Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole is made in the crock pot, saving you valuable oven space. A secret ingredient and a little honey sweeten this side dish, making it much healthier than the traditional version!
November is officially here which means… Thanksgiving will be here before we know it! I love Thanksgiving. This time of year brings so many of my favorite things: time with family, crisp afternoon walks, colorful leaves, hot spiced tea, and, of course, comforting favorite foods.
When it comes to our Thanksgiving meal, my family has our traditional favorites that we make every year. We’ll sometimes try a variation on our favorite recipes or add in a new side dish or dessert, but for the most part our meal is the same from year to year. We know what we like, and we stick with it!
We always have turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes are broccoli casserole – you’ve just got to try our from scratch version – and sweet potato casserole. I’ve been making this traditional sweet potato casserole for years, but recently decided to try something new and make a similar recipe but in the slow cooker.
We’ll be hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year, and one of the trickiest parts of planning the meal is figuring out how to maximize oven space so that everything is hot and ready when it needs to be. Your slow cooker can be a great help with this, whether you use it to make crock pot mashed potatoes, cook the dessert (slow cooker apple crisp), or cook a side dish such as this Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole. Once these sweet potatoes are done, you can leave them in the slow cooker on the warm setting and they will stay hot until all your guests are fed.
Just because it’s Thanksgiving, doesn’t mean that every part of the meal needs to be loaded with butter and other unhealthy ingredients. I’m a firm believer that you can make many of your favorite dishes so much healthier without sacrificing flavor. This Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole is a perfect example.
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods because they are naturally sweet and don’t need much doctoring up to make them taste delicious. I’ve made sweet potato casseroles in the past that are loaded with butter and sugar, and it’s just not necessary. In this Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole, you’ll add two chopped apples to your slow cooker along with the chopped sweet potatoes. The apples will cook down and soften along with the sweet potatoes, adding natural sweetness to the finished dish. Besides the apples, I’ve added just ¼ cup of honey. I also like to add 2 tablespoons of butter to add just a touch of richness to this sweet potato casserole, but the butter is optional and the casserole will still be delicious if you leave it out.
To make this Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole, you’ll start by placing your sweet potatoes and apples in your slow cooker insert. Add in ½ cup water, ¼ cup honey, and some cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Cook on high for 3 to 3 ½ hours, until the potatoes and apples are very soft.
Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, you can either mash them by hand using a potato masher, or with an electric mixer. I think the casserole is delicious both ways, and it’s just a bit smoother when mashed with a mixer. Here’s what it looks like after being mashed by hand:
And here it is after mashing with an electric mixer:
Once the potatoes are mashed, stir in 2 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup milk, and sprinkle on some toasted pecans. At this point the sweet potato casserole is ready to be served immediately or kept warm in your slow cooker until the rest of the meal is finished.
This Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole is a delicious addition to a holiday meal, and I also like to enjoy it all fall and winter as a side for Instant Pot pork tenderloin.
Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole
- 4 pounds sweet potatoes, about 5 medium
- 2 medium apples
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans, lightly toasted
- Scrub and peel the sweet potatoes, then chop them into 1-inch cubes and place in slow cooker. Peel the apples and chop them into 1-inch pieces; add to the slow cooker. Add the water, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Cover and cook on high heat for 3-3 ½ hours, until sweet potatoes are very soft.
- Use a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes and apples until your desired level of smoothness. If you like, you can also use an electric mixer to achieve a smoother consistency.
- Add the butter (if using) and milk, and stir until well combined. Sprinkle on the toasted, chopped pecans and set your slow cooker to the “Keep Warm” setting for serving.
I’m in awe that it’s November already, but I am getting excited for all of the Thanksgiving dishes! This sweet potato casserole looks gorgeous, Kristine! I love that you made it in the sow cooker and sweetened it with honey. It sounds like the perfect side dish!
I know, right? How exactly did November get here? Thanks for your kind words, Gayle!
I’ve made this recipe twice now on Thanksgiving and it has quickly become a favorite!! It’s absolute genius to use the slow cooker! Thanks so much for this fantastic recipe!! 🦃
I LOVE Thanksgiving too, and a sweet potato dish is a MUST on the table! I’ve never tried cooking sweet potatoes in the slow cooker before! I absolutely MUST try this casserole, because it looks fantastic! Sweet potatoes with honey, apples and pecans? YES! Pinned! Cheers! 🙂
Thank you, Cheyanne! I can’t believe it’s already November and Thanksgiving is right around the corner!
Making these in the slow cooker is such a good idea! We have just 1 oven at our house, so oven space is a major issue on Thanksgiving. Slow cooker is the best solution ever! I love sweet potato casserole. Favorite Thanksgiving side dish : )
Same here! I would LOVE a double oven! And sweet potatoes are totally the best. 🙂
I don’t know why, but sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving just seem to taste 10x times better than any other time! I seriously LOVE this crockpot version, Kristine! So great for when I’m running low on oven space come T-day!
Thank you, Sarah!
I love this great new way to make sweet potatoes! And having apples in them must add so much flavor too. This is a must try — we love our sweet potatoes!
Thank you, Marcie! We feel the same about sweet potatoes!
I love your healthier version of sweet potato casserole! I agree, perfect for Thanksgiving 🙂
Thanks so much! 🙂
Smart lady doing this in the slow cooker! I need all the oven space I can get on Thanksgiving! This looks delicious!
Thank you, Kelly! Oven space is precious on Thanksgiving!
I’ve never added apples to my sweet potatoes! I’ll bet it adds sweetness instead of piling the brown sugar on top! Great idea!
Thanks, Kathy! I think you’d love the natural sweetness from the apples rather than brown sugar!
Do you drain the water off before mashing?
Hi Jodi, no don’t drain anything off before mashing. You want a little liquid to help the potatoes mash smoothly. I hope you enjoy this!
I made this for my office potluck today and it’s delish!! I used vegan butter (I’m kosher and needed to keep it dairy-free) and made molasses candied pecans for the topping. I think it’s just perfect without the milk, so people can skip if it needed, IMO.
This is a winner – THANK YOU!
Beth, your comment made my day! Thank you SO much for taking the time to tell me that you enjoyed these sweet potatoes. And thanks for sharing your adaptations so others can try them too!
I made this on Thanksgiving and it was great. So easy.
I’m so excited to hear that you liked this sweet potato casserole, Claudia! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know. 🙂
I was looking for crock pot recipes for a Christmas meal that I could prepare while staying in our RV. I found yours and made it, and it was a hit! Thanks so much!
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed these sweet potatoes, Sheryl! Thanks so much for commenting to let me know. 🙂
The serving size says 8, but do you know how many grams/serving?
Really want to try this, sounds very good.
Hi Trevor! I’m sorry, I don’t know how many grams per serving. The serving size is an estimate for how many people this will serve as a side dish.
If you add up the weight of items with significant weight (no water – which is questionable because of how much may end up on the lid of the slow cooker, no cinnamon, no nutmeg, no salt, no pecans – I didn’t add any pecans)
Sweet Potatoes: 1587.6 – 1814.4 g
Apples (assuming medium apple = 182g): 364 g
Total Estimated Weight of Recipe: 2185 – 2411 g
When I calculated out calories for this recipe, I got around the same range, so for simplicity sake, I did 1 calorie/g. Now I want to make this again to see how close I get to the actual weight. Hope this helps!
Do you think using pure maple syrup (I have fresh Canadian maple syrup) would work just as well as honey?
I think that would be delicious, Marie!
Do you recommend a certain type of apple? I’ve seen Gala specified on another recipe but it also called for brown sugar.
I would recommend honeycrisp, gala, or fuji. Enjoy!
If you can’t do apples because someone is allergic, should I try pears instead?
I think pears would work well in this. Let me know how you like it!
Going to try this for our church pot luck Thanksgiving dinner this year. People who are alone or without families join together for our dinner.
Do you know the calorie content for each serving?
Does it serve a lot for 8 people? I have 7 coming and wondering if I should add a few more sweet pots.
You could add one more sweet potato to be on the safe side. I hope you and your guests enjoy this, Katherine!
I love Sweet Potatoes and I have already saved this recipe. It is simple and delicious. Thank you for this delicious recipe.
Thank you for your thoughtful words, Elva!
Do you know the carbs , sugar and protein in this?
Hi Tammy, I don’t have the nutrition info for this, but an online calculator (such as myfitnesspal) can help.
Hi Kistine, I am from Namibia (Africa) and well for some reason my sweet potatoes arent orange, does that make a difference? because mine are more greenish/yellowish, whereas the butternut is orange just like your sweet potatoes.
I just made this for tomorrow’s dinner!
I decided to put it in a 9″
casserole dish since I don’t want to have to carry the crock pot. Can’t wait to try it!
I hope you love it!
If I cut the amount down say 2 large sweet potatoes and maybe 1-2 apples , what would cooking time be in slow cooker? this is more single serving or for two. Trying to figure how to cut each thing down and cooking time if it would be less.
I would only recommend cooking a scaled down recipe if your slow cooker is on the smaller side, since it’s best if it is about half full or more. The cook time should be about the same as long as you have enough volume to fill your slow cooker at least half way. You could start checking on it after 2 hours on high, just to be on the safe side.
Hi there, why are the ingredients different between the oven casserole vs the slow cooker recipes? Can you not add ginger and vanilla to slow cooker recipe? Same question about apples…can’t be in the oven casserole? I’m torn which recipe to make!
You can add ginger and vanilla to the slow cooker recipe. The apples are trickier to add to the baked casserole, because you would have to cook them in some way in order to be able to mash them with the sweet potatoes before baking. In the slow cooker casserole everything cooks in the slow cooker until soft and then is mashed.
I have 30 people coming. Can I do this in batches ahead of time and keep in fridge or freeze? How many days would it last in fridge? Thank you! Looks delicious!!
I haven’t tried freezing this. It should keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days, stored in an airtight container. You might also try my classic Sweet Potato Casserole, which includes make ahead instructions.
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was great. I cook, but I don’t have the chance a lot and this was easy.