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Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

This healthy sweet potato casserole has all the tasty Thanksgiving flavors in one baked dish. It’s a lightened-up, sugar-free version of the classic recipe with a layer of creamy, spiced sweet potato topped with a nutty pecan crumble. It’s loaded with flavor and certainly not missing anything – you’ll love it!

Mashed sweet potato topped with a pecan crumble in a white casserole dish.

Hello sweet potato, we meet again. If you’ve been following along this season, I’m sure you’ve noticed how much I love this rich, versatile vegetable. From prosciutto wrapped sweet potato to roasted sweet potatoes to a sweet potato breakfast hash, the sweet potato recipes just keep on coming!

But when it comes to the holidays, there’s no doubt that they deserve a special place amongst your Thanksgiving side dishes.

While you expect a sweet potato casserole baked with marshmallows, I figured there’s no need to add extra sugar or softness to this recipe. Instead I’ve create a delicious golden crumble made from pecans, dates, pepitas, and almond flour. The contrast between silky sweet potatoes and crispy nuts makes for the perfect texture combination.

Blending sweet potatoes and chopping nuts.

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients

With just a few pantry staples and a bundle of sweet potatoes, your trip to the market will be a quick one. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Boiled Sweet Potatoes: Instead of baking, I boil my sweet potatoes to create a similar creamy texture to my mashed sweet potatoes. This will also save you some time!
  • Milk: You can use any type of milk here, but I use cashew milk. It’s got a creamy and nutty flavor that mixes well with the sweet potatoes.
  • Butter: While I’ve used melted butter, you can also use ghee. This will add extra creaminess to the sweet potatoes.
  • Spices: Throw in a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and vanilla extract to bring a spicy aroma to the sweet potato layer.
  • Pecan Crumble: This is a blend of chopped pecans, dates, pepitas, almond flour, and butter. It’s naturally sweetened from the dates. While the pecans and pepitas give it a savory crunch.

Mashed sweet potato layered in a casserole dish.

How To Make A Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

This easy, one pan recipe come together with a few simple steps. Just follow along below and you’ll have a winning Thanksgiving side dish in no time.

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes. Bring a large pot of water to boil, peel and dice the sweet potatoes, and let them cook for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Mash the sweet potatoes. Drain them with a colander and mash the sweet potatoes in a large bowl with a hand masher or electric beater.
  3. Add the butter and milk into the bowl and mix until it’s creamy. Then add the seasonings and blend again.
  4. Make the crumble topping. First, roughly chop the pecans, dates, and pepitas and toss them in a large bowl. Then add the almond flour and butter and mix with your hands until everything is combined.
  5. Spread the sweet potato in a flat layer into a baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle the pecan crumble on top as thin, even layer.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top becomes a nice golden brown.
  8. Let it cool once you take it out of the oven, then serve!

Close up photo of pecan crumble topping on sweet potato casserole.

Prepare This Casserole Ahead Of Time

Looking to meal prep this casserole ahead of time? No problem. To do this, just make sure to keep your mashed sweet potatoes and pecan crumble separate and tightly covered in the fridge.

On the next day, take the the mixtures out of the fridge and let the sweet potatoes thaw for about 30 minutes. Then, spread the sweet potato into an even layer in the baking dish and sprinkle the pecan crumble on top. Pop the dish into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp.

A big scoop of the healthy sweet potato casserole on a spoon.

More Thanksgiving Recipes

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, plan out your menu with these delicious recipes.

Mashed sweet potato topped with a pecan crumble in a white casserole dish.
5 from 13 votes

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
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This healthy sweet potato casserole is lightened-up, sugar-free version of the classic recipe! It's gluten-free, paleo and Whole30 compliant as well.

Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup milk, dairy-free milk works as well
  • 1/4 cup butter, or ghee, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Topping

  • 3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, roughly chopped
  • 4 Dates, pitted and diced
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoon butter or ghee

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil on high heat.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes with a hand peeler.
  • Dice the potatoes into chunks and place them into the pot. Cook the potatoes for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Drain the potatoes over a colander, and place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and mash them with a hand masher or electric beater.
  • Pour the milk, butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper into the mixture and continue mixing until creamy.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Make the crumble topping. Roughly chop the dates, pecans, and pepitas, and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Add the almond flour and butter, then mix thoroughly with your hands until combined.
  • Spread the sweet potato into an even layer in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Lisa's Tips

  • To create a more creamier sweet potato layer, use a food processor, hand mixer, or stand mixer to blend.
  • To make it dairy-free , you can swap butter for ghee as well as use any type of nut milk.

Nutrition

Calories: 298kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 440mg, Potassium: 517mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 18366IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy sweet potato casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Sweet potato casserole recipe
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30 comments on “Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole”

  1. I served this for Thanksgiving and it was a definite hit with our family. So much healthier than previous sweet potato casseroles I’ve served for the holidays. Very easy and fast to make plus the nut topping is perfect! This recipe has become a staple to our holiday meals moving forward! Thanks!

    • I’m so happy you loved this casserole recipe Athena! I agree that it’s still packed with flavor and even though it’s healthy, it’s just as satisfying as the more traditional version.:)

  2. Made this for Thanksgiving, it was a hit! This is going in the rotation from now on. 

  3. Made this for Thanksgiving so east and delicious. Loved the nut and seeds topping. I froze the leftovers I didn’t want it to go to waste.

  4. Made this for thanksgiving and everybody loved. A lot of “wow who made this sweet potato casserole!!!” so simple and I felt good knowing what was in it!

  5. I made this recipe at Thanksgiving and it turned out perfectly! It was so simple and easy. My family was stunned when I explained that it was a healthy spin on sweet potato casserole because it honestly tastes way yummier than the naughty version with marshmallows. I’ll definitely be making this again next year!

    • Hi Mackenzie – It really does taste like the real thing huh :) It’s the perfect way to sneak in some healthiness to your Thanksgiving table!

  6. I made this dish for a Rio de Janeiro Thanksgiving, using organic sweet potatoes, a mixed nut milk, ghee instead of butter, and finally walnuts (because I was also making a pecan pie). The result was an impressively smooth baked purée with a crunchy granola-like topping, which everybody raved about. I will be making this again, and also sharing the recipe. Thank you!

  7. I made this for Thanksgiving dinner. It was loved by everyone and they appreciated that it was a healthy version of the casserole. I will be making this again and again. Thank you.

  8. I made this and it was a hit. I didn’t have the dates so I substituted organic sun dried calimyrna figs.

  9. Loveee how yummy and healthy this sounds! Thanks for sharing. :)

  10. I’ll take my sweet potatoes any way I can get them, I’m obsessed ~ but if they’re healthy, all the better!

  11. This sweet potato casserole looks amazing and I love that it’s healthy!

  12. This was one of my favorite dishes to eat growing up. I like this healthier version. Will be giving it a try.

  13. We love sweet potato casserole during the Holidays! I’m loving this healthy version!

  14. Hi Lisa! Do you think if I subbed Japanese sweet potato it would still be good? 

  15. Hi Lisa! Can I substitute butter with coconut oil?