Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole

If you are starting to plan out your Thanksgiving menu then this one is for you. I “real foodinized” an old family sweet potato casserole Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food recipe that called for 2 cups of brown sugar…yikes! Why would sweet potatoes even need that much sugar when they’re already naturally sweet? Well, once you try this dish I think you’ll agree this “better for you” version is actually quite delicious and would be a great addition to any Thanksgiving Day spread. If you have the pleasure of serving an extra big crowd this holiday season then double the recipe!


4.8 from 4 reviews
Sweet Potato Casserole
Serves: 6-7 (as a side item)
  • 2 medium to large sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Topping Ingredients
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • ⅓ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel, cube and boil sweet potatoes until tender. If you cut the cubes small enough (1 ½” to 2”) they shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Drain potatoes.
  3. Add the butter, vanilla, milk, egg and syrup to potatoes and mash/mix together by hand with a potato masher or fork or you can use an electric mixer.
  4. Transfer mashed potato mixture to a square casserole dish.
  5. Mix together the pecans and flour for the topping. Melt the butter and syrup together and stir into the pecan mixture.
  6. Evenly spread pecan topping on top of the potatoes in casserole dish.
  7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until bubbly.

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  • Comments

    1. |

      My “real” sweet potato casserole recipe for Easter was very similar to this. I find that it’s easier to bake the washed whole sweet potatoes first. Then, the skins just slide off and it’s so much quicker. Then, I always run them through my mixer to get all of the “strings” out and make them very smooth. Then, I proceed.
      Also, the topping and the filling both freeze well (separately). So, I make this ahead of time and then freeze it. Once it thaws, I cook the filling until it’s hot and almost done and then I add the topping so it doesn’t burn.
      I love thanksgiving!

    2. |

      Looks fantastic – I agree, sweet potatoes are already very sweet and don’t need a bunch more sugar!

    3. kitchenwench |

      Sweet potatoes have such a delicate flavor. I find that boiling them makes them tasteless. Just throw them in the oven and bake them. I know you have to factor that into the prep time, but it is hands off time you can use to do something else. Lisa, I love your site and follow it religiously!

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Thanks for the variation suggestion (and for following the blog)! :)

    4. Alyssa |

      This sounds great! Question…could you use coconut oil in place of the butter or do you think it would change things too much?

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        It would definitely change the flavor, but you could try it! If you are dealing with a dairy intolerance you could try ghee (a.k.a. clarified butter) as well. Good luck!

    5. Julie |

      I’ve been trying lots of your recipes and really enjoying them. I will definitely try this soon. Thank you!

    6. Michelle |

      Mark Bittman from How to Cook Everything also has a super-simple (and real) version of sweet potatoes that’s awesome. He grates the sweet potatoes first, then stir fries everything. It’s simple and quick, and my kids like it a lot. I don’t think they’d go for “potatoes” with marshmallows and tons of brown sugar. They’d wonder how they were even potatoes!

    7. Jayna |

      This looks great! I agree that sweet potatoes don’t need a whole lot of sugar added, none most of the time, in fact. Maple syrup here seems like a good substitute for sugar. I’m not all the way “real” so this following part may raise some eyebrows… I got canned sweet potatoes that were packed in…get this…water! No sugar added! I did that for two years to make for my twin babies which saved a lot of time. But now they no longer make that variety. They are ALL packed in light syrup. :o( Bummy. But I think I’ll be trying this one with the real deal REAL soon! Trying to watch carbs, though, so I may toast the pecans in a pan and lightly drizzle with maple syrup instead of doing a crumble.

    8. Stacy |

      I’ve been leaving the skins on for mashed sweet potatoes and I think I will for this casserole, too. I hardly notice them! I’m so glad you posted this; I was just really sad last week thinking about all the terrible stuff in sweet potato casserole, but now I don’t have to be!

    9. julie |

      This sweet potatoe casserole looks amazing!! I am trying it tomorrow!

    10. Carolyn |

      This looks great. I love sweet potatoes, I often wonder why I don’t make stuff like this great casserole more often! I mean how is this that different than my other go-to side dishes? This would be especially nice for a Sunday supper!

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