This light Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe gets its sweetness and creaminess from low-fat vanilla yogurt instead of butter, cream, and sugar.
As a Canadian, I didn’t grow up eating the classic American Sweet Potato Casserole, or very many sweet potatoes at all. When I finally tasted this traditional Thanksgiving side dish, I didn’t love it. I’m sorry. I found it too sweet and kind of strange. Marshmallows at dinner time?
That was a long time ago though. These days I’m totally on board with it! Except for, well, I’m never sure I want to have very much because I know that it’s loaded with butter and cream and those marshmallows! I’d much prefer to save my calories for this perfectly roasted turkey, the stuffing and gravy – oh, and the pumpkin pie of course!
The goal for today’s recipe was therefore to find a sweet potato casserole that both I and traditionalists will enjoy. This recipe is a touch less sweet than the classic. But you can add some extra brown sugar if you really need to. Check out the recipe below. It tells you when to taste it and when and how much sugar to add if you like it sweeter than I do.
Video: Delicious and Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
Making Sweet Potato Casserole Lighter And Healthier
For the lightened sweet potato recipe below, I’ve played around with the basics a bit to come up with something that’s just as creamy as the original but a bit healthier. This version doesn’t have any butter or cream. Instead, the creaminess comes from vanilla yogurt. It still has the flavor you love, just with a couple tweaks to the original recipe.
To further reduce the sugar in the recipe, I’ve tweaked the classic sweet potato casserole topping by cutting back on the marshmallows. The marshmallows are still there and their brown puffiness will please traditionalists. But they don’t cover the whole casserole in melted candy.
What About The Topping?
As for the Sweet Potato Casserole Topping, I have a trick for making sure that the marshmallows don’t get crunchy. First, you bake the casserole for awhile without the topping. Then you add the pecans and marshmallows and continue to bake just until the marshmallows are puffed softly and starting to brown. This ensures that the pecans don’t get overly dark and bitter as well.
Don’t want marshmallows at all? Try making a pecan crumble mixture for the topping! Finely chop up the pecans and mix with old fashioned oats, melted butter or coconut oil, and some brown sugar if you’d like. Mix it all up and sprinkle on top of the sweet potato mixture instead of the marshmallows.
More Thanksgiving Recipes
If you’re looking for more healthy Thanksgiving side dishes, be sure to also check out my recipe for Green Bean Casserole from Scratch. It’s just as tasty and just as easy as the original but with fresher ingredients.
You can also browse all my Thanksgiving recipes, including turkey and cranberry sauce, in my Thanksgiving category to complete your meal.
Have a great day! – Christine xoPrint
This healthier twist on the classic Sweet Potato Casserole uses low-fat vanilla yogurt instead of butter and cream. And there are fewer marshmallows on top.
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this casserole, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of salt
- Brown sugar (optional)
- 4 large egg whites OR 2 large whole eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup mini marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or spray a 2.5 quart casserole dish.
- Put the sweet potatoes in a medium sauce pan with enough water just to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until fork-tender, 5-7 minutes. Drain them.
- Return the sweet potatoes to the pot and use an egg beater to mash them up (or transfer them to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them in there.
- Add the yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Beat some more. Taste it. If it’s not sweet enough for you, beat in brown sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and taste.
- Once you’re satisfied with the sweetness, add the eggs and beat them in as well. Transfer the mixture to the lightly greased (or sprayed) casserole baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Top evenly with the pecans and marshmallows and continue to bake until marshmallows are puffed and lightly browned, 10-15 more minutes.
This post originally appeared in November 2014 and was revised and republished in November 2022.