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Southern Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole {Naturally Gluten-Free}

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This decadent southern slow cooker sweet potato casserole recipe made with pecans is delicious as either a side or a dessert for your holiday meal.

Every year I host a dinner for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This southern slow cooker sweet potato casserole is always on the menu, along with roasted turkey and grilled asparagus.

southern slow cooker sweet potato casserole

This decadent southern slow cooker sweet potato casserole recipe is to die for!

Although not the healthiest version of sweet potato casserole, it is absolutely delicious. And I figure it’s okay to splurge a little over the holidays…

I usually serve it as a side dish for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, but it would also make a wonderful dessert. In either case, there probably won’t be any left by the end of the meal!

As a side benefit, since it’s made in a slow cooker, it saves some oven space for the rest of the food.

And you can put it together the day before. Just make the sweet potato part in the crock pot and the topping separately. Then add the topping right before you turn the slow cooker on.

A spoonful of sweet potato casserole above a slow cooker

Ingredients

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Here’s your shopping list for this crock pot sweet potato casserole:

  • sweet potatoes – You’ll need about 8 cups, which takes 12 to 14 fresh sweet potatoes.
  • dairy – 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, 2/3 cup whipping cream, half-and-half or whole milk.
  • eggs – 4 large ones
  • baking supplies – a little over 2 cups of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • nuts – 1 cup chopped pecans (which takes about 1½ cups of whole pecans)

Substitutions

  • You can substitute 2 29-ounce cans for the fresh sweet potatoes (although I find the casserole turns out a little runny).
  • Omit the whipping cream if you want to make a milk-free version.
  • Reduce the amount of brown sugar if you don’t like your sweet potato casserole to be as sweet.
  • Walnuts can be used instead of the pecans.

How To Make Southern Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole on a plate with a fork

Prep Work

First you need to cook the sweet potatoes so that they are soft enough to put in a mixer.

I use the microwave to do this. No washing or peeling required so it’s really easy!

To do this, poke holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork. This lets any built-up steam escape, which prevents them from exploding.

Microwave them on high until they are soft. In my microwave, this takes about 25 minutes for this many potatoes (but that will vary by machine).

You could also bake them or boil them, if you so desire.

Sweet potato being cut in half and scooped out

When the sweet potatoes are cooked, cut them in half and use a large spoon to scoop out the insides. Discard the skins.

I prefer to make the casserole with fresh yams, but you can also use canned sweet potatoes. I find the canned variety makes the casserole a little too runny, but it still tastes good.

If you have whole pecans, chop them into large chunks.

Melt 3/4 cup butter. I usually do this by heating the butter in a small bowl in the microwave for about 1 minute. Heating it on low heat in a small saucepan on the stove also works.

Make the sweet potato mixture

Add the sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl. Then add melted butter, 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon.

For a less sweet version, decrease the brown sugar to about 3/4 cup.

Mix until the potatoes are smooth.

Finally stir in the whipping cream with a spoon. This gives the sweet potato casserole some extra richness. However, it still tastes really good without it, so you can leave it out if you prefer.

sweet potato mixture spread in a slow cooker and the pecan topping

Spoon the whole mixture into a 6-quart slow cooker. Lining it with a slow cooker liner will help make clean up easier.

Make the topping

Melt ¼ cup butter.

Then mix together the chopped pecans, ¾ cup brown sugar and the melted butter for the topping.

Sprinkle it over the top of the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker.

Cook

Sweet potato casserole in a slow cooker

Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

If you would prefer to bake the sweet potato casserole, you can make it in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Then bake at 350℉ for 30 minutes.

Crockpot sweet potato casserole with pecans on a plate

FAQs

Can you make sweet potato casserole ahead of time

Yes! Make the sweet potato mixture and the topping. Store them separately in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to cook them, spread the topping on top of the sweet potato mixture and cook as directed above. If the casserole is cold when you turn on the crock pot, add an additional 30 minutes to the cooking time.

Is sweet potato casserole gluten-free?

Yes, this version is naturally gluten-free.

Other recipes you might like

Southern Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole

Wanda Simone
This decadent southern sweet potato casserole made in a slow cooker is absolutely delicious as a side or a dessert for your holiday meal.
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 24 servings
Calories 302 kcal

Equipment

  • mixer with mixing bowl
  • small bowl or saucepan
  • 6 quart slow cooker
  • medium bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 12 to 14 sweet potatoes about 8 cups
  • ¾ cup butter
  • cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • cup whipping cream, half-and-half, or milk optional

Topping

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter

Instructions
 

Prepare the Sweet Potatoes

  • Poke holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork. Microwave them on high until they are soft. In my microwave, this takes about 25 minutes for this many potatoes (but that will vary by machine). You can also bake them or boil them if you prefer.
  • Once cooked, cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the insides. 
  • Discard the skins and put the sweet potato pulp in the mixing bowl.
  • Melt ⅔ cup butter and add it to the bowl.
  • Add 1¼ cups brown sugar, 4 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon to the mixing bowl.
  • Mix until the sweet potatoes are smooth.
  • If you are using whipping cream, stir it into the sweet potato mixture by hand.
  • Spread in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.

Make the Topping

  • Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a small bowl.
  • Combine all of the topping ingredients (pecans, 3/4 cup brown sugar and the melted butter) in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Sprinkle over top of the sweet potato mixture in the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on high heat in the slow cooker for 3 hours.

Notes

  • You can also boil or bake the sweet potatoes if you prefer, but I think microwaving them is the easiest and fastest way to get them ready.
  • I like to use slow cooker liners in my crock pot. They make clean up so much easier!
  • You can also bake this recipe. Just spread the mixture out in a 9″ x 13″ pan and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
  • To make the casserole a day ahead of time, prepare the sweet potatoes and the topping separately, but don’t put the topping on yet. When you are ready to cook it, add the topping just before you turn on the slow cooker. If the casserole is cold (ie. it came straight out of the refrigerator), cook in the crock pot for an additional 30 minutes.
Substitutons:
  • Substitute 2 29-ounce cans of sweet potatoes for the fresh if you prefer. I find it’s a little runnier but it still tastes great.
  • Use half-and-half or milk instead of the whipping cream. Or eliminate the dairy altogether. It will be a little less creamy, but still delicious
  • Reduce the amount of brown sugar if you don’t like your sweet potato casserole to be as sweet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 302 kcalCarbohydrates: 42 gProtein: 3 gFat: 14 gSaturated Fat: 7 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 5 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 60 mgSodium: 149 mgPotassium: 444 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 23 gVitamin A: 16413 IUVitamin C: 3 mgCalcium: 65 mgIron: 1 mg
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