Vegan, Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole

An easy, healthy vegan, gluten-free sweet potato casserole that’s perfect for Thanksgiving! Lighter and more grown up than the traditional version, it features creamy, buttery mashed sweet potatoes topped with with a crunchy oat and nut topping.

If there’s one thing required at Thanksgiving, it’s a heated discussion about politics. And if there’s a second thing, it’s sweet potatoes. I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving table without some sort of sweet potatoes.

In my more youthful days, I used to make and scarf down the traditional sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. I suppose I did it because that was “traditional” or whatever, but then I realized that I don’t actually like marshmallows and that putting them on top of sweet potatoes was like drizzling maple syrup and chocolate syrup over spaghetti

Like most things in America, this “tradition” of making sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping has its origins in capitalism. In 1917, the Cracker Jack company published a booklet of recipes, including one for sweet potato marshmallow casserole, to encourage Americans to cook with marshmallows. Mind you, this was during World War I, when the federal government was using propaganda to encourage moderate food consumption, but apparently marshmallows were too tasty to be moderated. 

[I hope you enjoyed that brief historical detour and are ready to get back to sweet potatoes! If you need another detour, please go watch my video recipe for this casserole]. 

Rather than marshmallows (which are traditionally made with gelatin, i.e., the collagen from animals’ skin and bones), I like to top my casserole with a crunchy crumbly mixture made of delicious and natural ingredients like nuts, oats, and maple syrup.  

This recipe is one of the most simple ideas you can make for Thanksgiving, which is perfect because, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be running around like a madwoman on Thanksgiving. All you have to do is boil sweet potatoes and mash them up, top them with the crumbly mixture, and bake away. Oh, and in addition to being vegan, it’s also gluten-free, if that’s your thing. 

I hope you give it a try this holiday!  

Sweet Potato Casserole

Vegan, Gluten-Free

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (can substitute solid coconut oil)

  • ¼ cup canned coconut cream, refrigerated overnight

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Scant 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Crumble Topping

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats

  • 1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts + pecans

  • ½ cup almond meal or flour

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg

  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or vegan butter)

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 2 quart or 9×9 in casserole dish and set aside.

  2. Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes into large chunks and place in a large saucepan. Add cold water and bring to a boil, then gently boil for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain potatoes.

  3. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, break up the potatoes and begin to mash them. Add in the vegan butter and coconut cream and mix until smooth.

  4. Add in the vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix until all ingredients are incorporated and potatoes are creamy and smooth. Evenly spread the mashed sweet potatoes into the prepared casserole dish.

  5. To prepare the crumble topping, mix together in a small bowl the oats, walnuts, pecans almond meal, brown sugar, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then pour in the wet melted coconut oil and maple syrup and fold in with a spatula or wooden spoon.

  6. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the mashed sweet potatoes. You’ll likely have some leftover crumble. Store it in airtight container and enjoy as a granola.

  7. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until the sweet potato mixture starts to pull away from the edges of the pan and the topping is golden brown. Let the casserole to cool and solidify a little bit before serving.

 

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17 comments on Vegan, Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole

  1. Maneesha

    SOO DELICIOUS!! I made this for my husband’s Thanksgiving work potluck, and it was a hit!! So much healthier than the traditional sweet potato casserole, and so flavorful too! Thanks, Nisha!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Maneesha! That’s so nice to hear :) I am so happy it was a hit at your husband’s potluck. I love that it tastes indulgent but is still a lot healthier than the traditional :) Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!

  2. Joanne Simeon

    This sounds delicious! I’d like to make it for Thanksgiving this year. I will be feeding 13 adults. Will this recipe make enough for 13? I didn’t see how many people it serves. Thank you

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Joanne! Thanks for stopping by :) I think this more likely serves 8 people, pretty generously. If you are okay with each person having a small portion, it would be fine. But you could also double the recipe (it makes excellent leftovers if you have any). Or if math doesn’t scare you lol, you can increase it by 1.5 times and bake it in a larger 13×9 pan. If you want to do the latter option, you can feel free to email me and I can send you the revised measurements :)

  3. Sharayu Salvi

    Hi Nisha!I’m going to use this recipe for a potluck tonight. Wondering how I can cook down the sweet potatoes in the instant pot? I don’t have a large enough stove pot for them. And I don’t have an electric mixer so I want them to turn out really soft so I can mash them with my avocado masher thingy…

  4. Maria Koutsogiannis

    I am need to try this around the holidays! How beatiful, Nisha! Thanks for sharing hun!

    1. Nisha Vora

      thank you, Maria! It’s such a delicious recipe this time of year :)

  5. Gabriela Gonzalez

    Going to try it! Looks amazing.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thank you, Gabriela! I hope you love it!

  6. Bianca Zapatka

    I love this idea Nisha :-)Looks very delicious and nourishing!Such a great autumn meal :-)

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thank you very much, Bianca! It is nourishing yet decadent, my favorite kind of meals :)

  7. Anonymous

    Sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving is a wonderful idea! Definitely need to try making it as it looks super yummy :)

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thank you for stopping by, Ela! I hope you do, it’s so easy :)

  8. nadia

    Sweet potato casserole sounds amazing! Although I’m not very familiar with Thanksgiving food, I’m glad you’ve made a healthier, not topped with marshmallow, version. And the photography is beautiful as always :D

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thank you, Nadia! Haha yes, there is no need to spoil sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Thanks for the love :)

  9. Dee | Green Smoothie Gourmet

    Nisha! Your sweet potato casserole looks so easy and delicious, so perfect for Thanksgiving! And I love the crumble recipe, so versatile. Thank you for sharing ! Dee xx

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aww thank you, Dee! The crumble really is versatile – it makes such a delicious and indulgent granola :) And yes, the casserole couldn’t be easier!

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