As the holiday season draws near and with it comes great times with the 3 F’s: Family, Friends, and Food! Many holiday memories center around the kitchen table our families gather around the many casseroles, sides, and pies that were made. As I make my way through the season each year, I often find myself asked to bring a dish to multiple events and meals. My go-to dish is this sweet potato casserole, and it never fails that I come home with a clean dish and everyone asking for more.

One of the favorite holiday dishes my mom made was Sweet Potato Casserole and I’m thankful she passed on the recipe. Many people use marshmallows for topping, but I say that’s a waste of good space. My favorite topping is pecans.

sweet potato casserole
Photo by Ela Haney on Pexels

What is a sweet potato?

Did you know we often confuse the terms “yam” and “sweet potato” here in the U.S? They are actually two distinctly different foods.

Sometimes we’ll refer to the orange-fleshed sweet potato as a yam to differentiate from the variety of sweet potato that is less sweet with yellow flesh. A true yam is a tropical food, popularly grown in Latin or Caribbean regions. It is a tuber that grows up to 7 feet in length and has black or brown skin with off-white, purple, or red flesh. Yams can be toxic if eaten raw. Now you know. Don’t grab the wrong one!

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, mix the above ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish.


  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cold butter

(I usually increase ingredients for more topping)

Combine flour and brown sugar in a bowl, add pecans, then cut in butter. Sprinkle over potato mixture.

Bake at 325 uncovered for 45-50 minutes, until golden.

This sweet potato casserole makes a great dish to prepare ahead of time and bake when you arrive at your destination. However, keep the topping separate until ready to bake so it doesn’t settle into the sweet potatoes. And it makes great cold leftovers! Much like candy in my book.

What are your favorite holiday recipes?

Do you have a variation on this recipe? Do you prefer the pecan or marshmallow topping?

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