This Traditional Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows is baked to perfection with a pillowy soft and gooey topping. This makes the perfect dessert or side dish for Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving, or any holiday. Feel free to toss in pecans or any nuts you wish.
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For me, there’s a huge difference between Sweet Potato Casserole and Candied Sweet Potatoes (often referred to as Candied Yams, in error). Sweet Potato Casserole is really a dessert, in my opinion. It’s also simple to make.
The introduction of the marshmallows really sweetens up the dish, making it hard for me to eat it as a side dish. You totally can if you wish! But I often explain this as the biggest difference in the two recipes.
The Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams
In most grocery stores there is no difference between the two. Most stores often label sweet potatoes as yams.
Yams have more starch and are drier. They have bumpy tough, brown skin. Yams are typically used in Caribbean and West African dishes. You have probably never eaten yams, as they are hard to find in the United States.
Years ago, Southerners (primarily in Louisiana) started to refer to them as yams. And since this is a Southern recipe, you will often hear it called candied yams.
You can read more about The Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes here.
How to Cook the Sweet Potatoes
You will need to use mashed sweet potatoes for the recipe. Be sure to cool them first. You don’t want to combine piping hot sweet potatoes with raw eggs.
This is sometimes a debate on which cooking method is best. Do you boil them or bake (roast) them? You can’t go too wrong with either method. When boiling the sweet potatoes I do find they are sometimes watery, which in turn makes the casserole watery. So my favorite way is to roast the sweet potatoes I actually use the air fryer to do this.
To use the air fryer, wash and scrub the sweet potatoes clean. Spritz with a little olive oil and rub it into the entire potato. Air fry for 35-40 minutes on 400 until the sweet potatoes are soft.
To use the oven, bake for 60-70 minutes on 400 degrees until soft.
To boil, place the sweet potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover the sweet potatoes. Bring the water to a boil on medium-high heat. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until they are soft.
Canned Sweet Potatoes
You can use canned if you wish. Be sure to drain them thoroughly first.
What Type of Sweetener to Use
You can use light or dark brown sugar in the recipe. I like to use brown monkfruit sweetener because it’s zero-calorie and has zero carbs. It measures 1:1 like refined table sugar, which makes it really easy to convert recipes. You can use the same amount of table sugar noted in this recipe. No need to convert measurements.
What Type of Marshmallows to Use
I love to use mini marshmallows. They look gorgeous when browned in the oven and bake at a pretty consistent and even temperature due to their size.
You can use the large ones if you like. Those tend to brown faster and you risk burning them, so I go for the small ones.
Can You Add Nuts? Streusel Topping
Lots of variations of this dish use pecans. You can top the sweet potatoes with any kind of nuts you like. Add them prior to adding the final marshmallow layer.
You can also add a streusel topping to the sweet potatoes. Combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar or sweetener in a bowl. Next, add in 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes, prior to adding the marshmallows.
How to Store the Casserole
It can be stored in the fridge tightly sealed and covered for 3-4 days. You can reheat it using the microwave or in the oven on 350 degrees until warm.
Can You Make it Ahead of Time?
Since this will last in the fridge for 3-4 days you can definitely make it ahead of time. Save the marshmallows and add those to the top before you plan to serve the dish. Add the marshmallows and then bake the dish until the marshmallows are gooey.
Main Dishes For Pairing
Southern Baked Ham with Pineapple
Cajun Spiced Roasted Turkey
Baked Turkey Wings
Air Fryer Baked Ham
Instant Pot Brisket
Air Fryer Ribs
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot Turkey Breast
Air Fryer Turkey Breast
Seafood Mac and Cheese
Slow Cooker Turkey Legs
More Sweet Potato Recipes
Sweet Potato Cornbread
Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes
Purple Sweet Potato Recipe
Sweet Potato Soup
Sweet Potato Au Gratin
Healthy Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Beef Chili
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar
Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
- 2 1/2 -3 pounds sweet potatoes Cooked, mashed, and cooled.
- 1/2 cup brown sweetener or sugar Light
- 2 eggs Must be at room temperature.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted Measured solid, this is 1/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups mini marshmallows You may need a handful more to completely cover the casserole.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish to prevent sticking.
- Combine the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, butter, vanilla, brown sugar or sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Use a hand mixer to blend the ingredients at medium speed. You can also mix by hand or use a blender.
- Pour the sweet potato mixture into the baking dish.
- Top with the marshmallows. I like to ensure the casserole is fully covered. You may need a handful more to completely cover the casserole.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the marshmallows have browned and are gooey.
- Cool before serving.
- You can bake, air fry, or boil the sweet potatoes. I don’t like to boil them because it usually results in a casserole that is somewhat watery.
- To use the air fryer, wash and scrub the sweet potatoes clean. Spritz with a little olive oil and rub it into the entire potato. Air fry for 35-40 minutes on 400 until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- To use the oven, bake for 60-70 minutes on 400 degrees until soft.
- To boil, place the sweet potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover the sweet potatoes. Bring the water to a boil on medium-high heat. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until they are soft.
- Using a hand mixer or blender will create a smooth batter.
- You can omit the marshmallows if you wish.
- You can use canned sweet potatoes if you wish. Be sure to drain them thoroughly first.
- Lots of variations of this dish use pecans. You can top the sweet potatoes with any kind of nuts you like. Add them prior to adding the final marshmallow layer.
- You can use dark or light brown sugar. I prefer to use brown monkfruit. It measures 1:1 like table sugar (refined).
- Room temperature eggs are necessary for light and fluffy texture.
- If you double the recipe you may need a larger baking dish. Cook time remains the same.
- Macros assume monkfruit sweetener is used. Feel free to use the nutrition calculator of your choice and add in the exact brands of ingredients you personally use in the recipe.