4 Ways to Make a Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Classic Thanksgiving sweet potatoes get a healthy makeover.

Traditionally topped with marshmallows and containing upwards of a stick of butter 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 is even more delicious than traditional sweet potato casserole recipes and will leave me room for pumpkin pie too. Read on to find out how we did it.

—Hilary Meyer, Associate Editor/Food

Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole EatingWell Sweet Potato Casserole
  • 460 calories
  • 16 g fat
  • 4.5 g saturated fat
  • 3 g fiber
  • 270 mg sodium
  • 242 calories
  • 10 g fat
  • 2 g saturated fat
  • 4 g fiber
  • 170 mg sodium

Use Less Butter, Boost Healthy Flavors

1. Use Less Butter, Boost Healthy Flavors.

We added honey and orange zest to liven up the flavor so we could cut back on less healthy ingredients like 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

2. Ditch the Marshmallows to Make a Healthier Topping

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

3. Keep Portion Size in Check

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

4. Cut Back on Added Sugar

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