This 5 ingredient sweet potato casserole is a flavorful side dish that is perfect for all of your holiday meals. Creamy mashed sweet potatoes are topped with crunchy pecans and baked in the oven. It's lighter than most sweet potato casseroles, naturally sweet, and packed with tons of flavor.
A healthy sweet potato casserole with less sugar
This is not your traditional sweet potato casserole that is loaded with cream, brown sugar, and marshmallows. This recipe is a healthier twist on a classic casserole. It's made with a few simple ingredients that are healthier, and it still tastes great.
Since sweet potatoes are incredibly healthy, naturally sweet, and delicious on their own, I don't like to add a lot of sugar to them. Most times I bake them and serve them with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.
When it's the holidays, I like to dress them up a little bit which is what I've done with this sweet potato recipe. I've found that all you need is a little bit of natural sweetener and warming spices to balance the flavor and allow the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes to shine through. And that is also how I make my sweet potato fritters and ginger and garlic sweet potato mash.
- A healthy sweet potato casserole with less sugar
- Why you will love this recipe
- Here is what you will need
- How to make 5 ingredients sweet potato casserole
- Step 5. Add the pecans
- Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Make ahead instructions
- Recipe variations
- How to store leftovers
- How to serve sweet potato casserole
- You might like these holiday classic side dish recipes
- 📖 Recipe
Why you will love this recipe
- This is an easy recipe to make with only 5 ingredients.
- It's healthy! Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- There is not a lot of added sugar in this recipe, just one tablespoon of maple syrup.
Here is what you will need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions.
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How to make 5 ingredients sweet potato casserole
Prepare the ingredients: rinse, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into large chunks. Chop the pecans and preheat the oven to 375 degrees f.
Step 1. Cook the sweet potatoes
Place the sweet potatoes into a medium to large pot and cover them with water. Cook over high heat until the water begins to boil. Reduce to medium heat, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
Step 2. Drain and prepare
Drain the water from the sweet potatoes and reserve up to a ½ cup of the liquid. Place the sweet potatoes into a large bowl with butter, syrup and pumpkin pie spice.
Step 3. Mash the sweet potatoes
Mix the potatoes with butter and spice using a potato masher or hand mixer.
Step 4. Spread the mixture into a dish
Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with butter and spread the pureed sweet potato mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Step 5. Add the pecans
Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the sweet potatoes and bake.
NOTE: Use the reserved liquid when mashing the potatoes to adjust the consistency of the casserole.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
The complete list of ingredients to make this recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients, along with ideas for substitutes.
Pumpkin pie seasoning - adds a nice warm flavor to the casserole, and can easily be substituted with an equal amount of cinnamon.
Maple syrup - use real maple syrup and not pancake syrup. Maple syrup can be substituted with an equal amount of honey.
Pecans - chopped walnuts can be swapped in for the pecans.
Make ahead instructions
This is a great recipe for many reasons, but the best one is that you can make this classic sweet potato casserole ahead of time and pop it in the oven just before serving.
Follow the instructions on the recipe card to make this casserole 1-2 days ahead of time, but don't add the chopped pecans until just before baking the casserole.
At least 30 minutes before it's time to serve, bring the casserole to room temperature, add the chopped pecans, and bake.
Boozy sweet potato casserole - add a tablespoon of rum or bourbon to the mixing bowl with the butter and pumpkin pie spice.
Fruity sweet potato casserole - stir in a few tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice to the mixture.
Dairy-free or vegan sweet potato casserole - replace the butter with vegan butter or coconut oil.
Marshmallow sweet potato casserole - if you prefer a marshmallow topping, skip the pecans and sprinkle the casserole with mini marshmallows instead. There will still be less sugar than most casseroles.
Sweet and spicy sweet potato casserole - stir in a pinch of cayenne pepper and top the casserole with chopped sweet and spicy pecans.
How to store leftovers
Leftover sweet potato casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
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How to serve sweet potato casserole
Sweet potato casserole can easily be frozen. Make the casserole without the topping and spread it into a baking dish. Once the casserole is at room temperature, cover it tightly and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight.
Sweet potatoes don't need to be peeled to enjoy them, but if you are making a sweet potato casserole it is recommended.
You can bake sweet potatoes to make a casserole even though boiling is the quickest way. Boiling will also add moisture to the sweet potatoes which will result in a smooth casserole.
You might like these holiday classic side dish recipes
- Homemade cranberry sauce
- Butternut squash and apples
- Green beans with almonds and lemon
- Instant pot mashed potatoes
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Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 1.5 pound sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Prepare the ingredients: rinse, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into large chunks. Chop the pecans and preheat the oven to 375 degrees f.
- Place the sweet potatoes into a medium to large pot and cover them with water. Cook over high heat until the water begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium heat, cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
- Drain the water from the sweet potatoes and reserve up to a half cup of the liquid in the pot. Place the sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl and add the syrup, pumpkin pie spice and butter.
- Mix the ingredients together with a potato masher (for a chunky texture), or hand mixer or food processor.
- Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with butter and spread the puree sweet potato mixture into the prepared baking dish
- Sprinkle the chopped pecan on top of the the sweet potato mixture and bake.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
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