Thanksgiving on a Budget: Sweet Potato Casserole and Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

If you've never had this sweet potato casserole before, let me tell you,
you're in for a treat. Even if you don't normally like sweet potatoes,
you'll want to try this because I'm guessing this is one sweet potato
dish you will eat and like.

Best of all, it's simple and fairly economical–especially if you
can snag a deal on sweet potatoes. (By the way, Aldi has them on sale
this week at $0.99 for three pounds so you should go scoop some up
there if you have an Aldi store close by!)


Our Sweet Potato Casserole

4 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cups milk
6 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
chopped pecans, optional

Mix first six ingredients together and spread in a 9×13-inch dish. Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Makes approximately 10 servings. This can be made the day before Thanksgiving and kept in the refrigerator and baked on Thanksgiving morning.


Our Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

15 small to medium potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sour cream (can use plain yogurt)
1 8 oz. block cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cut and boil potatoes leaving the skins on (unless you prefer them skinless). Use mixer, Bosch, food processor, or KitchenAid to mash potatoes and add in the rest of the ingredients. Place potato mixer in a slightly greased 9×13-inch. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes approximately 8 servings.

These potatoes can be made the day before Thanksgiving and kept in the refrigerator and baked on Thanksgiving morning. Or, if you're really brave, you might try Amy's method of freezing and reheating in the crock pot.

Up Next: $5 Dinner Mom's recipe for Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce and her recipe for some easy green veggies for a healthful side.

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  1. Jennifer says

    My mother-in-law begs me to make a variation of this dish every year. I originally got my recipe from my great-aunt. I add cinnamon instead of vanilla and sometimes coconut and pecans to mine. Also, I usually top mine with marshmallows since my mil is allergic to wheat flour. I might try a flour subsitute this year.

  2. Honey says

    Boy, all those pictures are making me hungry! I use the same recipe for sweet potatoes, but it is called “sweet potato crunch” in these parts…It really is the best recipe I’ve ever found. Its like dessert! I think I’ve successfully reduced the sugar slightly, but hey, why scrimp-its a holiday and you’re pregnant. :)

  3. Honey says

    Jennifer, hi. I don’t know if gluten is the issue or just wheat, but OAT FLOUR is a nice, tasty substitute for wheat flour! I think oats might contain gluten, so if that’s the issue it wouldn’t work. Hope that helps.

  4. Christine says

    Just a note to say I am loving this series so far. This is my first year hosting Thanksgiving, so I am very glad for the ideas & advice!

  5. says

    I actually hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner at my house last week, and made my mashed potatoes in the crock pot – not frozen, but they cooked all day and then I mixed them right in the crockpot. It was nice because it didn’t take up any room in the oven – or on the stove top! :)

  6. Madeline says

    I like to bake the sweet potatoes in the oven like a regular potato. Split them open, add a little butter, just a touch of salt and a sprinkle of brown sugar. The baking brings out the natural sweetness so much you can even skip the brown sugar!

  7. says

    I have frozen mashed potatoes successfully many times. I just freeze them in a Rubbermaid container and then put them in an oven-safe dish for reheating in the microwave. I stir it a few times while reheating. You cannot even tell that they’ve been frozen!

    Your sweet potato casserole sounds yummy!

  8. says

    Thank you for this recipe! We do the sweet potato casserole each year (for the past 3 or 4) and I don’t have a specific recipe, so I’ll try this one. Also, our Kroger has sweet potatoes for .37 a pound this week, so if there’s no Aldi nearby you can get them there – it’s almost the same price.

  9. Sherri says

    Your sweet potatoes look a lot like my MIL’s recipe. I was a fool for years to not try it- what I was missing! That’ll teach me to be picky. One suggestion- you could substitute graham cracker crumbs for the nuts in the topping. Way cheaper than the nuts, but it still adds some texture. My family loves it that way.

  10. Lana says

    We love those sweet potatoes too. I cut the sugar in half and we don’t even miss it. Food Lion has sweet potatoes for 29 cents a pound this week.

  11. nikki says

    My MIL gave me the potato recipe and not only is it nice because you can make them ahead of time, but they are some of the best mashed potatoes I have ever had.

  12. Jessica says

    Sweet Potatoes are .43cents/lb this coming week (my ad runs from thurs – weds.) !!! I think I’m REALLy going to stock up! Now all I need are some healthy recipes to make and freeze….
    Any ideas?

  13. anonymous says

    Sweet potato casserole sounds good. Why not use the “Steam n’ Mash” sweet potatoes that some of us probably have in the freezer from previous (free after coupon) deals? I probably won’t make a turkey breast this year for my DH and myself. I’m planning on making the filet mignons that I got from the Omaha Steaks deal (remember the deal? BTW I did not get the free steak burgers either!LOL)
    I will also make pumpkin pie, the canned Libby’s pumpkin I got a few months ago on clearance at Walgreens for $0.40 a can, the condensed milk I got last week at Walgreens very cheap, too with coupons. Publix has Keebler’s pie crust on sale (last day today) for $0.99. I got to go there now…

  14. Gail says

    Oooh…these recipes look yummy! Thanks for sharing and I’ll be definitely making them for our Thanksgiving meal. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  15. says

    Whoa…. mashed potatoes with the Kitchenaid? And how do I do that??? (I begged and pleaded for years for a Kitchenaid mixer and now I don’t really know what to do with it – I usually just do things by hand still!)

  16. says

    Mmm sweet potato casserole is one of our favorites. It is like dessert in a vegetable form!

    I always make my mashed potatoes in the Kitchen Aid mixer, makes them nice and creamy!

  17. says

    I will be making my mashed potatoes this week, using a technique I learned on Wise Bread:
    1) scrub and half a large bag of potatoes (I’ll do 5 pounds, probably)
    2) bake them for about an hour
    3) scoop insides into mixer bowl, and add your regular add-ins (by the way I love the idea of adding cream cheese, mmm)
    4) use the potato skins as a tasty appetizer. you can freeze them just as they are in a freezer bag and put them in oven before serving.

    This works out really great for us this year because i’m having a birthday party for myself Saturday. so there will be a tater skin bar at the party, then we’ll eat the insides on Thursday. My only dilemma is finding room in my freezer to store the potatoes until next week! What with all the Jewel Catalina deals and all the pumpkin puree I’ve made, it’s jam packed.

  18. says

    I just bought sweet potatoes for $.25/lb at walmart in the DFW area! woohoo!
    I cant wait for the day when I get to cook my own Thanksgiving spread, right now we fight over going to my family or my in-laws.

  19. mandy atkinson says

    how do you get the sweet potatoes to mashing consistency? Do you peel and boil like regular potatoes or do you bake and peel? I don’t have any experience with sweet potatoes at all. I am hosting Christmas dinner for the first time this year and I’m starting to fear it’s not going to be as good as my mother’s has always been.

  20. Jennifer C says

    Just wanted to let you know I got a Walmart add today for today through Thanksgiving and they have sweet potatos for $.25/pound and some other really good deals on baking stuff, like Campbells cream of chicken or mushroom for$.60 ea.

  21. madeline says

    Can someone please anwser the question posted by Mandy reguarding how to get sweet potatoes to mashing consistency? This will be my first time working with sweet potatoes also and I am a little nervous since I am making these for my new soon-to-be BIL.


  22. 4ddintx says

    To get sweet potatoes to mashing consistency, I always boil them, with the skin on, until a fork comes out easily. Then, once they cool a bit, the skin slips right off, then add your extras and mash away.

    Hope that helps. The fresh sweet potatoes are so much better than canned.

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