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!
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Video:
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.
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
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 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.
Need More Ideas? Here Are My Other Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes:
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!
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 gluten-free 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.