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Lightened Up Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Oat Streusel

Absolutely delicious, healthy sweet potato casserole with a crunchy pecan oatmeal streusel topping. This lightened up version of traditional sweet potato casserole will be your new favorite side dish for Thanksgiving! Easily made vegan and gluten free too!

Prep Time
1 hour
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hour 30 mins

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Are you ready for another recipe for a very #AmbitiousThanksgiving?! I know I am.

If I had to pick only ONE thing to eat at Thanksgiving, it would be this healthy sweet potato casserole. I started making it four years ago and love republishing it on the blog every fall because it’s an absolute must-make.

In fact, now my mother-in-law requests that I bring it to Thanksgiving every year. That’s how you know it’s good, am I right?!

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healthy sweet potato casserole in a baking dish on top of a white linen

What makes this sweet potato casserole healthy and yet still oh so good?

  • Instead of tons of butter mixed into the sweet potatoes, we’re adding some almond milk for the perfect amount of moisture. You’ll just need 3 tablespoons of butter total for that delicious crumb topping, but feel free to use vegan butter or coconut oil.
  • The sweet potato mixture is just sweetened with a bit of pure maple syrup.
  • We’re skipping the marshmallow topping and adding a crunchy, addicting pecan oatmeal topping instead. YUM!

I’m not going to lie, there have been plenty of times where I’ve preferred this as my Thanksgiving dessert because it’s so delicious. Add a little whipped cream on top or serve with vanilla ice cream and you’re set.

Healthy sweet potato casserole ingredients

This incredible, healthy sweet potato casserole recipe is simple and delicious. You’ll basically need sweet potatoes, spices, oats and pecans to make the whole thing. So easy! Here’s everything you need:

  • Roasted sweet potatoes: This recipe starts with roasted sweet potatoes, which is critical to keeping the casserole sweet, creamy and delicious without having to use a ton of excess sweeteners. The good news is that you can roast them ahead of time! They take an hour, so I like to bake them a few days before, then wrap them in foil and place in the fridge until ready to bake. Making them ahead is optional.
  • Pure maple syrup: I love adding pure maple syrup to the sweet potato filling. It’s only 2 tablespoons so you can feel free to use honey if you’d like, but I ALWAYS vote maple.
  • Almond milk: a little almond milk helps smooth things out and make the sweet potato filling uber creamy. Feel free to use whatever milk you’d like. I think coconut or cashew milk would also be delicious!
  • Egg: I typically add 1 egg to the sweet potato mixture for a little extra moisture. Feel free to leave it out if you’re vegan.
  • Spices: Add a little cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of allspice for just the right amount of spice.
  • Pecan oatmeal crumble: Who doesn’t love a crunchy oat topping? This one includes a little butter, brown sugar, whole wheat pastry flour, rolled oats and sweet pecans! Trust me, it’s fabulous.

healthy sweet potato casserole with oatmeal topping in a baking dish

Simple ingredient swaps

Out of a few ingredients? No problem! This sweet potato casserole is easy to customize:

  • For the butter: feel free to sub coconut oil or vegan butter.
  • For the brown sugar: you can also use coconut sugar, or make your own brown sugar with this tutorial!
  • For the flour: if you don’t have any whole wheat pastry flour, feel free to use regular, all purpose flour. See below for a gluten free option.

Easily make it dairy free or vegan

That’s right, you can easily turn this into a vegan sweet potato casserole! Use coconut oil or vegan butter instead of regular butter in the topping to keep it dairy free; and if vegan, skip the egg in the sweet potato mixture. It will still be delicious!

How to make gluten free sweet potato casserole

Simply use oat flour or an all-purpose gluten free flour instead of whole wheat flour.

scooping healthy sweet potato casserole out of a baking dish with a wooden spoon

How to make sweet potato casserole ahead of time

Here’s some good news: not only is this recipe EASY, but you can also make it a day ahead of time if you’d like. Simply:

  1. Prepare the recipe as directed.
  2. Cover with foil and place it in the refrigerator.
  3. Once ready, bake as directed and serve!

As I mentioned before you can also roast your sweet potatoes ahead of time. They take an hour, so I like to bake them a few days before, then wrap them in foil and place in the fridge until ready to bake the casserole. I’m always happy when I can save as much time as possible during Thanksgiving as it means there’s more time for wine and good conversations with the people you love.

healthy sweet potato casserole in a baking dish and on a plate with a wooden spoon next to a bowl of pecans

How to store & reheat leftover sweet potato casserole

  • To store: store any leftover healthy sweet potato casserole covered in the baking pan or in separate, airtight containers in the fridge for up to four days.
  • To reheat: simply reheat a portion of the healthy sweet potato casserole in the microwave, or feel free to re-warm the entire baking dish to enjoy a few more servings.

More Thanksgiving recipes to serve

Don’t forget to check out all of our healthy, delicious Thanksgiving recipes here, and tips for hosting Thanksgiving here!

I hope you love this amazing, healthy sweet potato casserole recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Oat Streusel

5 from 46 votes
healthy sweet potato casserole in a baking dish with a wooden spoon
Course Gluten Free, Side Dish, Thanksgiving, Vegan Friendly, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy sweet potato casserole, sweet potato casserole
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 8

Absolutely delicious, healthy sweet potato casserole with a crunchy pecan oatmeal streusel topping. This lightened up version of traditional sweet potato casserole will be your new favorite side dish for Thanksgiving! Easily made vegan and gluten free too!

Ingredients

  • For the potatoes:
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large or 5 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (or can leave out if vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the topping:
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or regular flour (if GF, use gluten free oat flour)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (gluten free if desired)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter (or sub vegan butter or coconut oil)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Wash sweet potatoes and use a fork to poke holes in sweet potatoes; about 4-5 pokes per potato used. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast for 45 minutes-1 hour or until very fork tender. Allow potatoes to cool for 5-10 minutes. Lower oven heat to 350 degrees F.

  3. Spray a 8x8 inch pan, 9 inch pie pan, or a 1 1/2 quart or 2 quart safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

  4. Cut open sweet potatoes and discard the skin, place sweet potato flesh in a large bowl and add in maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Use an electric mixer to beat until smooth, adding a splash more almond milk if you want them to be creamier. Pour into prepared baking pan and smooth top.

  5. To make the topping: Whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, and pecans. Use a fork to stir in melted butter until a nice crumb forms. Sprinkle all over the top of the sweet potato mixture.

  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Serves 8.

Recipe Notes

To make ahead of time: Make everything ahead of time, cover and place in fridge. Once ready, bake as directed.

To make vegan: Use vegan butter or coconut oil instead of butter in the topping. Skip the egg in the potato mixture.

To make gluten free: Use oat flour or an all-purpose gluten free flour instead of whole wheat.

To store: store any leftover healthy sweet potato casserole covered in the baking pan or in separate, airtight containers in the fridge for up to four days. Simply reheat a portion of the casserole in the microwave, or feel free to re-warm the entire baking dish to enjoy a few more servings.

Nutrition
Servings: 8 servings
Serving size: 1 serving
Calories: 212kcal
Fat: 8.4g
Saturated fat: 2.6g
Carbohydrates: 34g
Fiber: 3.3g
Sugar: 13.3g
Protein: 3g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen Photography by: Yoga of Cooking

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