Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole

by in Healthy Recipes, Thanksgiving, November 11, 2011
sweet potato casserole
Marshmallow-free sweet potato casserole.

Sweet potato casserole is one of the quintessential Thanksgiving foods. It makes an appearance alongside the turkey on everyone’s holiday table. In my family, we have it again on Christmas, too. The version everyone expects is the one that’s covered in marshmallows. This year, I’m taking a stand against this marshmallow-topped calorie bomb. Not only does the traditional sweet potato dish deliver tons of extra sugar, fat and calories, it doesn’t even taste good. Not in my opinion, anyway. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet; they don’t need the help of marshmallows. They’re perfectly delicious on their own — baked, mashed, or turned into fries — or in a casserole, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and topped with pecans.

I’m making Ellie Krieger’s sweet potato casserole this year. With 160 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving it’s a smarter choice than the marshmallow-y version, and without the super-sweet topping, the flavor of the sweet potatoes is allowed to shine through.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole

Recipe courtesy Ellie Krieger for Food Network Magazine

Serves: 8

Cooking spray
3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.

Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 160; Fat 4 g (Saturated 1 g); Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 180 mg; Carbohydrate 31 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 3 g

More Sweet Potato Recipes to Try:

Alton Brown’s Sweet (and Spicy) Potatoes

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Vegetarian African Peanut Stew

Sweet Potato Chips With Black Olive Tapanade

Tell us: Are you a fan of  sweet potatoes with marshmallows? Or do you save the sweet stuff for dessert?

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