This secretly healthy sweet potato casserole has a rich filling (with coconut milk!) and a sweet, crunchy oat nut topping that’s free of refined sugar!
For this healthy sweet potato casserole, I adapted the topping recipe from my favorite healthy apple crisp. There’s almond meal, oats, nuts, cinnamon, and coconut oil (or butter)– all real ingredients with no refined sugar in sight.
And the filling is creamy, rich, and just sweet enough, with a bit of honey or maple syrup, coconut milk, and cinnamon.
I made this last Thanksgiving for the first time and jotted the recipe down to share it with you.
There are a couple of ways you prep this sweet potato casserole ahead of time to simplify things on Thanksgiving:
1. Bake just the sweet potatoes in advance. You can cook the sweet potatoes up to a day or two in advance and keep them in the fridge. Then, on Thanksgiving, you’ve already had a jumpstart on making the casserole, and your oven will be more free for baking other dishes.
2. Assemble the full casserole in advance. You can bake the sweet potatoes, prep the sweet potato filling, mix up the crunchy topping, and assemble the casserole the day before Thanksgiving. Then, just bake the casserole on Thanksgiving. You’ll need to cook the casserole longer since it’ll be chilled right out of the fridge, but this works well to save lots of time on Thanksgiving!
I absolutely love sweet potatoes but for a long time, I didn’t like sweet potato casserole because I thought it was tooth-achingly sweet. Sweet potatoes are already, you know, sweet so they don’t need a ton of adornments, at least in my opinion.
My favorite way to enjoy sweet potatoes is just baked, mixed with cinnamon, and topped with almond butter and a sprinkle of nuts or raisins, often for breakfast!
But since Thanksgiving is a special day, I think it deserves an extra special sweet potato dish. That’s where this secretly healthy sweet potato casserole comes in. It’s just sweet enough, and it’s made with healthy, whole ingredients so you can feel extra good about eating it.
On a different note, I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner! I love Thanksgiving because my grandparents and cousins come in town and stay at our house in Raleigh. We have so many fun traditions and it feels so nice to great to have everyone in the same place.
Our Thanksgiving Traditions
• Dessert for dinner. We always eat so much for Thanksgiving lunch that we’re not hungry for the rest of the day. So, we save our Thanksgiving dessert for dinner and eat that instead of a real meal 😀
• Family kickball. We always play an afternoon game of kickball after our big Thanksgiving lunch. I’m not really sure how, because we’re really full…but it’s something I look forward to every year!
• A Turkey Trot. I’ve often done a “Turkey Trot” race on the morning of Thanksgiving or sometimes, I’ve convinced my sister to do a long run with me. We did 14 miles together a couple years back and accidentally missed a lot of the Thanksgiving prep work, so we made up for it on cleaning duty later. 😉
• The usual family favorite recipes each Thanksgiving, along with a few new ones we try each year. No matter what, there’s always mac ‘n’ cheese, and this butternut squash mac ‘n’ cheese is the perfect seasonal recipe!
• Lots of movies & couch time. During Thanksgiving break, we probably watch more movies than I watch on all of the other days of the year combined!
What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions or recipes?!
If you make this healthy sweet potato casserole, let me know in a comment or take a photo and tag me @livbane on Instagram! I’d love to see!
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Filling
- 5 medium or 4 large sweet potatoes (about 4 lbs.)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- Optional: 1/4 cup shredded coconut or coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes and poke a couple of holes in them with a fork.
- Place sweet potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 50-75 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes- check at 50 minutes for smaller potatoes). Potatoes are done when you can easily insert a fork into the middle.
- Wait until sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, and then remove the skin. In a medium bowl, mash potatoes with maple syrup or honey, coconut milk, and cinnamon.
- Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and add potato mixture.
- In now-empty mixing bowl, stir together topping ingredients. Spread topping over sweet potatoes. Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until topping is lightly brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with coconut flakes, if using. Serve warm.
Originally published in 2017; text and nutritional info updated November 2019.
Misty Bane says
I love Thanksgiving too! Looking forward to having this on our menu 🙂
Me, too! 🙂
Andy Parsons says
Wow, that’s really great recipe. I would have never thought of it on my own 😛
And as I’m on a weight loss diet now I have to pick carefully what I eat, but this one seems to be extremely healthy and also very tasty. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us 🙂
Carol Eiseman says
Many people should this recipe because it is lower cal than most, and it is super good! Olivia is an excellent cook.
Thanks, Gee 🙂 Looking forward to cooking for you in just over a week!
I LOVE sweet potato recipes. 🙂 And I love seeing your Thanksgiving traditions. We always eat enough too for the rest of the day, and dessert is pretty much the only thing we eat later. We love to do a 5k Turkey Trot if we sign up in time, but a 14 mile long run sounds fun too.
Yes!! Love that Turkey Trot tradition!
Claire B. says
I loveee sweet potato casserole so I’m definitely going to be trying this out soon! And I love that you guys do a non-traditional Thanksgiving dish–mac n’cheese–at your meal. Unique traditions are the best! One of my favorites of our traditions is that my uncle bakes homemade sourdough bread for the big meal that is out-of-this-world good!
Mmmmm homemade sourdough bread?! YUM!!! Maybe I can convince one of my relatives to learn how to make homemade bread for our Thankgiving 😉 Or I’ll just learn! That’s what YouTube/food blogs are for, right? 🙂
Kristy from Southern In Law says
I’ve never had sweet potato casserole before – but I think I need to change that because this looks amazing!!
Oh, I bet you would love it!!! And this recipe’s gluten-free so…Kristy-approved! 🙂
wow! this is so delicious and turned out to be super good…tried this already..thanks for sharing and a happy Christmas to you 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for reporting back!!
Colleen Lavelle says
I’m making this casserole two days before Thanksgiving. Should I bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Then refrigerate. And reheat it on Thanksgiving? Or refrigerate without baking and bake on Thsnksgiving? Thanks for your help.
Hi Colleen! I’d refrigerate without baking and just bake on Thanksgiving! Hope that helps 🙂
Colleen Lavelle says
Thanks Liv. I have it in a cooler on my way to PA.
Awesome!! Hope y’all enjoy it, and happy Thanksgiving!!!
Carol Eiseman says
Can’t wait to Thanksgiving for this delicious sweet potato casserole. Yum!
This looks absolutely amazing I can not wait to give this a try. YUMMY!!!
Hope you enjoy!
It was so delicious that I forgot to take a pic before digging in. My husband loves sweet potato anything, so I have to get my share before he gets home. Lol. I added a bit of vanilla extract to the recipe as well. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for sharing.
I want to make your Healthy Sweet Potato casserole 2 weeks ahead. I have to travel right up to Thanksgiving so no time. Can I make ahead& freeze it? If yes, then should I freeze baked or freeze unbaked?
Hi Danielle, I haven’t tried freezing this sweet potato casserole, but I’ve read that you can and should freeze the topping separately 😀