Make this impossibly smooth and creamy Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts for an easy holiday side dish, whipped up with just a handful of ingredients. Serve it hot and fresh, or prepare it in advance.
A layer of velvety soufflé-like mashed sweet potatoes is topped with an irresistible caramelized brown sugar walnut topping. The sweet potatoes cook down to a creamy, dessert-like texture, and the walnut crumble topping is buttery, crunchy, sweet, and absolutely impossible to stop eating!
The flavors and textures in this walnut sweet potato casserole are out of this world. I guarantee nobody will miss the marshmallows!
For a lighter option, try Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Flavor - This sweet side dish perfectly complements all the savory sides at Thanksgiving. It's so sweet and buttery, it could pass as a dessert!
- Texture - A creamy and smooth sweet potato mash is topped with toasty, crunchy brown sugar walnuts. You'll be obsessed!
- Easy - After just 6 simple steps, you're done!
- Sweet potatoes - Choose firm, medium to large-sized sweet potatoes with smooth skin. Avoid any potatoes with cracks or soft brown spots.
- Eggs - You'll need three large eggs. Eggs add structure, lift, and volume to the casserole filling.
- White sugar - Use white, granulated sugar.
- Butter - I tested this recipe using salted butter. Unsalted is fine, too, just adjust the added salt to taste.
- Vanilla extract will enhance the sweet flavors in the casserole. Always use pure vanilla extract without artificial additives.
- Salt - Balances some of the sweetness.
- Heavy cream - Gives the sweet potato casserole a rich and creamy texture. Whole milk can be used as a substitute if needed.
- Brown sugar - Brown sugar is added to the streusel topping. It will caramelize and turn the topping golden brown and crisp as it bakes.
- All-purpose flour helps to hold the streusel topping together while it bakes.
- Walnuts - Added for their earthy, rich flavor, and super crunchy texture.
How to make Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts
- Boil the sweet potatoes.
- Prepare the brown sugar and walnut streusel topping.
- Mix the remaining casserole ingredients with the cooked sweet potatoes.
- Assemble the casserole and bake.
- Serve and enjoy!
Before starting, preheat your oven to 350°F and boil a large pot filled with water.
Step 1: Add the chopped sweet potatoes to the boiling water and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the water and mash the potatoes using a potato masher.
Step 2: Prepare the streusel topping while the sweet potatoes are cooking. Using the back of a fork, mash the softened butter, brown sugar, flour, and walnuts in a small mixing bowl. The topping should resemble coarse crumbs.
Step 3: In a separate mixing bowl, mix the eggs, white sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and salt.
Step 4: Pour the egg mixture into the mashed sweet potatoes and mix until well combined.
Step 5: Transfer the sweet potato mixture to an 11 x 7-inch (or similar-sized) casserole dish and spread it out into an even layer.
Step 6: Sprinkle the streusel topping over the sweet potato filling. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown with an irresistible walnut brown sugar crust!
Serve this sweet potato casserole with walnuts hot and fresh from the oven. It's an unforgettable side dish, perfect for balancing out all the savory sides on your holiday table!
- Let the sweet potatoes cool for a few minutes before adding the egg mixture. This prevents the eggs from cooking the instant they're added to the potatoes. They can be warm, just not steaming hot.
- Use your hands to make the crumbly streusel topping if the fork method isn't working for you.
- Mash the sweet potatoes thoroughly for the smoothest, velvety texture.
Why is my sweet potato casserole soupy?
- You may have overcooked the sweet potatoes, which causes them to absorb a lot of extra water.
- Sweet potatoes vary in size, which means you could have used fewer sweet potatoes than what the recipe was tested with.
- A Soupy (or runny) casserole isn't a problem, though! It will firm up as it bakes, and continue to become thick and firm as it cools after it's baked.
Recipe variations and substitutions
Walnuts: Feel free to substitute walnuts with pecans. Pecans are the more traditional choice for sweet potato casserole recipes and, like walnuts, will provide tons of crunchy texture.
Sweet potatoes: You cannot substitute yams for sweet potatoes in this recipe. Many people use the terms "yam" and "sweet potato" interchangeably. They are actually completely different vegetables.
How to make ahead, store, and reheat
How to make ahead: Prepare the sweet potato casserole filling and streusel topping up to 24 hours in advance. Store the filling and topping separately, in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When you're ready to bake the casserole, transfer the filling to a casserole dish, top it with streusel, and complete the remaining recipe steps.
How to store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to reheat: I like to reheat sweet potato casserole in individual servings in the microwave for one-minute increments, until heated through.
Walnuts are the best substitute for pecans in sweet potato casserole. They'll provide the same texture as pecans, and a similar flavor. For a nut-free version, simply leave them out. Your streusel topping won't be quite as crunchy, but it'll still be delicious.
Eggs give the sweet potato filling lift and structure while it bakes. They help bind the casserole filling, making it more of a smooth and creamy casserole, instead of just a mash of baked sweet potatoes.
Yams and sweet potatoes differ in taste, texture, and appearance. Yams have a neutral, mild flavor, while sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness to them. Yams have rough, textured brown skin. Sweet potatoes are red in color and have smoother skin.
More Thanksgiving sides
Hungry for more?
💭 Did you make this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tell me how much you loved it!