This healthy sweet potato crunch casserole recipe is everything great about the Fall season in one dish. Chocked full of the season's best flavors, fluffy sweet potatoes, naturally-sweetened, and a crunchy pecan topping. Did we mention it is marshmallow free?
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If you follow us on Instagram (which you should be… you can find us here) you know that we had been struggling to turn an old family sweet potato crunch recipe into a healthier paleo version. Well after FIVE failed attempts to make the perfect crunch topping we finally present to you… healthy sweet potato crunch! Its even paleo!
This sweet potato dish can be best described as a cross between sweet potato casserole and crustless sweet potato pie. It is one of those dishes that pleases everyone. It can be a side dish or a healthy dessert depending on your menu.
Why We Love This Healthier Version
This is not just a Thanksgiving splurge kind of recipe. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free making it healthy enough for everyday. While we used eggs in it, an egg replacer, like a flax egg, would absolutely work if you wanted to make a vegan version.
Did we mention it also it tastes amazing? Less sweet than a traditional sweet potato casserole, this sweet potato crunch can be served as a side dish or a dessert. When serving as a side dish I would reduce the cinnamon by half and add a dash of cayenne just to make it a bit more savory.
I know people are very passionate about their sweet potato casserole, no worries if that isn’t your thing. To serve as a dessert (aka a crustless sweet potato pie), I would top with coconut whipped cream or even non-dairy ice cream.
Finally, texture-texture-texture! The bottom layer is essentially a custard without the dairy. While the top is a cinnamon-pecan crunch that provides great contrast. Unlike most gluten-free desserts this sweet potato dish holds up well over a couple of days. It can be served piping hot or at room temp, the texture really does hold up that well.
There may have been some eating it cold for breakfast too. May have been. You can’t prove anything…
But really this sweet potato recipe feels light and healthy plus decadent all at the same time. And you can't beat that!
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
This recipe is fairly basic, no fancy ingredients which makes it nice around the holidays. Nice to know you won't be out of something!
Sweet Potato Crunch Filling
- Sweet Potatoes- This recipe uses one 15 ounce can of sweet potato puree. If you want to use fresh mashed sweet potatoes, you will need to thin the puree out with ¼- ½ cup almond milk. You will need about 1 ½ to 2 cups total. You can also substitute canned pumpkin or yams.
- Eggs- Fresh eggs or substitute a flax egg if you are vegan. To make a flax egg, mix one tablespoon ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water. Let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes to thicken. You will need 1.5 flax eggs.
- Coconut Sugar- I prefer to bake with coconut sugar so that is what I used in this recipe. You can use granulated sugar or maple syrup. The recipe is very flexible.
- Coconut Oil- We need to add some fat to get the proper texture. Coconut oil is the perfect addition. If not worried about this recipe being dairy-free you can substitute melted butter.
- Seasonings- We kept it simple with vanilla extract and salt. Don't skip the salt, all baked goods and sweets need salt.
- Pecans- Pecans are the base of the topping. Simple and Autumn perfect.
- Gluten-Free Flour- Any blend will due. You don't need xanthan gum for this recipe but if your flour blend has it, that is fine. You can also use regular all-purpose flour if you aren't worried about gluten-free. If you want to make a truly paleo sweet potato crunch you can use an equal amount of almond flour plus 1 tsp arrowroot or tapioca starch.
- Maple Syrup- We used maple syrup for three reasons; gooey texture, natural sweetness, and flavor.
- More Coconut Oil- Our choice of fat (again!).
- Seasonings- We kept it simple with vanilla and a bit of cinnamon.
How to Make This Recipe
This recipe can be made up to two days ahead of time and reheated in the oven. You can serve it hot or even served just slightly warm. Perfect for a holiday meal. And it is just so easy to make!
You need two mixing bowls, one medium and one small. And casserole dish, about 9 inch
- Prepare Sweet Potato Custard- Mix all the filling ingredients together until well combined and pour into a casserole dish. No need to grease the dish.
- Prepare the Crunchy Topping- Mix all the crumble ingredients together and dot over the filling. The filling will not be fully covered. It will spread a bit and the orange of the sweet potato custard will show through.
- Bake the Casserole- This sweet potato recipe only needs to bake for about 30 minutes at 350 F degrees. I find that with this sweet potato recipe, along with any type of custard, bake times vary based on humidity. I really noticed it because we made it so many times over the course of a few weeks. Don't be alarmed if the bake time is off by a few minutes. Just keep an eye on it and when the center barely jiggles, it is done.
Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days if covered. You can reheat in the oven or microwave, or eat it cold.
We hope this healthy sweet potato crunch earns a place at your Thanksgiving table. We know it will definitely be at ours! Don’t forget to pin this recipe, you don’t want to lose it. It is a keeper! Be sure to check out all our other holiday recipes.
Healthy Sweet Potato Crunch
Sweet Potato Filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together crumble ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Mix all the filling ingredients together until well combined. Pour into 9-inch baking dish.
- Dot the topping over the filling. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the center is just set.
- Allow the casserole to cool, serve slightly warm or chilled.