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My great Aunt Bee’s easy Southern Sweet Potato Casserole just might steal the show at this year’s holiday feast! This dish is a creamy sweet potato mixture with classic spices, topped with a crunchy pecan and corn flakes streusel. This is – quite simply – the only sweet potato recipe you will ever need, and it only requires 15 minutes of prep!

A large white casserole dish filled with sweet potato casserole. A serving spoon scoops out a serving of creamy sweet potatoes and crispy pecan cornflake topping.
Table of Contents
  1. A Tasty Twist on Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
  2. Ingredients for Sweet Potato Casserole with Corn Flakes and Pecan Topping
  3. How to Make Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans
  4. What to Serve with Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
  5. Southern Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Tips
  6. More Delicious Fall Recipes
  7. Aunt Bee’s Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans Recipe

If you have been following along for a while, you’ll know that my great Aunt Bee’s recipes are a favorite in our household. While I’ve tested a lot of sweet potato casserole recipes over the years, my great Aunt Bee’s decadent Southern version blows them all out of the water. It is THAT good. Absolutely, 100%, my favorite way to enjoy the favorite fall side! The smooth, creamy sweet potato filling is topped with a brown sugar and pecan crisp, making this “side dish” recipe akin to a dessert!

A Tasty Twist on Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

This easy sweet potato casserole is a cross between a fancy sweet potato souffle and a sweet potato pie. Instead of mashed-up chunks of sweet potatoes, we have a creamy sweet potato mixture that’s perfectly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. The topping is a crunchy streusel topping made with brown sugar, pecans, and corn flakes cereal. The sweet and savory combinations makes this classic side dish a staple for holiday meals.

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Casserole with Corn Flakes and Pecan Topping

This sweet potato casserole takes advantage of a few shortcut ingredients for an easy, quick prep side dish. You only need about 15 minutes of prep before it’s ready to pop into the oven! Here’s a brief overview of the simple ingredients needed to make a semi-homemade sweet potato casserole recipe. Be sure to check out the recipe card below for the complete ingredients and directions.

  • Canned Sweet Potatoes: using this shortcut ingredient saves time and stress.
  • Melted Butter: I prefer to use salted butter to balance out the sweetness of the recipe, but if you want to control your salt intake, you can use unsalted butter.
  • Sugar: sweetens the sweet potato mixture perfectly.
  • Cinnamon & Nutmeg: these warm spices give this sweet potato casserole the comforting flavors we know so well.
  • Eggs: give structure to the sweet potato casserole while it bakes.
  • Salt: Balances the sweetness in the sweet potatoes and streusel topping.
  • Cornflake Crumbs & Chopped Pecans: add crunch and texture to the sweet potato casserole.
  • Brown Sugar: caramelizes for sweetness and crunch in the topping.
A small bowl of sweet potato casserole topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

Can I use fresh sweet potatoes in this recipe instead of canned sweet potatoes? 

I love using canned sweet potatoes in this recipe because they require almost no prep time – I literally pour them into a bowl, heat them up in the microwave, and they’re good to go. Another advantage is that they come in syrup, which helps to sweeten the creamy sweet potato filling. However, you could use fresh sweet potatoes. Peel and dice them up, boil them until fork tender, and toss them into the blender. Since you won’t have the sweet syrup to loosen up the mixture, you’ll want to add a little bit of water to the mixture to make it the right consistency.

Can I make sweet potato casserole with yams? Are canned yams the same as sweet potatoes? 

Yams and sweet potatoes are actually completely different root vegetables. American yams – also called sweet potatoes – have reddish-brown skin and classic orange flesh. Yams are not widely available in American grocery stores and have dark, tree bark-like skin and starchy white flesh inside. You cannot substitute traditional yams for American sweet potatoes in this recipe since they’re not the same at all.

How to Make Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

This delicious dish is a semi-homemade take on a classic Southern sweet potato casserole recipe. You don’t even have to pull out that potato masher! Whether you’re making this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner, family gatherings, or a Sunday dinner, it’s delicious any time!

  • Blend the warm sweet potatoes with eggs, melted butter, sugar, salt, and spices in a blender until smooth.
  • Pour the sweet potato mixture into a 2-quart baking dish or casserole dish.
  • Bake the casserole until set.
  • Mix the pecan topping ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping over the sweet potato casserole and bake until golden brown.

Making the Creamy Sweet Potato Filling

For the cream sweet potato filling, you’ll want to find a large can of sweet potatoes (or yams) in light syrup. If you want to control the sweetness, find a can that says no sugar added and avoid any cans of candied yams, which have an extra sugary sweetness and include spices.

Don’t drain the syrup from the can of sweet potatoes! Pour the sweet potatoes and syrup into a microwave-safe bowl and heat them for about 30-60 seconds. Then, transfer the warmed sweet potatoes and syrup to a blender and puree until smooth.

Next, you’ll add the rest of the filling ingredients – eggs, melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the blender. Give it another spin until everything is smoothly combined. Pour the sweet potato mixture into your baking dish and pop it into the oven until set. You’ll know it’s ready when the center of the casserole barely jiggles.

Making the Corn Flakes and Pecan Streusel Topping

While the sweet potato casserole sets in the oven, it’s time to stir together the brown sugar and pecan topping. Oh, my goodness…this is definitely the best part! Corn Flakes Crumbs form the base of the topping. I buy a box of the prepared crumbs to save myself a step, but you can also purchase a box of Corn Flakes cereal and crush them yourself. (Those crumbs come in handy in my favorite Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe, too!)

Stir together the Corn Flakes crumbs with more melted butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle the crumble over the top of the casserole, bake for 8-10 more minutes, and you’ll be greeted by the most delicious, creamy Southern-style sweet potato casserole ever!

What to Serve with Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

When paired with holiday meals, sweet potato casserole belongs on the dinner table next to all the classic holiday side dishes – green bean casserolemashed potatoesSouthern cornbread dressing, and cranberry sauce.

If you’re making the best sweet potato casserole recipe any time of year outside of the holidays, it’s best paired with a hearty protein like chicken, turkey, or pork chops. Here are some main course options to pair with a semi-homemade sweet potato casserole with pecans:

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Tips

  • Do not drain the can of sweet potatoes! You want that syrup to be pureed with the potatoes in the blender.
  • I prefer salted butter in this recipe to counterbalance the sugar.
  • Make sure that the casserole is almost set (not liquid in the center) before you put on the topping. Otherwise, the topping might burn in the oven if you have to leave the casserole in too long.
  • If you don’t own a blender, you can make this recipe using a hand mixer or by mashing and mixing the sweet potatoes by hand. It’s okay if the casserole filling isn’t completely smooth and has a few lumps!
  • If you just cannot handle the idea of sweet potato casserole without marshmallows, toss a handful of mini marshmallows into the crunchy pecan topping mixture for just the right amount of pockets of gooey goodness.
  • Prep Ahead! I have prepared and baked this entire side dish in advance. Then, to reheat, cover lightly with foil and place in a 350-degree oven until heated through. This is a perfect way to get a head start on any of your holiday cooking!
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It’s also freezer-friendly, though I recommend storing it in smaller portions for easier reheating.
A side angle view of a white casserole dish filled with a crispy sweet potato casserole, with a silver serving spoon resting on the side of the dish.

Aunt Bee’s Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans has been loved by friends and family for decades, and I hope that it will appear on your holiday table this season, too! At any time of year – especially the holidays – the last thing that we need is a complicated side dish. Instead, let’s keep it simple with classic recipes that have been loved by real folks for generations!

A small white bowl filled with a serving of Southern sweet potato casserole with pecan topping, served with a spoon and a dollop of whipped cream.

More Delicious Fall Recipes

Aunt Bee’s Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings 8 people
Calories 434.4 kcal
This creamy, delicious sweet potato casserole is a show-stopper whether you have it on your holiday table or a random weeknight dinner! Semi-homemade shortcuts make it a quick side dish with 15 minutes of prep.

Ingredients
  

Topping:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Place potatoes (with the syrup from the can) in a large microwave-safe bowl. Warm in the microwave for about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Transfer to a blender or food processor to puree the potatoes until smooth.
    1 large (29 ounce) can sweet potatoes in light syrup
  • Add the melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs and salt to the blender and mix well.
    6 tablespoons salted butter, melted, 1 cup sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Place potato mixture into prepared baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 20-35 minutes, or until almost set.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the topping ingredients.
    ¾ cup cornflake crumbs, ½ cup chopped pecans, ½ cup brown sugar, 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted, Pinch of salt
  • Spread topping onto potatoes and brown for another 8-10 minutes. Allow to rest for at least 10-15 minutes; serve warm.

Notes

  • Do not drain the can of sweet potatoes! You want that syrup to be pureed with the potatoes in the blender.
  • I prefer salted butter in this recipe to counterbalance the sugar.
  • Make sure that the casserole is almost set (not liquid in the center) before you put on the topping. Otherwise, the topping might burn in the oven if you have to leave the casserole in too long.
  • If you don’t own a blender, you can make this recipe using a hand mixer or by mashing and mixing the sweet potatoes by hand. It’s okay if the casserole filling isn’t completely smooth and has a few lumps!
  • If you just cannot handle the idea of sweet potato casserole without marshmallows, toss a handful of mini marshmallows into the crunchy pecan topping mixture for just the right amount of pockets of gooey goodness.
  • Prep Ahead! I have prepared and baked this entire side dish in advance. Then, to reheat, cover lightly with foil and place in a 350-degree oven until heated through. This is a perfect way to get a head start on any of your holiday cooking!
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It’s also freezer-friendly, though I recommend storing it in smaller portions for easier reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casseroleCalories: 434.4kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 3.5gFat: 23.8gSaturated Fat: 11.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 385.7mgPotassium: 100.5mgFiber: 1gSugar: 41.9g
Keyword: easy sweet potato casserole, southern sweet potato casserole, sweet potato casserole with pecans
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in November, 2014. It was updated in October, 2018.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Christine says:

    That sweet potato casserole looks amazingly delicious!!! I make some too, but my recipe is different than your aunt’s. I’ll give it a try next time. 🙂

  2. Amanda says:

    I’m drooling lol… sweet potato casserole is a favorite of mine and that recipe looks amazing!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Amanda! 🙂 Sweet potato casserole is also one of my favs, and this is BY FAR the best I’ve ever had. Totally mouthwatering! Hah!

  3. Joanne says:

    5 stars
    The sweet potato casserole looks so good!! I have to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Joanne!

  4. Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says:

    5 stars
    Family recipes that are passed down are the best! This looks wonderful! I’ll be sharing it on my Facebook page tomorrow! Thanks for joining us at Foodie Fridays…it’s always such a pleasure to have you join us!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks so much, Michelle!

  5. Chip Gettys says:

    You should get Aunt Bee’s Meatloaf receipe, if you don’t have it already 🙂

    1. Blair says:

      Chip!!! Hi! I don’t have a single meatloaf recipe on this site…I’ll be emailing her tomorrow. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  6. Karly says:

    Mouthwatering! Pinning for Thanksgiving!

    1. Blair says:

      Thank you, Karly!

  7. Connie Ryder says:

    5 stars
    I made this for a large crowd and it was a fan favorite! I thought it was very sweet and, for myself, might try to make it with a little less sugar but was told if I changed it for the crowd would face certain wrath. I did not crush the corn flakes and they added a nice contrasting crunch to the smooth sweet potato. This is going into the do again and again and again file!