This is one of my husband’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes and his version definitely needed a makeover. His recipe calls for a half a stick of butter along with a hefty serving of sugar. And don’t forget the marshmallows (Yikes!!) I really don’t know exactly when the marshmallow-sweet potato combo started, but it’s been one of those “sticky” trends that have stuck.
Conventional sweet potato casserole is definitely a decadent recipe and one would think it might not taste all that great after it gets “cleaned up”. And yet, taking a clean and simple approach, this sweet potato casserole my family now favors even more than the original version.
Over the years I have tweaked the recipe below a bit, but I’ve always kept the aromatic and mildly spicy ginger along with the tart and tangy Granny Smith apples though as they both contribute great flavor as well as anti-inflammatory / antioxidant health benefits. I’ve also always kept the lemon juice because I just love the way it brightens everything up.
The most recent revision to my original sweet potato casserole recipe is the crumbly pecan topping, which is most definitely a worthwhile addition. It’s such an easy one too!
In fact, the whole recipe really is unbelievably easy to make. Although it is always a Thanksgiving day staple on our table, there is definitely no need to wait until the holidays to make this one! It’s a great dish for everyday dinners and it’s easy enough to make on a workday weeknight too.
When I’m not making it as a Thanksgiving side dish, I like to serve my sweet potato casserole with a huge tossed salad (mache is my favorite lettuce these days) and simply prepared grilled white fish with a little lemon and extra virgin olive oil. It’s one of my favorite everyday dinners.
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- 2 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and sliced into thin rounds)
- 2 large sweet potatoes (peeled and sliced into thin rounds)
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- Unrefined sea salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin organic coconut oil (such as Barlean’s, divided)
- 1/4 cup date sugar or coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 cup 1-for-1 gluten free flour (like this one from King Arthur)
- 1 cup chopped raw pecans
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil an 11 x 7-inch OR 8 x 8-inch baking dish with coconut oil. Arrange half of the apple rounds in the baking dish; top with half of the sliced sweet potatoes. Scatter half of the ginger on top. Season with salt to taste. Arrange the remaining apples and sweet potatoes on top. Scatter with remaining ginger and season with salt to taste.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, water, honey and 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil. Pour the liquid over the sweet potatoes. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the remaining unmelted coconut oil, coconut palm sugar (or date sugar), flour and pecans in a small bowl; use your fingertips to create moist crumbs.
- Remove the sweet potato casserole from the oven and sprinkle the pecan crumbs on top. Return casserole to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 more minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
P.S. If you like my recipe, here’s another sweet potato casserole variation with a nutty oat crumble topping from Oh She Glows. I haven’t made this version yet, but it looks delish!