5 Ingredient Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

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 a healthier sweet potato casserole without marshmallows and is a not-too-sweet potato casserole that is packed with flavor.

a close up picture of sweet potato casserole

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A healthy sweet potato casserole with less sugar

This is the best healthy sweet potato casserole recipe! Unlike the traditional sweet potato casseroles 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 healthy, naturally sweet, and delicious, 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.

🤍Why you will love this recipe

  • This sweet potato casserole is an easy recipe to make with only five ingredients.
  • It’s healthy! Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • It’s one of those low-sugar sweet potato recipes that is made with a touch of naturally sweet maple syrup.

overhead view of casserole ingredients

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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  • Sweet potatoes
  • unsalted butter
  • Pumpkin pie seasoning
  • Maple syrup
  • Pecans


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.

chunks of sweet potatoes in a pot with water

STEP 1: 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 the water from the sweet potatoes and reserve up to 1/2 cup of the liquid. Place the sweet potatoes into a large bowl with butter, syrup and pumpkin pie spice.

cooked sweet potato chunks in a bowl with cinnamon and butter
sweet potatoes mashed in a bowl

STEP 3: Mix the sweet potatoes with butter and spice using a potato masher or hand mixer.

STEP 4: Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with butter and spread the pureed sweet potato mixture into the prepared baking dish.

mashed sweet potato mixture in a baking dish
assembled casserole with pecans on top ready for the oven

STEP 5: Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the sweet potatoes and bake.

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.

overhead view of casserole with chopped pecans on top

Make ahead instructions

This is an excellent recipe for many reasons, but the best one is to 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 serving, bring the casserole to room temperature, add the chopped pecans, and bake.

Recipe variations

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.

sweet potato casserole in a blue pan with pecans on top

How to store leftovers

Leftover sweet potato casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Are you too tired to cook dinner?

If you’re feeling uninspired when it’s time to cook dinner, this free guide will help you make a quick and healthy dinner with ingredients you have in your kitchen.

How to serve sweet potato casserole

Aside from the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, this easy sweet potato casserole tastes great as a side dish with slow-roasted pork with apples, Hasselback pork tenderloin, or chicken paillard.


  • Make sure the sweet potato chunks are similar in size so that they cook evenly.
  • For an extra smooth sweet potato casserole, blend them with a food processor, electric mixer or blender.
  • Toast the pecans before adding them to the casserole in a baking sheet for an extra crispy topping.
  • Use the reserved liquid from the sweet potatoes when mashing them to adjust the consistency.
Can you freeze 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.

To peel or not to peel your sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes don’t need to be peeled to enjoy them, but if you are making a sweet potato casserole it is recommended.

Can you bake sweet potatoes instead of boiling them to make a sweet potato casserole?

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

Do you like this recipe?
Please comment and give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below!

a close up picture of sweet potato casserole

Five Ingredient Sweet Potato Casserole

A healthy twist on a traditional sweet potato casserole made with simple ingredients and packed with flavor!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Side Dish Recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 5 ingredient sweet potato casserole
Servings: 4 People
Author: Anne
Scale this Recipe 4 People


  • 1.5 pound sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 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.


Use the reserved liquid to adjust the consistency when mashing the sweet potatoes.
Store leftover sweet potato casserole in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
See the article above for recipe tips, variations and more.

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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