This velvety and delicious Southern Maple Sweet Potato Casserole is staple for any occasion or holiday, especially during Thanksgiving. Based with soft, chunky peeks of roasted sweet potatoes, maple syrup, brown sugar, raisins, spices, and marshmallows and topped with a crunchy maple-pecan topping; this casserole is a sure crowd-pleaser and show stopper. Vegan + Make Ahead options.
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Man, what can I say? Sweet potato casseroles are my JAM and something that I grew up on and LOVE wholeheartedly. Down south, this beautiful side dish is enjoyed on an average Sunday along with other traditional dishes and especially during the holidays like Thanksgiving. And while there are a variety of ways that people make this dish, I always enjoy mine with raisins and marshmallows tucked generously inside every bite. Hence, this rendition of Southern Maple Sweet Potato Casserole.
If you're thinking about your Thanksgiving menu already and need ideas, then I heavily suggest adding this to your list! In fact, I'll be sharing my own compilation menu of recipes on the blog that can fit easily into your menu plans----soon!
Growing up in both a Southern + Jamaican household, there were certain staples that were kept traditional, however, most were either "remixed" or adjusted to meet the tastebuds of those in my household. My Mother-in-law specifically, would create a seriously delicious sweet potato casserole that often included raisins and pineapple chunks with marshmallows (minus the pecans) and I've always enjoyed getting her rendition of this dish each year.
Overall, this casserole recipe is super easy to make, can be prepped and made ahead for greater ease, adjustable to the ingredients used, only uses a handful of ingredients, comes with a vegan option (hello, Vegan Skillet Sweet Potato Casserole), and it's one that the entire family will love (kids + adults alike)!
How to Make Southern Maple Sweet Potato Casserole
Start by roasting the sweet potatoes. I prefer to do this rather than boil them to avoid excess liquid, however, you can boil them if preferred. Then you mix together the cooked sweet potatoes and other filling ingredients until combined. Scoop filling into baking dish and top with maple-pecan topping. Finally, you bake everything for about 20 minutes or so, remove, let cool slightly, and serve!
Ingredients for Southern Maple Sweet Potato Casserole
Here's what you need for this velvety sweet potato casserole:
Sweet potatoes. I like to use about 4 large sweet potatoes, peel them, chop them into medium-sized cubes, and roast them. Roasting helps to avoid excess liquid, however, you can boil them if preferred.
Olive oil. You can also use Grapeseed oil or coconut oil as well.
Milk. I always use Almond milk, however, you can use whole milk or your fave plant-based milk instead.
Marshmallows. I like to use large marshmallows, however, you can use large ones or small ones.
Raisins. You can also use golden raisins or leave this out if preferred.
Maple syrup. Use pure syrup, not imitation or pancake syrup.
Spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice for additional warm, flavor of course!
Butter. Use unsalted butter and chop them into small cubes.
Pecans. You can keep them whole or roughly chop for the topping.
Vanilla extract. The pure vanilla is the best flavor, not imitation. I like Nielsen Massey or Simply Organic.
Reasons Why You'll Love This Sweet Potato Casserole:
It's super easy to make.
A true staple during Thanksgiving and the holiday season.
Comes with a completely dairy-free and vegan option. Entirely kid-friendly for those not allergic to nuts!
Velvety, soft, and perfectly sweet!
Makes for the perfect side or dessert situation.
Perfect Fall vibes---thanks to the sweet potato + spices!
Did I mention, it's just TOO good to pass up?
How Many Sweet Potatoes for This Casserole? Larger Batches?
When it comes to this Southern Maple Sweet Potato Casserole, I used four large sweet potatoes which fit nicely in a standard 9x13 baking dish and serves about 8. However, you can definitely make a larger batch by doubling or even tripling the ingredients (including the amount of sweet potatoes) if you're entertaining a larger crowd!
How Long Can Sweet Potato Casserole Sit Out?
According to research, it's recommended that you don't leave cooked sweet potatoes out for more than 2 hours as this can promote bacterial growth. Therefore, if you aren't serving your casserole right away, be sure to let it cool and then refrigerate it until ready. You can easily reheat it in the oven when serving for that nice warm scoop.
SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR COOKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS CASSEROLE!
Starting your day with a serving of sweet potatoes is more than just delicious. These root veggies are also great for your health. Some important health benefits of sweet potatoes include:
Improved digestion. They actually contain more fiber than regular potatoes! Sweet potatoes are also a great source of magnesium, which helps aid digestion.
Boost Your Immune System. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene (a major antioxidant). This fuels your immune system to help protect your body against illness and foreign invaders. You'll also find plenty of vitamin C and B-complex, iron, and phosphorus in these tubers.
Treat Stomach Ulcers. Sweet Potatoes can help soothe and repair the stomach and intestines. The immune-boosting vitamins also help cure stomach ulcers. In addition, the dietary fiber helps prevent constipation and acid formation. This can reduce the risk of ulcers.
Other Benefits: Sweet potatoes are also naturally anti-inflammatory and can reduce arthritis, pain.
When to Add Marshmallows to Sweet Potato Casserole
Knowing when to add the marshmallows to your sweet potato casserole is super important, especially when you're trying to avoid holes within your casserole from the marshmallows cooking too much and basically "disappearing". Yes, that does happen and has happened to me a few times. Haha.
However, I've learned that you can combat this in two ways: Bake your casserole covered with foil for the first half of the time and then remove it for the remaining time OR you can add half of the marshmallows initially and then in the last 10 minutes or so, tuck the remaining ones in the casserole so that it melted just enough to still be in tact.
Topping + Ingredient Suggestions for This Sweet Potato Casserole
I like to add a bit of crunchiness to the top of my sweet potato casserole, which is why I chose to use this simple maple-pecan option as well as the straight-forward filling ingredients. But I wanted to share a few more ideas incase you make this casserole more than once and want to switch things up!
Other topping + ingredient ideas include:
Crispy bacon (You can add this to a crumble topping)
If you'd like to add a more traditional crumble topping to this sweet potato casserole, this sweet and nutty streusel topping is the perfect thing for you. Don't leave it out! It adds an incredible nutty flavor to every bite.
Here's what you need to make the crumble topping for your sweet potato casserole:
Flour. This helps hold everything together. You'll need about ⅓ cup.
Brown sugar. For a caramelized flavor. You'll need ¾ cup.
Butter. I use unsalted. You'll need to melt 6 Tablespoons.
Pecans. You could also use walnuts or hazelnuts. About 1 ½ cups would work!
Can I Make Ahead Southern Maple Sweet Potato Casserole?
Absolutely! You can prep and roast the sweet potatoes in advance, let cool completely, and store in an airtight container and refrigerated until the day of. Let it sit at room temp. for a few minutes and assemble per the recipe.
How to Store + Reheat Southern Maple Sweet Potato Casserole
Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, for optimal freshness. To reheat, simply add the casserole to the preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit and let it warm through. Again, you may need to add additional marshmallows if desired.
Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
In a bowl, add the cubed sweet potatoes along with the olive oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg, gently mixing everything together until sweet potatoes are fully coated.
Add the sweet potatoes unto the baking sheet (in a single layer) and and bake for 50-60 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender, charred, and golden. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
TO MAKE THE CASSEROLE FILLING:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a large 9x13 baking dish.
In a bowl, add the roasted sweet potatoes, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, raisins, and marshmallows, mixing everything together until combined. NOTE: It's OK if some of the sweet potato starts to mash. You want a mixture of mashed + chunks.
Scoop the mixture into prepared baking dish, evenly spreading everything out. Add the pieces of butter in between parts of the casserole mixture. For a little extra goodness-----tuck in a few additional marshmallows into the sweet potato mixture, pressing them in gently all around.
TO MAKE THE TOPPING:
In a bowl, add the pecans and maple syrup, stirring until combined.
Generously add the topping over the sweet potato casserole mixture until fully covered. Cover with foil paper.
Bake the casserole with foil for approximately 15 minutes in the preheated oven and then remove foil and finish baking for the remaining 15 minutes or until top is golden brown and the marshmallows have melted.
Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving with your favorite sides and main dish.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, for optimal freshness.
MAKE AHEAD: You can prep and roast the sweet potatoes in advance, let cool completely, and store in an airtight container and refrigerated until the day of. Let it sit at room temp. for a few minutes and assemble per the recipe.
EQUIPMENT: Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Southern Maple Sweet Potato Casserole. Everything from my fave baking dishes, baking sheets, wooden spoons, mixing bowls, and more. SEE THEM HERE!
CRUMBLE TOPPING OPTION: You can always keep things traditional with a pecan crumble topping. See post for details!