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
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!
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.
More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes You’ll Love:
- Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Mom’s Stuffing, Lightened Up
- Green Bean Casserole
- Cranberry Pear Sauce
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Your comments are helpful! If you’ve tried this healthy Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole recipe or any other on Skinnytaste, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. And if you took a photo of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can reshare it on my Stories!
Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping
FOR THE FILLING:
FOR THE TOPPING:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.