This easy sweet potato casserole recipe is topped with a pecan crumble. It can be made ahead and warmed in the slow cooker, saving time and oven space!
- Make Ahead – This recipe can be made a day or two before hand.
- Saves Oven Space – Make this recipe ahead of time and warm it through in a slow cooker the day of to free up oven space!
- Low & Slow – The sweet potatoes are sweet as candy because they are cooked low and low.
TOP TIP: Make a double batch of the pecan crumble topping and serve the extras on the side. The crumble tends to be a big Thanksgiving hit!
Checkout my free ultimate guide to a make-ahead Thanksgiving!
Other Recipes to Go with Sweet Potato Casserole
Best part? These recipes can be made/prepped ahead of time. Also, the day of, only one oven is needed! So, no more fighting for oven space!
Recipe Tips & Tricks
Why you should cook sweet potatoes low and slow.
You’ll notice this recipe cooks the whole sweet potatoes low and slow (300°F for 2-3 hours). Now you might be thinking, “Is that REALLY necessary?”
Necessary? No. Recommended? YES!!! Here’s why.
Cooking sweet potatoes for longer periods of time at lower temperatures breaks down more of the natural sugars in the sweet potato. So, it is like natures way of amplifying sweetness and flavor without actually adding anything to the sweet potatoes. The sweet flavor is impossible to replicate and truthfully tastes amazing!
I realize 2-3 hours is a long time but if you can pop a batch of sweet potatoes in the oven for a few hours when you’re home doing other things, I HIGHLY recommend it!
How to cook sweet potatoes quicker for when you’re short on time.
Roast in the oven at 425°F for 40-45 minutes or until soft and cooked through.
How to cook sweet potatoes at warp speed for when life happens and you have no time.
Puncture your sweet potatoes 5-6 times with a knife or fork. Wet a paper towel and wring out any excess water. Wrap the sweet potato with the paper towel and microwave for 5 minutes. Flip the sweet potato and microwave for an additional 2 minutes followed by 30 second intervals, checking for doneness between each interval until cooked through.
Sweet Potato Topping Ideas
- Pecan Crumble – This recipe has a pecan crumble topping which is sweet, nutty and rich. Kind of like a cookie topping. For a softer topping, cook the crumble (step 1) for 1-2 minutes. For a crunchier topping, cook the crumble (step 1) for 3-4 minutes.
- Marshmallow Topping – Spread a single layer of mini marshmallows over the casserole. Option 1: Put in the oven for 10 minutes at 350°F and then put under the broiler for 1 minute. Option 2: Use a kitchen torch to toast the marshmallows by hand.
- Maple Meringue – Meringue is light and fluffy whipped egg whites. This is a good option if you’re looking for a healthier/lighter topping for your sweet potatoes. See my healthy sweet potato casserole recipe for instructions.
Are yams the same as sweet potatoes?
This is a tricky topic and one that regularly causes confusion. Yams and sweet potatoes are two entirely different things. Real yams are actually quite rare. So much so, it is likely you’ve never eaten one.
Here is where it gets confusing. There are different varieties of sweet potatoes. In the US soft sweet potatoes (the ones with brownish copper skin and orange flesh) are commonly labeled as yams while hard sweet potatoes (pale skin and flesh) are labeled as sweet potatoes.
Confusing, right? Don’t’ worry! Get the sweet potatoes with the pretty orange flesh even if they are labeled as yams. Don’t let the labels fool you!
Can you prepare sweet potatoes ahead of time?
You sure can! Complete steps 1-3 of this recipe ahead of time. Cover the sweet potatoes and refrigerate. The day you plan to eat the sweet potato casserole, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Then cook in the slow cooker for 2 hours on low, stirring occasionally. Top with the pecan crumble right before serving (step 4 of recipe).
How to make mashed sweet potatoes healthy?
If you’re looking for a healthier sweet potato option, I recommend checking out my Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Meringue recipe. It is naturally sweetened with real maple syrup and topped with fluffy meringue made from whipped egg whites.
How to Make Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble Topping
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble Topping
For the Pecan Crumble Topping*:
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- pinch of salt
For the Sweet Potatoes:
- 3 lbs. sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Make Pecan Crumble Topping: Add all Pecan Crumble Topping ingredients to a large skillet over medium/low heat. Stir until well combined. Cook for 1-2 minutes for a softer topping or 3-4 minutes for a crunchier cookie-like topping. Remove from heat. Use immediately or store in a sealed container (once cooled) until needed.
- Roast Sweet Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Puncture the sweet potatoes several times with a knife. Put the sweet potatoes on a sheet pan and coat with a thin layer of olive oil (about 1/2 Tbsp.). Roast the whole sweet potatoes for 2-3 hours** or until a fork can pierce the thickest part of the sweet potato with no resistance.
- Combine Ingredients: Scoop the sweet potatoes out of the skin into a slow cooker. Discard the skin. Add the remaining Sweet Potato ingredients to the slow cooker and stir until well combined. If making ahead, stop here! Cover the sweet potatoes and refrigerate until needed.***
- Warm & Add Topping: Cover and slow cook on low for 1 hour (2 hours if made ahead and refrigerated), stirring occasionally. Sprinkle a layer of the Pecan Crumble Topping over the sweet potato casserole immediately before serving.