This Ultimate Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole is a classic recipe, made with mashed sweet potatoes topped with candied pecans. It’s ultra warm and comforting, sweet and satiating. It’s gluten-free, and naturally sweetened using coconut sugar.
Typically made with marshmallows, I’ve topped this Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with pecans for a healthier and more wholesome version.
Lucky for us, it’s easy to make this crowd pleasing dish. With just 11 ingredients and 1 hour to bake. It can even be made in advanced to save you time on the big day of celebration.
As you know, I’ve been dropping dishes for the holidays like it’s hot. And this is one of the last for your 2019 holiday menu. You’re welcome! Certainly, it’s a winning side dish that everyone can get on board with, vegan or not.
Now, let me tell you exactly how to make this sweet potato casserole so you can get baking it asap!
How to make Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
For this recipe, you will need:
- sweet potatoes
- vegan butter (I used earth balance)
- coconut milk
- coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- flaxseed meal
- sea salt
- almond meal
As yo can see, the ingredients are fairly straight forward, and it’s likely you already have them in your pantry. And if you don’t have some ingredients (like coconut sugar, or flaxseed meal) they will certainly come in handy for future vegan recipes (sweet and savoury). I’ve got lots on the blog that use these ingredients, and a quick search in the search bar will bring them up for ya!
For the sweet potato mash:
Making the sweet potato mash is incredibly easy. We will begin by peeling and chopping the sweet potato into bite sized cubes. Add to a large pot of boiling water and simmer the sweet potato for 15 minutes, or until cooked.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly (10 minutes). Then add the liquids and spice (i.e. coconut milk, flax egg, cinnamon, nutmeg etc.)
Next, mash by hand or use an immersion blender like I did (in image 5 below).
Transfer the mash to a baking dish (I’ve used an 8×11 inch) and sprinkle with your candied pecan topping.
For the candied pecan topping:
In fact, making the candied pecan topping is very similarly to making a crumble topping.
Mix together pecans, coconut sugar, almond meal and vegan butter to combine, and sprinkle over sweet potato mash to coat. It’s a quick and easy topping that adds perfect crunchiness to the sweet potato mash.
Traditionally, we top Sweet Potato Casserole with marshmallows. But this candied pecan topping adds lovely crunch, and needless to say it makes for a healthier and vegan version. I’m sure you will enjoy it even more than the traditional!
Is sweet potato casserole a dessert? Or, side dish?
Now, this is the big debated question. Some will argue that sweet potato casserole originates as a dessert as it used to be served in a pie crust. (Tbh, that sounds ultra delicious to me!).
And no doubt, this recipe is sweet, not savoury. So therefore it should be served as…dessert?
However, those on the other side will argue that sweet potato is a vegetable, and therefore it stands to reason that sweet potato casserole is most definitely a side dish! Just like any other sweet potato dish.
In addition, there are lots of savoury dishes that come in pie form, like pot-pies. So even though it’s sweet, it’s most definitely a side dish.
I say, the choice is yours. I love the combo of sweet and savoury dishes served on my dinner table. For example, a meal with savoury lentil loaf and harvest kale salad, alongside sweet potato casserole is a winning combo.
But, if you prefer to serve this as a dessert I won’t be one to judge.
Can this recipe be made in advance?
Certainly, this recipe can be made in advance to save you time on Xmas or Thanksgiving day. Which is a bonus when we have 101 things to do and places to be. You can make this recipe the day before, and then reheat in the oven, covered in foil for 20-30 minutes.
The recipe can even be frozen and thawed. Wrap well, and keep in freezer for no longer than a week to ensure freshness.
Other recipes you might like:
If you’re looking for some Holiday recipes to pair with this Sweet Potato Casserole, I encourage you to try the following:
- Vegan Lentil Loaf (gf + easy)
- Quick and easy vegan gravy
- Maple roasted brussels sprouts
- Kale caesar salad
- Best vegan mashed potatoes
Shop my kitchen:
I’m always asked what items I like to use in the kitchen. So, I’ve included my favourites for making this Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole below. You can also find more of my favourite kitchen essentials and products on my Shop page.
(commissions earned as an affiliate. I only recommend products I know and love).
Le Creuset Stoneware Rectangular Dish, 12.5 by 8.25-Inch, Cerise (Cherry Red)
This is the baking dish I’ve used to make the sweet potato casserole.
Not my exact hand blender but very similar. Used to mash the sweet potatoes. It’s well priced and nothing fancy. Alternatively you could use a classic potato masher.
So there we have it, an easy holiday side dish for your holiday gathering. It’s vegan, gluten-free and sweet as can be. Classic and comforting, everyone can get on board with this sweet and tasty side-dish, whether you’re vegan or not. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole (gluten-free & easy)
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 6 tbsp water
- pinch sea salt
- 8 sweet potatoes (about 4 lbs)
- 1/4 cup vegan butter melted
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp sea salt
For the pecan topping
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
- 1/4 cup vegan butter melted
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup almond meal
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch sea salt
- Make flax egg combining flax seeds with water. Mix well and let sit at least 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Peel and chop sweet potato into bite-sized cubes. Add to a large pot of boiling water and cook sweet potatoes for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Drain sweet potatoes and add back to pot. Add remaining ingredients: flax egg mixture, melted vegan butter, canned coconut milk, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Mash potatoes using a hand blender on pulse, or using a potato masher or a fork. Transfer to a baking dish (I used an 8x11 inch baking dish).
- Prepare your candied pecan topping: in a bowl combine pecans, melted vegan butter, coconut sugar, almond meal, cinnamon and sea salt. Mix to combine. Sprinkle overtop sweet potatoes in an even layer.
- Bake sweet potato casserole for 30 minutes, or until the nutty topping is golden brown and the sides are bubbling. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – WHEAT-FREE – GLUTEN-FREE – DAIRY-FREE – SOY-FREE – REFINED-SUGAR FREE