A holiday dinner table isn't complete without a Sweet Potato Casserole. This recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts starts with a layer of velvety soufflé-like mashed sweet potatoes, and ends with crunchy, streusel topping.
This classic side dish has been served in households for decades. Some families make a variation of this recipe that includes toasted marshmallows. Others skip the marshmallows and include a crunchy pecan topping.
I chose to forgo both the marshmallows and the pecans. Instead, I opted for the classic streusel topping and combined it with chopped walnuts. Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts is a rich, dessert-like side dish that is easy to make and only LOOKS like you spent hours in the kitchen making it!
- Sweet potatoes - Sweet potatoes, not to be confused with yams, have a reddish colored skin and always look a little beat up. They are a larger variety of potato and seem to all be shaped differently! I've never found two sweet potatoes that look exactly the same.
- Eggs - You will need 3 eggs to make this sweet potato casserole.
- White sugar - Any type of white sugar will work. You can use regular, granulated sugar or cane sugar.
- Butter - I used salted butter. If you use unsalted butter you may need to increase the amount of salt you add to this recipe.
- Vanilla extract - Did you know you can make your own vanilla extract? I first learned about making my own vanilla extract from 100 Days of Real Food. Homemade vanilla extract is an excellent Christmas gift!
- Salt - I like course salt and it is what I primarily use when cooking and creating recipes. Go ahead and use whatever salt you prefer.
- Heavy cream - If you can't find heavy cream, you can use heavy whipping cream instead. The difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream is fat content. Heavy cream has slightly more fat. Heavy cream is preferred for sauce making. They can be used interchangeably in this recipe. Whole milk would also be a good substitute.
- Brown sugar - Brown sugar is made by adding molasses to white sugar. You could use either light or dark brown sugar. The brown sugar is used to make the streusel topping.
- Flour - I used a regular, all-purpose flour. The flour is used in the streusel topping. If you would like to make this recipe gluten free, just use an all-purpose gluten free flour!
- Walnuts - Save yourself a little time and purchase walnuts that are already chopped.
Kitchen tools needed
- Stock pot - This is needed to boil the sweet potatoes
- Casserole dish - You'll be cooking your sweet potato casserole in this dish!
- 2 small mixing bowls - One bowl is needed to mix some of your liquid ingredients. The second bowl is needed to mix your streusel.
- Vegetable peeler - A vegetable peeler is used to peel the sweet potatoes. If you don't have a peeler, a sharp paring knife will work.
- Immersion blender or potato masher - I prefer to mash my sweet potatoes using an immersion blender. You can also use a potato masher.
- Cutting board and chopping knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
How to make
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Peel, chop, boil and mash the sweet potatoes.
- Mix the eggs, white sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, heavy cream and salt in a small mixing bowl.
- Make the streusel topping by mashing the softened butter, brown sugar, flour and walnuts.
- Mix the egg mixture into the mashed sweet potatoes.
- Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the casserole dish and spread it out evenly.
- Top the sweet potato mash with the streusel topping.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy!
What to serve with a sweet potato casserole
Sweet Potato Casseroles are a classic Thanksgiving side dish that will fit right in on any holiday table! Serve this side dish with a roasted turkey, classic stuffing, cranberry sauce or green bean casserole.
Recipes you might also like
- Redskin Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese
- Roasted Chicken with Garlic Herb Butter
- Roasted Dijon Chicken Thighs with Crispy Skin
What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?
Many people use the term "yam" and "sweet potato" interchangeably. They are actually completely different vegetables though and for this recipe, they should not be used interchangeably. Side-by-side, it is easy to see the difference between a sweet potato and a yam. Yams have a rough, brown skin that looks similar to tree bark. Sweet potatoes have smooth, reddish skin. When cut into, sweet potatoes are bright orange. Yams look more like a white potato on the inside.
Can I substitute pecans for walnuts?
If you don't care for walnuts, then pecans are an excellent substitution. Pecans are more traditionally used in sweet potato casserole recipes. I chose to swap them out for walnuts in the recipe because I like the taste and texture of walnuts! You can also skip the nuts completely if you'd like. Your streusel topping won't have as much crunch, but the casserole will still be delicious.
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How to cook sweet potatoes
There are a few different ways to cook sweet potatoes! You can boil them like I do in this recipe. You can also cook them in the microwave, bake them in the oven, or cook them in the slow cooker or instant pot!
Simply swap out the wheat based flour with a gluten free all-purpose flour.
I am not sure this recipe would transfer well to being vegan. You would have to swap out/eliminate the eggs, butter and heavy cream.
If the casserole sounds too sweet for you, then just cut out some of the sugar!
Yes, sweet potato casserole is an excellent make ahead dish. You can make your mashed sweet potato mixture and the streusel topping 1 day in advance. Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble your casserole.