Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole


Everyone loves this healthy sweet potato casserole with a crunchy oatmeal pecan topping. It’s lighter in sugar, absolutely delicious, vegan and gluten-free!

Sweet potato casserole has always been my FAVORITE holiday dish. Growing up my mom made it three times a year — Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter — and I was always so pumped to have it. Creamy sweet potatoes topped with a crunchy pecan and brown sugar topping = the best!

A large white oval baking dish with healthy sweet potato casserole, a gold spoon and mini pine cones for decor.

A Holiday Classic, Made Healthy

I finally decided to use my mom’s classic sweet potato casserole recipe as a guide to make a healthy sweet potato casserole that’s made with better for you ingredients but not so “healthy” you don’t feel comfortable sharing it with family for a holiday meal.

You know what I mean here, right? There are certain healthy recipes that I make for myself and Isaac and I LOVE them but I wouldn’t bring them to a party or a holiday dinner. This sweet potato casserole isn’t one of those recipes. It’s meant to be shared. We LOVE this healthy version of sweet potato casserole so much… maybe even a tiny bit more than mom’s, but we’ll keep that a secret.

A white baking dish with healthy sweet potato casserole with a gold spoon scooping out a portion.

Upgraded Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients

My mom’s recipe uses canned yams, white sugar, white flour, eggs and butter. With a few small tweaks I was able to make a healthier version that’s also dairy-free and gluten-free!

  • Fresh sweet potatoes instead of canned
  • Oat (or almond) flour and oatmeal for the topping
  • Coconut oil and flaxseed to replace the butter and eggs
  • Maple syrup instead of white sugar to sweeten the filling. 

The one thing I didn’t change was the brown sugar for the topping. I wanted to make sure it still came out crunchy like the original version so I stuck with organic brown sugar. Coconut sugar might works well too if you happen to have that on hand.

Prepping the Casserole Ahead of Time

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving or don’t want to spend your holiday morning making your dish to share, you can prep this healthy sweet potato casserole ahead of time! I prefer to prep the sweet potato base, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and then prep the topping separately.

On Thanksgiving or Christmas morning, you can add the base to a casserole dish, add the topping and bake! If you just want to get it all done, you can bake the entire casserole ahead of time and keep in the fridge for 3-5 days. I don’t recommend freezing it because the consistency would likely change. 

Overhead shot of a white baking dish with sweet potato casserole with a gold spoon scooping out a portion.

More Holiday Recipes:

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

5 from 20 votes
You (and your family) will love this healthy sweet potato casserole with a crunchy pecan topping. It’s lighter in sugar, absolutely delicious, vegan and gluten-free!
Overhead shot of a white baking dish with sweet potato casserole with a gold spoon scooping out a portion.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 16


  • 8 cups sweet potatoes, about 4 large potatoes
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk, light or regular
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup oat flour or almond flour
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut oil, in solid form


  • Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into large chunks. Place the chunks in a large saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Once done, drain well and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F and spray a little cooking spray on a 9×13 or 9×9 inch casserole dish.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the pecans, oats, oat flour, and brown sugar. Cut in coconut oil with a fork or knife until the mixture is sandy with pea-sized chunks of oil. Set aside.
  • Place sweet potatoes into a large bowl and mash them with fork before adding coconut milk, maple syrup, oil, flaxseed, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the bowl. Mix until everything is combined.
  • Spoon the sweet potato mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle on the brown sugar and pecan mixture. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sweet potatoes are bubbling.



Serving: 1/16 of recipe Calories: 237kcal Carbohydrates: 35g Protein: 3g Fat: 10g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 18g
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy sweet potato casserole


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Recipe Rating

    1. Lorry Norton
      June 15, 2021 AT 1:43 pm

      I’m going to try this, except I’m going to use a non-sugar sweetener, like erythritol. I’m not sure if it comes in a “brown sugar” form ( I know it comes granulated and powdered), but it would be worth looking for. Or monkfruit sweetener.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 15, 2021 AT 5:16 pm

        Let me know how it turns out for you, Lorry!

    2. Janine
      January 28, 2021 AT 2:24 pm

      5 stars
      Made this for thanksgiving and it was a big hit with the whole family. Delicious!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 28, 2021 AT 7:39 pm

        I’m so glad!! Thanks for coming back to leave a review, Janine. I so appreciate it!!

    3. Julie Crate
      January 9, 2021 AT 6:42 pm

      So delicious! I was searching for a healthy version of sweet potato casserole and happened upon this recipe. After taking a glimpse down through the ingredients, I felt it was worth a shot. Absolutely fantastic. I followed the recipe exactly, using the coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. Of course it doesn’t taste just like the original with the brown sugar, but it is so healthy that I don’t feel guilty eating it! Thank you for a wonderful, healthy side dish! I will be making this again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 10, 2021 AT 11:56 pm

        So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Julie!! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment. 🙂

    4. Kara
      November 29, 2020 AT 11:04 am

      5 stars
      Sweet potato casserole is my fave Thanksgiving side dish, and this one did not disappoint! I’m so glad there are leftovers too, so I can enjoy all week. I used coconut milk and coconut oil, and next time I might opt for vegan butter or regular butter in place of coconut oil, since I prefer the butter taste to coconut oil. But this was still sooo good! Thank you for the recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 29, 2020 AT 4:52 pm

        So glad this recipe was a hit, Kara!! I so appreciate you making it and coming back to leave a review. It means the world to me. 🙂

    5. Sachin Suryawanshi
      November 28, 2020 AT 5:51 am

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