Indulge in this classic - Old Fashioned Baked Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows, a traditional southern side dish that blends tradition with simplicity. Prepared with just six pantry staple ingredients and some spices, this dish is bursting with flavor. The magic unfolds as it's oven-baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, creating a golden-brown masterpiece that can be conveniently prepped the day before or even frozen in advance, ensuring a stress-free and delicious addition to your holiday table.
Tell me this - I feel like you were either raised with a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows or a sweet potato casserole with a crunchy pecan topping on your Thanksgiving table growing up. Which were you?
We always had the marshmallows. That sticky sweet candy-like puffy topping that you eat first; and a filling that isn't as sweet due to the topping but smooth and creamy with all the warm fall spices. But when I got married, my husband's family had this almost candied-like casserole filling with a brown sugar pecan crunchy topping - and I became a big fan of that style of casserole too! They are both delicious IMO and you can't go wrong.
But this casserole brings me back to my childhood since that is what I grew up on. And good news - it is so easy to make! Just like Baked Southern-style cornbread and Biscuit Dressing, Easy Broccoli Casserole, or Southern Cheesy Corn Casserole - this can be made ahead of time. So if you're making this for the holidays, it is one less thing to prep on the actual day making your holiday prep so much easier!
This is a simple one-bowl dish essentially. Peel, dice, and boil the sweet potatoes until fork tender, blend with a hand mixture of butter, brown sugar, eggs, milk, and some fall spices. Layer in a greased 9x13 baking dish and top with mini marshmallows. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until the marshmallows are slightly golden brown and puffy then ENJOY!
From my southern kitchen, I can tell you what sets this sweet potato casserole apart: it's the adherence to tradition and simplicity! While there are many modern takes on the dish, this old-fashioned version stays true to the basics, making the sweet potatoes the star of the show. And this isn't just for Thanksgiving or Christmas! This versatile favorite shines at Easter feasts, Sunday family dinners, and potluck gatherings any time of the year.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Sweet Potato - you will need roughly 3ish pounds of sweet potatoes or around 4 large ones. Peel them with a vegetable peeler* then dice them into small cubes. The smaller you cut the cubes the quicker they will cook and more easily whip up together with the rest of the ingredients.
- Brown Sugar
- Spices - salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
- Milk - I usually always use whole milk when baking, but low fat will work as well if needed.
- Mini Marshmallows - 1 bag of mini mallows is the perfect amount or an even layer in a 9x13 baking dish*. I wouldn't recommend using the large marshmallows.
How To Make
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking dish and set aside.
Cook the sweet potatoes: Peel and dice the sweet potatoes. Place them in a large pot covered in water and place them on a stove over high heat. Bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until fork tender. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl.
Mix the casserole filling: Add the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and spices. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth, the butter is melted, and no lumps remain. Add in milk and mix until smooth and incorporated.
Top with marshmallows and bake: Pour into a greased baking dish and sprinkle the marshmallows in an even layer on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the marshmallows are slightly golden brown and puffed. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Pro Tip: To prevent marshmallows from burning, make sure to spread them in a single, even layer on top of the casserole. Monitor the baking closely during the final minutes, and if they start browning too quickly, you can tent the dish with aluminum foil.
Tips and Tricks for Making this Even Easier!
My mom told me once that when we were little she took an afternoon and walked the isles of the freezer section of the grocery store. She looked at everything there that was available as an already-made freezer dish and had this epiphany moment of "if I can buy a pumpkin pie frozen and already made here, why can't I do that at home?!" Which is a totally valid question to ask.
So she set out to learn how to make all the Thanksgiving sides and desserts (like pumpkin pie and pecan pie) ahead of time so they were already done and ready to go for Thanksgiving day. That way she wasn't waking up at 5:30 am baking 100000 dishes. They were either already made or prepped and just needed to be baked off.
Since then she has taught me all of her tricks and I do the same now. So you have 2 options for marked ahead. Whether the day before or frozen.
To make the day before: Prep casserole all the way up to baking without the marshmallows up to 24 hours in advance. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and keep stored in the fridge until needed. When ready, top with marshmallows and bake according to the directions.
To make in advance and freeze: If preparing more than a day in advance, make it all the way up to baking, but do not add the marshmallows. Place the filling in the casserole dish and wrap airtight with plastic wrap and/or foil a couple of times and place in the freezer for up to 6 months. Remove from the freezer and place in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw. Continue with directions to finish baking, including topping with marshmallows.
Or to bake from frozen: place in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes with a piece of foil on top. Remove, add the topping, and place back in the oven to finish baking for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the middle is hot and the marshmallows are golden brown and puffed.
If you have leftovers, which yes please to Thanksgiving leftovers! then store any leftovers in an airtight container or wrap the original baking dish tightly with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator, which will remain good for 3-4 days.
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