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Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

Homemade vegan sweet potato casserole, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner!

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

Both vegans and non vegans will love this version of the classic Thanksgiving dish – and there’s one secret baking trick that makes all the difference.

Also Try This Vegan Cornbread Recipe

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

So What’s The Secret Baking Trick?

Most traditional sweet potato casserole recipes call for steaming the sweet potatoes separately, then piling on a ridiculous amount of butter and sugar—shockingly up to a full cup of sugar in some recipes—and baking the casserole in the oven.

I think this is a huge mistake not only because it’s disgustingly unhealthy, but because it completely wastes the natural sweetness and flavor of the actual sweet potatoes.

The problem with leaning on fat and sugar as a crutch in baking is something I’ve mentioned before in my Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe.

It’s not challenging to make anything taste good if you use enough sugar, oil, or butter; but at the same time, the flavor will be disappointingly nondescript.

This is especially unfortunate with something like sweet potato casserole because you have such an opportunity to take advantage of the vegetable’s ability to sweeten dishes naturally if cooked correctly. So that’s where the secret baking trick comes in:

DO NOT steam your sweet potatoes.

Leftover sweet potatoes? Make this Sweet Potato Salad

how to cook potatoes

Seriously, don’t steam them.

Instead, you want to bake them in the oven at high heat, bringing out their natural sugar as they magically caramelize into an irresistible candy-like indulgence.

Yes, when cooked correctly, sweet potatoes can taste like candy. I beg of you, don’t waste that opportunity by steaming them!

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Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole Homemade

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

This healthier take on traditional sweet potato casserole is the perfect plant-based side dish for any Thanksgiving dinner.

I made the recipe a few weeks ago for a Friendsgiving brunch and went home with an empty casserole dish.

Other dishes at the Friendsgiving included homemade cornbread, roasted brussels sprouts, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars, seitan roast with mushroom gravy, vegan stuffing, lentil dahl, baked nut loaf, pumpkin cookie dough dip, Butternut Squash Soup, and a three layer spice cake with vegan cream cheese frosting.

Pretty safe to say, no one missed the turkey one bit!

The Ultimate Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe For Thanksgiving

Also see: How To Cook Sweet Potatoes

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Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

This homemade vegan sweet potato casserole recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!
5/5 (11)
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 large or 5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice or coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 2 tbsp your choice: almond butter, tahini, oil, buttery spread, or omit for fat-free version
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
  • optional pinch nutmeg
  • 2-3 cups vegan marshmallows or top with vegan marshmallow fluff

Instructions

  • *To save time, you can bake the sweet potatoes the night before. Or bake them weeks in advance and freeze 3 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato to use in this recipe.
    Line a large pan with parchment. Make cuts with a knife into each sweet potato 8-10 times, going about a third of the way down with each cut. (If you’re curious, I explain more about why this is the best cooking method in the “how to cook sweet potatoes” link above.) Place potatoes on the pan, and place on the oven center rack. Only now, turn the oven to 480 F. Bake 30 minutes, then turn and continue to bake (10-40 more minutes, depending on size) until you can see some of the natural sugars spreading onto the paper, which means they are nice and caramelized. Measure a packed 3 1/2 cups of the sweet potato (skin removed) into a large bowl. Mash with remaining ingredients except marshmallows. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8 pan, and spread the potato filling into the pan. Top with marshmallows. (If using fluff, add it after baking instead.) Bake 20 minutes, or until filling is hot and marshmallows have browned. Serve hot. Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated 3-4 days.
    View Nutrition Facts

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5/5 (11)

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Published on November 15, 2018

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28 Comments

Leave a comment or reviewLeave a rating
  1. Deb-do says

    YES YES YES! I just bought sweet potatoes, and this looks perfecto! ? btw, do you think I could replace the sweet potato with pumpkin too? Like a pumpkin casserole haha

  2. Rachele says

    Thank you for sharing this timely recipe! I want to make a plant based sweet potato casserole with out all the butter and sugar we used to use… and this looks perfect (san marshmallows)! Thank you, Katie!

  3. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    Yes, this looks DELICIOUS! I love sweet potatoes and will be cooking sweet potato wedges for Thanksgiving. Might have to set aside a couple sweet potatoes to make a sweet potato casserole though–never had it many times so it’d be great!

  4. Michelle says

    This was really delicious! Taste and texture were fabulous. The tahini really adds to the flavor. The adults and teens loved this recipe, while the kids preferred the more traditional version. We will always offer both.

  5. Rebecca says

    This was a surprise hit at Thanksgiving! I’ve never been super fond of sweet potato casserole, but I was invited to a dinner with a few vegetarians and one person with food sensitivities so this seemed like a good option. People raved about it!
    I used almond butter, almond milk, and maple syrup. I recommend using pretty similarly sized potatoes so they bake evenly. This was my first time using vegan marshmallows. They taste identical but have a very slightly different texture. It did take mine longer than 20 minutes in the oven to get all toasty.

  6. Laura says

    I made this for Thanksgiving with my family. It was delicious!! I did not miss the extra sugar at all. I thought it was almost like dessert. Yummy! Thank you for the recipe. Only change I made was using regular marshmallows.

  7. Maureen says

    I made this for Thanksgiving because my Mom’s recipe has ingredients in it that I cannot eat due to food intolerances and I didn’t want to deprive the rest of the family. I used maple syrup as the sweetener and melted coconut oil as the fat and it was so good I could have skipped the rest of the meal and just eaten the sweet potatoes. My 10 year-old who I haven’t been able to get to eat sweet potatoes since she was 2 loved them!!

  8. Jessica says

    Suppose someone already put the sweet potatoes in the instant pot, how much sugar and spices do you think would compensate?

  9. Liz says

    Am I supposed to not even turn on the oven until the potatoes are in there? I preheated and maybe that wasn’t what I was supposed to do…

  10. Cynthia says

    We made this for Thanksgiving and followed the recipe as posted and it was delicious! We also followed the cooking instructions for the sweet potatoes and are so happy to discover a way to bring out the natural sweetness. This recipe is definitely a keeper, thanks for sharing!

  11. Chelsea says

    This was amazing! I even cut down on the sugar and it tasted so good because roasting the potatoes brought out so much natural sugary goodness. This is our new Thanksgiving SPC recipe!

  12. Yocheved says

    I made these last year, and they were amazing! Quick question – can I bake these in cupcake holders? Kind of like sweet potato casserole cups.

    Thanks and happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Care says

    Glad to find this recipes few weeks ago and saved it! Made the dish and ready for Thanksgiving! Came out good! Definitely making it again!

  14. Kendra says

    I made this the second thanksgiving in a row and it was delicious! It’s also simple and easy which is a plus. I will likely be making it again next year, if not before!!

  15. Daira says

    I never write recipe reviews, but this was so delicious that I had to comment. We used coconut creamer from Trader Joe’s in the recipe and it was absolutely, beyond far, the best sweet potato casserole I have ever made. I think it was the surprise star of our Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you!

  16. Em says

    I was so excited to find this yummy looking easy vegan recipe. I made this this year and it was my omnivore partner’s introduction to sweet potato casserole ( with marshmallows). We both loved it – it turned out so deliciously!

  17. Charlee says

    When I was a kid, this was my favorite part of holiday dinners… turns out its all because sweet potatoes are seriously addicting, now I prefer making a sweet potato pecan crumble — topped with chopped lightly blended pecans and brown sugar/maple syrup, and some butter/ coconut oil. I also like to us an immersion blender to reduce fibrous texture of the sweet potatoes and make the contrast more delectable… Now I’m just wondering if I can hide some beans in it to give it a protein boost!

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