Sweet Potato Walnut Balls – Healthy as They are Delicious

Healthy Sweet Potato BallsMy mother makes a sweet potato recipe similar to this for Thanksgiving. A few years ago, I modified her recipe to make it dairy free for one of our dinner guests. Last year I healthified it more and amped up the flavor by adding a bit of orange juice and orange zest. It’s definitely a keeper.

You'll love this fun and nutty healthy sweet potato recipe by @nutritionjillClick To Tweet

Healthy Holiday Sweet Potato Balls

My clients have been brainstorming ways to eat healthfully and deliciously during the holiday season. This recipe is a good start. If you’re preparing a holiday meal, it’s smart to include a few traditional favorites and a few foods that are more healthful. Some of my clients are making a plan to have a certain number of not-so-healthful must-have foods and at least as many lower-calorie, wholesome choices. One of my clients is planning a healthy recipe contest with her family. I think that’s a clever way to get everyone interested in both great taste and good nutrition. It’s a win-win in my book.

Both the nuts and the sweet potatoes in this recipe are loaded with heart-healthy, brain-healthy nutrition. You’ll love this recipe for its taste but also for its wholesomeness. For my carb-counting friends with diabetes, each ball has only 12 grams of carbohydrate. Plus, these little sweet potato balls look beautiful on a holiday table or any dinner table. Make lots because they reheat well both in the oven and in the microwave.

Sweet Potato Walnut Balls

4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 18
Calories: 109kcal
Author: Jill Weisenberger MS, RDN, CDE, FAND


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp real maple syrup (feel free to use honey if you prefer)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt or other coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest, preferably freshly grated
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 1.5 cups chopped walnuts, pecans or a combination of both


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Microwave sweet potatoes until soft. Cut each potato in half, and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Discard the skins.
  • Mash the sweet potatoes with the maple syrup, salt, pepper, orange zest and orange juice.
  • Shape the mashed sweet potato mixture into 18 balls.
  • Heat the honey gently in the microwave.
  • First roll each ball into the honey and then into the chopped nuts.
  • Place each ball onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick baking spray or lined with a nonstick baking mat. Bake for 20 minutes.


Serving: 1ball | Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 0.8g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 38mg | Fiber: 2g


Jill Weisenberger

I'm Jill, and I believe simple changes in your mindset and health habits can bring life-changing rewards. And I don't believe in willpower. It's waaaay overrated. As a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and certified health and wellness coach, I've helped thousands of people solve their food and nutrition problems. If you're looking for a better way to master this whole healthy eating/healthy living thing or if you're trying to prevent or manage diabetes or heart problems, you'll find plenty of resources right here.

Leave a Reply


  1. Diane K on November 24, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    I’m definitely making these! They look so good.
    Thanks for posting

    • Jill Weisenberger on November 25, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      I hope you like them! I just finished making mine. Licking the bowl was delicious!

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Hi there! I'm Jill, a nutrition & diabetes expert and the author of 4 books.

Jill Weisenberger

I believe simple changes in health habits can bring you life-changing rewards.

And I believe willpower is way overrated.

Right here is where you can discover the mindset and habits to stick with healthy lifestyle choices most of the time - and drop the guilt when you don't.

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