Try this savory sweet potato breakfast casserole for a Paleo twist on delicious breakfast bakes. It’s high-protein and perfect for meal prepping!
Hey there – I’m Chantal.
I’m a mom, a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, and the writer behind this site.
While I don’t adhere strictly to any one diet, recently I have had a few health scares that caused me to make some healthy dietary changes.
You can read all about my liver and hormonal issues here, but in short, my doctor recommended that I aim to eat a mostly Paleo diet.
If you are new to Paleo, no worries, I will go over Paleo basics below!
As such, I was charged with figuring out how to eat Paleo when I was also responsible for feeding the rest of my family, too.
There was absolutely no way I was going to make separate meals for everyone, so I had to come up with some family-friendly recipes for the whole family.
However, I’ve learned that when you’re trying to make major dietary changes, it doesn’t happen overnight.
So I embarked on a journey to search for and test Paleo meals. My task was to build up a recipe vault full of healthy recipes for each major meal.
That includes breakfast!
Related Reading: Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffin Cups with Turkey Sausage
While I am much better at coming up with Paleo dinners (it’s easier, IMO), breakfasts were a little trickier since plain eggs get a little old after a while.
The result is this yummy sweet potato breakfast casserole.
It’s savory, sweet, and easy to make.
And really, who doesn’t love an easy breakfast casserole?
Inside This Post: Everything You Need to Make This Savory Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
I tend to overshare, and not everyone wants all of the details. 😉 Here’s a quick overview of what’s inside this post in case you want to skip around:
- Paleo diet basics
- Simple tweaks to keep this breakfast sweet potato casserole paleo
- Sweet potato breakfast casserole nutrition
- Step-by-step recipe for this savory Paleo breakfast casserole
So, let’s get to it!
Paleo Diet Basics
In today’s fast-paced world, the quest for a healthier lifestyle has led many to explore alternative diets that promise numerous health benefits.
One such diet that has gained popularity in recent years is the Paleo diet. Also known as the Paleolithic or caveman diet, it is based on the idea of eating like our ancient ancestors did thousands of years ago.
Before I share the recipe we talked about, let’s delve into the basics of the Paleo diet, its principles, allowed foods, and potential benefits.
Related Reading: 25 Delicious Paleo Meal Prep Recipe Ideas
Understanding the Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet is built on the concept of emulating the dietary habits of our Paleolithic ancestors who lived approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.
The fundamental belief is that our modern diet, characterized by processed foods, grains, and dairy, has contributed to various health issues, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
By reverting to a diet that mimics what our ancestors ate, proponents of the Paleo diet claim that we can improve our health and overall well-being.
Key Principles of the Paleo Diet
- Whole, Unprocessed Foods: The Paleo diet emphasizes consuming natural, whole foods while eliminating or minimizing processed and refined items. This means opting for foods that have undergone minimal to no processing, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean meats.
- Lean Protein Sources: Protein is a crucial component of the Paleo diet. Lean meats like grass-fed beef, poultry, fish, and seafood are preferred sources of protein. These choices are rich in essential amino acids and important nutrients.
- Healthy Fats: Unlike some other diets that shun fats, the Paleo diet encourages the consumption of healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These fats provide sustained energy and support overall health.
- Elimination of Grains and Legumes: Perhaps one of the most distinctive features of the Paleo diet is the exclusion of grains (wheat, rice, oats, etc.) and legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts). The rationale behind this exclusion is that these foods contain anti-nutrients like lectins and phytates, which can potentially disrupt nutrient absorption and lead to digestive issues.
- Dairy-Free: Dairy products are also omitted from the Paleo diet, as many people are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy proteins. Instead, calcium intake is promoted through leafy greens and other non-dairy sources.
- No Processed Sugars: Processed sugars and artificial sweeteners are strictly avoided in the Paleo diet. Natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup are acceptable in moderation.
P.S. Did you know that I have meal-planning printables, a nutrition course, a high-protein cookbook, and more helpful tools in my shop? Check them out if you’re investing in your nutrition habits this year!
Potential Benefits of the Paleo Diet
- Weight Management: Many individuals have reported weight loss and improved body composition when following the Paleo diet. The emphasis on whole, nutrient-dense foods and the exclusion of processed items can naturally lead to reduced calorie intake.
- Improved Blood Sugar Control: By avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugar, the Paleo diet may help stabilize blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for those with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.
- Enhanced Digestive Health: Eliminating grains and legumes can alleviate digestive issues for some people, particularly those with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gluten sensitivity.
- Increased Nutrient Intake: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Satiety and Reduced Cravings: The higher protein and fat content of the Paleo diet can promote feelings of fullness, reducing the urge to snack on unhealthy foods.
I hope that helps!
In short, Paleo is a dietary approach that encourages the consumption of whole, unprocessed foods while eliminating grains, legumes, dairy, and processed sugars.
While it has garnered attention for its potential health benefits, it’s important to note that the diet may not be suitable for everyone, and individual results can vary.
Before embarking on any diet, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to ensure that it aligns with your specific health goals and needs.
All of that being said, if you’re on Paleo, here’s what you need to know about this particular recipe.
How to Keep This Savory Breakfast Casserole Paleo
My breakfast sweet potato casserole is only Paleo if you use natural sausage without any crazy additives. It also won’t be Paleo if you add in any sort of cheese, milk, or other dairy products.
Look for sausage that is nitrate and nitrite-free, and is seasoned with only basic spices like salt, pepper, sage, etc.
Simple and whole ingredients are key here!
One last thing – it is recommended that you use olive, coconut, or avocado oil to grease your pan.
There are many other oils out there, but many of them aren’t Paleo-friendly. (Regular PAM isn’t Paleo.)
I used plain olive oil spray (be careful as some brands have olive oil mixed with other oils) for this recipe.
Tips for the BEST Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to make this recipe.
I used the Instant Pot to quickly steam my sweet potatoes, but there are a few other ways to do it.
I used plain pork sausage, but if Paleo isn’t important to you, maple sausage might be absolutely delicious here.
If you don’t have onion powder, real onions will work, too.
Hopefully, you get the idea!
This recipe really isn’t hard and it is easily adapted. 🙂
However, here are some specific recipe tips that I think will help you:
- Don’t overcook your sweet potatoes or they will be mushy. Remember that they will go into the oven for 25 minutes. If they aren’t fully cooked when you put it all together, it’s probably okay.
- Put the eggs in first, then layer the other ingredients in individually.
- For meal prep purposes, this can be turned into two smaller casseroles. Just be sure to use a freezer-friendly dish.
Breakfast Sweet Potato Casserole Nutrition
I don’t count calories anymore, but I would guess that a slice of this casserole is about 300-400 calories. (Based on using an 9×13 casserole dish and slicing into 8 pieces.)
Please know that although this recipe doesn’t have any grains in it, it DOES indeed have carbs.
Sweet potatoes provide complex carbs, so if you’re keto or low-carb, this might not be for you.
Related Reading: 25 Delicious Paleo Meal Prep Recipe Ideas
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the nutritional information of the main ingredients in this recipe.
Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and provide a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Here’s a brief description of the nutrition in sweet potatoes:
- Vitamins: Sweet potatoes are rich in several vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and several B vitamins (such as B6 and pantothenic acid). Vitamin A is particularly abundant in sweet potatoes, with a single serving providing well over 100% of the recommended daily intake. This vitamin is essential for maintaining healthy skin, vision, and immune function.
- Minerals: Sweet potatoes contain important minerals like potassium, manganese, and copper. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, while manganese and copper are involved in various metabolic processes.
- Dietary Fiber: Sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, and supports a feeling of fullness, making them a suitable choice for those looking to manage their weight.
- Antioxidants: They contain antioxidants like beta-carotene, which gives them their vibrant orange color. Beta-carotene can help protect cells from oxidative damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes are a source of complex carbohydrates, providing a steady release of energy. They have a lower glycemic index compared to regular potatoes, which means they may have a milder impact on blood sugar levels.
- Protein: Eggs are a fantastic source of high-quality protein, with approximately 6 grams of protein in a single large egg. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining overall health.
- Vitamins: Eggs are rich in several vitamins, including vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin A, and riboflavin (B2). These vitamins play various roles in maintaining healthy skin, eyes, nervous system function, and overall well-being.
- Minerals: Eggs contain essential minerals such as iron, phosphorus, and selenium. Iron is necessary for carrying oxygen in the blood, phosphorus is important for bone health, and selenium acts as an antioxidant.
- Healthy Fats: Eggs contain a small amount of healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The majority of the fat is found in the yolk, along with other beneficial nutrients.
- Choline: Eggs are an excellent source of choline, a nutrient important for brain health, nerve function, and the formation of cell membranes.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These antioxidants are primarily found in the yolk of eggs and are essential for eye health. They may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Rich in Vitamins: Spinach is loaded with vitamins, particularly vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, and various B vitamins such as folate (vitamin B9). These vitamins are essential for bone health, immune function, vision, and overall well-being.
- Minerals: Spinach is a good source of essential minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Iron is vital for oxygen transport in the blood, calcium supports bone health, potassium helps regulate blood pressure, and magnesium plays a role in muscle and nerve function.
- Dietary Fiber: Spinach is a rich source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, and promotes a feeling of fullness, making it a valuable component of a balanced diet.
- Antioxidants: Spinach contains various antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial for eye health and may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. It also contains other antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol that help protect cells from oxidative damage.
- Phytonutrients: Spinach is abundant in phytonutrients, which have been linked to numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Natural Pork Sausage
- Protein: Pork sausage is a good source of protein. It provides approximately 14-16 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving. Protein is essential for muscle growth, tissue repair, and overall body function.
- Calories and Fat: Pork sausage tends to be relatively high in calories and fat. The fat content can vary depending on the type and preparation of the sausage. It is important to be mindful of portion sizes, especially if you are concerned about calorie intake or saturated fat.
- Saturated Fat: Pork sausage can be high in saturated fat Choosing leaner cuts or lower-fat sausage options can help reduce saturated fat intake.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Pork sausage contains essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus, and selenium. Vitamin B12 is important for nerve function and red blood cell formation, while zinc, phosphorus, and selenium play various roles in metabolic processes and overall health.
Okay – onto the sweet potato sausage breakfast casserole recipe!
Savory Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
Here is the recipe card for my savory sweet potato breakfast casserole recipe!
Savory Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
- 1 Baking 9×13 Dish
- 1 Instant Pot optional
- 1 lb Natural ground pork sausage
- 12 large Eggs
- 2 large Sweet potatoes
- 1-2 cups Baby spinach
- 1/2 tsp Onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 1/2 tsp Parsley flakes
- Brown sausage in a large skillet.
- Mix onion powder, Italian seasoning, and black pepper into the sausage. Remove from heat when browned.
- Peel, dice, and lightly steam sweet potatoes. Drain.
- Whip 12 eggs in a large bowl. Add a spinkle of sea salt and mix well.
- Chop spinach.
- Lightly grease baking pan with olive oil or other Paleo-friendly spray.
- Pour eggs into baking pan.
- Layer spinach, sausage, then sweet potatoes over eggs.
- Top with parsley flakes and bake at 375℉ for 25 minutes.
- Slice and enjoy!
- If using an Instant Pot to steam sweet potatoes, add 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 4-5 minutes.
- This recipe was even more delicious on the second day! It will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Freeze it for later if you want to!
- You can easily swap the spinach out for different greens or vegetables. Broccoli would be good, too!
That’s it! I hope that if you you enjoy this recipe! (Let me know how it goes!)
Until next time,