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Sweet Potato Casserole

Laura Vitale
Cook Time:
40 mins
Prep Time:
20 mins

It’s not Thanksgiving without sweet potato casserole. This fall classic features sweet potatoes sweetened with milk and sugar before getting topped with a cloud of marshmallows. Some versions, like this one, also add a shower of nuts, which adds great texture.  

This sweet-meets-savory dish has become a staple on holiday tables for generations. The first known recipe for sweet potato casserole dates back to 1796 in the book American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. Simmons' version combined potatoes with butter, sugar and milk before getting topped with meringue. 

While iterations of this casserole were made for decades after, it took a bit more time for marshmallows to get introduced into the fold. Angelus Marshmallow, the same company who produced Cracker Jacks, created the first commercially available marshmallows to the masses. While marshmallows were eaten on their own, it took another decade for them to become incorporated into recipes as an ingredient. Angelus Marshmallow hired the founder of the Boston Cooking School, Janet McKenzie Hill, to develop recipes that would highlight the versatility of marshmallows. One of Hill’s recipes featured mashed sweet potato topped with marshmallows. What was initially met with great hesitation soon became a Thanksgiving staple. 

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it. 

Technique Tip: Bake the sweet potatoes a few days in advance and store them in the refrigerator until needed. It’s an easy way to cut down on your to-do list on the big day. Roast the sweet potatoes at 350 F for about 1½ hours or until tender.

Swap Option: If you don’t want to bother with roasting, canned sweet potatoes work well here.


For the Sweet Potato Base
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • 3 pounds roasted sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • kosher salt, to taste
For the Topping
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows, plus more as needed



Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with softened butter and set aside.


Scoop out all the flesh of the cooked sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash until smooth. Add the butter, milk and both kinds of sugar and mix to combine. Stir in the eggs and set aside. Season to taste with salt.


Make the topping: In a large mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, flour and butter. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, mix the ingredients together, breaking up the butter and ensuring that it's evenly distributed with the sugar and flour.


Add the sweet potato mixture to the baking dish. Top with the streusel topping, followed by the pecans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.


Scatter the marshmallows in a single layer. Continue to bake for about 5 minutes or until the marshmallows puff up and turn golden brown on top. Serve immediately.