Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole
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 side dishes are broccoli casserole – you’ve just got to try our from scratch version – and sweet potato casserole. I’ve been making this healthy 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 keep the mashed potatoes hot, cook the dessert, 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 roasted pork tenderloin.
- 3 ½ - 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.
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