Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Oat Crumble – the perfect side dish for your holiday table. Easy to make, lots of flavor and gluten-free friendly too. The whole family will love this!
Post updated with some more instructions and new photos 2019. Originally published November 2017. Same delicious recipe!
As I sit down to update and re-write some of this post, I’m smiling at the memories I had back in November 2017 – when this post was originally published.
Both my sisters were engaged, and one of my best friends… I didn’t know what was coming a year from then with two weddings in October and another in December. Not to mention all of the showers and bachelorettes… re: lots of alcohol and dancing.
Note: I’ve been updating and changing how the content is written on the site so there’s a lot less personal chatter in each post. If you want more personal posts, let me know and I’ll add them in separately via “coffee chat” format!
But we’re here to talk about one of my personal favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) side dishes: Sweet Potato Casserole! That just so happens to be healthy, vegan and gluten free friendly.
The Best Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole for the Holidays
I think back to the first time I made this recipe a few years ago now and I believe it was inspired by Brittany’s recipe. Up until that point, I hadn’t made a sweet potato casserole with an oat crumble topping. We only served it with a marshmallow topping at my family’s Thanksgiving, but it was always way too sweet for me – more of a dessert, you know?
Well I gave myself the task of health-ifying the sweet potato casserole and now it’s one of my favorite dishes!
Ingredients Needed for Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- sweet potatoes – There are a variety of sweet potatoes out there but for this dish, use orange sweet potatoes for the classic taste and texture.
- coconut oil – used in place of butter to keep this recipe vegan. However, you can use butter or vegan-friendly butter too.
- non-dairy milk – your choice here! Use oat milk if looking for a nut-free recipe
- maple syrup – the sweetener of choice here. Only a quarter cup in the sweet potato filling. No need for all of the added white sugar here.
- vanilla – for a little flavor .
- oats – for the best crunchy oat topping ever! Trust me, you won’t miss the marshmallows.
- pecans – Pecans are a great addition to the oat topping but you can always omit if you need a nut-free recipe.
- brown sugar – Or coconut sugar works too.
- cinnamon & nutmeg – always gotta add a little spice
- salt – flavor enhancer
How to Make this easy Sweet Potato Casserole
Step 1 – Cook Sweet Potatoes
BOIL METHOD: Cut the potatoes (with the skins on) into large chunks, and then let them boil until soft – about 20-30 minutes. Drain pot, then rinse the sweet potatoes under some cold water and gently peel the skins off.
BAKE METHOD: Poke holes in the sweet potatoes and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in oven at 400ºF for about 1 hour (check at 45 minutes.) Sweet potatoes are done when soft.
Allow to cool before peeling
INSTANT POT METHOD: Place steamer basket in pot and add 1 cup of water. Place whole sweet potatoes (layering as needed) in pot, close lid and set valve to sealing position. Set to “Manual” and cook on high pressure for 17 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes.
Rinse under cold water and peel skins.
Step 2 – Prepare the Sweet Potato Filling
COMBINE: In a large bowl using hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine cooked sweet potatoes, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and milk.
You can also use a potato masher here.
In regards to texture of the mashed sweet potatoes, I like to keep some texture. Mix and/or mash to your liking.
Step 3 – Prepare the Crumble
Make the pecan oat crumble by mixing everything into a medium bowl. Now it’s time to assemble!
Step 4 – Assemble the Casserole
Add the sweet potato mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish and add the pecan crumble topping, adding whole pecans if you’d like.
BAKE: Bake casserole for about 45 minutes until crumble is golden and let rest for 15 minutes or so before serving.
Even though this healthy sweet potato casserole is one of those dishes you typically see served around the holidays, I could totally eat this year round… Anyone else?!
How to Store Sweet Potato Casserole
MAKING AHEAD: To make this recipe ahead, prepare the filling and add to casserole dish, cover and refrigerate overnight. You can make the crumble the day of, add to dish and bake as directed. Allow the casserole dish to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.
STORING AND REHEATING: Cover leftovers with lid and store in fridge. Reheat using your desired method (I just use the microwave). Leftovers are actually great on toast, yogurt bowls and pancakes!
If you make this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment and review! I love hearing from you and it helps others learn about the recipe too. XX Ashley
- 4–5 large sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 TBS coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, room temperature (canned coconut milk will provide richer texture but any milk works)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pecan Oat Crumble
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup 1:1 gluten-free flour, whole wheat white flour, or all-purpose (almond meal will also likely work)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup coconut or brown sugar
- 6 TBS softened coconut oil*
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
- Cut sweet potatoes in large chunks (I left skins on) and place in large pot of water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes then reduce to simmer about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender – check with fork. Drain and rinse with cold water. Peel skins once potatoes have cooled.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease/spray large casserole dish or 9×13 pan; set aside.
- Place peeled sweet potatoes in bowl of stand mixer with maple syrup, melted & cooled oil, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Use paddle attachment to gently combine. Keep some texture with the potatoes, but you want the mixture fairly smooth. You can also do this by hand using a potato masher.
- Transfer sweet potato mixture into prepared casserole dish; set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine ingredients for crumble: oats, flour, pecans, sugar, softened coconut oil, cinnamon and nutmeg. Use fork to combine or hands to mix together at end, leaving chunks.
- Sprinkle pecan oat crumble on top of sweet potato mixture, pressing gently into mixture.
- Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes, until crumble is slightly golden. Allow casserole to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
*can use softened butter if not vegan/dairy-free
Other methods for preparing sweet potatoes
BAKE METHOD: Poke holes in the sweet potatoes and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in oven at 400ºF for about 1 hour (check at 45 minutes.) Sweet potatoes are done when soft. Allow to cool before peeling
INSTANT POT METHOD: Place steamer basket in pot and add 1 cup of water. Place whole sweet potatoes (layering as needed) in pot, close lid and set valve to sealing position. Set to “Manual” and cook on high pressure for 17 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water and peel skins.
- Serving Size: 1/12th
- Calories: 252
- Sugar: 15g
- Sodium: 47mg
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 34g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 3g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
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