Save space in the oven this year with this delicious Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole! This Thanksgiving side dish recipe is made even easier with the crock pot.
Sweet Potato Casserole
The classic sweet potato casserole is a favorite year after year! Soft, creamy sweet potatoes topped with a sugary, crisp topping… What’s not to like?! With this recipe, you can still get the velvety texture of the potatoes with a pecan crumble without a ton of work! The crock pot does all the work for you while you visit with company and baste the turkey.
It’s surprising, but the topping still gets nice and crunchy, even in the slow cooker! It’s very sweet (we’re southern, it’s how we grew up), but I’ll include tips for making it less sweet as well. There are very few ways to mess this up, so it’s a great choice for new cooks who might be looking for an easy recipe!
Why you’ll love it:
- It’s SO easy – This recipe doesn’t require babysitting or complicated steps… There’s no draining heavy pots of boiling water, no strange ingredients…. It’s a very straight-forward, simple recipe that even beginner cooks can handle.
- It’s a classic favorite – This is a traditional dish that many people expect at holiday dinners. The slow cooker makes it easy to blow their expectations away without adding a ton of work to your holiday prep!
- It frees up oven space – Trying to cook several dishes for company at once can become a logistical nightmare! You could cook this dish in the slow cooker, your green beans on the stove, the turkey breast in the air fryer, and the biscuits in the oven!
Here’s a quick overview for what you’ll need. Find exact measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page!
- Sweet potatoes – It’s best to pick medium-sized sweet potatoes with smooth, taut skin. You don’t want soft spots, cracks, or bruises. A fresh sweet potato should smell naturally earthy, not sweet or sour (sign of rot).
- Brown sugar, Apple juice, Maple syrup, Unsalted butter, and Vanilla extract – Dark brown sugar will result in a sweeter, richer flavor, or you can use light brown sugar for a milder flavor. I haven’t tried any butter substitutes yet.
- Pecans, Brown sugar, Flour, Unsalted butter – You can use all-purpose flour or a gluten-free substitute like cup4cup or Gluten-Free Bisquick. Pecans are the classic choice, but walnuts are a decent substitute.
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole in the Slow Cooker
In addition to the ingredients listed above you will need a mixing bowl and a slow cooker (6-quart or larger) for this recipe. This casserole is not a complicated recipe, but there are two key parts to this process. Here’s a step-by-step guide for the best results.
Cook Sweet Potatoes
Pour 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, apple juice, and maple syrup into your slow cooker (line first if you prefer), then stir to combine. Add the diced sweet potatoes and toss to coat in the mixture. Sprinkle the cubed 4 tablespoons of butter over the sweet potatoes, then place the lid on the crock pot and cook for 6 hours.
Once sweet potatoes are tender, remove the lid and mash the potatoes to your desired consistency (I like some chunks, personally). Place the lid back on the slow cooker for the moment. Next, in a mixing bowl, combine all your topping ingredients and mix well. Remove the slow cooker lid, sprinkle the mixture over the potatoes, and cover again. Cook on low for another 1-2 hours, then serve! Note: the topping does crisp up if you give it at least 1 hour of cooking time! If yours is struggling due to moisture gathering on the lid of your slow cooker, though, you can prevent this by placing paper towels between the crockpot and the lid.
This is the perfect holiday side dish! We love serving it with a turkey breast (or whole smoked turkey if we’ve invited a big crowd) along with other Thanksgiving favorites like sausage stuffing and cranberry sauce. This side dish is so sweet, so I love to offer more savory ones like these Green Beans with Bacon and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Find more gluten-free Thanskgiving side dishes here, or you can check this list for keto & low-carb sides instead.
More holiday side dishes:
- Loaded Cauliflower Casserole (or this one if you prefer a mac and cheese vibe)
- Bacon Wrapped Cabbage (or green beans)
- Green Beans Almondine
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Kale Salad with Cranberries
- Rosemary Garlic Dinner Rolls
Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature before putting it away. To save space in the fridge, transfer your casserole to an airtight container and refrigerate 3-4 days. Some people choose to freeze their sweet potato casserole, but the toppings never reheat quite right. I don’t recommend it.
You can easily reheat this casserole in the microwave, oven, air fryer, or even on the stove! You may be able to reheat in your slow cooker, but that’s highly dependent on your machine. Most slow cookers run quite hot and would burn the bottom before warming the topping.
- Microwave: Place in a dish, then loosely cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap or a lid. Don’t seal it–Make sure there’s a small opening for steam to come out. Set power to 50%, then microwave in 1-minute intervals until warmed throughout. You may want to stir the casserole or rotate the plate for even cooking.
- Oven: Preheat oven to 350 while you place your casserole in a baking dish. Tightly cover with foil and heat for 10-30 minutes, depending on how much you’re reheating at once. During the last few minutes, remove the foil to allow the top to crisp up again.
- Air Fryer: This method is best for a single serving. Place your single serving in a ramekin, then place it in the air fryer on 300 degrees. Check it every 2-3 minutes to make sure the topping doesn’t burn.
- Stove: Heat a pot or pan on medium low heat, then add in your casserole. Allow it to warm up slowly, occasionally stirring to prevent the bottom from overcooking. If you prefer to not stir to keep the topping in place, use low heat and place a lid on top to help it warm up quicker.
If you love this classic side dish, you’ve got to try these easy crockpot recipes!
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Apples – This makes an amazing side with pork chops, a great mix-in for chia pudding, or the BEST topping for ice cream!
- Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes – No chopping, no babysitting, no work! If you use a liner when making this incredibly creamy side, you’ll have no cleanup, too!
- Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole – Everyone adores this potato and ham dish, and it’s perfect for potlucks in the slow cooker! Great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner!
- Keto Beer Cheese Dip – Whether it’s pool season or football season, this is the appetizer that disappears first at every party! It’s always requested at holidays, and the dieters can snack with veggies and pepperoni chips.
- Slow Cooker Bean Dip – Another favorite appetizer for holidays and parties! Set this dip on low and let people graze as long as they’d like with this easy recipe!
Sweet Potato Casserole FAQs
I admit, I thought this might be an issue, too! But luckily for us, the topping crisps up wonderfully as long as it has at least an hour to cook. I’ve noticed that some slow cookers tend to collect moisture on the lid, which then drops down onto the topping… But you can prevent this! Simply roll out some paper towels (usually 2-3, still attached), then place them between the lid and the crockpot. It shouldn’t touch the casserole, but it will catch any drops that could come from the lid.
I recommend only using 1 cup of brown sugar in step #1 with the potatoes if you would like this dish to be less sweet. I don’t recommend reducing the amount of sugar in the topping as the caramelization is what helps this crisp up so well.
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup apple juice
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 4 tbsp (¼ cup) unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
For the Topping:
- 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Place 1 ½ cups brown sugar, apple juice and maple syrup in your slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the diced sweet potatoes, tossing to coat in the mixture. Sprinkle the cubed 4 tbsp of butter over the sweet potatoes. Cover and slow cook for 6 hours, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- After the 6 hours of cook time, remove the lid and mash the potatoes to your desired consistency (I like some chunks). Place the lid back on the slow cooker and make the topping.
- Make the topping by combining all the topping ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle over the sweet potatoes, cover, and cook on low for another 1-2 hours. Serve!
- The topping does crisp up in this recipe, even in the slow cooker. Just give it at least an hour to cook before serving!
- This is a great way to save some space on Thanksgiving in the oven!
- This recipe is incredibly sweet. For a slightly less sweet recipe, use 1 cup of brown sugar instead of 1 ½ cups when cooking the sweet potatoes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 489Total Fat: 18gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 6gSugar: 51gProtein: 4g