Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with toasty pecan oat topping tastes just like the classic. It's a must for Thanksgiving. Easily gluten-free! Make ahead instructions included.
Jeff has never had sweet potato casserole. I repeat: JEFF HAS NEVER HAD SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE. Until last night when he ate like half this pan.
It's so interesting how everyone has such different holiday traditions. My fam, for example, would never in a zillion years have Thanksgiving at lunchtime, while Jeff's family is hosting at 11:30am. Whaaaaa?
Sweet potato casserole is as essential to the Thanksgiving spread as the turkey in my eyes. I have such fond memories of us grandkids gathering around the table with my late grandma's sweet potato casserole waiting to be covered in marshmallows.
Today's version reminds me of home. It's crazy easy to make and tastes so good that guests will be asking for it year after year!
Ingredients and substitutions
- sweet potatoes: peeled sweet taters are the base of our casserole.
- milk: I like unsweetened vanilla almond or oat, but soy or coconut work too.
- old fashioned oats: for texture and flavor in our topping. You could also use quick oats.
- vegan butter: for buttery flavor without the dairy. I like Earth Balance. You could do coconut oil in a pinch.
- pecans: divine for nutty flavor. You could sub walnuts or use extra oats if you're nut free.
- brown sugar: to sweeten! Coconut sugar also works.
- spices + vanilla: flavor town! Omit nutmeg if it's not your thing.
- salt: to enhance and round out the flavor
Is sweet potato casserole heathy?
This dietitian loves that sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients like vitamin A for those peepers and fiber. This healthy twist on traditional sweet potato casserole has a bit less sugar and butter than the classic.
Plus, we've got whole grain oats, brain-boosting pecans, and even a whole grain flour option.
Can sweet potato casserole be gluten free?
Totally. Simply use 1:1 gluten free flour or almond flour and certified gluten free oats.
Can it be made ahead?
Indeed. Make this 1-2 days in advance by preparing the filling and refrigerating it in the casserole dish (tightly covered). Make the topping separately and store in a baggie in the fridge. Add topping right before baking the day of!
Back to the origin of this Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole! My sister's mother-in-law (hi, Arlene!) actually has the best ever recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole. We went to her house in Cincinnati for Thanksgiving a few years ago and I'll never forget it.
How adorable is this recipe of hers that my sister sent me?!
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To freeze, make the recipe as stated, but don't bake it. Cover with foil and freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking per the recipe.
More vegan thanksgiving essentials
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Vegan Gravy
- Pumpkin Pie Bars
- Favorite Cranberry Orange Sauce
- Skillet Cornbread
This creamy and delicious healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with toasty pecan oat topping tastes just like the classic. It's a must for Thanksgiving. Easily gluten free! See notes for freezing and make-ahead instructions.
For the casserole:
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 8 cups)
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (like oat or unsweetened vanilla almond)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
For the topping:
- ¼ cup flour (all purpose, whole wheat, etc.)
- ¼ cup old-fashioned oats
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup pecans, chopped
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (not melted)
- Place sweet potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. (Alternatively, you can pierce with a fork and roast potatoes whole, unpeeled, on a lined baking sheet for 1 hour or until very tender. Let cool then remove skins and use flesh in recipe.)
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F and grease a 2-2.5 qt or 9x13x2 inch baking dish (I use this one).
- Stir together all topping ingredients in a medium bowl until mixture is crumbly.
- Drain potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add butter, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt. Use a potato masher or electric beaters (for extra fluffiness) to mash until the mixture is smooth.
- Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are bubbly and topping is browned.
TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Make this 1-2 days in advance by preparing the filling and refrigerating it in the casserole dish (tightly covered). Make the topping separately and store in a baggie in the fridge. Add topping right before baking the day of.
GLUTEN FREE: Use 1:1 gluten free flour and certified gluten free oats.
Keywords: vegan sweet potato casserole