No Thanksgiving table is complete without a vegan sweet potato casserole! This healthy take on the classic dish is finished off with a simple oat crumble and fluffy marshmallows. It’s a total crowd pleaser!
I don’t know about you but I am so ready for Thanksgiving. When I was little, my mom used to make me pasta (no surprise lol) on Thanksgiving because that’s basically all I would eat.
These days, I love it all. The turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, my kale apple salad, and of course this vegan sweet potato casserole.
This wasn’t a recipe we made growing up, but the past few years it’s been a favorite of mine!
It starts with a base of fluffy whipped sweet potatoes that are perfectly sweetened with a little brown sugar, and finished off with a cinnamon pecan oat crumble and plenty of mini marshmallows. It’s vegan, gluten free, dairy free and so easy to make!
How to make sweet potato casserole
Scrub the sweet potatoes and pat dry. Add to a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for about an hour or until easily pierced with a fork.
Remove from the oven and let cool until easy to handle. Before we go any further, yes roasting the sweet potatoes rather than steaming takes longer, but, it also tastes so much better!
The sweet potatoes are sweeter so we don’t have to use as much sugar, and they get much creamier when you beat everything together. It’s worth the wait, I promise.
Combine the oats, coconut sugar, flour, pecans, and oil in a bowl and mix together. Set aside.
Once the potatoes are done, peel the skin off and transfer to a large bowl and roughly mash with a potato masher.
Lower the oven temperature to 350. Add in all remaining ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, or add to a food processor and process until smooth.
Transfer to a 9×9 baking dish or something similar) and spread evenly.
Sprinkle on top the oat crumble. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and top with marshmallows.
Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the tops of the marshmallows are golden brown. Serve hot and enjoy!
How to store and freeze
Once prepared, this sweet potato casserole will store in the fridge for about 5 days. I like to keep it right in the original baking dish and pop it in the oven around 200 degrees to warm it up.
Be sure to keep it covered with foil while in the fridge so it doesn’t dry out.
You can freeze sweet potato casserole, but unfortunately not all of it and not once it’s cooked. If you want to freeze this recipe to make your Thanksgiving prep a bit easier, follow the directions up until step 8, where you put the sweet potato mixture in the baking dish.
Wrap the dish in foil or plastic wrap and freeze. When you’re ready to eat, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then top with the crumble and marshmallows and bake as usual.
Yams vs. Sweet potatoes
You may be wondering what is the difference between a yam and a sweet potato? Yams and sweet potatoes are technically two different foods. However, their names are often used interchangeably these days, especially in grocery stores.
True yams have a bit more of a starchy than sweet flesh, but if you see something that looks like a sweet potato but is labeled a yam in the grocery store, it probably is a sweet potato. For this recipe, you want the orange skin and orange flesh variety.
Dessert or side dish?
Sweet potato casserole seems like it would be a dessert given the sugar and marshmallows, but it’s Thanksgiving and anything goes!
I always serve this as a side dish along with all the other good stuff like mashed potatoes and stuffing and save the pumpkin pie and apple cake for dessert!
Substitutions and variations
The sugar can be subbed for virtually any type of sugar. Light brown, coconut, dark brown, cane, or even maple syrup. Different sugars will change the color of the casserole, so keep that in mind.
For reference, I used light brown sugar and it kept the color pretty nice and orange. Dark brown or coconut will make the casserole a bit more brown rather than orange.
The pecans can be subbed for walnuts or left out entirely if you have an allergy or just don’t like them!
I highly suggest using mini marshmallows for this recipe. Large ones don’t soften properly and have a tendency to burn on the top, so mini are best.
You can break apart the large ones if you can’t find any mini. For a healthy variation, feel free to leave out the marshmallows.
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The Best Sweet Potato Casserole
by: claire cary
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes about 4 large
- ½ cup milk I used almond
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar can sub coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup quick oats
- ⅓ cup brown sugar can sub coconut or cane
- ½ cup crushed pecans can sub walnuts
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour I used gluten free
- 4 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
- 2 cups marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes and pat dry. Add to a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for about an hour or until easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove from the oven and let cool until easy to handle.
- Combine the oats, coconut sugar, flour, pecans, and oil in a bowl and mix together. Set aside.
- Once the potatoes are done, peel the skin off and transfer to a large bowl and roughly mash with a potato masher.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350.
- Add in all remaining ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, OR add to a food processor and process until smooth.
- Transfer to a 9×9 baking dish and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle on top the oat crumble. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and top with marshmallows.
- Bake for an additional 15-25 minutes or until the tops of the marshmallows are golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!
Susan Skidmore says
This is a 5 Star casserole!!! I will definitely be making this every Thanksgiving. Big hit with the meat eaters as well!
Claire Cary says
Thank you Susan!