Side Dishes

November 11, 2020

The Best Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

This sweet potato casserole is the BEST sweet potato casserole recipe! The filling has a hint of maple, the topping has NO marshmallows, and the whole dish is gluten free, refined sugar free, and vegan. Add this to your Thanksgiving menu immediately!

This time of year, the holiday season, is what I've been looking forward to the most since becoming a food blogger. People are taking the time to focus on what matters most: family, service, and food.

That means the recipes I'm creating are recipes that you share with your loved ones around a big table and eat as leftovers for days after. So they better be really good, right?

Well, today's brand new recipe is honestly my favorite recipe to date, and it probably will be one of my all-time favorites forever. This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is sweet, smooth, and incredibly addicting. It also happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, so no matter who is at your table this Thanksgiving, everyone can have a spoonful!

Ingredients you'll need

Traditional sweet potato casseroles are made with heaps of brown sugar, cream, and an entire layer of marshmallows on top. And you know what? Some people love it. But me? That's not my jam.

This recipe is not only better for you but just plain better! I've handpicked wholesome and nourishing ingredients to make sure you're getting the golden child of nutritious and delicious so you really can enjoy your food guilt-free.

Here's what you need to make this healthy casserole:

  • Sweet potatoes: obviously! These are going to be boiled instead of roasted to save time on preparation (about an hour to be exact!) and then mashed. I make mine without skins just to keep the casserole smooth, but you're more than welcome to keep the skins on the potatoes.
  • Maple syrup: brings the cozy fall flavors to the casserole and naturally sweetens the potatoes. I use this brand to keep the calories to the minimum without sacrificing flavor!
  • Creamy almond butter: this is my secret ingredient! Most recipes call for eggs or cream, but using a 100% natural almond butter boosts the maple and perfectly compliments the sweet potatoes while adding heart-healthy fats to the dish.
  • Almond milk: keeps the casserole light, creamy, and dairy free. Any dairy or non-dairy milk will work, though.
  • Pumpkin spice: a simple blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. We're using it for the casserole and the streusel! If you don't have pumpkin spice on hand, you can use 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining spices.
  • Oat flour: a naturally gluten free flour packed with fiber and whole grains. You can make your own by measuring the same amount of old-fashioned rolled oats and blending them in a small blender or food processor. Or you can grab your own bag of flour here!
  • Rolled oats: to add texture to the streusel. The combo of oats and oat flour is unreal!
  • Chopped pecans: rich and creamy, these nut pair beautifully with sweet potatoes, maple syrup, and oats. They're also packed with heart-healthy fats and plant-based protein.
  • Pepitas: also known as pumpkin seeds. I haven't seen a sweet potato casserole use these little guys yet and I don't know why I'm the first! Trust me when I say these are a must for the casserole! You will love them.
  • Coconut sugar and Stevia: using a mix keeps the caramel/molasses flavor of traditional brown sugar but keeps the calories at bay. You can also use brown sugar.
  • Country Crock Butter: gives the streusel the classic "sand-like" texture and indulgent buttery taste but keeps it dairy free! You can also use solid coconut oil.

The topping for sweet potato casserole

What is a streusel topping?

Streusel is a combination of flour, sugar, and butter that makes a delicious crumble topping for baked goods and pastries like cakes, muffins, breads, and pies. It can also be incorporated into a dish as a ribbon or layer, like in coffee cake.

Some recipes add nuts or spices into the streusel for added texture and flavor, like in these Carrot Cake Muffins or these Strawberry Crumble Bars.

In this healthy Sweet Potato Casserole, the streusel is made from oat flour, coconut sugar, stevia, cold butter, pumpkin spice, chopped pecans, and pepitas.

It's sweet, buttery, crumbly, and guilt-free! I mean, just look at the picture below and try not to drool...

How to make healthy sweet potato casserole

  1. Prepare: preheat the oven to 375° and set out a 9x9 baking dish. I used this dish for the photographs and it's about the same size as a 9x9! It's one of my best purchases so far.
  2. Boil the potatoes: most recipes call for roasted sweet potatoes, but that adds an extra hour of precious oven time you don't have on Thanksgiving day. To make boiling even faster, roughly chop the sweet potatoes into large chunks. Add them to a large pot of cold water, then bring the entire pot to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Prepare the streusel: whisk together the oats, oat flour, sugar, pecans, pepitas, and remaining pumpkin spice. Spoon the cold butter (or coconut oil) onto the dry mixture, then cut in (mash with a fork or use your fingers) until mixture resembles wet sand. Place in the fridge until assembly.
  4. Make the mashed sweet potatoes: using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, mash the potatoes until smooth. It's perfectly fine to have some chunks throughout the puree. Then, fold in the maple syrup, almond butter, almond milk, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the pumpkin spice.
  5. Bake and serve: spread the mashed sweet potatoes in an even layer in your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the streusel over the casserole. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the streusel reaches the texture you like.

A plate of sweet potato casserole

Why you'll love this recipe

If you can't tell by the blog post title, this casserole really is the best! I tested it on family and friends before publishing it and every single person raved about it. It's just the right amount of sweet, crunchy, smooth, and comforting all in one dish.

I also said it was "guilt-free" and I meant it! I chose wholesome ingredients packed with flavor and natural sweeteners over refined sugars. That means you can have your cake and eat it too, my friend. It also means more calories for the real desserts you've prepared, too!

This incredible Thanksgiving side dish is also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free, and vegan, which means no matter who is sitting at your table, anyone can enjoy it!

More thanksgiving recipes

Healthy Sugar Free Pumpkin Butter

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Pancakes

Maple Pecan Protein Donuts

Everything But The Bagel Dinner Rolls

Turkey Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

Creamy Butternut Squash Carbonara

Sheet Pan Roasted Maple Brussels Sprouts

A spoon lifting up a portion of sweet potato casserole out of the baking dish

After you finish devouring your healthy sweet potato casserole, be sure to jump back on the blog and leave a star rating and review below so others know how much you liked it!

The Best Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

This sweet potato casserole is the BEST sweet potato casserole recipe! The filling has a hint of maple, the topping has NO marshmallows, and the whole dish is gluten free, refined sugar free, and vegan. Add this to your Thanksgiving menu immediately!

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

30

min

cook:

30

min

total:

60

min

servings:

6

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled
  • ¼ C sugar-free maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp 100% natural almond butter
  • ⅓ C almond milk
  • ½ C rolled oats
  • ½ C oat flour
  • ⅓ C coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp stevia (or more coconut sugar)
  • ⅓ C pecans, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted pepitas
  • 3 Tbsp dairy free butter or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice, divided*
  • ½ tsp salt, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and set out a 9x9 baking dish.
  2. Chop the peeled sweet potatoes into large chunks and add to a large pot of cold water. Bring the entire pot to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the streusel by whisking together the oats, oat flour, sugars, pecans, pepitas, 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice, and ¼ tsp salt. Spoon the cold butter onto the dry ingredients, then gently mash with a fork until the texture resembles wet sand. Place in the fridge to chill until assembly.
  4. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, mash the sweet potatoes until pureed. It is ok to have some chunks throughout. Stir in the maple syrup, almond butter, almond milk, and remaining pumpkin pie spice and salt until well combined.
  5. To assemble, spread the sweet potato mixture into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Remove the streusel from the fridge, gently break it up with your fingers, and sprinkle over the sweet potato casserole until finished.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite main dish!

Notes

*If you don't have pumpkin spice, you can use 1 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cloves, and 1/4 tsp allspice.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1/6 of the sweet potato casserole.

Nutrition