When I think of sweet potato casserole, images of brown sugar, butter, and mini marshmallows come to mind. It’s one of those traditional side dish recipes most families gobble up at Thanksgiving, but the sugar, fat, and calories can add up quickly.
My sweet potato casserole makeover will bring better nutrition and just as much flavor to your holiday table.
Sweet potatoes are rich in immune-boosting vitamin A, and they’re a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Why wreck all that great nutrition with a bag of mini marshmallows!
To maintain its healthy reputation, I give sweet potato casserole a “fix” by adding just 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons coconut oil to the entire recipe. And my topping is made with nutrient-rich pecans versus the usual sugary marshmallows. I also call for roasting the sweet potatoes versus steaming or boiling, which brings out the sweetness of the spuds even more.
This recipe is easy to make, naturally sweet, and at just 180 calories per serving, it’s a side dish worth making again, and again, and again!
- Serves: 8
- Serving size: ½ cup
- Calories: 180
- Fat: 8g
- Saturated fat: 3.5g
- Carbohydrates: 25g
- Sodium: 75mg
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 3g
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup roughly chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pierce each potato several times with the tip of a sharp knife. Brush the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt.
- Bake until very tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, scoop the flesh into a bowl, and mash until smooth. (You will have about 4 cups.) Stir in the orange juice, 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar, orange zest, ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Place in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
- To make the topping, place the remaining brown sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, and the pecans in a bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake until the nuts are toasted and the casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes.
Looking for more healthy sweet potato casserole recipes? Check out these better-for-you ideas from some of my favorite RDN food bloggers:
Mixed Potatoes Anna from Rachael at Avocado a Day Nutrition
Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Bake from Serena at Teaspoon of Spice
Savory Sweet Potato Gratin with Pecans from Aggie at Aggie’s Kitchen
Sweet Potato Apple Bake from Ann at My Menu Pal
Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole from Amber at Homemade Nutrition
Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes from Anne at Fannetastic Food
Mini Sweet Potato Casseroles from Denise at Vine Ripe Nutrition
Tell me about your favorite holiday side dishes!