This classic sweet potato casserole is based on my grandmother’s recipe, which was sweet but not make-your-teeth-fall-out sweet, the latter of which is how many of my friends and family members like it. So whenever I cook some newfangled version—one that (gasp!) omits the marshmallows and adds weird stuff like brandy or cranberries—my dinner guests don’t argue about it, but snipes do arise. One friend, aiming to put an end to the foolishness, once said in all seriousness, “They don’t call ’em sweet potatoes for nothin’.”–Denise Gee
LC The Thing About Sweet Potato Casserole Note
You know the thing about sweet potato casserole? Whichever recipe you grew up plopping on your plate and demolishing before you’d even touched your turkey is probably the recipe that you’re going to use as a measuring stick for all others. And that’s fair enough. It’s a familiarity thing. We get it. That said, if grandma’s recipe isn’t available to you, or if after all these years you’re maybe thinking it’s time you try something a little different, this is the recipe you gotta try. It’s an easy and reliable starting point for recreating the classic sweet potato casserole of your childhood—and perhaps even usurping and replacing it. As reassurance, our recipe testers are raving about this casserole in their comments, which you’ll find beneath the recipe. They’re saying stuff like, “This one is a keeper.” “My new go-to sweet potato casserole.” And, our favorite, “To my utter astonishment, I liked it.” Got something of your own to say about this classic sweet potato casserole recipe? Let us know in a comment below.
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- Serves 10 to 12
- 5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled (about 4 sweet potatoes) or five 16-ounce cans unseasoned mashed sweet potatoes
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking dish
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 cups mini marshmallows
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch or 3-quart casserole dish.
- 2. If using canned mashed sweet potatoes, dump them in a bowl.
If using whole sweet potatoes, cut them into 1-inch cubes, place them in a large pot , add enough cold water to cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, until very tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool slightly. Turn the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and mash until smooth with the back of a spoon, a hand mixer, or a food processor.
- 3. Add both sugars, the half-and-half, butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the mashed sweet potatoes and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Add the eggs and mix well. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into the prepared casserole dish. (You can cover and refrigerate the casserole at this point for up to 24 hours. You may need to allow a few more minutes in the oven to rewarm.) Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, 30 to 40 minutes.
- 4. Remove the casserole from the oven and gently stir the mixture to ensure it’s warmed evenly throughout, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle the marshmallows over the top and return it to the oven, uncovered, until the marshmallows are golden brown, up to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.