Buttery Cracker Sweet Potato Casserole is a short-cut easy recipe for this classic side dish. It starts with canned yams (sweet potatoes) and then it's topped with a sweet & buttery Ritz cracker topping. Don't let the canned ingredient fool you, because this is my family's favorite version of classic sweet potato casserole that is on our Thanksgiving table every single year.
Easy Sweet Potato Casserole with Canned Yams and Ritz Cracker Topping
What's your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? For me, that is an easy answer. I love sweet potato casserole! Like, love it so much that I have been known to make it year round as a side dish to dinner. Do you ever make it other than at Thanksgiving?
I don't know what it is but I can't get enough of sweet potato casseroles. I love all kinds; the ones with pecan streusel topping, the gooey marshmallow topping, the all out homemade casseroles, or even the shortcut sweet potato casseroles that use canned sweet potatoes. Yes, canned! And trust me you won't even know it uses canned yams or sweet potatoes.
Using canned sweet potatoes (also called yams) makes this dish so simple to prepare. No need to peel, boil, and mash the sweet potatoes. It's already done for you!
I am telling you that the secret to this recipe today is the canned sweet potatoes. Trust me when I say that they will rock your world 😊 If you're not sold on the canned idea, just try it. I promise you'll love it and you and everyone else won't have any idea that is was so easy to make.
- Canned Sweet Potatoes (Yams) - These are most commonly labeled and referred to as yams. They are the same thing. They need to be drained well before adding them into the mixing bowl. I use a calendar to make sure all the liquid and syrup is drained off.
- Granulated Sugar - The sweetener for our sweet potato casserole mixture.
- Large Egg - This helps bind the casserole together so it's not all runny.
- Melted Butter
- Ground Cinnamon
- Kosher Salt - Any salt can be used, I just prefer kosher salt.
- Ritz Crackers
- Brown Sugar
How To Make Butter Cracker Sweet Potato Casserole
Learn how to make easy sweet potato casserole with the simple to follow steps below. Be sure and read to the bottom of the page where there is a detailed recipe card with a printable option and a pin it button so you can save this recipe for later.
- Prep : Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Dump the sweet potatoes into a colander to let all the liquid and syrup drain off.
- Sweet Potato Layer : Add the drained sweet potatoes, sugar, egg, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt to a mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to blend everything together until it's smooth and combined. I like it really smooth so I beat it for about 1-2 minutes. Evenly spread this into the prepared dish.
- Ritz Cracker Topping : Crush the Ritz crackers using a food processor or chopper and add it into a small mixing bowl along with the brown sugar and melted butter. Stir together until moist crumbs form. Sprinkle this evenly over top the sweet potato inside the baking dish.
- Cook : Put it in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbly. Let it set and cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Easy Canned Sweet Potato Casserole FAQ's
How To Store Leftovers
- Store leftovers inside an airtight Tupperware type container, or cover the dish in plastic wrap, inside the fridge for up to 5 days.
- The ritz cracker topping will get softer the longer it sits in the fridge, but that has never stopped my family from eating the leftovers. They're still fabulous!
- Reheat leftovers in the microwave.
Can I Make Sweet Potato Casserole (with Canned Sweet Potatoes) Ahead of Time?
- Yes, you can! I love making this casserole the day before Thanksgiving. One less thing to prep and worry about on the big day!
- Prepare the casserole as directed in the recipe but don't put the Ritz cracker topping on. Instead, save the cracker topping mixture in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware, and leave it at room temperature until the following day. Cover the baking dish, with just the sweet potato layer, in plastic wrap and let it refrigerate overnight and until the next day when it's time to bake it.
- Before baking, sprinkle the cracker topping over top and bake according to the recipe directions. You may need to add some additional time if baking from the fridge OR leave the casserole dish out at room temperature for about 20 minutes so it can come closer to room temperature before putting it in the oven.
What Else Can I Use Besides Ritz Crackers?
- Although I highly recommend using Ritz crackers (I've never made it any other way) you could also use Club Crackers if wanted. Make sure to stick with a butter & salty type cracker which will pair perfectly with the brown sugar and sweet potato mixture.
Can I Boil Sweet Potatoes Instead of Using Canned?
- Yes, of course! Although keep in mind that this will not be an EASY sweet potato casserole if peeling & boiling sweet potatoes. And honestly, no one has ever figured out that it's made with canned sweet potatoes. I recommend trying the canned potatoes and then if you really hate it, make it with fresh sweet potatoes.
- You will need about 3 cups of mashed and pureed sweet potatoes if using fresh ones. I have actually never done it this way so that is not an exact amount, I would guess it's anywhere from 2.5 cups to 3 cups.
Here are a few of my helpful tips so that you can have success making this recipe in your own kitchen ♥
- Make It Ahead of Time : This casserole is perfect to make the day before. I always make it the day before Thanksgiving and let it refrigerate until the next day when I have to bake it. If you're preparing it the night before leave off the Ritz cracker topping. You can still mix together the cracker topping but keep it in a Tupperware container or Ziploc bag until the following day. Refrigerate the casserole without the topping.
- Use a Hand Mixer : I think most people prefer a smooth and creamy sweet potato casserole, which is why I recommend using an electric hand mixer because it will get the mixture really smooth and combined well. If you want it chunkier then try using a potato masher to combine the sweet potato casserole ingredients.
- Double The Recipe : I usually double this recipe and make it in a 9x13 baking dish. If you're doubling the recipe it's really simple, just use double the amount of every ingredients listed. Cook time won't change a ton but it may need slightly more time in the oven.
More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes You'll Love
- Cranberry Fluff - You will find this at my table every single year. Full of fresh cranberries, marshmallows, pineapple, and homemade whipped cream. Don't miss this one.
- One Hour Rolls - If you're scared of yeast recipes (me!) then try this one out. Basically fail-proof and so buttery.
- Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes - So creamy and smooth, these are made year-round in my kitchen.
- Stove Top Stuffing - This stuffing has no egg in it which means it won't turn out soggy and weird. Made with crusty bread, fresh veggies, and dried seasonings. The bread is toasted in the oven which makes all the difference.
- Ambrosia Fruit Salad - It's always nice to have a sweet and creamy fruit salad with all the heavy dishes at the Thanksgiving dishes. This one is always a crowd favorite.
- No Mushroom Green Bean Casserole - You'll never make this classic side dish any other way after trying this recipe. No creamed soups and no mushrooms! Made with canned green beans and a sour cream sauce.
Buttery Cracker Sweet Potato Casserole
- 1 can (40 oz) sweet potatoes/yams drained well
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Buttery Cracker Topping
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers (about 30 crackers)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl add the drained sweet potatoes, egg, granulated sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt. Use an electric hand mixer to blend it all together until it's well combined and smooth & creamy. Spread it into the prepared baking dish.
- Crush the Ritz crackers using a food processor/food chopper, or use a Ziploc bag and meat pounder, until they're fine crumbs.
- In a small mixing bowl add the crushed crackers, brown sugar and melted butter. Stir together with a fork until it resembles wet sand. Sprinkle it evenly over the sweet potato layer in the baking dish.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Top will be lightly toasted and internal temperature should be 165° F.Let the sweet potato casserole cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.