This crockpot sweet potato casserole is a twist on a classic Thanksgiving side dish! Fresh sweet potatoes are cooked and mashed directly in the slow cooker then topped with a buttery, sugary, crunchy, pecan streusel topping. If marshmallows are your thing, feel free to add those, too!
Whether you’re like me and have already started researching holiday side dish recipes – creamy corn casserole, anyone? – or if you like a little excitement in your life and wait until the day before to do your planning, this crockpot sweet potato casserole is the perfect recipe!
Honestly, I’m not normally a sweet potato casserole fan, but this slow cooker version is different, because of the amazing ingredients we’re using.
Ingredients in the Crockpot Sweet Potato Casserole
Typically I find sweet potato casserole to be super mushy and lacking in flavor. 2 cups of pecans gives THIS casserole tons of crunch and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt keep it perfectly spiced and flavorful.
- Sweet potatoes. Some recipes use canned sweet potatoes or yams, but I find fresh to give the best flavor and texture.
- Brown sugar. Sweet potatoes are already sweet and the dark brown sugar really enhances their flavor. I like using dark brown sugar vs granulated sugar, because I love the rich, caramel flavor it gives.
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. These spices are key to that cozy, fall, pumpkin spice-y flavor we all love.
- Salt. As with all recipes, salt enhances the flavors and balances out the sweetness from the potatoes and sugar.
- Evaporated milk. Feel free to use whatever milk you have on hand, but evaporated milk brings additional sweetness, plus I like that you just dump a can in, vs measuring out another ingredient.
- Vanilla extract. As with the spices, vanilla brings a nice and cozy flavor.
- Butter. Butter adds richness and creaminess to the sweet potatoes.
- Eggs. These help to bind the casserole together keeping it from becoming too loose.
The above ingredients make the mashed sweet potato portion of the recipe. The combination of sweet brown sugar, cozy spices, and butter truly makes this one of my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes.
But what’s a sweet potato casserole without an amazing topping?!
How to Make the Sweet Potato Topping
There are so many different options for sweet potato toppings. Some people go for the classic marshmallows, but I prefer a pecan topping, because it gives this recipe an amazing texture and crunch!
- Brown sugar. As with the sweet potato base, brown sugar in the topping gives you a double dose of cozy.
- Flour. This gives the topping a nice, crumbly texture. Without it, the topping won’t bind together.
- Pecans. This is the MVP of the topping. Not only do the pecans give an amazing nutty flavor, they add a very necessary crunch to this otherwise soft dish!
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. These spices scream fall!
- Butter. This gives moisture to the streusel topping and of course, adds a great buttery flavor!
You’ll mix those ingredients together in a large bowl and you’ve got yourself a great sweet potato topping!
If you’re a die hard marshmallow fan, add mini marshmallows to the top in the last 10 minutes of cook time.
With the best mashed sweet potatoes and crunchy pecan topping . . .
. . . have I convinced you to make this sweet potato casserole yet? I’m telling you, this is WAY better than the boring mushy stuff that’s normally found on the Thanksgiving table. 😉
As you can see, there are two parts to today’s recipe: the mashed sweet potatoes and the pecan topping. You’ll start by prepping and cooking the sweet potatoes in the crockpot. Once those are cooked, you add on the pecan topping and cook for a bit longer. That’s all it takes for the BEST slow cooker sweet potato casserole.
How to Prep Sweet Potatoes for Sweet Potato Casserole
Prepping sweet potatoes is SO easy. It takes a little bit of time, but if you have a great vegetable peeler, they’ll be prepped in no time.
To start, you’ll prep the potatoes by washing and drying them. Simply place the potatoes under your running faucet and scrub any dirt away with your hands. Then dry them with a kitchen towel.
Once the potatoes are cleaned, use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel away the skins. If you don’t have a vegetable peeler, feel free to use a sharp knife!
Next, cube the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces! 1/2 inch pieces ensures that the sweet potatoes cook evenly and are cooked through.
Prepping the sweet potatoes is the “hardest” part of today’s recipe. How amazing is that?!
How Long Do I Cook Sweet Potato Casserole in a Crock Pot?
Once your sweet potatoes are cleaned and cubed, throw them into a greased crockpot with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, evaporated milk, vanilla, and butter. Cover, then cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Next, add in eggs and beat them into the sweet potatoes using a hand mixer until the sweet potatoes are mashed to your liking. Then, top the mashed sweet potatoes with the pecan topping.
Cover the crockpot with a thin kitchen towel (this helps to catch any condensation created) and the lid and cook on HIGH for an additional 2 hours.
Total cook time for this sweet potato casserole is 5-6 hours.
Tips for Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Use fresh, peeled sweet potatoes. Some people use canned sweet potatoes or yams as a base or mashed sweet potatoes, but the taste is much better with fresh. I also recommend peeling the skin off your sweet potatoes for a nice, smooth texture.
- Prep the sweet potatoes ahead of time. Peel and cube sweet potatoes the night before and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. If you want to prep them even further in advance – like 2 days before – I’d recommend storing them covered in water in the fridge. Drain and dry thoroughly before proceeding with the recipe.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel your sweet potatoes. Removing the skin of the sweet potato gives the mashed sweet potatoes a great, fluffy texture. The quickest way to remove the skins is with a vegetable peeler. Using a vegetable peeler also allows you to keep more of the sweet potato. You can use a knife, but you’ll most likely lose more of the sweet potato in the process as you’re trying to peel off the skin.
- Use a sharp knife to cube the sweet potatoes. Cutting sweet potatoes can require some muscle! Using a sharp knife make the process faster and easier. If you don’t have a sharp knife, see if your local grocery store has any pre-cubed sweet potatoes.
- Use a hand mixer to mash them. I find the most favorable texture for mashed sweet potatoes – smooth and fluffy – is achieved with a hand mixer. I’ve tried using a potato masher, but found that the texture was stringy and the sweet potatoes don’t fully mix as well with the other ingredients.
- Top them with something crunchy. Contrasting textures (smooth sweet potatoes, crunchy pecans) makes for a more interesting dish!
What do I serve slow cooker sweet potato casserole with?
I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again, I LOVE slow cooker side dishes, especially during the busy holiday season when the oven is often already jam packed with other delicious foods.
I think sweet potato casserole is best served with a simple protein, another carb like stuffing or white potatoes, a vegetable, and a salad! Since sweet potatoes are so sweet, I think it’s best served next to super savory dishes.
- Honey dijon crockpot ham
- Best ever sausage stuffing
- Instant pot mashed potatoes
- Creamy corn casserole
- Green bean casserole
- Pear, blue cheese, and candied pecan salad
- Any of our other SMTY Thanksgiving Sides
What other holiday side dishes do you need recipes for? Show Me the Yummy!
Crockpot Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 4 pounds sweet potato peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cubed
- 2 large eggs room temperature and beaten
Pecan Streusel Topping
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups pecans roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Grease a 6 quart crockpot with cooking spray.
- Place peeled and cubed potatoes into greased crockpot, then top with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, evaporated milk, vanilla, and cubed butter.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or until sweet potatoes are tender (can be easily pierced with a fork).
- Uncover, add in eggs, then use a hand mixer to beat/mash the sweet potatoes until the desired texture is reached.
- Smooth out the top with a spatula, then sprinkle pecan streusel (directions below) evenly over the top.
- Cover the crockpot with a towel (it should not touch the sweet potatoes) to catch condensation, place on lid, then cook on HIGH for an additional 2 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
Pecan Streusel Topping
- In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and melted butter until well combined.
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.
I have joined up with a bunch of blogger friends for a Friendsgiving Virtual Potluck! Be sure to check the recipes below out for wonderful Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving recipe and craft ideas!
Sauteed Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts from Shashi of Savory Spin
Creamy Brussels Sprouts Salad from Faith of An Edible Mosaic
Fried Brussels Sprouts from Erin of The Almond Eater
Cheesy Horseradish Mashed Potato Casserole from Renee of Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip from April of April Golightly
Sauteed Garlic-Butter Mushrooms from Linda of Simply Healthyish Recipes
Easy Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole Recipe from Mel of Adventures of Mel
Cornbread Stuffing with Chorizo from Isabel of Isabel Eats
Bacon Brussels Sprouts from Kara of Kara J. Miller
Amazing Gluten Free Thanksgiving Stuffing from Sommer of A Spicy Perspective
Pumpkin Caramelized Onion Gratin from Denise of Chez Us
Crockpot Mac & Cheese from Leanette Fernandez of Funtastic Life
Cheesy Brussels Sprouts au Gratin from Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks
Spiced Pumpkin Margarita from Sharon of Cupcakes and Cutlery
Sourdough Pull Apart Rolls from Erica of Buttered Side Up
How to Make Homemade Butterhorn Rolls from Mel of Flour on My Fingers
Sweet Dinner Rolls from Jocelyn of Grandbaby Cakes
Parker House Rolls from Irvin of Eat the Love
Sugar Pie from Julie of The Little Kitchen
Oatmeal Apple Crisp from Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake from Eden of Sugar and Charm
Strudel Pastry from Justine of The Typical Mom
Tahini Hawaij Pumpkin Pie from Amy of What Jew Wanna Eat
Turkey Cookies from Meaghan of The Decorated Cookie
Mini Apple Pie Bites from Lynsey of MoscatoMom
Kabocha squash pie from Hilah of hilahcooking
Pecan Pie Cupcakes from Courtney of Pizzazzerie
Coconut Cream Pie from Schnelle of Brooklyn Active Mama
Chocolate chip cheesecake from Jeannette of Hispana Global
Chocolate Pecan Pie from Kate of I Heart Eating
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes from Chelsea of Someday I’ll Learn
Turkey Donut Race Cars For Thanksgiving Treats from Theresa of Chewable Structures
Crafts and Centerpieces
Cinnamon Stick Holiday Candle Place Setting from Alli of Made with HAPPY
Metallic Pumpkin Luminaries from Amy of As The Bunny Hops
Easy centerpiece that will stun + party favor from Noelle of Oh Happy Play