Family Health, Nutrition and Fitness Seth Stratton | 6 years ago

Drop & Swap: Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

Drop & Swap is a recipe series that drops the bad ingredients from your favorite recipes and swaps in healthier substitutes. Today's makeover: Sweet potato casserole with pecan topping.

Baby, it's cold outside. And that sweet potato casserole – and all it's warm, rich, ooey, gooey goodness –  is calling your name. But instead of feeling guilty or indulgent after a helping of this comfort food, we've made a few changes to make this down-home classic a perfect accompaniment to any main dish.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

The perfect sweet potato recipe is a mix of simple ingredients, new ideas and a whole lot of goodness. But often, this healthy side dish is weighed down by too much fat and sugar. In this lightened version, much of the creamy and sweet flavor comes from the vanilla yogurt instead of butter and sugar. Simple ingredients such as orange zest and cinnamon enhance the dish and allow the sweet potato flavor to shine through. Note: Items dropped from the original recipe are in red. Swapped/new ingredients are in green.

For the casserole:

  • 3 cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed (about 3 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 1 cup sugar (SWAP 3 tbsp honey)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp of orange zest
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

For the topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted 1 tbsp butter, melted and 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 tsp orange juice concentrate


  • Mix together ingredients for the sweet potatoes
  • Spread in a casserole dish
  • Mix the topping ingredients together. Spread on top of the sweet potatoes
  • Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Enjoy!
This recipe was remade by Tricia Azra, RD, LDN, Carolinas HealthCare System, Community Wellness.