Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
OK. I will be very honest. I did not grow up eating sweet potato casserole or sweet potatoes. Or even celebrating Thanksgiving in Ukraine. But my job, blogging, pushes me outside my comfort zone often more than I would have liked to.
And I made healthy sweet potato casserole recipe last week. And I am A CONVERT! It is airy and fluffy. Sweetened with honey and so comforting. And those candied pecans on top are so delicious. All healthy and so easy.
I now totally dig your Thanksgiving side dish hype!
Is Sweet Potato Casserole Healthy?
I think most North Americans know traditional sweet potato casserole baked with marshmallows on top. I will be very honest once again and say that it sounds a bit strange to me. To eat a dinner item with marshmallows.
Luckily it is unhealthy too. So we don’t have to.
My version is healthy. Tip: everyone has their own definition of “healthy”.
Sweet Potato Health Benefits
- Sweet potatoes are full of good for you carbs and naturally occuring sugars. Don’t listen to anyone who says they are starchy carb and sugar bombs.
- 1 cup of baked sweet potato provides half of your daily Vitamin C. Hello, stronger immune system.
- A source of skin, vision and organ functioning vitamin A.
- Loaded with manganese, potassium and vitamin B.
- Full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Sweet potatoes fill you up without raising blood sugar and insulin levels.
iFOODreal’s Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients
So simple and versatile.
- Sweet potato
- Maple syrup
- Almond flour
- 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.
How to Make Easy Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
Please note this recipe serves 6. I know many of you serve large crowds on Thanksgiving. Please double or triple the recipe.
1. Cook Sweet Potatoes
- In a large pot, add sweet potatoes, 1/2 tsp salt and enough cold water to cover. Starchy texture of potatoes absorbs salt during cooking. It makes them more flavorful vs. adding more salt after cooking.
- Place lid on top and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Just like with regular potatoes. You want to be able to mash them well.
2. Prepare Pecan Topping
- In a medium shallow bowl, add pecans, almond flour and sugar. All dry ingredients. If using maple syrup or honey as a sweetener, add with butter or coconut oil.
- Stir well to mix.
- Add butter or coconut oil in pieces. Using a fork incorporate into the topping. Mash ingredients to create crumbly texture.
- Set aside.
3. Make Sweet Potato Mixture
- Drain cooked sweet potatoes very well. You do not want watery sweet potato casserole.
- Add butter while sweet potatoes are still hot after draining. Mash until smooth. This ensures butter melts and incorporates into casserole better than if you added with cold milk and other ingredients.
- Add milk, egg, honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt. I like to whisk the egg separately before adding. But not a big deal.
- Stir well to mix. I like to use the same masher to save on dirty utensils and dishes. You can use spatula.
- Transfer to square 8 x 8 casserole dish.
- Level with spatula.
- Sprinkle pecan topping on top.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Serve hot. So good fresh!
How to Make Ahead Baked Sweet Potato Casserole
There are quite a few ways to save time cooking this casserole on actual Thanksgiving day.
- Cook sweet potatoes in the morning and mash with butter. Finish sweet potato mixture, top with toppings and bake right before serving. As long as butter had a chance to melt in hot potatoes, it’s all good.
- Make sweet potato mixture in the morning or even the day before. Refrigerate in a baking dish covered with plastic. Make topping and bake. Or you can also refrigerate prepared topping separately for up to a day.
What to Serve with Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
I’m working on more Thanksgiving dishes right now. Please check back soon.
More Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes
- Sweet potato egg casserole – make ahead breakfast for Holidays
- Sweet potato hummus – with chipotle in adobo kick
- Sweet potato skillet – 30 minute vegetarian one pan dinner
- Sweet potato pizza crust – you just slice sweet potatoes
- Sweet potato and eggs – one pan 30 minute brinner
- Sweet potato meal prep – Pad Thai low carb version
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
How to make Easy Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole without marshmallows. Delicious and simple recipe with make ahead tips. It is so airy, fluffy and comforting! A perfect sweet addition to your Thanksgiving table.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 65 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Thanksgiving
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- 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.
This healthy sweet potato casserole is very forgiving. You can use any kind of milk like almond milk, butter or coconut oil, and liquid or dry sugar.
*I particularly like the taste of sugar in a pecan topping, so I use organic cane sugar. It makes the best candied pecans. It also ensures crumbly topping.
You can omit the egg or use flax egg replacer.
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.