Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Introduction to Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, a name synonymous with fine dining and exceptional steak, has a history that is as rich and flavorful as its menu. Founded in 1965 by Ruth Fertel, a single mother in New Orleans, the restaurant quickly gained fame not just for its steaks but for its distinctive side dishes, one of which is the Sweet Potato Casserole. This dish has transcended its role as a mere accompaniment to become a star in its own right, beloved by patrons and sought after by culinary enthusiasts far and wide. Its popularity is such that it has become a staple at Thanksgiving dinners across the country, with many attempting to recreate its unique flavors at home.

The Recipe’s Unique Appeal

The Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole is not your ordinary side dish. Its appeal lies in the harmonious blend of textures and flavors that it brings to the table. The casserole is a masterful combination of creamy, mashed sweet potatoes topped with a crunchy, pecan and brown sugar crust. This contrast not only delights the palate but also elevates the dish from a simple sweet potato mash to a decadent treat. Unlike other sweet potato casseroles that rely heavily on marshmallows for sweetness, Ruth Chris’ version uses a pecan crust to add depth and a nutty richness, making it stand out. The casserole’s warmth and sweetness make it a comforting choice, while its elegant presentation ensures it fits perfectly in the most upscale Thanksgiving spread.

Ingredients Breakdown

The magic of Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole lies in its carefully selected ingredients, each playing a crucial role in crafting its unforgettable taste and texture:

  • Sweet Potatoes: The foundation of the casserole, sweet potatoes offer a naturally sweet and creamy base.
  • Sugar: Enhances the inherent sweetness of the sweet potatoes, balancing the flavors.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a layer of aromatic sweetness, complementing the natural flavors of the sweet potatoes.
  • Eggs: Bind the mixture together, contributing to the casserole’s rich texture.
  • Butter: Infuses the dish with a silky, indulgent quality that is hard to resist.
  • Brown Sugar: Key to the topping, it caramelizes to create a sweet, crunchy crust.
  • Flour: Helps thicken the pecan topping, giving it structure.
  • Pecans: The star of the topping, pecans offer a nutty crunch that contrasts beautifully with the creamy sweet potatoes.

Each ingredient is essential, working together to create a dish that is more than the sum of its parts. The sweet potatoes provide a velvety backdrop for the symphony of flavors, while the pecan crust offers a textural contrast that is both surprising and delightful. This careful balance of ingredients is what makes Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole a must-have at any festive gathering.

Step-by-Step Recipe Instructions

Preparing the Sweet Potatoes:
The first step in creating Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole is to prepare the sweet potatoes. Begin by washing and peeling your sweet potatoes. Cut them into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. You can boil, bake, or microwave them until they are fork-tender. Once cooked, mash the sweet potatoes until smooth, ensuring there are no lumps. This creamy base is crucial for the overall texture of the casserole.

Mixing the Filling:
To the mashed sweet potatoes, add sugar, vanilla extract, beaten eggs, and melted butter. Mix these ingredients well until you achieve a homogenous mixture. The eggs and butter will help bind the mixture, adding richness and depth, while the sugar and vanilla enhance the sweet potatoes’ natural flavors. This step is where the sweet potatoes transform into a velvety filling, ready to be layered into the casserole dish.

Creating the Pecan Crust:
The pecan crust is what sets this casserole apart. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, chopped pecans, and melted butter. Mix until the ingredients come together in a crumbly texture. This mixture will be sprinkled over the top of the sweet potato filling, creating a sweet and crunchy topping that contrasts beautifully with the creamy layer beneath.

Baking Tips for Perfection:
Preheat your oven to the temperature specified in the recipe, usually around 350°F (175°C). Transfer the sweet potato mixture into a baking dish, smoothing the top with a spatula. Evenly sprinkle the pecan crust mixture over the filling. Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is golden brown and the casserole is heated through. To ensure even baking, place the dish in the center of the oven. Let the casserole sit for a few minutes before serving, as this will help the layers set and make it easier to slice.


  • Can the Casserole Be Made Ahead of Time?
    Yes, the casserole can be prepared up to two days in advance. Assemble the sweet potato filling in the baking dish and cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap. Store it in the refrigerator. The pecan crust mixture should be prepared and stored separately. When ready to bake, add the crust topping and bake as directed.
  • Can Canned Sweet Potatoes Be Used?
    Canned sweet potatoes are a convenient alternative and can be used in this recipe. Ensure they are drained well and not packed in syrup, as this can alter the sweetness and texture of the casserole. You may need to adjust the sugar in the recipe accordingly.
  • Freezing and Reheating Instructions:
    The fully baked casserole can be frozen for up to three months. Wrap it well in foil and place it in a freezer-safe container. To reheat, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight and then bake in a 350°F (175°C) oven until warmed through, about 20-30 minutes. If the topping begins to brown too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.

By following these steps and tips, you can create a Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole that is sure to impress at any gathering, bringing a touch of gourmet elegance to your holiday table.

Ruth Chris' Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Ruth Chris' Sweet Potato Casserole is a luxurious side dish that combines creamy mashed sweet potatoes with a crunchy pecan and brown sugar crust. Perfect for Thanksgiving or any festive occasion, this casserole is sure to impress your guests with its rich flavors and elegant presentation.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 10 servings
Calories 400 kcal


  • Large pot or microwave for cooking sweet potatoes
  • Mixing bowls
  • Hand mixer or potato masher
  • 9x13 inch baking dish
  • Measuring cups and spoons


For the Sweet Potato Mixture:

  • 3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes about 3-4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • ½ cup 1 stick butter, melted

For the Pecan Crust:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • cup butter melted


  • Prepare the Sweet Potatoes: Cook the sweet potatoes until tender, either by boiling, baking, or microwaving. Peel and mash until smooth.
  • Mix the Filling: In a large bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, eggs, and melted butter. Beat until well mixed and creamy.
  • Prepare the Pecan Crust: In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, chopped pecans, and melted butter until crumbly.
  • Assemble the Casserole: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the sweet potato mixture into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the pecan crust mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake: Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the casserole is heated through.
  • Serve: Allow the casserole to sit for a few minutes before serving. This helps the layers set and makes it easier to slice.


  • Make-Ahead Tip: The sweet potato mixture can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days in advance. Add the pecan crust just before baking.
  • Freezing Instructions: The baked casserole can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warm.
  • Substitutions: Canned sweet potatoes can be used in place of fresh. Drain and rinse them before mashing. Adjust sugar as needed since canned sweet potatoes may be sweeter.
Keyword Holiday Side Dish, Pecan Crust, Ruth Chris Sweet Potato Casserole, Sweet Potato, Thanksgiving