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Sweet Potato Casserole (with Canned Yams)

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This easy recipe for homemade Sweet Potato Casserole uses less than 10 ingredients to make a delicious holiday side dish. Use canned sweet potatoes to save time for a dish that’s quick and easy and ready for your holiday table! 

Sweet potato casserole is a classic dish during our holiday season!  We love serving it on our Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table to balance out all of the yummy savory dishes we make. 

If you’ve never made a sweet potato casserole before, this is a great starter recipe! It’s made with just a few ingredients you can find at any grocery store and takes less than one hour to bake in the oven. 

The best part is the time saver of using canned sweet potatoes. You’ll simply drain and rinse them and add them right to the base of the dish to mix with the other ingredients. They taste just as good as cooking sweet potatoes but take no time at all. Perfect for making ahead or when you need to bring a dish to a holiday event and you’re short on time. 

A great addition to Roast Turkey and a side of Savory Sage Stuffing!

Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This easy holiday side dish contains just 10 easy-to-find ingredients. 
  • You can make it ahead of time and bake when you’re ready.
  • We love mini marshmallows, but you can customize this dish by using your favorite toppings. 
  • Serve as a side dish for a weeknight meal or serve at your Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
  • Canned sweet potatoes save you time and taste just as delicious as cooking sweet potatoes from scratch. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Canned Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes make up the base of this casserole by adding a creamy naturally sweet flavor and orange color. 
  • Unsalted Butter – Gives the sweet potato base a thick texture and buttery flavor. 
  • Light Brown Sugar – Helps sweeten up the casserole and pairs well with the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes. 
  • Heavy Cream – Helps thin out the base of the dish and adds a creamy velvety texture. 
  • Egg – Binds the base of the casserole together and helps it set while cooling. 
  • Vanilla Extract – Infuses the casserole with a hint of natural vanilla flavor. 
  • Salt – Balances the sweet flavors in the sugar and sweet potatoes. 
  • Cinnamon – Adds a Fall warming flavor to the dish. 
  • Mini Marshmallows – Adds a sweet melty texture on top that is classically used in a sweet potato casserole. 

How To Make Sweet Potato Casserole with Canned Yams

  1. Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 
  2. Mix casserole base ingredients: To a large bowl, add the drained sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, egg, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to mix until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  3. Assemble the sweet potato casserole: Pour the mixture from the bowl into the prepared baking dish and use a rubber spatula to evenly distribute. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Add the mini marshmallows: Remove from the oven, then evenly sprinkle the mini marshmallows on top. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the sweet potato mixture is cooked through and the marshmallows are lightly brown on top. 
  5. Remove and serve: Remove the finished sweet potato casserole from the oven. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving hot.
Collage showing how to make sweet potato casserole.

Recipe Tips

  1. Your baking pan should be generously greased to make sure the base of the casserole does not stick to the bottom making it easier to serve. 
  2. Make sure you add the marshmallows halfway through cooking as they will get too brown or burned if they are on top the whole time. If you would like to keep them on the whole time, cover the casserole with foil, then remove them during the last 10-15 minutes of baking. 
  3. When using canned sweet potatoes, it’s important to make sure they are fully drained and rinsed to remove any of the canning liquid that could contain excess salt or other preserving ingredients. 
  4. Cook the casserole just until baked as any longer could dry out the casserole. 

Variations

  • Use a mix of canned sweet potato and canned carrots to make the base of the dish for an even more naturally sweet vegetable flavor. 
  • Replace the cinnamon in this recipe with Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice for warming Fall flavor. 
  • If you prefer, you can cook the sweet potatoes from scratch by boiling, roasting, or using your pressure cooker. 
  • Drizzle the marshmallow-topped casserole with some Homemade Caramel Sauce for an even more sweet flavor. 
  • Use candied pecans or Pumpkin Spice Granola as an additional topping for texture and crunch.
Sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows.

Storing and Freezing

Storing: Cooked and cooled sweet potato casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. Reheat in the microwave or in a 325°F oven for 20 minutes or until warmed through. 

Freezing: Cooled sweet potato casserole can be stored in the freezer without any toppings. Add a layer of plastic wrap to the top, then wrap completely in foil to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking and adding toppings.

Why does sweet potato casserole need eggs?

Eggs help bind the mixture together and make it stiff without adding any additional heavy texture.

What’s the difference between sweet potato pie and casserole?

A sweet potato pie has a thick custard-like crust and is usually baked in a pie crust. The casserole is more of a loose mixture that has various toppings.

How do you know when sweet potato casserole is done?

A sweet potato casserole is done baking when the center is set and no longer moves or jiggles. The time it takes to cook depends on the size of your baking dish and how much you’re cooking.

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Scoop of sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: About 6 Cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This easy recipe for homemade Sweet Potato Casserole uses less than 10 ingredients to make a delicious holiday side dish. Use canned sweet potatoes to save time for a dish that’s quick and easy and ready for your holiday table! 

Ingredients

  • 40 ounce can sweet potatoes, drained
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅛ cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 8x8-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the drained sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, egg, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.
  3. Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, then top with mini marshmallows. Continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes. The marshmallows will be lightly browned and the sweet potato mixture cooked through.
  4. Serve hot as a side dish.
  5. See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ½ cup of sweet potato casserole. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 137mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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