This easy Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows is a classic holiday side dish made with sweetened mashed sweet potatoes and topped with fluffy marshmallows! It is extremely popular at Thanksgiving, a very popular holiday in the United States.
It can be made with either fresh whole sweet potatoes or canned sweet potatoes, serves 8, and can be ready in about an hour.
Since this highly rated recipe has been shared over 70,000 times you know it has to be outstanding! It will make a fantastic traditional Thanksgiving side dish recipe. This Classic Sweet Potato Casserole recipe totally rocked! It was my all-time favorite out of all of my sweet potato recipes!
Really, it is such a kid-friendly recipe, as well as an easy recipe to make even the kids can help. However, I recommend that an adult supervise. When I was about 8 or so, I added marshmallows on top of the sweet potato casserole. However, I emptied the entire bag of marshmallows on top. Oops!
Then the next thing I know I hear this BOOM! And then I smelled this horrible smell…..the smell of burning marshmallows. My sister opened the oven door and the marshmallows had exploded all over the oven. The entire oven was covered with black burning marshmallows. We had left it in the oven too long.
However, that mishap did not deter us. This Sweet Potato Casserole continued to be on our Thanksgiving table every year, year after year without any more marshmallow mishaps. It is still a favorite out of all of my sweet potato recipes!
Thankfully, I learned from my childhood cooking mistakes and have successfully made this sweet potato casserole many many times over the years, as it has been served at many Thanksgiving dinners for decades, receiving rave reviews every time.
How could we not have it on the table? This Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows was part of our Thanksgiving traditions because it is truly a classic Thanksgiving side dish.
- Why You’ll Love Sweet Potato Casserole
- How To Make Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows
- Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
- Tips for the Perfect Sweet Potato Casserole
- Variations On Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
- How To Make a Pecan Streusel For Sweet Potato Casserole
- Planning Your Thanksgiving Dinner
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows Recipe
Why You’ll Love Sweet Potato Casserole
- Flavor. The sweetness of the mashed sweet potatoes and brown and white sugars and the flavor of the cinnamon result in a delicious Thanksgiving side dish recipe.
- Texture. Gooey Marshmallows turn golden brown as they bake in the oven to create the marshmallow topping for the sweet potato casserole. Therefore, the creaminess of the sweet potato filling compliments the gooey golden brown marshmallow topping.
- Quick and Easy. Mix all the ingredients except marshmallows in a bowl, dump it all in a casserole dish, sprinkle mini marshmallows on top and bake! It is really that easy!
- Make Ahead. To save time and stress on Thanksgiving Day, I recommend making the filling a day ahead. Make the sweet potato filling a day ahead, and then you can have this side dish casserole on your Thanksgiving table in only 30 minutes.
- Budget Friendly. Since sweet potatoes, eggs, butter, brown and white sugar, cinnamon, and marshmallows are staple pantry ingredients, it is a very budget-friendly recipe that is easy on the wallet.
- Tried and True Recipe. This recipe has literally been made for decades and served at many Thanksgiving dinners.
5 Star Rating Reader Comment:
“This was a huge hit with my family! I didn’t change anything except to double the recipe! This is so delicious! This will be at every holiday from here on out. Plus it’s super easy to make!“
How To Make Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows
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While you won’t need every piece of equipment on the list, I have included several options since you have several options on how you would like to cook the sweet potatoes.
- Casserole Dish / Baking Dish – A casserole baking dish is a necessity in any kitchen for many recipe including for baking the sweet potato casserole.
- Baking Sheet – If you bake the sweet potatoes before mashing, then a baking sheet will be helpful.
- Large Pot – If you choose to boil the sweet potatoes before mashing them, then you’ll need a large pot in which to boil them.
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker – If you choose to pressure cook your sweet potatoes before mashing, as I did in this Instant Pot Sweet Potato recipe, then you’ll need an Instant Pot.
- Large Bowl – You’ll need a large bowl to mix the sweet potato casserole filling if you are mixing it by hand or by hand mixer.
- Potato Masher – If you don’t have an electric mixer, then you can use this potato masher to mash the potatoes by hand.
- Hand Mixer – A much easier and faster option than using a potato masher is to use a hand mixer to mash the sweet potatoes.
- Stand Mixer – If you prefer not to hold a hand mixer, just dump the sweet potatoes in the stand mixer and let it do all the work for you.
Below I discuss the ingredients and possible substitutions in case you don’t have a specific ingredient on hand. However, if you are looking for the specific measurements of each ingredient, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this article, just above the comments, for the printable recipe card, which includes all the ingredients and the specific amounts of each one.
- Sweet potatoes. My recommendation for the best results is to start with fresh whole sweet potatoes. However, you could use canned sweet potatoes as an option to save time. Wait, I know what you are asking.
- What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? Aren’t they the same thing? If not, then which one should be used in this recipe?
- Sweet Potatoes and Yams are NOT the same thing. Sweet potatoes and yams are entirely different root vegetables.
- Sweet potatoes have a reddish orange smooth skin and orange flesh, while yams have dark brown skin and white flesh.
- You should have no trouble at all finding the right type of sweet potatoes at American grocery stores before Thanksgiving.
- Butter. I like to use unsalted butter because then I can better control the amount of salt added to the recipe.
- White Sugar. I like to use a combination of both white granulated sugar and brown sugar.
- Brown Sugar. You can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. Typically, we have light brown sugar on hand. So that is usually the brown sugar that we use.
- Eggs. Start with eggs that are at room temperature.
- Milk. I used whole milk. However, you could use heavy cream to make it extra creamy. You could use low-fat milk. However, just be aware that when using the low fat ingredients, the sweet potato filling may not come out as creamy as it would otherwise.
- Vanilla Extract (Optional). A lot of people like to add vanilla extract to their sweet potato casserole. However, typically we leave it out as the sweet potato filling has lots of flavor on its own.
- Cinnamon. We add cinnamon as it is always on hand. However, if you would like a more complex flavor, try adding some Pumpkin Spice instead.
- Mini Marshmallows. Sweet, fluffy, gooey marshmallows are a requirement for this recipe. It is not the same dish without them.
How To Cook Sweet Potatoes For Sweet Potato Casserole
You have a few choices when it comes to cooking the sweet potatoes for this dish.
- Roast the sweet potatoes. Save yourself some time and cook the potatoes for the Sweet Potato Casserole a day or two ahead of time. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork, and place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes at 425 degrees F.
- Boil the sweet potatoes. If you don’t have as much time, you can peel and quarter the sweet potatoes and boil them on top of the stove. This is the method used in the video.
- Pressure Cook the sweet potatoes. Use my Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes to cook the sweet potatoes before mashing.
Mash The Sweet Potatoes
- You can mash the cooked and peeled sweet potatoes with a potato masher, fork, or with either a stand or handheld mixer. I find that using a mixer is the easiest and fastest.
- Now that the sweet potatoes are mashed, they are ready to be combined with the other ingredients to make the filling.
Make the Sweet Potato Filling
- In a large bowl, add the mashed sweet potatoes, butter, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, milk, and cinnamon.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix together all the ingredients for the filling of the sweet potato casserole recipe.
- Mix until the sweet potato mixture is smooth.
- Then pour it into a 9×13 casserole dish or baking dish.
- Spread the sweet potato filling evenly throughout the casserole dish so it is an even thickness throughout. This will help it to cook more evenly.
- Sprinkle mini marshmallows on top of the sweet potato filling so they are in one layer but cover the entire top of the sweet potato casserole.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 30 minutes or until the marshmallows are a light golden brown color.
- Serve the sweet potato casserole while hot and the marshmallows are soft and gooey.
- The sweet potato filling will be sweet and creamy and the marshmallows will be partially melted and golden brown on top.
- Using a serving spoon to serve the sweet potato casserole onto individual dinner plates.
Enjoy the hot sweet potato casserole with the rest of the Thanksgiving dinner.
Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
To manage time, I recommend baking the sweet potatoes the day before. You can even assemble the whole casserole, except for the marshmallows, the day before and keep refrigerated until you are ready to bake.
Tips for the Perfect Sweet Potato Casserole
I will share just a few tips.
- First, I recommend using fresh sweet potatoes. Yes, it can totally work with canned sweet potatoes, but to me, the flavor of the fresh sweet potatoes is better.
- Cover the top of the sweet potatoes with marshmallows, but Don’t overload the marshmallows. I recommend just 1 layer of marshmallows on top. Don’t stack the marshmallows on top of each other, unless you want a marshmallow casserole with a few sweet potatoes. If that is the case, then go ahead. Who am I to judge?
Variations On Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
- Add a Pecan Topping. One of the most popular variations on the sweet potato casserole is to add a pecan streusel in addition to the marshmallows to give it a crunchy pecan topping that contrasts the gooey marshmallow topping. That gives it a sweet crunchy texture in addition to the sweet, creamy goodness. See below for instructions on how to make it.
- Orange Juice. Reduce the milk by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup orange juice instead to add the sweet bright citrus flavor.
- Maple Syrup. Reduce the brown sugar by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 maple syrup.
- Bourbon. Reduce the amount of milk by 2 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons of bourbon.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice. Replace the cinnamon in the recipe with Pumpkin Pie Spice for more depth of flavor.
How To Make a Pecan Streusel For Sweet Potato Casserole
- In a bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, melted butter, and pecans.
- Sprinkle over the top of the sweet potatoes and marshmallows.
- Bake per instructions in step 5 in the recipe card below.
For another sweet potato recipe idea, check out my Chipotle Sweet Potatoes with Queso Fresco or Orange Guajillo Glazed Sweet Potatoes to add a Mexican twist to your sweet potatoes, or lighten up your snacks with Sweet Potato Toast or Baked Sweet Potato Chips.
Planning Your Thanksgiving Dinner
When you are planning your traditional Thanksgiving menu be sure to include these other classic side dishes and desserts, as well as the classic sweet potato casserole recipe.
- Oven Roasted Turkey With Apple Cider Brine
- green bean casserole
- roasted brussels sprouts
- glazed carrots
- squash casserole
- mashed potatoes
- creamed corn
- cranberry fluff
- cornbread dressing
- pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin Praline Bread Pudding
- Eggnog Tres Leches Cake
- Thanksgiving desserts
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Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl mix together the sweet potatoes, butter, white and brown sugars, eggs, milk, and cinnamon.2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly into a prepared 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Sprinkle the mini marshmallows evenly over the top in a single layer. (Don’t overload the marshmallows.2 cups mini marshmallows
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or just until the marshmallows are golden brown.
- In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter, and 1/2 cup each: brown sugar, flour, and pecans.
- Sprinkle over the top of the sweet potatoes and marshmallows.
- Follow the baking instructions in step 5.
This recipe was originally published November 25, 2014, and republished with new photos and additional tips, and how-to information on October 29, 2018.
Additional step-by-step photos and finished dish photos, as well as additional information regarding ingredients and variations, were added on October 5, 2021.