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Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole

This vanilla sweet potato casserole is a modern spin on the classic Thanksgiving casserole. Lightly sweet, full of vanilla flavor, and ready in just 30 minutes!

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole in a round white casserole dish.

If you’re looking for a sorta traditional with a jazzy new spin sweet potato casserole then you have to try this vanilla sweet potato casserole.

It’s got all the things you love (like marshmallows) with the delicious addition of vanilla bean paste, vanilla sugar, and crunchy granola!

I love this casserole for Thanksgiving and Christmas or honestly for any gathering where you’re craving sweet and creamy sweet potatoes.

Trust me, this simple yet stunning side dish will be the hit of your holiday table!

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole served with granola and marshmallows.

Ingredients for sweet potato casserole

  • Mashed sweet potatoes – feel free to roast your own whole potatoes and mash them BUT you can easily use canned mashed sweet potatoes (like canned pumpkin but sweet potato) or simply buy a can of cooked yams and mash them.
  • Coconut milk – I used refrigerated coconut milk to help smooth out the mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Unsalted butter – Just a touch for richness and buttery flavor.
  • Vanilla bean paste – I love using vanilla paste in this recipe as it gives a big punch of vanilla flavor with pretty black flecks.
  • Brown sugar – The brown sugar brings in a touch of sweetness with a subtle molasses flavor.
  • Pumpkin pie spice – I love using pie spice because it’s a delicious combination of spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
  • Kosher salt – Gotta add a sprinkle to highlight the flavors.
  • Vanilla sugar – If you can’t find vanilla sugar you can use course granulated sugar but the vanilla sugar will bring more of a vanilla punch.
  • Granola – Use whatever granola you have on hand that you think would work well in this recipe. I used a basic honey nut granola that had no dried fruit or chocolate and was simply just oats and nuts.
  • Mini marshmallows – I’m using your basic everyday mini marshmallow. Use whatever brand you love the most.
Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with a spoon in the dish.

How to prepare your own sweet potatoes

I found canned mashed sweet potatoes so I used that for this recipe! It made throwing it together so easy.

However, if you cannot find canned mashed sweet potatoes try mashing canned cooked yams, roasted whole, or boiled.

To boil simply skin the potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes, add to a large pot filled with water, set over high heat, and boil until soft. Drain and mash.

What granola to use

For this recipe, I used a basic honey nut granola that consisted of oats and nuts. I tend to shy away from granola with dried fruits in it for this topping but in a pinch, it could work.

I also like granola that has flavorings such as cinnamon, cloves, or pumpkin pie spice.

They tend to go well with the flavors of the sweet potatoes and vanilla.

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole in white round dish.

Make ahead

If you’re looking to prep this dish the night before you’re in luck because this is the perfect dish for prepping ahead!

What I like to do is prep the mashed sweet potato part first, cover it, put it in the fridge, let it come to room temperature 30 minutes before baking, then freshly top it with granola and marshmallows and bake!

It’s just that simple!

My main reason for waiting to put on the topping is that the granola can get soft if it sits for too long before being baked.

Storage and leftovers

Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole on a plate.

More sweet potato recipes

This vanilla sweet potato casserole is a modern spin on the classic Thanksgiving casserole. Lightly sweet, full of vanilla flavor and ready in just 30 minutes!

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

This vanilla sweet potato casserole is a modern spin on the classic Thanksgiving casserole. Lightly sweet, full of vanilla flavor, and ready in just 30 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set out an 8×8 casserole dish.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl add mashed sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup coconut milk, butter, vanilla bean paste, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. If the mixture is not smooth add a little more coconut milk until desired consistency is met. Also, taste the mixture and add kosher salt if desired.
  • Spoon mixture into the 8×8 casserole dish and top with 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, granola, marshmallows, and the remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar.
  • Add to the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until the mixture is warmed throughout and the marshmallows are toasted. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 496kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 216mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 38g
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Keyword marshmallow topped sweet potatoes, side dish recipes, sweet potato casserole, thanksgiving recipes, thanksgiving sweet potatoes, vanilla bean recipes, vanilla sweet potato casserole
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About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

Recipe Rating

Annalise @ Completely Delicious

Friday 16th of October 2015

Mmm, I love that you can probably get away with eating this for any meal, let alone dessert. Those toasted marshmallows on top look so perfect!

Holly @ 3 Yummy Tummies

Friday 16th of October 2015

Yummy...I love loaded sweet potato casserole and have never thought of adding granola before. I can't wait to try it!

Kim Beaulieu

Thursday 15th of October 2015

Oh man, this looks absolutely perfect. I've never been a huge sweet potato fan but this recipe just changed my mind. Plus it's so darn pretty.

Heather | girlichef

Wednesday 14th of October 2015

Yes, yes, and more YES! I felt the same way as a kid, but LOVE them now. I still don't like them super sweet, but this look and sound like the perfect compromise to the typical ones on a Thanksgiving table. I think this may be one of my contributions to the family potluck this year!

Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama

Wednesday 14th of October 2015

This sweet potato casserole could easily double as dessert! :) I just love your little additions to this classic side dish. And those mini marshmallows?? Essential. ;)


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