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Sweet Potato Mash with Pecan Oat Topping

Sweet Potato Mash with Pecan Oat Topping

Hello! Today’s recipe is a side dish that’s perfect for the fall and winter holidays!

It’s delicious, simple to put together, and a healthier take on the traditional sweet potato casserole (the ones with marshmallows on top).

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Sweet Potato Mash with Pecan Oat Topping.

How do you make this Sweet Potato recipe?

Sweet potato mash in a metal pot.

Boil the sweet potato until tender and then mash together with the remaining sweet potato ingredients. Full ingredients and instructions in the recipe card down below.

Quick oats, pecans, cinnamon, and maple mixed together in a glass bowl.

As the sweet potato cooks, combine together the topping ingredients until well distributed.

Sweet potato mash in a casserole dish that’s topped halfway with oat topping.

Spread the sweet potato into an even layer in a casserole dish and then top with the pecan oat topping.

Baked Sweet Potato Mash with Pecan Oat Topping in a casserole dish.

Bake in an oven set at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden-brown on top.

Finish with additional pecans and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve with extra maple syrup on the side!

A Sweet Potato Mash with Pecan Oat Topping on a white plate.

What in this Sweet Potato Casserole?

The star ingredient is delicious sweet potato, which is a sweet tasting root vegetable that’s good for you too.

For example, they are an excellent source of beta-carotene (which converts into vitamin A, as well as a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese.

How to choose sweet potatoes? Look for small to medium sweet potatoes (the larger ones tend to be starchier) that have smooth, unwrinkled, thin brown skin with minimal bruising and blemishes.

I used the ones with deep orange flesh as they are sweeter and creamier than yellow or purple fleshed ones.

Also, sweet potatoes are often mislabeled as yams, but they are not the same. Real yams are tubers that are drier and starchier with a thicker skin than sweet potatoes. Nonetheless, the two names are often used interchangeably.

Overhead view of Sweet Potato Mash with Oat Topping on a white plate and in a casserole dish.

The sweet potato is combined with orange juice and zest, which adds a citrusy bright sweetness to this dish.

The mash is also complimented with ground cinnamon (warming and sweet), creamy butter (for richness), and sea salt (salt enhances everything).

Tip: Zest the orange first before juicing. It’s a lot easier.

I use a citrus zester (microplane) for ease. If you don’t have one, use the smallest hole on a box grater or carefully peel the skin (leaving the white pith) and finely chop the skin into tiny pieces.

Then there’s the topping that takes little time to assemble. I like to prepare it as the sweet potato cooks. The topping consists of quick oats, chopped pecans, pure maple syrup, melted butter, orange zest, and sea salt.

The topping is crunchy, nutty, sweet, and zesty. A lovely contrast to the mashed smooth sweet potato.

Sweet Potato Mash with Pecan Oat Topping on a fork and on a white plate.

Love sweet potatoes? Check out these recipes!

Sweet Potato Mash with Pecan Oat Topping on a white plate and in a black casserole dish.

In all, this Sweet Potato rec is:

  • Delicious: A sweet side dish (not too sweet) that’s full of flavour.
  • Texture-rich: Crunchy topping with a creamy sweet potato mash is so satisfying to eat.
  • Comfort food, but healthier than traditional sweet potato casserole.
  • Perfect for the fall and winter holiday season.
  • Great for making ahead of time and reheating just prior to serving.
  • Vegetarian too.

I hope you try this recipe! If you do, please leave me a rating and comment down below or tag me on any of my social media. I’m @yay_for_food on Instagram. Please share your recipe pictures!

Sweet Potato Mash with Pecan Oat Topping

Sweet Potato Mash with Pecan Oat Topping

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A sweet potato recipe with a healthier twist. The citrus flavour of orange complements the natural sweetness of this holiday side dish. Oats and pecans bring additional texture to the mash.


For the sweet potato mash:

  • 2 lb. sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice (I used two Navel oranges)
  • ½ orange zest (zest the whole orange as ½ of the zest goes into the topping)
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt

For the topping:

  • ¾ cup quick oats (whole grain rolled)
  • ½ cup (2 oz.) pecans, chopped small (plus more for topping)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (plus more for topping)
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ orange zest
  • ¼ tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. For the sweet potato mash: In a large pot, boil the sweet potatoes for 15-18 minutes, until tender. Then drain the water, reserving ½ cup of water.
  3. Add the remaining sweet potato mash ingredients to the sweet potatoes and mash (using a potato masher or an electric mixer) until creamy. If necessary, add the reserved water (a tablespoon at a time) to get to your desired smooth mash texture.
  4. Spread the sweet potato mash into a 7x11 casserole dish in an even layer. Set aside.
  5. For the topping: In a medium bowl, using a fork, toss together all the topping ingredients until well distributed. Then place the topping in a single even layer on top of the sweet potato mash (patting it down gently).
  6. Put it together: Bake for 20-25 minutes until the topping is light golden-brown. Then top with additional pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup.
  7. Best served immediately with more maple syrup on the side.


  • Nutritional information represents one serving for a total of eight servings.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 416mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 5gSugar: 16gProtein: 4g

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Mary Bostow

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

What a delicious sweet potato recipe! I simply cannot wait to try it! Very interesting combination of ingredients. I am saving this recipe for later.

Marie | Yay! For Food

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

Thanks Mary!


Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

Wow, I have never seen sweet potato like this. It isn’t really the way we eat it in the UK but I would totally try it.

Marie | Yay! For Food

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

Interesting! I hope you give it a try.

Tania | Fit Foodie Nutter

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

Wow! I would never have thought to pair sweet potato with oatmeal but what a great idea! So delicious and full of nutrients too. Can't wait to try it!

Marie | Yay! For Food

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

It's a great combination of flavours! Thank you Tania.


Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

Wow and yum! I love Sweet Potatoes and this dish really honours them. I especially like the sound of the zest as that would bring a zing of flavour. Am saving for my Christmas menu! Cheers Adrianne

Marie | Yay! For Food

Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

Thank you so much Adrianne!

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