Staying away from sweet potatoes due to carbs? Try this fantastic low-carb keto sweet potato casserole substitute with sweet pecan topping. It’s perfect for the holidays!
Are you stressing over what to serve at your holiday meal now that many traditional dishes are off limits? No need to worry because many recipes come in a low-carb version.
During one of our family Thanksgiving meals, I remember my oldest sister bringing a sweet potato casserole. I thought it was strange to add marshmallows to a side dish.
When I got my first taste of this classic Thanksgiving side dish, I thought it belonged on the dessert table. Apparently, a candy company created the original recipe to market marshmallows as an everyday ingredient and the recipe went viral.
For my healthy sweet potato casserole recipe, I left out the marshmallow taste as I never liked them on the dish. Instead, I’ve topped the casserole with a sweet crunchy pecan topping.
I also don’t use actual sweet potatoes because they have about 25 grams of carbs per cup. Instead, I’ve mashed together cauliflower and pumpkin puree as the main ingredients for the sweet potato filling.
This casserole comes together easily with basic ingredients. The best part is that you should be able to find everything you need at your local grocery store!
Cauliflower and Pumpkin Puree
The sweet potato mixture starts with a combination of two popular vegetables on the keto diet. Cauliflower is used to get a potato-like texture. Pumpkin provides the color of a sweet potato casserole to the dish.
My preferred low-carb sweetener is BochaSweet because it comes from kabocha, a Japanese pumpkin. But you can use Swerve or a monk fruit sweetener instead.
For the best taste in the topping, you'll want to use a brown sugar substitute like Swerve Brown.
The eggs holds everything together. It's an important ingredient to get the right consistency. It adds some protein too!
I like to use salted butter as it has the best buttery flavor. But you can use unsalted if you want less sodium and the sweet taste to come through more.
The topping uses a combination of almond and coconut flour but you should be able to use one or the other for this recipe. Since coconut flour is absorbent, always use about one-third less than almond flour.
For a crispy keto-friendly topping, chopped pecans are stirred into the mix.
You'll find traditional fall spices are blended into the sweet potato mash alternative. Included are cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
Note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
💭 QUICK TIPS
- Try an alternative brown sweetener. If you don’t have any low carb brown sugar substitute on hand, you can always add a touch of blackstrap molasses to a granular white sugar substitute.
- Don't omit the sweetener. Pumpkin is very close in taste to sweet potatoes but isn’t as sweet. That’s why you’ll need to add a sweetener to get the true flavor.
- Adjust the amount of sweetness to taste. I found ⅓ cup of sweetener to be just the right amount for me in the cauliflower casserole mixture. Others may prefer a little more or a little less.
- Cut back on the granular sweetener. You can use pure stevia or monk fruit in a concentrated powder or liquid. Just use my handy keto sweetener conversion calculator to determine the amount needed.
- Change up the spice blend. The traditional pumpkin spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves really enhances the flavor as well. However, feel free to modify the spice blend to suit your own tastes.
You'll find all the specific steps needed to make this delicious sweet potato casserole alternative in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. Here you'll find some process images and tips for preparing this family favorite for Thanksgiving day.
Cut and cook cauliflower
To get a smooth texture, you'll need to cook the cauliflower until it's tender. I've found the best way is to cut it into florets and then steam it in the Instant Pot pressure cooker on high pressure. I steam for 5 minutes and follow with a quick pressure release.
Make vegetable mash
Although you can use a large bowl with a hand mixer to mash the vegetables together, I prefer to use a food processor. The mash is a blend of cauliflower, pumpkin, sweetener, eggs, salt, butter, and spices.
You need to combine the ingredients together until smooth.
Add mash to pan
Once the mock sweet potato mash is prepared, just spread it into a 2-quart casserole dish. I like to use an 11x7 pan.
Make and add topping
The topping is a mixture of brown sweetener, coconut flour, almond flour, butter and pecans. Just mix everything but the butter together then cutter in chopped pieces of butter.
Once the topping mixture is prepared, just sprinkle it over the cauliflower and pumpkin mixture. Then bake until the topping is browned.
That's all there is to making this easy sweet potato casserole substitute for a low-carb diet!
🍽️ Serving suggestions
This low-carb sweet potato casserole tastes more like a dessert to me, but it does go well with turkey and ham. So, it’s a great dish to make for your holiday meal.
However, I've found that the leftovers taste great straight from the refrigerator with a little keto whipped cream on top. The sweet taste makes it an excellent snack or dessert during the fall season!
Before sharing the recipe, I wanted to go over some common question that people often ask about the dish and ingredients.
There are a lot of carbs in sweet potatoes so they are not recommended for those following a low-carb eating plan. A typical sweet potato has 25 grams of carbs or more. It's better to use a substitute like pumpkin instead.
A traditional sweet potato casserole generally has over 35 grams of carbs for a half cup serving. That's more than most people consume daily on a keto diet.
Some may argue that sweet potatoes contain healthy carbs because the glycemic index is lower and the fiber is higher than white potatoes. However, the net carb count is still high so it's best to avoid if you are watching carbs.
📚 Related recipes
Need some more ideas for the perfect side dish for your holiday table? Take a look at some of my other low-carb sides.
- Keto stuffing is an easy way to replace your box mix with a low-carb alternative!
- Cauliflower au gratin is made with a rich cheese sauce and added bacon for a dish that's sure to be a hit at any holiday gathering.
- Keto creamed spinach comes with a creamy cheese sauce that even picky eaters will enjoy.
- Green beans almondine is one of the easiest side dishes to make for holiday dinners.
- Keto ham casserole with cauliflower is a fantastic dish for using up your holiday leftovers!
Low-Carb Keto Sweet Potato Casserole
- 1 head of cauliflower about 1.2 pounds florets
- 1 cup mashed pumpkin
- ⅓ cup BochaSweet or preferred keto sweetener
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- Cut cauliflower into florets and steam until soft. (I steamed them in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes)
- Combine steamed cauliflower, pumpkin, sweetener, eggs, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves in food processor or blend. Puree until smooth.
- Spread mashed cauliflower mixture into a 2-quart or 11x17 casserole dish.
- In medium bowl, mix together Sukrin Gold, coconut flour, almond flour, and pecans. Cut in butter.
- Sprinkle pecan mixture over cauliflower mixture.
- Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes or until topping has browned.
Array ( [calories] => 200 [carbohydrates] => 7 [protein] => 5 [fat] => 18 [saturated_fat] => 7 [cholesterol] => 80 [sodium] => 231 [fiber] => 3 [sugar] => 2 [serving_unit] => g )
Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published on November 21, 2016. Post updated on December 3, 2021, with new photos and additional recipe information.