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Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

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.

sweet potato casserole with marshmallows in a white dish

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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.

mashed sweet potatoes and marshmallows in separate bowls

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. 

sweet potatoes in an air fryer
sweet potatoes on a sheet pan

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.

collage photo of 2 photos showing how to

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.

mashed sweet potatoes in a baking dish
mashed sweet potatoes in a baking dish topped with marshmallows

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.

sweet potato casserole with marshmallows in a red baking dish

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.

spoonful of sweet potato casserole with marshmallows in a red baking dish

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
Scalloped Corn
Seafood Mac and Cheese
Slow Cooker Turkey Legs

spoonful of sweet potato casserole with marshmallows in a red baking dish
spoonful of sweet potato casserole with marshmallows in a red baking dish

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

Check out the Best Soul Food Thanksgiving Recipes and the Best Authentic Soul Food Recipes Southern Cooked Cabbage, and Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce here.

sweet potato casserole with marshmallows in a white dish
sweet potato casserole with marshmallows in a white dish
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

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.
Save this recipe here.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine southern
Keyword Southern sweet potato casserole, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 101kcal

Ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Ashley

Friday 26th of November 2021

This is so good! Absolutely delicious casserole. We added streusel and it came out perfectly!

staysnatched

Friday 26th of November 2021

That sounds so good!

Victoria

Friday 26th of November 2021

This was my first time making sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and it was a hit this thanksgiving. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us!!

staysnatched

Friday 26th of November 2021

I'm glad the first time was a hit!

Kel

Friday 26th of November 2021

I was asked to make sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving this year. I have never made it before, let alone eaten sweet potato casserole. While looking for a recipe, I remembered seeing yours on Instagram, so I thought I would try it out. I am so glad that I did! The recipe was so thorough and easy to follow, and I had most ingredients already (which is always a plus). Not only did it make my house smell delicious, it tasted delicious. It was a huge hit! I will definitely be making it again, along with trying more of your recipes. Thank you!

staysnatched

Friday 26th of November 2021

Yay! I'm so glad to hear that!

Lynda

Thursday 25th of November 2021

All I can say is omg delicious. I just finished making this for my daughter she has been wanting to try this.(especially since she loves marshmallow’s 😊. The recipe was real easy to follow and I love how staysnatched make it so easy step by step direction. I will definitely make again!

staysnatched

Friday 26th of November 2021

I'm glad to hear you will make it again.