This healthy sweet potato casserole is the perfect side dish for any holiday table. Nobody will miss the marshmallows! It’s a great addition to your list of holiday side dishes, and it’s easy to make!
This traditional Thanksgiving side dish gets a healthy makeover without losing any of the taste or flavor. It’s naturally dairy-free, low in calories, and has plenty of fiber and even some protein.
This is a combination of two recipes that I put together and then converted to a healthier, whole-food version. One recipe was from AllRecipes.com and the other was an annual favorite of my sister-in-law’s mother. Neither recipe was clean, but the combination just sounded so good! So I combined the two and then converted the whole thing. I have to say, I’m really impressed with the results!
The filling is good all by itself. But the topping really “tops it off” in the flavor department. I’ll make this healthy sweet potato casserole again, year after year.
Do You Have To Put Marshmallows On Sweet Potato Casserole?
Absolutely not! In fact, many people make it without. But there is definitely something to be said for adding a topping. So I chose homemade candied pecans instead and I think, if I dare say it, it’s far better than marshmallows could ever be. Far more nutritious as well!
However, if you really want to use marshmallows, you can even make those from scratch too! And the best part is, they are super easy to make! Here’s the recipe.
How To Make Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
While other recipes may require more adjustments, the only thing you have to switch out here is the honey. Use pure maple syrup instead and this instantly becomes vegan.
How To Make Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole
In this particular recipe, you only have to switch out one thing. The whole wheat flour. A simple substitute with gluten-free oat flour will get the job done. Just make sure the package is labeled as such because oats are very heavily cross-contaminated.
Crumble Topping For Sweet Potato Casserole
The topping on this is sweet, but not sickeningly sweet like marshmallows. It’s a mix of pecans, honey, whole wheat pastry flour, oil, and cinnamon. You can use any light-flavored oil you prefer.
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients
1 cup pecan pieces – I used raw pecans so they don’t get burned in the oven.
¼ cup honey – You can also use pure maple syrup.
¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour – If you need a gluten-free option, opt for gluten-free oat flour.
1 tbsp. light-flavored oil – I have used both coconut oil and grape seed oil.
½ tsp. ground cinnamon – Just plain cinnamon, no sugar added.
3 lbs. sweet potatoes – Make sure you get sweet potatoes, and not yams.
½ cup orange juice – This should be 100% juice with nothing else added.
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon – Again, just plain cinnamon. No added sugar.
¾ tsp. ground nutmeg – You can use pre-ground nutmeg or buy it whole and grate it yourself.
1 tbsp. honey – You can also use maple syrup.
Butter – Optional for consistency. You can also use vegan butter if you need this to be vegan.
Unsweetened almond milk – optional for consistency.
How To Make Sweet Potato Casserole
In a large mixing bowl, combine all topping ingredients together using a wooden spoon. It will be clumpy and sticky.
Spread out the mixture the best you can on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350° F. for approximately 10-15 minutes. The mixture should have a nice golden color to it. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Transfer small portions to a large cutting board and chop roughly. Set aside.
Wash the sweet potatoes and rub them with oil. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake until fork-tender. (about 30-40 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool until you can handle them without burning yourself.
Peel the potatoes and place them inside in a large mixing bowl. Add all other filling ingredients and mash with a potato masher or blend with an electric hand mixer. You can also use a food processor if you prefer.
Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a baking dish or serving bowl. Sprinkle the pecan topping evenly over the potatoes and serve.
Note: You will most likely have some topping leftover depending on the size of the dish you use. The leftovers are great for topping oatmeal or mixing in with granola.
Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Casserole?
You absolutely can! But you have to be a little careful with how you do it. If freezing is part of your plan, here are some tips from Leaf on how to freeze this casserole successfully.
What To Do With Leftover Sweet Potato Casserole
There are a few ways to use up your leftovers.
- Make pancakes -Beat two large eggs into about 1 ½ cups sweet potato casserole and cooke in a skillet like regular pancakes. They are soft and delicious.
- Have it for breakfast – Fry and egg and grab a little leftover turkey and layer them both over some of this casserole. It’s delicious!
- Make oatmeal – Simply stir some of this sweet potato casserole into your morning bowl of oats.
- Make waffles – Make a bunch and freeze for easy morning toaster waffles. Check out this recipe from Food52. Just switch the brown sugar for Sucanat or coconut sugar! Easy!
How To Make Sweet Potato Casserole Ahead Of Time
If you need to prep or make this ahead of time, it’s super easy to do. Simply make the topping and the casserole portion, but don’t put them together. Cover the casserole portion with foil and warm in the oven on 300-degree heat. The length of time it takes to warm will depend on how deep your dish is. Once warmed up, remove from the oven and sprinkle the topping over the top.
How To Store Sweet Potato Casserole
Keep this well wrapped with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid. This will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Casserole?
Technically, yes. It’s best frozen without marshmallow topping if you used that. If you used the nut topping here, it will freeze just fine. But not for a large amount of time. The limit on freezing this is approximately 1-2 months.
Here are all the substitutions you can make in this recipe:
- Pecans – Try walnuts.
- Honey – Try real maple syrup.
- Whole wheat pastry flour – Try white whole wheat flour, or if you need gluten free, try gluten-free oat flour with about 1 tbsp. of arrowroot powder mixed into it.
- Oil – You can try butter, ghee or use any oil you like
- Cinnamon – A yummy switch here would be to use pumpkin pie spice with no added sugar.
- Sweet potatoes – Try butternut squash or Kabocha squash.
- Orange juice – Try pineapple juice.
- Almond milk – Try cashew milk or regular dairy milk.
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More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Green Bean Casserole
- Butternut Cranberry Bake
- Crouton Stuffing
- Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Cranberry Sauce
More Thanksgiving Recipes
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tbsp. light-flavored oil
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 3 lbs. sweet potatoes
- ½ cup 100% orange juice
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. honey
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all topping ingredients together using a wooden spoon. It will be clumpy and sticky.Spread out mixture the best you can on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.Bake at 350° F. for approximately 10-15 minutes. The mixture should have a nice golden color to it. Remove from oven and allow to cool.Transfer small portions to a large cutting board and chop roughly. Set aside.
- Wash the sweet potatoes and rub with oil. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake until easily pierced with a fork (about 30-40 minutes).Remove from oven and allow to cool until you can handle them without burning yourself.
- Peel the potatoes and place them inside in a large mixing bowl.Add all other filling ingredients and mash with a potato masher or blend with a hand blender.
- Transfer the potato mixture to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the pecan topping evenly over the potatoes and serve.
- Note: You might have some topping left over depending on the size of the dish you use. The leftovers are great for topping oatmeal or mixing in with granola.
This recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted, 11/19/10.