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Our most popular sweet potato casserole recipe

By Hilary Meyer, November 16, 2009 - 11:08am

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The jury is out when it comes to the best dish at Thanksgiving dinner. Some people think roast turkey is the star, but for me it’s all about classic Thanksgiving sides and desserts and sweet potato casserole is at the top of my list.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Traditionally topped with marshmallows and containing upwards of a stick of butter this decadent side dish can become too decadent in a hurry. I want to indulge, but not at that fat-and calorie-laden price. I think this healthier recipe makeover of sweet potato casserole (see recipe below) is even more delicious than traditional recipes and will leave me room for pumpkin pie too.

Here’s how our Test Kitchen cooks gave sweet potato casserole a healthy recipe makeover:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Here are two more favorite classic Thanksgiving recipes made healthy:

Green Bean Casserole This healthy revision of green bean casserole skips the canned soup and all the fat and sodium that come with it. Our white sauce with sliced fresh mushrooms, sweet onions and low-fat milk makes a creamy, rich casserole. So good.

Creamed Onions A holiday staple in many households, creamed onions are usually bathed in a rich white sauce made with heavy cream. In this version, we roast the onions for an added layer of flavor and lighten up the sauce with low-fat milk. The result is a luxuriously silky sauce with a sweet roasted onion flavor for far fewer calories and less fat. We like the smaller size of pearl onions, but boiling onions also work well.

Sweet Potato Casserole This scrumptious sweet potato casserole gets fabulous flavor from honey and freshly grated orange zest rather than the traditional stick of butter. To complete the healthy makeover we sprinkle a crunchy pecan streusel spiked with orange juice concentrate over the top. You can save the marshmallows for s’mores.
To make ahead: Prepare through Step 4; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Food Blog

Hilary Meyer
Hilary Meyer develops and tests healthy recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Hilary asks: What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

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