Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with crunchy pecan sugar topping is melt in your mouth, delicious and comforting casserole for your Holiday table without the guilt.
Bonus – can be made ahead and frozen. You’re welcome! 🙂
This healthy sweet potato casserole is airy, creamy and fluffy. Sweet potatoes mashed with maple syrup, milk, butter with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. Crunchy pecan topping is absolutely irresistible with only wholesome ingredients.
Sweet potato casserole is not something I grew up with. But I feel like I nailed the recipe after making my Ukrainian version for 20 years now.
This Southern classic lightened up is so-so good!
Ingredients for Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- Sweet potatoes: Look for firm, dry sweet potatoes or “yams” with red, brown or light skin and no discoloration.
- Butter: You can use coconut oil, ghee or vegan butter.
- Milk: I used whole milk but any works. Use almond milk, soy milk or any plant-based milk for dairy free version.
- Egg: A flax egg replacer will make this vegan sweet potato casserole. Don’t forget the maple syrup and not honey. Or skip all together if allergic. Egg helps with texture but not critical.
- Maple syrup: You can use honey, organic cane or coconut sugar. I like to use sugar in a pecan topping. It makes it taste like candied pecans and crunchy.
- Almond flour: Substitute with almond meal or coconut flour. All of them naturally gluten free.
- Cinnamon, salt and pepper.
How to Make Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
Please note this baked sweet potato casserole recipe serves 6. I know many of you serve large crowds on Thanksgiving. Feel free to double or triple the recipe along with using large and deep 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Boil cubed sweet potatoes: Boil peeled and cubed sweet potatoes until soft. Drain very well to avoid watery sweet potato casserole.
- Mash potatoes: Mash with butter, milk, egg and spices. Add butter while sweet potatoes are still hot after draining. This ensures butter melts and incorporates into casserole better than if you added with cold milk and other ingredients.
- Make pecan crumb topping: Combine dry ingredients like pecans, almond flour and sugar first. Then add butter or coconut oil in pieces and incorporate with a fork. You should end up with very crumbly topping.
- Assemble and bake: Spread sweet potato mixture in a baking dish and sprinkle with topping. Bake for 45 minutes in preheated 350 degrees F oven.
Make Ahead and Freezing Tips
There are quite a few ways to save time cooking this casserole on Thanksgiving day.
Make Ahead: Prepare mashed sweet potatoes and topping for up to 24 hours. Refrigerate separately – you can spread sweet potatoes in baking dish and store covered with plastic. When ready, assemble casserole and bake as per recipe.
Freeze uncooked: Assemble, cover with a few layers of plastic and freeze for up to 2 weeks. When ready to bake, let dish warm up on a counter for 30-60 minutes to prevent shattering. Then bake by following the recipe plus 20 minutes.
Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter or in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Reheat in a microwave or oven.
More Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
- Green bean casserole
- Boneless turkey breast roast
- Instant Pot turkey breast
- Mashed potatoes
- Cranberry sauce
- Beet salad with arugula and feta
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- 2 lbs sweet potato peeled & cubed
- 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 egg large
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp salt divided
- 1/2 cup pecans roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup almond flour or meal
- 1 tbsp cane or coconut sugar maple syrup or honey*
- 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- In a large pot, add sweet potatoes, 1/2 tsp salt and enough cold water to cover. Place lid on top, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the meanwhile, prepare pecan topping. In a medium shallow bowl, add pecans, almond flour and sugar. Stir well to mix.
- Add butter or coconut oil in pieces and using a fork incorporate into the topping. Set aside.
- Drain sweet potatoes very well.
- Add butter and mash until smooth.
- Add milk, egg, honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt. Using same masher or spatula stir well to mix.
- Transfer sweet potato mixture to square 8 x 8 baking dish, level with spatula and sprinkle pecan topping on top. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot.
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