When asked to choose, most southerners prefer the taste of sweet potato pie over the similar pumpkin pie. This traditional dessert, along with pecan pie, can be found on dinner tables throughout the south during the holiday season. Always served for Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is also popular for fall and winter Sunday dinners and served with coffee to drop-in guests. While northerners have adapted this southern food and sometimes add toppings such as marshmallows, southerners remain puritanical about the pie and refuse such additions. There are as many recipes for sweet potato pie as there are southern cooks, but they always include canned or fresh sweet potatoes, milk, eggs, sugar, and spices. This simple recipe will impress your friends and family but only requires eight ingredients, including canned sweet potatoes, and calls for a frozen pie shell.

Non-southerners are sometimes confused about the difference between sweet potato pie and sweet potato casserole. While the ingredients are basically the same, as well as the taste, sweet potato casserole is cooked and served in a casserole dish and does not have a crust. It is also acceptable to put toppings on sweet potato casserole where no southerner worth their salt would put a topping on a pie made from the same tuberous root. The most important difference is that the pie is served for dessert and the casserole as a side. Both are often served during the same meal.

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 14 ½ ounce can mashed sweet potato
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 9 inch frozen pie shell


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Process first eight ingredients in container of electric blender until smooth, stopping once to scrap down sides. Pour mixture into pastry shell.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes then reduce temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove pie and cover edge of crust with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Put pie back into oven and bake 20 more minutes or until a knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean.

4. Allow to cool. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Extra tips For This Sweet Potato Pie Recipe From Canned Potatoes

Sweet potato pie is best served at room temperature or cold. For an extra special treat, top with a dollop of whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon.