This Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect vegan side dish for your Thanksgiving table.
Plus, this is a little bit healthier casserole with unrefined sugar and oats in the topping for a boost of fiber.
As a French family living in New Zealand, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. But, since we’re crisp and sweet potato fans, we couldn’t pass on this sweet potato casserole.
What’s Sweet Potato Casserole?
A sweet potato casserole is a sweet mashed sweet potato layer, usually sweetened with brown sugar topped with a crunchy pecan topping similar to crumble desserts.
Finally, an authentic sweet potato casserole is topped with marshmallows that are toasted in the oven.
Is A Classic Sweet Potato Casserole Vegan?
No, a sweet potato casserole contains butter, milk, and most marshmallows are made with beef gelatin.
However, it’s an easy dish to make for your vegan Thanksgiving table
How To Make Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
It’s so easy to make this casserole and also not very expensive, so it’s a great low-cost side dish for the holiday.
All you need to make this casserole are:
- Orange-Skin Sweet Potatoes – Peel the sweet potato and cut them into cubes.
- Vegan Butter or margarine.
- Almond Milk or any non-dairy milk you like such as coconut milk, oat milk, or cashew milk.
- Salt and Pepper
- Nutmeg – Optional but I found the flavor delicious with sweet potato.
For the toppings, you will need:
- Vegan Butter
- Pecans – roughly chopped
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats – pick certified gluten-free oats if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance.
- All-Purpose Flour – You can use either classic flour, oat flour, or almond flour for a healthy sweet potato casserole.
- Brown Sugar – You can also use coconut sugar or sugar-free brown erythritol.
Preparing The Sweet Potato Filling
First, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into large cubes.
Fill a large pot with cold water, cover it with a lid, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce to low-medium heat, add the sweet potato cubes, close with a lid and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sweet potato cubes are tender.
Insert a knife in the cubes to check their tenderness, if it goes through easily, it’s cooked.
Drain the sweet potato cubes in a sieve over the sink and cool for 15 minutes to give the steam time to come out.
Pecan Oat Topping
Meanwhile, prepare the casserole topping. In a mixing bowl, add the vegan butter, chopped pecans, flour of choice, oatmeal, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
Use a fork or your finger to rub the softened vegan butter on the dry ingredients and form a crumbly topping.
It should look like small lumps of flour.
Sweet Potato Mash
Now, return the cooked sweet potato cubes to the large pot.
Use a potato masher or two forks to mash the sweet potato.
Then, top with almond milk, vegan butter, brown sugar or coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Return to low heat and stir to combine. Remove from the heat as soon as the vegan butter is melted and all ingredients are well combined with the mashed sweet potatoes.
Assembling The vegan Thanksgiving Casserole
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly oil the sides of a 9-inch x 11-inch casserole dish.
Spread the sweet potato mash all over a baking dish and crumble the pecan oat crumble over the mash.
Bake the casserole for 15 to 20 minutes or until the toppings are golden brown and crispy.
Make Sweet Potato Casserole Ahead
During the holiday, we all like to meal prep our recipe and this casserole is perfect for you.
One Or Two Days Before
Cook the sweet potato cubes, cool them down, mash them, and keep the mashed potatoes in a sealed container in the fridge.
Prepare the crumble topping and store it in the fridge.
On The Day
Cook the sweet potato mash with the remaining ingredients, assemble the casserole, add the sweet potato filling to the baking dish, and top up with the ready-made pecan crumble stored in the fridge in the morning.
Serve the vegan casserole lukewarm as a side dish to any of your favorite plant-based center meals.
You can serve the casserole with an extra:
- Chopped Parsley or Cilantro
- Pinch of Chili Flakes
Storage And Rewarming
This vegan sweet potato casserole can be stored well in its own baking dish.
Wrap the top of the dish with kitchen wrap, and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can rewarm the casserole in the microwave, in a microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan. The topping won’t crunch as much if rewarmed this way.
So to bring the crispiness back, try rewarming the dish in the oven or air fryer for 10 to 12 minutes at 300°F (150°C).
Finally, if you made too much of this casserole, freeze it in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge the day before.
Below are some options to make this recipe even if you have some food allergy to the ingredients suggested in the recipe
- Nut-Free – You can swap the pecans for seeds like sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Almond milk can be replaced with soy milk, oat milk, or any plant-based milk you love.
- Oat-Free – You can swap the oats for more nuts or quinoa flakes for a gluten-free alternative.
- Vegan Butter Swap – You can use softened coconut oil as well, I recommend using refined coconut oil to avoid a coconut flavor in the dish.
- Gluten-Free – Use gluten-free certified oats and all-purpose gluten-free flour or almond flour.
Frequently Asked Questions
You will find the answers to your most popular questions about this recipe below:
Can I Add Vegan Marshmallows?
Absolutely! If you want to make this casserole more authentic, feel free to add some vegan marshmallows on top of the pecan oat crumble.
I recommend using mini marshmallows and adding about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup.
You can also turn the oven to broil mode for 1 or 2 minutes towards the end to broil the vegan marshmallows.
Can I Skip The Sugar?
Yes, you can make the casserole with no sugar at all or use a sugar-free sweetener like brown erythritol.
Use the same amount as the brown sugar.
Can I Make A Healthier Sweet Potato Casserole?
To make this casserole healthier, swap the vegan butter or coconut oil and replace brown sugar with coconut sugar or sugar-free brown erythritol for a low-carb option.
For the topping, swap flour for almond flour or oat flour.
Can I Prepare The Casserole Ahead?
Yes, you can assemble the casserole the day before in the baking dish. Or read above to assemble the casserole at the last minute.
If you assemble the casserole 1 or 2 days before, make sure you film the baking dish with kitchen wrap and store it in the fridge so it’s ready to bake on the day of your event.
If you do so, it takes way longer to bake because the mashed sweet potato layer is thick and cold. Plan to bake for around 40 minutes if the casserole is fully cold.
More Sweet Potato Recipes
We love sweet potatoes in my family, it’s one of our favorite vegetables, and I have so many other sweet potato recipes for you to try.
Did you try this vegan sweet potato casserole for your vegan Thanksgiving table? Share a comment or review below to connect with me.
Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
Pecan Oat Topping
- ½ cup Vegan Marshmallows
Prepare the mash
- Fill a large pot with cold water, cover with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, peel and cut the orange sweet potatoes into medium-large cubes.
- Place the cubes into the boiling water, cover with a lid, reduce to low-medium heat and keep to low-boil for 10-15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Test them with a knife. If it goes through, it's cooked.
- Drain the cooked sweet potato cubes in a sieve over the sieve. Keep 15 minutes in the sieve to steam out.
- Return the cubes to the large pot with almond milk, vegan butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- Cook over medium-low heat while stirring to incorporate the ingredient and melt the vegan butter. It takes about 5 minutes to create a warm smooth mash.
Prepare the pecan oat topping
- In a bowl, place the crumble toppings: flour, oats, chopped pecan, sugar, flour, softened vegan butter, and salt.
- Use your fingers to rub the softened butter into the dry ingredients and form bits and pieces. Set aside in the bowl at room temperature.
Assemble The Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Slightly oil the baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
- Transfer the mash into a 9-inch x 11-inch baking dish and spread evenly. Set aside.
- Crumble the pecan oat topping evenly over the mash.
- Add the vegan mini marshmallow all over the crumble now if used.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes or until warm and golden brown on top.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up 3-4 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.