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Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Chipotle Pecan Streusel


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Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Chipotle Pecan Streusel

https://www.cookincanuck.com/healthy-sweet-potato-casserole-pecan-streusel/

Healthy sweet potato casserole just got a makeover with an amazing chipotle maple pecan topping. Don’t miss out on this one! It also happens to be vegan (with non-vegan option included).
Sweet potato casserole with pecan topping in a white casserole dish, with a silver spoon. Gray napkin underneath.

Sweet potato casserole with pecan topping in a white casserole dish, with a silver spoon. Gray napkin underneath.

Thanksgiving or Sunday dinner, this healthy sweet potato casserole can be the star of the show, even rivaling our all-time favorite roast turkey recipe (or stuffed turkey breast for a smaller meal). With a touch of spice, thanks to the maple and chipotle chile pepper-glazed pecans, it is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Smooth, creamy sweet potatoes and the crunch of toasty pecans…it just doesn’t get any better than that!

If you follow a vegan or dairy-free diet, this casserole fits in well. Instead of milk, the sweet potatoes are whipped with coconut milk (or an alternative milk of your choice) and coconut oil is used in place of butter. If you prefer more traditional ingredients, this recipe works just as well with milk and butter.

Chopped spiced pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spice bottles on the side.

Chopped spiced pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spice bottles on the side.

What you need for this healthy sweet potato casserole:

These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):

  • Sweet potatoes: You’ll need 3 pounds of sweet potatoes. Choose ones that are close in size so that they are done in approximately the same amount of time.
  • Coconut milk: Light coconut milk is a great non-dairy option and adds fantastic flavor. If you prefer, sub with full-fat coconut milk, regular milk or your favorite milk alternative, such as almond milk.
  • Spices: All of our favorite fall spices are included – cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger. A pinch of chipotle chile powder is used in the mashed sweet potatoes and the topping, adding just the right amount of heat.
  • Pecans: Start with either raw pecans halves or pecan pieces. If using pecan halves, roughly chop them.
  • Maple syrup: Maple syrup is an ingredient in the mashed sweet potatoes and the chipotle pecans. Be sure to use pure maple syrup, not the corn syrup fake version.
  • Sugar: A few tablespoons of brown sugar are needed for the topping. Coconut sugar can be substituted.
  • Oats and flour: Old-fashioned oats and flour round out the topping ingredients. I prefer to use whole wheat pastry flour, but all-purpose flour works, too.

Whipped mashed potatoes in a glass bowl, with mixer beaters and spice bottles on the side.

Whipped mashed potatoes in a glass bowl, with mixer beaters and spice bottles on the side.

How to make sweet potato casserole with pecans:

The process for making this recipe is basic: roast and mash the sweet potatoes, prepare the pecans and topping and, finally, bake the casserole. Easy as can be!

There are a few tips I want to share with you so that you end up with the best dish possible.

Let’s start with the chipotle chile powder since it’s the most unconventional ingredient. Just a pinch will do the trick to achieve a perfectly balanced sweet and savory sweet potato casserole. I included the chile powder in both the maple chipotle pecans and the mashed potatoes. If you’re sensitive to spice, eliminate it from the potatoes or simply reduce the amount used.

When roasting the pecans and when baking the casserole in the final step, watch the pecans carefully so that they don’t burn. When making the pecans in the first step, they should be roasted just until they’re light golden brown.

Nobody likes lumpy potatoes! You may have to mix the potatoes, using a hand mixer, for several minutes to make them silky smooth. Test them along the way to make sure all of the lumps are gone. If you don’t have a hand mixer, no problem. A potato masher and some good old-fashioned elbow grease will do the trick.

I used a 1 1/2-quart oval baking dish – I’ve had this one (affiliate link) for 20 years and it’s a workhorse! A 9-inch deep pie dish or an 8- by 8-inch baking pan will work, too.

Mashed sweet potatoes in a white baking dish, partially covered with a pecan streusel topping. Spice bottles on the side.

Mashed sweet potatoes in a white baking dish, partially covered with a pecan streusel topping. Spice bottles on the side.

Is this sweet potato casserole vegan?

If you use the ingredients listed in the recipe below without making any of the substitutions, then this is indeed a vegan sweet potato casserole.

The two main components to watch – the milk and the fat added to the topping. To keep this a vegan side dish, use coconut milk or an alternative milk (like almond milk) in the mashed sweet potatoes.

For the topping, stick with melted coconut oil rather than butter.

Can this be made ahead of time?

Absolutely! It’s always handy to have a make ahead sweet potato casserole recipe on hand for feast day. I have a few suggestions to make that work well without sacrificing the creamy, fluffy texture of the potatoes.

For the topping, the chipotle pecans can be made up to a week in advance. Place them in a lidded jar or airtight container and store in the refrigerator until it’s time to make the topping. The rest of the topping can be put together a day ahead of time, though I prefer to add the melted coconut oil or butter just before using the topping.

Admittedly, I do prefer to mash the potatoes the day of serving, but it’s perfectly okay to make them the day before. I suggest storing them in the refrigerator, covered, without the topping.

Before adding the topping, bring the mashed potatoes to room temperature. If the potatoes are a little stiff, whip them with a splash of liquid (coconut milk or whichever milk you chose to use).

Since the potatoes will still be a bit cold, you’ll have to add some baking time. Watch the topping carefully. If you notice that the pecans or oats are browning too much, cover the casserole with foil for the last minutes.

Healthy baked sweet potato casserole in a white baking dish. Spoon scooping out a portion.

Healthy baked sweet potato casserole in a white baking dish. Spoon scooping out a portion.

Other healthy holiday side dish recipes:

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan {Cookin’ Canuck}
Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Cinnamon & Nutmeg {Cookin’ Canuck}
Butternut Squash & Kale Quinoa Stuffing {Good Life Eats}
Wild Rice Salad with Orange Maple Vinaigrette {Spices in my DNA}

Sweet potato casserole with pecan topping in a white casserole dish, with a silver spoon. Gray napkin underneath.Sweet potato casserole with pecan topping in a white casserole dish, with a silver spoon. Gray napkin underneath.

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Chipotle Pecan Streusel

Healthy sweet potato casserole just got a makeover with an amazing chipotle maple pecan topping. Don’t miss out on this one! It also happens to be vegan (with non-vegan options included).

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Course: Side Dishes

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Servings: 8 Servings

Calories: 304.1kcal

Author: Dara Michalski | Cookin’ Canuck

Instructions

The chipotle pecans:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Place the chopped pecans in a medium bowl. Add the maple syrup, chipotle chile powder, cinnamon and salt. Toss to coat the pecans.

  • Spread the pecans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake until the pecans are just golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Take care not to brown them too much because they will be browned additionally when the casserole is baked.

The sweet potatoes:

  • Line a baking sheet with foil. Keep the oven at 400 degrees F.

  • Scrub the sweet potatoes, then pat dry. Pierce each potato with a fork in 6 or 7 places. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Turn the oven heat to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 1 ½ quart baking dish with cooking spray. You can also use a deep pie dish or 8- by 8-inch baking dish.

  • Place the potatoes on a cutting board and allow them to cool slightly before handling. Cur the potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop the flesh out and place into a large bowl.

  • To the sweet potato flesh, add the coconut milk (or alternative). With a hand mixer, mix until the potatoes are very smooth. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg and chipotle chile powder. Mix again until combined.

  • Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the potatoes.

  • Bake until the topping is light golden brown and the potatoes are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.

The topping:

  • In a bowl, combine the chipotle pecans, oats, flour, sugar and melted coconut oil. Toss to until the ingredients are completely combined.

Notes

Weight Watchers Points: 9 (Blue – Freestyle Points) / 4 (Green) / 6 (Purple)

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 304.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 51.7g | Protein: 1.7g | Fat: 11.8g | Saturated Fat: 4.3g | Sodium: 186.6mg | Fiber: 7.7g | Sugar: 14.9g


Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I’ll be sure to find it.

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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