oven and allow the sweet potatoes to cool.
  • Reduce the heat of the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and place the sweet potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixture. Beat the potatoes on low speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar, eggs, butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and kosher salt, and beat the mixture for about 1-2 minutes until combined. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and set aside. Rinse and dry the bowl of the stand mixture.
  • Next, prepare the topping by combining cold butter, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, oatmeal, and ground cinnamon in the bowl of the stand mixture. Beat the mixture on low speed until combined, and it starts to stick together, about 1 minute. Break the topping up and place the topping over the sweet potato mixture in the baking dish.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is golden and the bottom is bubbly around the edges. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • You can also air fry or microwave your sweet potatoes if you need them done a bit quicker. To air fry, air fry on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes. To microwave, for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway.
  • You can mix the mixture by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer. For the topping, use a pastry cutter, two butter knives, or your fingers to combine the mixture.

Nutrition

Calories: 540kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 413mg | Potassium: 657mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 24943IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 2mg
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