Barb G’s “No Butter” Sweet Potato Casserole

Let me tell you about my friend Barb G.

We cross paths with people in our lives sometimes that really have an impact and make us feel loved. She’s just one of those people in my life, and I’m grateful for her.

I’m going to share a recipe she sent me because I trust her cooking, and I’m going to use it myself as it’s a healthier version of sweet potato casserole.

I’ll get to the food, but I have to talk about her first, because she’s one of my fave people in the whole Universe.

I was a wild ass teenager in a small town. Our weekend fun consisted of hanging out behind a local carry-out store on Michigan Ave. called “Beer Well.” There was a wall behind it where all the young party people congregated to pool their cash for a keg and figure out where the party was going to commence. Barb and myself were there every weekend, and she became my authority on all things music and new bands. She was always in the metal mix and she is this super sweet and fun person who has always been a steady in my home town. She knows everyone and everyone knows her.

I have to admit that I was smashed and don’t remember many of the events that occurred during those years, but my hard partying would lead me to some legal troubles, and eventually I had to pay the piper with a long-term stay at the local youth center. Yes. I was a juvie. Surprise!! My friends and I pulled some pretty serious stunts that landed me a sentence in a youth residential treatment program.

Barb wrote me letters while I was there for a year.

I don’t think the average person gets incarcerated, so I doubt that all kinds of people checking this blog have been locked up. Let me tell you that a letter from your friend while you are jammed up in the clink is everything.

She’s always been there. For 32 years. Through all kinds of situations and my many different locations, she’s always here when I come home, and somehow before FB or any technology at all, I don’t feel like we’ve ever lost touch. She loves heavy metal and bomb food. We will forever be friends.

I love you, Barb. I’ll always remember your letters in the cool inked up envelopes. XO.

Here’s her email to me with a pic she found that is identical to her recipe.

Photo Credit:

Hey girl!
I enjoy seeing the holiday recipes you are starting to post and just had to share the sweet potato dish i make every year. You may already have something in mind for your page…I simply wanted you to have this recipe.
I’ve been making this dish using the recipe my dad shared for years…it is a MUST for Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt Peggy’s. My cousin’s daughter loves it so much she requested it in place of birthday cake one year!! The original recipe called for a ton of butter (It’s a Paula Deen recipe after all!) and a few years ago I decided to look for a healthier version, stumbling across one that uses low-fat vanilla yogurt instead of butter and cream. My Aunt despises butter, so when I made the original version I had to mix everything but the butter and make a small casserole dish just for her. (She has super powers and can taste the slightest hint of butter!) The first year I made the healthier version, I made the separate dish just so they didn’t know I changed the recipe. After everyone gushed about how amazing it was, I told them there was absolutely no butter in it. They had a hard time believing me, but you definitely don’t miss it with this version!! 
I swapped out the butter in the topping with coconut oil, because it does need some fat to get crunchy when it bakes. My Mom’s girlfriend loves the topping so much I am thinking about playing around with some sort of pecan crunch for Christmas, just the best parts of the topping! (I may need to bounce some ideas off of you for that!)

The recipe below appears to be perfect just as it is, but if the sweet tooth that I am currently experiencing keeps up, I might add some marshmallow cream to the top.

I won’t change her stuff at all since, as I said before, I trust her. Also, I just came home from a 6 day work week, enjoyed the yummiest rib dinner and a love fest with my Honey, and now this chick is tiiiired!! All 3 of my boys are asleep and I’m on the couch with the remote and a bag of veggie chips. Stick a fork in me. I’m done.

Thank BARB!!

Enjoy, Cookers!! I know I can’t wait to try it on Turkey Day!!


3 lbs. sweet potatoes, baked whole

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1 tsp. cinnamon

A pinch of nutmeg

A pinch of salt

1/4+ cup light brown sugar

4 large egg whites OR 2 large whole eggs, lightly beaten

For the topping:
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans


To cook the potatoes: Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub the potatoes and rub with olive oil. Place on a lined baking sheet and cook for an hour. Test for doneness by inserting a knife in the center. Allow them to cool enough to handle, then cut the skin the length of the potato and peel it off. (You may have to use a knife on any tough spots than don’t peel easily.)

To assemble casserole:

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease or spray a 2.5 quart casserole dish.

Place peeled sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl and use an egg beater or potato masher (my choice) to mash them up.

Add the yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and salt. Beat some more. Taste it. If it’s not sweet enough for you, add more brown sugar 1 tablespoon at a time to taste.

Once you’re satisfied with the sweetness, add the eggs and beat them in well. Transfer the mixture to the lightly greased (or sprayed) casserole dish.

Mix together the topping ingredients and spread evenly on top of potato mixture.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until edges start to turn brown.

And that’s that, folks!!

This is the pan that I produced…

I had to toss a few walnuts in the mix because I ran short on pecans.

This turned out to be a big hit for dinner. Even my future mother-in-law liked it. That’s a win for me and this recipe that will now be a regular on our holiday tables.

Bon Apetit, Friends!! Chelle.

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