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sweet potato winter squash casserole with pecan topping

Make Ahead Sweet Potato or Winter Squash Casserole with Pecan-Crumb Topping (Paleo, GF, GAPS)

Make Ahead Sweet Potato or Winter Squash Casserole with Pecan-Crumb Topping feeds a crowd and is so delicious you'll want to savor it! Paleo, Gluten-free, GAPS.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword casserole, gaps diet, gluten-free, holiday, make ahead, paleo, pecan, sweet potatoes, winter squash
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings (or more)
Calories 411kcal
Author Megan
Cost $8


  • casserole dish
  • oven
  • food processor (or potato masher)


Main Recipe

  • 8 cups, loosely packed sweet potato or butternut squash, cooked, cut into big chunks, (yielded from two butternut squash or 10 sweet potatoes, approximately, depending on size)
  • 1 can coconut milk or 1-3/4 cup high fat raw milk or grass-fed heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup (I like to use honey with winter squash and maple syrup with sweet potatoes)
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Crumb Topping


Main Recipe

  • Grease a 9" by 13" casserole dish with animal fat, butter or coconut oil. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, if you plan to bake the casserole immediately.
  • Place all ingredients into a large 14-cup food processor (or puree ingredients in two batches if necessary). Puree for 30-50 seconds, scraping down the sides once, until all ingredients are smooth and well mixed.
  • Pour puree into casserole dish and smooth the top. Make Crumb Topping.

Crumb Topping

  • In (dry) food processor, blend walnuts to a meal.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until they come together nicely, clumping somewhat.
  • Sprinkle topping on casserole. Cover and freeze, if you're making the casserole ahead of time. Or bake in preheated oven if eating immediately.
  • Bake in preheated 325 oven until even the middle is hot and the topping is golden brown but not too dark.  Check after 45 minutes and cover loosely if it's browning too quickly.  Total times will vary slightly, about 1 hour total. (Note: the center will be slightly jiggly, not fully set.)
  • For make-ahead casseroles, take casserole out of the freezer the afternoon/night before you plan to serve it, allowing about 24 hours for it to defrost in the fridge. Uncover the casserole while it defrosts. Cook according to above baking instructions.
  • Once baked, allow casserole to cool, and set up further, for 20 minutes, before serving.


How to Sprout Pecans — For every 4 cups nuts, cover with room temperature, filtered water by two inches, and 2 tsp. sea salt.  Stir well to dissolve the salt.  Leave out overnight at room temperature to soak.  Drain in a colander; and rinse them well. Place in your dehydrator, or low temperature-capable oven, 95-145 degrees, for 24-48 hours.  To check your nuts’ doneness, let one or all cool to room temperature.  Eat one.  It should be very dry and crispy, no softness or chewiness to the inside.  Store in the refrigerator or freezer because walnut oils go rancid quickly.
*If you make the topping with honey as the sweetener, it will be sticky and take more time to crumble on top of the casserole. Expect an extra 5 minutes if you choose the honey version.


Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 293mg | Potassium: 644mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 22521IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg