Impress your guests this holiday season with a healthy sweet potato casserole lightly sweetened with maple syrup and warm spices topped with a crunchy oat and pecan topping!
Looking for more classic side dishes for your holiday meals? Be sure to check out this cheesy broccoli casserole, this creamy crockpot creamed corn, and favorite green bean casserole. And homemade pecan pie is a must for dessert!
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Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
If you’re looking for a new recipe for a Thanksgiving side dish this year, start with this nutritious take on traditional sweet potato casserole that’s usually topped with mini marshmallows.
This sweet potato recipe is one of my favorite thanksgiving recipes. It’s made with simple ingredients, so easy to make and perfectly sweet enough. The maple syrup gives a little natural sweetness to the creamy potatoes and the streusel topping has the perfect crunch.
As wholesome as this dish is, the flavors make this recipe really stand out!
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with amounts.
- Sweet Potatoes: This is the base of the entire recipe. I use fresh sweet potatoes that I peel and cut into large chunks.
- Maple Syrup: Despite the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes, I still add a little sweetener. Pure maple syrup is a perfect fall flavor pairing for this holiday side dish.
- Milk: I used unsweetened almond milk but you can use any type of milk you’d like. Regular milk or other non-dairy milk like soy milk or coconut milk.
- Egg: This holds all the ingredients together.
- Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract rounds out all the flavors. You’d think this was a dessert, but it’s not!
- Ground Cinnamon and nutmeg: Classic warm spices that pair well with sweet potatoes, maple syrup, and pecans.
- Salt: to enhance the flavors of all the ingredients.
- Streusel Topping: Old-fashioned rolled oats, chopped pecans, cinnamon, salt, and room temperature butter.
1. Use canned yams. It will save you prep and cooking time. You’ll need 3 of the 15-ounce cans of yams for this recipe.
2. Swap the maple syrup for honey, coconut sugar, or brown sugar.
3. Quick cooking (or instant) oats can be used instead of rolled oats for a softer, less coarse texture.
4. Use chopped walnuts or sliced almonds in place of the pecans. You can also leave out the nuts altogether.
5. Use regular butter, dairy-free butter, or coconut oil for the topping.
5. If you’re looking for even more sweetness, you can use maple syrup or honey instead of the butter in the topping.
How to Make Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
This traditional holiday side comes together with just 15 minutes of prep time and it’s ready to serve in 1 hour!
Cook the Sweet Potatoes:
Step 1: In a large saucepan, add the sweet potatoes chunks and boil them for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.
Step 2: Drain the potatoes in a colander in the sink. Then add them back to the pot (or in a large bowl) and mash them with a potato masher or fork until they are as smooth as you want them to be. (You can also use an immersion blender or hand mixer or even pulse them in a food processor).
Step 3: In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, milk, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Then, add the wet ingredients to the cooked sweet potatoes and mix them well.
Make the Streusel Topping:
Step 4: In a separate bowl, mix the oats, pecans, cinnamon, and salt. Add in the melted butter and mix to make sure everything is coated in the butter.
Step 5: Place the sweet potato mixture into a prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the oat topping on top of the mashed sweet potatoes and cover it evenly.
Step 6: Bake the casserole for about half an hour, or until the topping is golden brown.
Can I Bake the Sweet Potatoes Instead?
Instead of peeling, chopping, and boiling the potatoes, you can roast the sweet potatoes them instead at 375° F for 45 minutes or until soft. Once they are cool to the touch, scrape out the flesh from the skin into a large bowl and continue with the recipe as directed.
- Grease the casserole dish so the mashed sweet potatoes don’t stick to the bottom or sides.
- Watch the casserole and remove it when the topping turns golden brown. Don’t let it burn.
- Free free to cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time (aa day or two) and just assemble the casserole the morning of your thanksgiving dinner.
- It’s meant to be a side dish, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy it for dessert too with a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
Store any leftover sweet potato casserole in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Yes, you can freeze the casserole! Once it’s baked, let it cool completely, cover it with plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Store it in the freezer for up to six months and thaw in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to enjoy it.
To make life a little easier, if you know you’re going to freeze it, consider baking it in an aluminum foil pan that you can discard later on.
If you’ve got a large portion, heat it in the oven until warmed through. (place a cold dish in a cold oven and then turn on the oven). Smaller portions can be reheated in the microwave. Keep in mind, that the longer this casserole sits, the softer the topping will be!
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
For the Sweet Potatoes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk or other favorite
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Topping
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter melted, or coconut oil
Make the Sweet Potato Mixture:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large pot, add the peeled and cut sweet potatoes and cover them with water.4 medium sweet potatoes
- Bring the water to a boil over high heat and cook for 10-15 minutes or until they are fork tender.
- Then drain the potatoes into a colander in the sink and then place them back into the pot.
- With a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes to your desired consistency. (you can also use an immersion blender or hand mixer).
- In a small bowl, add the maple syrup, milk, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.¼ cup pure maple syrup, ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add the wet ingredients to the mashed potatoes and mix well.
- Then pour the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
Make the Oat Topping:
- In a small bowl, add the oats, chopped pecans, cinnamon, and salt.1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ½ cup pecans, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add the melted butter and stir the oats are coated completely.3 tablespoons butter
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the sweet potatoes in the dish.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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