4 Ways to Make a Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

By: Hilary Meyer

Classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole get a healthy makeover.

sweet potato casserole

Classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole get a healthy makeover.

Traditionally topped with marshmallows and containing upwards of a stick of butter and a ton of added sugar, sweet potato casserole is one decadent side dish that can become too decadent in a hurry. I want to indulge, but not at that fat-and calorie-laden price. I think EatingWell’s healthy Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is even more delicious than traditional sweet potato casserole recipes and will leave room for pumpkin pie too.

Here's how the nutrition in our Sweet Potato Casserole recipe compares to a traditional recipe:

EatingWell Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 242 calories
  • 10 g fat
  • 2 g saturated fat
  • 4 g fiber
  • 170 mg sodium

Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 460 calories
  • 16 g fat
  • 4.5 g saturated fat
  • 3 g fiber
  • 270 mg sodium

Here's how we made this sweet potato casserole recipe healthier:

1. Use Less Butter, Boost Healthy Flavors

orange zest

We added honey and orange zest to liven up the flavor so we could cut back on butter. This saved us 7 grams of fat per serving and 4 grams of saturated fat.

2. Ditch the Marshmallows to Make a Healthier Topping

pecans on cutting board

We skipped the marshmallows and made a topping of our own with pecans and whole-wheat flour. It boosts fiber and shaved off nearly 200 calories a serving.

3. Keep Portion Size in Check

sweet potatoes on cutting board

To keep the calories reasonable, we start with a smaller amount of potatoes. This yields about a 1/2 cup serving size for each person, which is plenty, especially considering all the other food on a Thanksgiving menu.

4. Cut Back on Added Sugar

honey pot

Traditional sweet potato casserole can taste more like a dessert than a side dish. We think sweet potatoes are sweet enough by nature, so there’s no need to pile on the sugar. In our recipe, we enhance the flavor by adding just a tablespoon of honey to the casserole itself and only 1/3 cup brown sugar to the topping. A dash of vanilla also gives it a confectionary flavor without adding additional calories. The casserole will still be plenty sweet but it won’t taste like dessert. Leave that to the pie at the end of the meal.

Get the Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole

More Recipes to Try

Watch: How to Make Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

More Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes