Meat Free Monday: Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

by Deena on November 14, 2010

It’s Meat Free Monday again!  Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

With the holidays coming up soon, I wanted to test out a Thanksgiving day signature dish (well at least in the South it is) to see if I could substitute out some of the ingredients with healthier alternatives without sacrificing taste.  I’m talking about none other than Southern Sweet Potato Casserole.

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 5 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 c blue agave
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp  ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Place 5 large sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet in a 375F oven for about 1 hour 25 mins.  Slice the sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the insides. Throw the skins away.
  2. Lower the oven temp to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, blue agave, eggs, salt, butter, milk, vanilla & spices. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  4. In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

You’ll notice I used 1/4 cup blue agave in this recipe instead of 1/2 cup of sugar it would normally call for.  I also reduced the amount of milk from 1/2 cup of milk to 1/3 cup (this was to accommodate for the  blue agave liquid added).

My husband asked why I didn’t also substitute the blue agave for the brown sugar – I felt that since the brown sugar was part of the topping that it might not work that well with the liquid agave.   In case you’re impressed right now that my husband was that interested in my cooking, don’t be – this was right after I explained that no, I was not putting alcohol in the casserole (which is what he thought the agave bottle was originally).

So, I would say the dish went over pretty well in our house – The toddler thought it was fabulous and decided to use it as a hair treatment also.  My husband thought it was good although he did ask where the marshmallows were… (my mom makes a very similar dish called Candy Yams).  And the 7 year old said it was OK which is about as good a rating as anything, other than ice cream and cookies, can get.

I don’t make this dish very often as it’s usually made for holidays – but I couldn’t tell the difference with the agave in it – so I’d definitely make it this way again.

Happy Eating…

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Sara November 16, 2010 at 11:34 am

This recipe for Southern Sweet Potato Casserole looks so delicious! With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is so great that you’re taking old favorites, and making them a bit more healthy for the holidays. I love your recipes, and being a vegetarian myself I especially love your meat-free Monday recipes! I recently started working for with a nonprofit public health campaign, called Meatless Monday. Their website ( is a great source of information and has TONS of delicious meatless recipes, if you’re looking for more vegetarian or vegan dishes to cook (which I know I always am!)

All of your ideas are so unique, and here at Meatless Monday, we’re looking for blogs to do weekly Meatless Monday posts. Most bloggers like do profile one of their own delectable veggie recipe ideas or detailing a benefit to going meatless once a week. If you’re interested in writing a weekly Meatless Monday post profiling a meatless recipe or benefit of going meatless, please email me back at

Happy cooking!

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