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Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

This Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time of the year. It’s made with whole food plant-based ingredients and sweetened perfectly with pure maple syrup or date paste.

sweet potato casserole scooped onto wooden spoon over white casserole dish

Growing up in the South, sweet potato casserole was never just a holiday side dish. We ate it regularly after church at Grandma’s house for Sunday lunch.

Back then, my mom and grandmother made it with loads of butter and brown sugar, and they often topped it with sugary marshmallows. No wonder we kids always loved it. It was more like dessert served with the meal!

Nowadays, my family still enjoys delicious sweet potato casserole, but our newer version has a MUCH healthier nutritional profile and is dairy-free, low-fat, and sweetened with pure maple syrup. It can even easily be made gluten-free.

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You’re going to love this vegan sweet potato casserole because it’s…

  • Perfectly sweet
  • Wholesome
  • Full of flavor
  • Crowd-pleasing
  • Low-fat & gluten-free
  • Perfect make-ahead casserole
  • A fabulous Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish
  • Simply delicious!
serving of sweet potato casserole on colorful plate with coffee cup in background

Ways to cook sweet potatoes

Most people shy away from making dishes with sweet potatoes because they are so doggone difficult to peel and slice. More than once I have nearly lost a digit chopping them myself.

I remember my mom and grandmother wrestling sweet potatoes all over the cutting board, and it was a bit scary. But, the good news is, all that isn’t even necessary.

There are actually much easier ways to prepare and cook sweet potatoes that don’t require losing a fingertip or worse.

Oven-baked sweet potatoes

Peeling and slicing a cooked sweet potato is MUCH easier than a raw one, so why not just bake them first?

Simply bake them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or more, depending on the size of the potatoes.

Baked sweet potatoes, when done right, actually ooze out some of their naturally sweet caramelized sugar, and it’s pretty sticky. This old girl does not like trying to scrape that off the pan, so I highly suggest you do like me and line the baking sheet with parchment paper. When the potatoes are finished, simply throw away the parchment paper, give the pan a swipe with a rag, and put it back in the cabinet. That’s my kind of clean up!

sliced sweet potatoes on baking pan

Crock pot sweet potatoes

Another terrific way to cook sweet potatoes is in a crockpot or slow cooker.

Place the sweet potatoes in your crockpot and add about 1/2 cup water in the bottom. Set to the low setting and cook for approximately 8 hours. If you’re in more of a hurry, set to high and let them cook about 3-4 hours depending on the size of potatoes.

Boiling sweet potatoes

You could cook the sweet potatoes like my mom and grandmother used to do by peeling and dicing the raw sweet potatoes, but watch those fingers!

Add enough water to a pot to completely cover the peeled and diced potatoes. Boil for approximately 20 minutes until tender.

How to make healthy vegan sweet potato casserole

After cooking the sweet potatoes using your preferred method listed above and allowing them to cool, peel and place them in a large bowl.

peeled sweet potatos in glass bowl with cutting board in background

A full list of ingredients, measurements, instructions, and a print button can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Next, mash the cooked potatoes with a potato masher. You can do this with a fork, but it will take quite a while, so I highly recommend using a potato masher. Some people even use a hand mixer, but I just prefer not to have to pull mine out and then clean it afterward.

Once the potatoes are mashed well, add the other batter ingredients and spices listed in the recipe card below. Mix thoroughly and pour into a casserole dish lined with parchment paper to keep it from sticking to the sides and bottom. See me do it in the video in the recipe card below.

sweet potato casserole batter in white casserole dish

Now, set the casserole dish with batter to the side and begin making the very easy oat pecan topping.

Begin by blending rolled oats in a blender or food processor until coarsely chopped.

Next, place all topping ingredients in a medium-size bowl and stir together well. The flour should be damp, not dry, but also not real wet either. If it’s too dry, add a little more non-dairy milk, but remember it’s supposed to be crumbly.

sweet potato casserole with crumble topping in white casserole dish uncooked

Spread the topping out onto the casserole dish with batter. Place in preheated oven and allow to cook for approximately 30 minutes. Oven temperatures vary, so keep an eye on it. You want it to have a golden brown top.

Once it’s finished, remove this easy vegan casserole from the oven and allow it to cool. Serve warm.

sweet potato casserole bite on fork with coffee cup on background

Tips for making this vegan casserole

Choose the easiest way to peel and dice the sweet potatoes. To me, that means either baking them or cooking in a crockpot.

This is a terrific make-ahead sweet potato casserole. Simply assemble it, cover well with a lid, plastic wrap, or foil, and keep in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

It can also be baked ahead of time and just reheated in the oven on 350 for about 15 minutes.

I used a 2-quart casserole dish

Date paste can be used to replace the maple syrup in the batter. To replace the maple syrup in the topping, use date syrup.

For those avoiding nuts, the pecans in this recipe are completely optional.

For those that are gluten-free, any flour will work fine in the topping.

Oats are pretty important in the crumbly topping, but if you’re avoiding oats, perhaps try buckwheat groats as a substitution. I haven’t tried it, but they seem like a reasonable option to give a try.

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serving of sweet potato casserole on colorful plate with coffee cup in background

Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time of the year. It's made with whole food plant-based ingredients and sweetened perfectly with pure maple syrup.

Ingredients

Batter Ingredients:

  • 5 sweet potatoes (large to medium size)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk such as almond or soy
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (or date paste)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Topping:

Instructions

    1. Cook the sweet potatoes by either baking, boiling or cooking in the crockpot. Detailed instructions for each method listed in the article above.

    2. Once cooked and cooled, peel the sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl.

    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    4. Next, mash the cooked potatoes with a potato masher or hand mixer.

    5. Once the potatoes are mashed well, add the other batter ingredients and spices listed in the recipe card below. Mix thoroughly and pour into a casserole dish lined with parchment paper to keep it from sticking to the sides and bottom. See the video

    6. Set the casserole dish with batter to the side and begin making the very easy oat pecan crumbly topping.

    7. TOPPING: Begin by blending rolled oats in a blender or food processor until coarsely chopped.

    8. Next, place all topping ingredients in a medium-size bowl and stir together well. The flour should be damp, not dry, but also not real wet either. If it's too dry, add a little more non-dairy milk, but remember it's supposed to be crumbly.

    9. Spread the topping out onto the casserole dish with batter. Place in preheated oven and allow to cook for approximately 30 minutes. Oven temperatures vary, so keep an eye on it. You want it to have a golden brown top.

    10. Once it’s finished, remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Serve warm.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gProtein: 4g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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Alexandria Peters

Friday 15th of November 2019

Can I use aquafaba to hold the sweet potato mix together? Or in the topping to give it a crispy crunch texture?

Terri Edwards

Friday 15th of November 2019

I haven't used aquafaba before but would love to hear how this recipe turns out if you decide to give it a try. Aquafaba is something I haven't experimented with yet, and that needs to change.