This delicious and decadent Sweet Potato Casserole is gluten free, Paleo, refined sugar free, and SUPER easy to make. Featuring a praline pecan topping, and made with whole food ingredients. The perfect addition to your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter table.
Like pretty much everyone on the planet, one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal is the Sweet Potato Casserole! More dessert than anything else, it's full of warm, Fall inspired flavors and a delightfully sweet flavor. Then, it's topped with an addictive and crunchy pecan topping. I mean, can it get any better?
I love this casserole so much that I wanted to make a version that could be enjoyed year round, and even for those who are bound by restrictions. This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is gluten free, paleo, and free from refined sugars. It's the perfect way to indulge year round!
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole Gluten Free
While the standard and traditional Sweet Potato Casserole contains gluten, this healthy version does not! To make a sweet potato casserole completely gluten free, we omit the pecan streusel topping and instead replace it with a pecan praline topping consisting of maple syrup (or brown sugar), pecans, and ghee (or butter). You still get all of the deliciousness of the original, without the added gluten!
- Sweet potatoes: You will need about 6 medium sized, or 4-5 large sweet potatoes for this recipe.
- Coconut milk: In place of traditional cow's milk, coconut milk is used to keep this sweet potato casserole paleo. This is the higher fat product that is sold in the can. Be sure to mix it thoroughly before measuring!
- Maple syrup: Adds the sweet touch we all know and love, without adding in refined sugars. Maple is a complimentary flavor to the pecans and sweet potatoes, making it the perfect choice.
- Ghee: This is a clarified butter that has had the milk solids removed. I make my own, but you can purchase it at any major grocery chain, online retailers, or even Costco! It's paleo approved, and a great choice for those with slight dairy sensitivities.
- Common staples: like eggs, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and pecans.
Roasting the Sweet Potatoes
Preheat your oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Poke holes with the tines of a fork in each of the sweet potatoes, and place on the lined baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces through the cooked potato.
Preparing the Sweet Potatoes
Allow your cooked sweet potatoes to rest until they are cool enough to handle. Once they have cooled down, slice them in half and use a spoon to scoop out the cooked flesh.
Add the sweet potato to a bowl, and mash thoroughly until there are no large chunks remaining.
Making the Casserole
Add in the egg, coconut milk, ghee, and spices to the sweet potato mixture.
Then, add in the salt, vanilla extract, and maple syrup.
Stir well to combine, then spread into a 9X13 casserole or baking dish.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.
For the Praline Topping
- Pecans: These are essential to sweet potato casserole! If in a pinch, you can use almonds but pecans are the classic choice for a praline topping.
- Ghee: Adds a buttery flavor to the pecan topping. If you're not dairy sensitive or paleo, you can absolutely use butter in place of the ghee.
- Maple syrup: Of course! For added sweetness, the natural sweetener of maple syrup is a top choice for this flavor combo.
Adding the Topping
Add the pecans to a small bowl, pouring in the melted ghee and maple syrup. Toss well to combine.
Spread the pecans on top of the sweet potato layer, as evenly as possible.
Bake at 325F for 30-45 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are bubbling and the pecans are lightly crisp.
Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving warm.
Substitutions and Variations
Ghee Substitutes: If you don't have ghee on hand, you can make it yourself using butter, or simply substitute any of the following: refined coconut oil, virgin coconut oil, butter flavored coconut oil, or butter (if you're not Paleo).
Dairy Free: While ghee is generally considered okay for those with dairy sensitivities, it's not used when there is a dairy allergy. Instead, opt for coconut oil or butter flavored coconut oil in its place.
Without Pecans: Substitute the pecans for walnuts, or omit completely. Instead, top with sprinkled brown sugar or coconut sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditional sweet potato casserole is NOT gluten free. Since the topping is often made with a streusel, flour is added. To avoid this, you can make a plain praline topping OR use a 1:1 gluten free baking blend like Bob's Red Mill.
Yes, you can freeze it either unbaked or baked. If freezing your sweet potato casserole after baking, be sure to allow it to cool completely to room temperature before wrapping and placing in the freezer. Warm items added to a cold freezer can cause serious freezer burn and should be avoided.
Yes, but they do have a very long shelf life if you store them properly. Keep your sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place with little light. Your sweet potatoes should last 3-4 months if they were purchased without blemishes. Check frequently for any signs of decay, and use any sweet potatoes that are starting to shrivel immediately.
Like all fruits and vegetables, sweet potatoes are gluten free. As long as you have purchased sweet potatoes in their whole form, you can be assured that they are gluten free. When the sweet potatoes are included in a processed food or prepared dish, be sure to check the list of ingredients to verify that only gluten free ingredients were added.
The answer is yes. Once you've opened your coconut milk you have approximately 1-1 ½ weeks to use it up before it develops an off flavor. Be sure to note the expiration date on the original can or container of coconut milk, and be sure to discard any that is past date.
Yes, it can! If you have leftover coconut milk after preparing a recipe, you can freeze it into ice cubes or silicone trays for use later on. Once the coconut milk has frozen completely, pop it out of the tray and store in a labeled freezer bag. Use within 3 months.
- 6 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup canned coconut milk (measured after mixing)
- ¼ cup melted ghee
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons melted ghee
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
Roasting the Sweet Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Poke each of the sweet potatoes 3-4 times with the tines of a fork.
- Place the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces them.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle.
Preparing the Casserole
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325F and lightly grease a 9X13 baking dish with ghee or avocado oil.
- Cut the sweet potatoes in half, and use a spoon to scoop out the cooked flesh into a large bowl.
- Use a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes until no lumps remain.
- Add in the beaten eggs, coconut milk, ghee, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Add in the salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Stir well to combine.
- Spread the sweet potato casserole filling into the prepared baking dish.
- Add the chopped pecans to a bowl.
- Add in the melted ghee and maple syrup. Stir well to coat the pecan evenly.
- Spread the pecan topping on top of the sweet potato base, and smooth it out as evenly as possible.
- Bake in a 325°F oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the pecans are lightly toasted.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving warm.
This recipe is gluten free and Paleo as written.
Dairy Free: Substitute the melted ghee for coconut oil or butter flavored coconut oil.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 322mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 4gSugar: 29gProtein: 5g
Please note that some of my blog posts here at Little Home in the Making may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. See our disclaimer for more information.