Vegan sweet potato casserole is exactly what you need on your holiday table this year as a side dish or not-too-sweet dessert. I leave off the marshmallows and instead top it with a maple pecan crumble for a healthier, gluten-free casserole that is guaranteed to make you drool.
Is anyone a fan of the traditional sweet potato casserole with marshmallows or do you think it’s plain weird?
Because I think it’s kinda gross. Like marshmallows have two places in this world, in my hot chocolate or on a s’more.
This less-sweet sweet potato casserole with pecans recipe is so delicious, yet does not call for a single marshmallow. It’s a vegan and gluten-free side dish recipe that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or potlucks.
If you are in search of a plant-based side dish or a healthy dessert recipe, look no further. And not only is this a healthier recipe than classic sweet potato casserole, my vegan and gluten-free version is wonderfully easy to make from scratch – and can even be prepped ahead of time!
Is a sweet potato a vegetable or a carb?
Technically both. Sweet potatoes are higher in carbohydrates than other vegetables, but they are nutrient-dense like a vegetable and a great source of fiber. They also have a lower glycemic index than a white potato so they can regulate your blood sugar. Eating a sweet potato for dessert is a way healthier option than say a slice of cake.
Plus this healthy sweet potato casserole recipe is made with all vegan and gluten-free ingredients so it will lighten up the holiday food menu and be an all-around crowd-pleaser.
Ingredients for vegan sweet potato casserole
The filling for this comforting, healthy holiday recipe is super simple to make with only a few ingredients. You’ll of course need sweet potatoes, and then also brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg for a classic sweet potato casserole. To keep vegan-friendly, I use almond milk and coconut oil for a rich and creamy filling from scratch.
I top my sweet potato casserole with a pecan crumble. It’s crunchy and slightly sweet, without marshmallows! To make it you’ll need:
- Almond flour
- Brown sugar
- Maple syrup
- Vegan butter
I use almond flour to make this a gluten-free dish. However, you can use regular all-purpose flour if you prefer. And feel free to swap the pecans in the topping with other chopped nuts, like walnuts or cashews.
If you just have to have marshmallows on your sweet potato casserole, there are a number of vegan-friendly options. The difference between conventional and vegan marshmallows is the use of gelatin – which is typically made from animal products. You want to use mini marshmallows that contain plant-based ingredients instead, like soy.
Are yams and sweet potatoes the same thing?
While often lumped together as the same veggie, sweet potatoes and yams are quite different. Both are tubers, but yams tend to be very starchy and less sweet. They are more similar to regular white potatoes.
Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, contain less carbs and are, as the name suggests, sweet.
How do you make easy vegan sweet potato casserole from scratch?
You’ll love how simple it is to make this delicious gluten-free side dish!
- First, you need to peel, chop, and boil fresh sweet potato in water until fork-tender.
- Next, mash the cooked sweet potato and mix it with almond milk, vegan butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg. Scoop and evenly spread the mixture into a casserole dish, and bake.
- Add a maple pecan crumble on top (and then mini marshmallows, if you choose to include) of the potatoes before baking a second time.
This pecan crumble topping what takes the sweet potato casserole to the next level!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What goes well with sweet potato casserole?
Sweet potato casserole is a quintessential holiday side dish or dessert. Serve it for Thanksgiving or Christmas along with Nut-Crusted Savory Breaded Tofu and my BEST Vegan Mac and Cheese. Check out my great roundup of Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dishes for even more ideas!
Can this recipe be made ahead?
Yes, you can easily make this casserole beforehand! Allow the sweet potato casserole to cool after baking, cover, and store in the fridge until ready to reheat, up to 3 days. Just leave off the pecan maple topping until ready to bake and serve!
To save time you can combine ingredients for the topping also in advance, and store in a separate container at room temperature.
When ready to serve, top with the pecan crumble topping and bake. You’ll likely need a few more minutes than the recipe calls for if your dish is cold from the fridge.
Can you freeze vegan sweet potato casserole?
Absolutely you can freeze sweet potato casserole! But like I mentioned above, you want to assemble first and then freeze without the pecan crumble topping. Wrap the casserole tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To prepare from frozen, unwrap and bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 30-45 minutes until the potatoes are heated through. Meanwhile, make the pecan crumble. Once the potatoes are done, top with the pecan mixture and bake again for just a few more minutes to warm the crumble.
If you tried this vegan sweet potato casserole recipe let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
More vegan side dish recipes you’ll LOVE:
- The Ultimate Vegan Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad
- Vegan Tomato Galette with Pesto
- Lemon Dill Oven Roasted Red Potatoes
Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 medium sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 3 Tablespoons vegan butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place peeled and chopped sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
- Boil until you can pierce a fork through a piece of sweet potato (about 10 minutes depending on the size of the sweet potato pieces). Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the filling to the mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a casserole dish or 9x13 pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, add all ingredients for the topping and mix well.
- When sweet potatoes are done baking, remove from the oven and top with topping.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes longer until the topping is cooked.
- To Make Ahead: Allow the sweet potato casserole to cool after baking, leave off the pecan maple topping, cover, and store in the fridge until ready to reheat, up to 3 days. To save time you can combine ingredients for the topping also in advance, and store in a separate container at room temperature. When ready to serve, top with the pecan crumble topping and bake. You'll likely need a few more minutes than the recipe calls for if your dish is cold from the fridge.
- To Freeze: Assemble the sweet potato casserole without the pecan crumble topping. Allow to cool after baking, wrap the casserole tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. To prepare from frozen, unwrap and bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, until the potatoes are heated through. Meanwhile, make the pecan crumble. Once the potatoes are done, top with the pecan mixture and bake again for just a few more minutes to warm the crumble.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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