This beautiful Paula Dean Sweet Potato Casserole features a creamy sweet potato base topped with a rich pecan crumble. It’s the perfect vegetable side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any family gathering throughout the year!
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Upgrade your classic sweet potato casserole with this gorgeous copycat Paula Deen Sweet Potato Casserole recipe instead! Featuring a fluffy base of sweet potatoes, it uses a toasted nut topping instead of marshmallows for an elevated recipe that’s picture-perfect and easy to make. Serve it alongside roast turkey, pork roast, or ham for a crowd-pleasing feast!
Paula Deen Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
A homey, comforting recipe, sweet potato casserole is a dish everyone looks forward to around the holidays. While I love my original recipe, this copycat Paula Deen’s Sweet Potato Casserole has become a staple in my lineup of Thanksgiving recipes and is so tasty I find myself making it all year long!
For instance, it’s also wonderful paired with your Easter ham. However, you don’t need to save it for special occasions! Easy to whip up, this comfort food dish is also perfect to serve with simple main courses like baked chicken or baked pork chops for a weeknight dinner.
With a total time of less than an hour, this sweet potato casserole is a no-brainer! First, you’ll make a base of brown sugar-infused mashed sweet potatoes that are whipped to airy perfection and infused with plenty of heavy cream for added richness.
Then, you’ll tuck in a few eggs to give the casserole some structure and a fluffy, soufflé-like appearance. Finally, the potatoes are topped off with a sweet, crunchy pecan-filled crumble. Baked in the oven, it comes out golden brown and crisp on top, soft and decadent in the center, and unlike any version you’ve tasted before!
It’s also a great make-ahead option as it can be prepared up to 24 hours before you want to serve it. Simply pop it in your preheated oven to warm it up, and you’re good to go – always helpful when you’re hosting a big get-together!
Ingredients for Paula Deen Sweet Potato Casserole
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Sweet potatoes – You’ll need large sweet potatoes to make this casserole.
- Brown sugar – I use light brown sugar, but you can also use dark brown sugar if needed.
- Butter – I like to use unsalted butter in this recipe.
- Eggs – Eggs give the sweet potato filling structure while contributing to its fluffiness.
- Vanilla extract – Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor!
- Ground spices – Cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Cream – Heavy cream gives the casserole a rich flavor and a silky consistency. You could also use half-and-half if preferred.
- Brown sugar
- Flour – All-purpose flour forms the base of the topping.
- Salt – I use fine sea salt or table salt.
- Pecans – Pecans add a wonderful, nutty crunch to the topping. You could also use walnuts.
Here are a few variation options for this sweet potato casserole.
- Use any preparation method to make the sweet potatoes. You can use any type of cooked sweet potatoes you’d like. Baked, boiled, steamed, pressure cooked, or even canned sweet potatoes are perfect. You need about 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes to make the filling.
- Skip the nuts. You can omit the nuts in the topping to make a nut-free sweet potato casserole.
- Make it a little lighter. You can use whole milk or non-dairy milk in place of the heavy cream and extra virgin olive oil in place of the butter. The casserole won’t taste quite as rich, but it will still be delicious!
How to Make Paula Deen Sweet Potato Casserole
- Cook the sweet potatoes: Start by cooking the sweet potatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the chopped sweet potatoes. Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes. Strain the potatoes, discard the water, and add the cooked potatoes to a large bowl. Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher until they are smooth. Let the potatoes cool.
- Preheat the oven and prepare a pan: Preheat your oven to 325℉. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish, and set it aside.
- Make the sweet potato filling: Make the sweet potato casserole filling first. Add all of the ingredients for the filling to a large bowl, and blend together. I like to mix everything with an electric mixer to make sure it is very smooth, but you can also mix by hand.
- Pour the filling into the pan: Pour the sweet potato filling into the prepared baking dish, and spread it across the pan in an even layer.
- Make the topping: Add all of the ingredients for the topping to a medium-sized bowl, and mix together well. Sprinkle the topping over the casserole.
- Bake: Bake the sweet potato casserole for about 25 minutes. The top of the casserole will look set and the nuts in the topping will be golden brown.
- Serve: Serve the sweet potato casserole while warm.
If you would like to make this casserole with butternut squash or pumpkin rather than sweet potatoes, substitute 3 cups of cooked, mashed squash or pumpkin for the sweet potatoes.
How to Store Paula Deen Sweet Potato Casserole
Store leftover Paula Dean sweet potato casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Paula Deen sweet potato casserole is what you want to make for Thanksgiving! It’s also a wonderful side to other roasted meats. Here are a few ways to serve this sweet potato casserole:
- At Thanksgiving. This is a classic dish to serve with your Thanksgiving meal. Here’s everything you need to know about cooking turkey for the holiday.
- With ham. I love making easy crock pot ham and serving Paul Deen sweet potato casserole alongside it!
- With chicken. Sweet potato casserole is also wonderful with chicken. Try it with roasted or baked chicken plus some vegetables.
- With a salad. A rich dish like sweet potato casserole is nicely balanced by a green salad. Try my cucumber tomato salad for a light side, or make a fresh broccoli salad.
Both methods work, but I recommend baking the sweet potatoes if possible! Doing so yields a slightly deeper flavor.
Another argument for baking your sweet potatoes is that boiling the potatoes adds water and can result in a wetter casserole. When you bake the potatoes, you won’t add additional liquid, which will prevent the sweet potato casserole from becoming watery.
When you add eggs to a sweet potato casserole it helps the casserole become nice and light, almost like a soufflé.
Paula Deen Sweet Potato Casserole
- 9×13 pan
- Large mixing bowl
- Large pot
- Electric mixer
- Rubber spatula
- Small bowl
- Measuring cup
- measuring spoons
- 3 large sweet potatoes peeled, chopped
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup melted unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup cream
- 3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Start by cooking the sweet potatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add the chopped sweet potatoes. Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes. Strain the potatoes, discard the water, then add the cooked potatoes to a large bowl. Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher until they are smooth. Let the potatoes cool.3 large sweet potatoes
- Preheat your oven to 325℉. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and set aside
- Make the sweet potato casserole filling first. Add all of the ingredients for the filling to a large bowl and blend together. I like to mix everything with an electric mixer to make sure it is very smooth but you can also mix by hand.1 cup light brown sugar, ⅓ cup melted unsalted butter, 2 eggs, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ cup cream
- Pour the sweet potato filling into the prepared baking dish and spread it across the pan into an even layer.
- Add all of the ingredients for the topping to a medium sized bowl and mix together well. Sprinkle the topping over the casserole.3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter, 1 cup light brown sugar, ⅓ cup all purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 cup chopped pecans
- Bake the sweet potato casserole for about 25 minutes. The top of the casserole will look set and the nuts in the topping will be golden brown.
- Serve the sweet potato casserole while warm.
- You can use any type of cooked sweet potatoes you’d like. Baked, boiled, steamed or even canned sweet potatoes are perfect. You need about 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes to make the filling.
- Skip the nuts in the topping to make a nut-free sweet potato casserole.