This sweet potato casserole is healthier than the classic version, without sacrificing any flavor! Complete with a crunchy maple cayenne pecan topping, this casserole is the perfect Thanksgiving sweet potato side dish. Vegan option included!

This post was originally posted on November 4, 2019 and updated with new photos and copy on November 16, 2021.

sweet potato casserole with a crunch pecan topping in a white baking dish.

The Perfect Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Side Dish!

Continuing on over here with ALL the Thanksgiving recipes, and I’m not complaining! This is my favorite time of year, and I’m having so much fun recreating all of these classic holiday dishes in a healthier way. This paleo sweet potato casserole is a little different than the traditional marshmallow-laden dish, but my twist on the classic recipe is to-die-for! The maple cayenne pecan topping is probably my favorite part! It’s sweet, spicy, crunchy, and addicting. Have no fear, “healthier” can taste just as good (or better!).

Simple, Healthy Ingredients!

Raw Pecans: Typically I get my raw unsalted pecans from Costco or Trader Joe’s. It seems to be the most cost-effective route for getting nuts!

Coconut Milk: I make my sweet potato casserole with full-fat coconut milk, you can use almond milk or another favorite dairy-free milk!

Coconut Sugar: Instead of using brown sugar for this casserole, I use coconut sugar! It substitutes perfectly for this recipe!

ingredients for the paleo and healthier version of sweet potato casserole

How to Make This (Healthier) Sweet Potato Casserole

It. Is. So. Easy! With just a few simple steps you will have the most delicious sweet potato side dish!

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes until tender.
  2. Mix in the coconut sugar, ghee (or coconut oil), coconut milk, vanilla, sea salt, & eggs with the sweet potato, then pour into a greased casserole dish.
  3. Spread topping mixture evenly over the top of the casserole, cover, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

(see recipe card below for more detailed instructions!)

sweet potatoes peeled and cut and boiling in water

Mary’s Tips & Tricks

How to Make Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

If you’re looking to make this sweet potato casserole vegan, there are just a few easy swaps! Simply replace the ghee with coconut oil and omit the egg, and voila! You have a tasty vegan sweet potato side dish that everyone will love!

Make this Dish Ahead of Time

Thanksgiving is such a busy day. Don’t stress yourself out the day of, and instead make this sweet potato dish ahead of time! Follow the steps to make it, but keep the pecan topping in a separate container until you are ready to bake. Refrigerate it up to 3 days before you want to bake it. On the day off, bring it to room temp, top it with the pecan topping, and follow the same baking instructions in the recipe card! So easy and stress-free!

all the ingredients combined with a potato masher and egg nearby

the pecan topping in a white bowl

FAQs

How do I store sweet potato casserole leftovers? Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Does this sweet potato dish freeze well? Yes! Freeze without the topping for up to 4 months. For best results, place plastic wrap directly on the top of the potatoes, then foil on top of that.

Can I use a different nut besides Pecans? You can, however, it may change the taste a bit! Any nut could work.

Can I make this paleo sweet potato casserole nut-free? Yes! To make it nut-free simply omit the pecan topping. You can also add some Dandies marshmallows instead.

an overhead view of the sweet potato casserole after it finishes cooking

More Thanksgiving Side Dishes!

Whole30 + Keto Green Bean Casserole

Riced Cauliflower Stuffing

Creamy, Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes!

Pin This Recipe!

Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole kingpin

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Easy Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole (Dairy Free & Gluten Free)

This sweet potato casserole is healthier than the classic version, without sacrificing any flavor! Complete with a crunchy maple cayenne pecan topping, this casserole is the perfect Thanksgiving sweet potato side dish. Vegan option included!
5 from 7 votes
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Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks, about 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup ghee or coconut oil
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk, or any dairy free milk
  • 2 eggs, omit for vegan or use flax eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Topping

  • 1.5 cups raw unsalted pecans, chopped
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee or coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions
 

  • Preheat over to 375. Grease a 3 qt casserole dish with cooking spray or ghee. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peeled sweet potato chunks and cover. Cook until fork-tender (10-15 minutes). Drain and add them to a large bowl.
  • Add coconut sugar, ghee (or coconut oil), coconut milk, vanilla, and sea salt. Let the mixture cool a bit before pouring in the eggs so they don't cook! Add in eggs and beat everything together well. Pour into the greased casserole dish.
  • Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Spread evenly over the top of the casserole. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pecans - if they begin to get too brown, simply add the foil back on top. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Does this sweet potato dish freeze well? Yes! Freeze without the topping for up to 4 months. For best results, place plastic wrap directly on the top of the potatoes, then foil on top of that.
Can I use a different nut besides Pecans? You can, however, it may change the taste a bit! Any nut could work.
Can I make this paleo sweet potato casserole nut-free? Yes! To make it nut-free simply omit the pecan topping. You can also add some Dandies marshmallows instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 323mg, Potassium: 477mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 16152IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 1mg