Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Classic sweet potato casserole is loaded with sugar and high in fat. With this healthy sweet potato casserole, you can enjoy this classic side dish without all of the extra calories!

Sweet potato casserole with pecans in a white dish.
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Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

I think most of us have dug into a traditional sweet potato casserole at some point in our lives, right? Some of them are the perfect balance of sweetness, whereas others just simply have too much sugar.

When I became the adult making food for Thanksgiving dinner, I had the realization that the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes should be harnessed to make a healthier version of this classic side.

That is when this easy sweet potato casserole recipe was born! Instead of using brown sugar and white sugar, this entire casserole is sweetened with maple syrup. We kicked refined sugar to the curb and used maple syrup in it's place.

If you think about it, it makes sense to sweeten fall treats with maple syrup. These pumpkin muffins are sweetened with maple syrup and think they're better for it!

So doing the same to healthy sweet potato casserole is just so tasty. You're going to love serving this at your holiday table that is full of delicious food!

Why You'll Love this Recipe

Turn a family favorite into something more healthy and hearty! There are so many reason to love this twist on a classic recipe:

  • With no refined sugar, this sweet potato casserole is kid-friendly and family friendly. You can feel confident that the food on your Thanksgiving table is good for all who eat it!
  • This easy recipe is gluten free and great for other dietary and nutritional restrictions.
  • You do not have to be a pro in the kitchen to make this recipe. There's no extensive techniques required and anyone can easily make a healthy sweet potato casserole!
A serving of sweet potato casserole with pecans on a plate.

Ingredients

Here is a list of everything you need to make this great recipe. Don't forget the topping ingredients to add the perfect crunch on top of that sweet potato filling! Add these ingredients to your grocery list:

Sweet potato casserole ingredients on a counter top.
  • sweet potatoes
  • eggs
  • ground cinnamon
  • maple syrup
  • melted butter
  • salt
  • pure vanilla extract
  • pecans, finely chopped

Substitutions and Variations

If you find that this casserole is not sweet enough to your liking, you can add a bit of coconut sugar so that it sweetens the dish without adding refined sugar into the mix.

I do not recommend subbing in vegan butter or margarine for this recipe. Butter provides the best flavor with creamy sweet potatoes.

Don't like crunchy pecans? That's ok! You can use some finely chopped walnuts instead. And while this is a more healthy recipe, feel free to add mini marshmallows to the top if you need to eat them for tradition's sake!

Turn the pecan topping into a pecan streusel topping by mixing it with some coconut sugar. They'll bake more like a candied pecan, but keep in mind it adds a few more calories to this dish.

How to Make Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Follow this easy step by step guide and make the best sweet potato casserole recipe ever:

A spoon scooping sweet potato casserole with pecans on a plate.

For this first step, you can either cook the large sweet potatoes in boiling water on the stove top in a large saucepan or pot. You can also make them in the Instant Pot. Personally, I use the Instant Pot so those instructions are detailed here.

Leave the skins on your fresh sweet potatoes, add enough water to cover them, and cook them in the Instant Pot with the manual setting for 12 minutes. Quick release the pressure, then drain the water and the peels should fall right off.

Let the cooked potatoes cool for 5-10 minutes before mixing in the other ingredients.

While you wait for the potatoes to cool, preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C) and grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, then use a hand mixer or potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes. Add in the eggs, cinnamon, maple syrup, melted butter and salt and mix until well combined.

Healthy sweet potato casserole in a white dish.

Pour the sweet potato mixture into a greased 9x13 casserole dish.

Then mix together finely chopped pecans, cinnamon, butter and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

Add the pecan topping over the top of the sweet potato base, then place the entire casserole in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Keep a close eye as the casserole bakes to ensure the pecans don't burn.

Sweet potato casserole with pecans in a white dish.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then serve!

How to Store Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Transfer sweet potato casserole to an airtight container or tightly wrap the casserole dish in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. It may last a bit longer, but after a couple days the pecans will start to soften and change texture and it isn't super appealing.

You can also fully prepare your casserole, and stop just before baking. Wrap it in aluminum foil and then freeze for up to 3 months! Bake whenever you're ready.

Sweet potato casserole topped with pecans in a white dish.

What to Serve with Sweet Potato Casserole

This classic side dish is perfect with all of your thanksgiving favorites. Green bean casserole, turkey, Thanksgiving fruit salad, easy cheesy potatoes, the list could go on!

But you can make healthy sweet potato casserole for a simple weeknight meal too. Serve it with cast iron skillet steak or baked chicken meatballs.

Even a small serving with some breakfast casserole would be a tasty and hearty breakfast!

Tips for Success

Here are a few tips to make sure you create the most amazing sweet potato casserole ever:

  • To keep the fluffy texture of the sweet potatoes, make sure you don't over mash you potatoes.
  • Quickly chop up the pecans by adding them to a food processor and pulsing.a few times. Just make sure not to pulse too much or you'll have a pecan powder!
  • Adjust cook time of the sweet potatoes according to their size. If you have large potatoes, they will need a longer time in the boiling water or Instant Pot.
Sweet potato casserole with pecans on a gold-rimmed plate.

FAQ

Are sweet potatoes healthy?

Sweet potatoes are a pretty healthy root veggie. They contain lots of vitamin C, beta carotene, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Cooking them in a healthier version of sweet potato casserole is a great way to keep the integrity of their nutritional benefits while still eating a sweet and tasty classic dish!

Why are there eggs in sweet potato casserole?

Eggs act as a binding agent that helps bring the casserole ingredients together and give them a bit of structure. Without the eggs, the casserole may be a little flimsy and would be hard to spoon out and serve.

More Fall Recipes

Sweet potato casserole with pecans in a white dish.

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

This healthy sweet potato casserole is a great twist on a classic. Sweetened with maple syrup, you'll love the delicious fall flavors it brings to the table!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 42 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Madison Wetherill

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon divided
  • ½ cup maple syrup divided
  • ½ cup butter melted and divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans finely chopped

Instructions

  • You can cook your sweet potatoes in the stove by boiling them in water or in the Instant Pot. I leave the skin on and cook them in the Instant Pot!
  • Add enough water to cover the potatoes, and cook on the manual setting of the Instant Pot for about 12 minutes if using small to medium sweet potatoes.
  • Do a quick release, then drain the water and the peels will fall right off. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before mixing and adding eggs.
  • Preheat oven to 325º (164° C) and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Use a hand mixer to mash the sweet potatoes. Add eggs, 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, ¼ cup of maple syrup, ¼ cup of butter, and salt and mix until combined.
  • Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish.
  • Mix together finely chopped pecans, remaining cinnamon, butter and vanilla extract. Add on top of sweet potato mixture.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, keeping an eye on things to make sure the pecans do not burn.
  • Allow to cool slightly, then serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 285mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 20g

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4 Comments

  1. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! No one even realized that it didn't have refined sugar. It was perfectly sweet and delicious without it!

  2. I don't have the patience for pie crust, so this year I made a sweet potato casserole instead. Honestly, I found this to be just as tasty if not better than the more traditional pumpkin pie. I'll be making another at Christmas time.