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Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans


This Thanksgiving side dish is sure to please! This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans is made with no added sugar, is Whole30-friendly and topped with a sweet-and-savory combo of toasted nuts and crisp bacon.

Take your Thanksgiving (or any dinner) menu to the next level with this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans.

You’re probably familiar with the traditional sweet potato side dish that’s covered in a thick layer of marshmallows and all the brown sugar. And while that’s totally tasty, if you’re looking to lighten up your menu and offer a lower-sugar option without sacrificing taste, you’ve come to the right place.

This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans is one of my favorite side dish recipes. It’s creamy, naturally sweet and the topping made of toasted pecans, spices and crisp bacon, adds the perfect crunch and savoriness to this recipe. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser that you’ll want to make again and again, Thanksgiving or not.

This post was originally published on October 30th, 2019. Updated on November 8th, 2020.  

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients for this Healthy Sweet Potato Recipe

For the Sweet Potato filling:

  • Sweet potatoes – about 4 garnet or jewel medium sweet potatoes (the orange ones)
  • Maple syrup – omit for Whole30. 
  • Milk of choice – use unsweetened almond milk for Whole30
  • Butter – use ghee or coconut oil for Whole30
  • Sea salt
  • Spiced – cinnamon, nutmeg and chili powder 
  • Whole eggs – omit for egg-free

For the Topping:

  • Pecans – ½ cup chopped + ½ cup halves
  • Bacon – cooked and chopped. For Whole30 use a no-sugar bacon. We like the bacon from Butcher Box
  • Butter – use ghee or coconut oil for Whole30
  • Spices – cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Sea salt

Note: for Dairy-free use unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil.

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Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

How to make this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole recipe

For the full instructions, scroll down.

  • Step 1: Bake the sweet potatoes however you wish. Instructions below or go here.
  • Step 2: Make the topping while the sweet potato bake, except for the bacon.
  • Step 3: Combine the filling ingredients. I like to use a hand mixer to mix it all together.
  • Step 4: Transfer sweet potato mixture to a 9×9 and top with the topping mixture.
  • Step 5: Bake at 375ºF covered with foil for 400 minutes, uncover, add the bacon and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

How to Make Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes

We LOVE baked sweet potatoes around here. A longer roasting time brings out some of the natural sweetness in these spuds!

I like to remove the skin after roasting when I’m going to be mashing the sweet potatoes, but I leave it on if I’m eating them as part of other recipes! If I am planning on leaving the skin on, I’ll add 1/4 tsp of coconut oil and a sprinkle of sea salt to the potatoes before baking them. This results in the most delicious end result: a baked potato that’s soft and tender on the inside, with a crispy skin!

Our favorite method of roasting looks like this:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Wash potatoes and pat dry.
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake 45-60 minutes or until fork-tender.
  • Remove from oven, let cool 5-10 minutes, then remove potato peels.
  • Use a potato masher, food processor, or hand mixer to throughly mash the potatoes.

Baked Sweet Potato Casserole is meal-prep friendly, to0!

While this Healthy Baked Sweet Potato Casserole makes for a delicious addition to a Thanksgiving menu, it also makes for an easy side dish to add to any meal. In fact, I love prepping it on the weekend along with some roasted Brussels and some sort of protein and portioning it out in these 3 compartment, glass meal prep containers. It makes for the most delicious reheat-and-eat kind of meal to enjoy throughout the week!

Can Sweet Potato Casserole be made without eggs?

Yes, it sure can. The eggs really help hold the casserole together and give it light and fluffy texture but if you follow an egg-free diet, you can simply omit the eggs. The casserole will still be incredibly tasty!

Baked Sweet Potato Casserole overhead shot with pecan topping

Other sweet potato side dish recipes you’ll want to try:

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x
  • Category: Side-Dish, Whole30
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

For the Sweet Potato filling:

  • lbs. sweet potatoes (about 4 garnet or jewel medium sweet potatoes)*
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (omit for Whole30)
  • ⅓ cup milk of choice (unsweetened almond milk for Whole30)
  • 1½ Tbsp. butter, melted (ghee or coconut oil for Whole30)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder 
  • 2 whole eggs (omit for egg-free)

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup pecans (½ cup chopped + ½ cup pecan halves) 
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped (no-sugar bacon for Whole3o)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted (ghee or coconut oil for Whole30)
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon 
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9-10 inch (square, round or oval) or 1.5 quart baking dish and set aside. 
  2. Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Baking time will depend on the size of sweet potatoes. *Note: feel free to bake/cook the sweet potatoes however you wish. This can be done a day or two ahead of time.
  3. While sweet potatoes are baking, in a small bowl add the topping ingredients (except for the bacon) and mix to combine. Set aside. 
  4. When sweet potatoes are done, remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes. 
  5. After the 5 minutes, remove the peels of the sweet potatoes and add the peeled sweet potatoes to a food processor or large bowl. Process or use a hand mixer or standup mixer to mix well. 
  6. Add the rest of the filling ingredients, except for the eggs, and process or mix until smooth. Next, add the eggs and process or mix again just until smooth. 
  7. Transfer the sweet potato filling to the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Top with the pecan and bacon mixture. 
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, add the bacon and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. If pecans begin to get too brown, cover again with foil.
  9. Serve warm.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/9 of recipe (without dates)
  • Calories: 245 calories
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 285 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Pin now, make later!

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Pin for Pinterest


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

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All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

 

 

About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.





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