Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

gold spoon lifting pecan sweet potato casserole out of a white dish.

This healthier sweet potato casserole with an easy candied pecan topping is simple, delicious, and lower in sugar than traditional versions. It's perfect for your Thanksgiving table!



For the sweet potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 small potatoes or 4 cups cubed)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup reserved cooking liquid
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the topping:

  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped


  1. Wash and peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. 
  2. Heat oven to 350°F.
  3. Return the sweet potatoes to the pan. Add orange juice and reserved cooking liquid and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
  4. Add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine. Stir in beaten egg. 
  5. Spread the mixture into a lightly greased 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. 
  6. Make the pecan topping. Stir together melted butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Stir in pecans until coated well. 
  7. Sprinkle the pecan mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes. 
  8. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until the pecans are browned. Broil for 1 minute at then end if you'd like, watching carefully. 
  9. Remove from the oven and serve.


  • If you prefer more whipped, airy, or super-smooth potatoes, you can use hand beaters or a stand mixer to mash the potatoes. You may need to add slightly more liquid.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste. I think this is the perfect combination of cinnamon with a slight hint of nutmeg, but if you like other spices like cloves or ginger, feel free to add those, too.
  • If you're not mashing the potatoes right after cooking, you'll need to melt the butter before stirring it in.
  • Watch closely if you broil at the end, because pecans go from perfectly toasty to burnt quickly!
  • For make ahead instructions see post above.

Keywords: healthy sweet potato casserole, sweet potato casserole with pecans, healthy pecan sweet potato casserole