Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

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This lightened-up Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with roasted, mashed sweet potatoes and a praline topping is a wonderful Thanksgiving side dish.

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping
Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole

This healthy sweet potato casserole has all the wonderful Thanksgiving flavors you crave for the holiday table. It’s a lighter version of the classic recipe with a layer of creamy, spiced sweet potatoes topped with a nutty pecan oat crumble. It’s loaded with vanilla and cinnamon – you’ll love it! I also have this old- fashioned Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow recipe or Mashed Sweet Potato Brulee. Perfect to serve with my Dry Brine Turkey!

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients

First up, let’s talk about what you’ll need for the filling:

  • Sweet Potatoes: You’ll need 2 ½ pounds (about four to six medium potatoes).
  • Milk: I made it with fat-free milk, but 1% or 2% would work. Or, if you want to keep it dairy-free, try it with almond milk or another milk alternative.
  • Maple Syrup for a bit of sweetness
  • Vanilla: Use two teaspoons of extract.
  • Salt to balance out the sweetness
  • Cinnamon for warm holiday flavor
  • Eggs to bind the casserole and improve the texture

Next up – the praline topping!

  • Nuts: Choose chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • Flour: If you’re gluten-free, swap all-purpose flour for gluten-free.
  • Oats: Get quick-cooking or gluten-free oats.
  • Brown Monk Fruit Sweetener: Substitute it for stevia or brown sugar.
  • Seasoning: Just a little cinnamon and salt enhances the flavor.
  • Butter: Melted butter or coconut oil will work.

How to Make Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole

I tested out this easy sweet potato casserole a few ways. First, I boiled the sweet potatoes, but I loved it better with roasted ones since they caramelize and get sweet in the oven.

  • Sweet Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 375°F, prick the potatoes with a fork, and place them on a sheet pan. Bake for an hour or so until tender and set aside to cool. Peel off the skin, and mash them with a fork in a large bowl.
  • Combine the milk, maple syrup, salt, spices, and eggs with the potatoes, and pour the mixture into a greased baking dish.
  • Topping: Stir the nuts, flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together and then mix in the butter or coconut oil. Sprinkle the praline
    mixture across the top of the sweet potato casserole.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for at least five minutes before serving. Refrigerated leftovers will last four or five days.

Make Ahead Tips

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, it’s essential to do some prep ahead of time. You can bake, peel, and mash the sweet potatoes a couple of days in advance. You could even make the potato mixture and topping a day before, but I’d wait to sprinkle the praline topping over the casserole until right before baking.

Do you put eggs in sweet potato casserole?

You definitely don’t want to skip the eggs in your casserole. They bind all the ingredients together, resulting in a fluffier texture that’s not dense. Just make sure to cool the potatoes first so the eggs don’t scramble when you mix them in.

Baked Sweet Potatoes

vanillas sweet potatoesVanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline ToppingVanilla Sweet Potatoes

More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes You’ll Love:

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Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping
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Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

218 Cals 4.5 Protein 35 Carbs 8.5 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Yield: 10 servings
COURSE: Side Dish
CUISINE: American
This lightened-up Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with roasted, mashed sweet potatoes and a praline topping is a wonderful Thanksgiving side dish.



  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 4 to 6 medium total*
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk , or milk alternative such as almond
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, beaten


  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats, or gluten-free oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown monk fruit sweetener
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, or coconut oil


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Prick potatoes with a fork and place on a sheet pan.
  • Bake until tender, about 1 to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool enough to handle.
  • Meanwhile spray a 9 x 9 inch pan, 9 inch pie pan, or or 2 quart safe baking dish and set aside.
  • Remove all the potatoes from the skin and mash with a fork or potato masher in a large mixing bowl.
    mashed roasted sweet potatoes
  • Add the milk, maple syrup, salt, spices and eggs to the bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until uniform in texture.
  • Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the nuts, flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
    praline nut and oat topping
  • Stir in the butter or coconut oil and mix well.
  • Sprinkle the mixture evenly across the top of the sweet potato mixture.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.



*the skins get tossed, deducted from n.i.


Serving: 2/3 cup, Calories: 218kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 4.5g, Fat: 8.5g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 43.5mg, Sodium: 153.5mg, Fiber: 4.5g, Sugar: 9.5g
Keywords: easy sweet potato recipes, praline topping, sweet potato casserole, Thanksgiving side dish, vanilla sweet potatoes

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  1. Can canned sweet potatoes be used?  If so, how much?

  2. I made this today. Half with marshmallows. The other half the praline topping. I also used vanilla almond milk in place of the regular milk. It was DELICIOUS!!! DEFINITELY ALREADY ON THE MENU FOR NEXT YEAR!!

  3. Time saving tip….microwave potatoes then “roast them for about 10 minutes at 400 in your air fryer. Tastes like they were roasted a long time.

  4. Could a different sweetener besides monk fruit be used? If so, what and how much?

  5. Can it be made in advance?

    • It did say you could make it a day ahead of time, but wait until just before baking to put the topping on. Hope this helps!

    • Delicious! My family has had a sweet potato casserole recipe we’ve had every Thanksgiving and Christmas my whole life, yummy but I find it too sweet. This one will likely be my own holiday sweet potato recipe for holidays from now on! I made the 2 components a day ahead and assembled Thanksgiving day. And I used regular brown sugar in place of monk sweetener, same measurement.

  6. I have a family member with an egg allergy. Would a flax egg or soy yogurt be a decent alternative?