We Made the Pioneer Woman Sweet Potato Casserole, and It’s the Perfect Holiday Side

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With a unique, sweet and crunchy topping, the Pioneer Woman Sweet Potato Casserole is one of the tastiest sweet potato recipes we've ever tried.

Toh 3 2 Ft Toh Pioneer Woman Sweet Potato Casserole Nancy Mock Getty Images JveditNancy Mock for Taste of Home, Getty Images

We love Ree Drummond’s comfort food ideas: dishes loaded with flavor, and often lots of sugar and butter (we’re not complaining) like pumpkin cheesecake bars, creamy mashed potatoes and spiced apple crisp. This Pioneer Woman sweet potato casserole is another winner, not to mention a perfect holiday side dish to serve for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

There are plenty of marshmallow-topped sweet potato dishes out there, but what makes Drummond’s Soul Sweet Potatoes the best is this twist: they’re covered with a pecan-brown sugar streusel. In the oven this topping bakes up to a deep, golden brown, adding sweetness and candy-like crunch to every bite of mashed sweet potato.

See more of Ree Drummond’s signature holiday dishes.

How to Make the Pioneer Woman’s Sweet Potato Casserole

I used a shallow, 13×9-inch baking dish for the maximum topping-to-sweet potato ratio. Other large baking dishes will work too. The Pioneer Woman’s Soul Sweet Potatoes recipe makes 10 servings.

Ingredients

ingredients for sweet potato casserole on a wooden surfaceNancy Mock for Taste of Home

For the potatoes:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds total)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the topping:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

Step 1: Bake the sweet potatoes

four whole sweet potatoes on a baking sheetNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Scrub the sweet potatoes under running water, then place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes until they can easily be pierced with a fork. Cut the potatoes open and scoop out the cooked insides into a large bowl. Discard the skins.

Step 2: Mash with the other ingredients

mashed sweet potatoes in a blue glass bowl with a masherNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Use a hand masher to mash down the sweet potatoes in the bowl; they don’t need to be perfectly smooth. Add in the granulated sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla extract and salt. Mash or stir until the ingredients are completely incorporated into the potatoes.

Step 3: Make the streusel topping

brown sugar, chopped pecans, flour and sliced butter in a bowl for streusel toppingNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Add the brown sugar, chopped pecans, flour and sliced butter to a medium-sized bowl. Use a pastry blender or forks to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until they’re combined into a coarse mixture.

Editor’s Tip: A pastry blender is one of our top recommended baking tools every kitchen should have.

Step 4: Assemble and bake

Pioneer Womans Soul Sweet Potatoes in a baking dish before being bakedNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Spread the sweet potatoes in a 13×9 baking dish. Sprinkle the pecan streusel evenly over the entire surface of the potatoes. Bake the potatoes for 30-35 minutes until the streusel is nicely browned and crunchy. Serve the sweet potato casserole immediately.

Here’s What I Thought

Pioneer Womans Soul Sweet Potatoes in a baking dish after being bakedNancy Mock for Taste of Home

I’m used to seeing pans of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes for the holidays, but I had never tried a version topped with a nutty streusel. I’m so glad that I gave Ree Drummond’s recipe a try!

The casserole still has plenty of sweetness from both white and brown sugar, but without the cloying over-sweetness from marshmallows. The streusel has a butterscotch-like flavor and a wonderful crunch from caramelized brown sugar and pecans. It’s the perfect complement to the vanilla-scented sweet potatoes underneath.

A small portion of these rich potatoes goes a long way, so this recipe will easily feed the crowd you have gathered for the holidays or family meals. If you do have leftovers, they can easily be reheated in the oven or microwave—and the flavor just gets better and better.

How to Prepare the Sweet Potatoes in Advance

Ree Drummond shares in her recipe that her Soul Sweet Potatoes can be a make-ahead holiday dish—that way you’ll only need to bake them before serving.

You can either assemble the sweet potatoes and streusel in the dish, or keep the streusel separate until just before baking. Keep everything covered in the fridge until about an hour before baking, so they won’t take too long to heat through. Add the streusel and bake the casserole as directed.

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.