Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

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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.

a slice of vegan sweet potato casserole on a colorful plate with a roasted pecan on top and coffee in the background.

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. 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.

On this website, we have plenty of southern country cooking recipes that have been revamped to be a much healthier version of the old classics like my dairy-free hash brown casserole, this delicious vegan coleslaw, and my crazy-good country vegan potato salad.

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!
white casserole dish full of vegan sweet potato casserole with a wooden spoon scooping a serving out.

Ways to cook sweet potatoes

Most people shy away from making dishes with sweet potatoes because they are so 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

Crockpot 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 to the bottom. Set to the low setting and cook for approximately 8 hours. If you’re in more of a hurry, set them to high and let them cook for about 3-4 hours depending on the size of the 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

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

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-sized bowl and stir together well. The flour should be damp, not dry, but also not really 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 them in a crockpot.
  • This is a terrific make-ahead sweet potato casserole. Simply assemble it, cover it well with a lid, plastic wrap, or foil, and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  • It can also be baked ahead of time and just reheated in the oven at 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.

Other delicious holiday dishes

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serving of sweet potato casserole on colorful plate with coffee cup in background
4.49 from 27 votes

Sweet Potato Casserole

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.
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

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 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 1-1/4 cup old fashion rolled oats coarsely ground in blender
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour or other flour use oat or other gluten-free flour if desired
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup chopped raw pecans optional
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Cook the sweet potatoes by either baking, boiling or cooking in the crockpot. Detailed instructions for each method listed in the article above.
  • Once cooked and cooled, peel the sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Next, mash the cooked potatoes with a potato masher or hand mixer.
  • 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
  • Set the casserole dish with batter to the side and begin making the very easy oat pecan crumbly topping.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Video

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.
Tips for making this vegan casserole
  1. Choose the easiest way to peel and dice the sweet potatoes. To me, that means either baking them or cooking them in a crockpot.
  2. This is a terrific make-ahead sweet potato casserole. Simply assemble it, cover it well with a lid, plastic wrap, or foil, and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  3. It can also be baked ahead of time and just reheated in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes.
  4. I used a 2-quart casserole dish
  5. Date paste can be used to replace the maple syrup in the batter. To replace the maple syrup in the topping, use date syrup.
  6. For those avoiding nuts, the pecans in this recipe are completely optional.
  7. For those that are gluten-free, any flour will work fine in the topping.
  8. 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Fiber: 4g

Disclaimer

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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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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4 Comments

  1. Your photos make the sweet potatoes look reddish orange, which is more the color of yams. Are you really using sweet potatoes or yams in your recipe? Thank you.

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

    1. 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.

4.49 from 27 votes (27 ratings without comment)

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