Make the best vegan sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving! It has just the right amount of sweetness, an irresistibly creamy flavor, and a delicious crisp cinnamon pecan streusel topping. This sweet and savory side dish tastes like dessert.
A Thanksgiving spread just isn't complete without a delicious sweet potato casserole. And this sweet potato casserole is the best I've ever had -- and it also happens to be vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and is so easy to make!
It's the perfect balance of sweet and savory. creamy and crispy, and so much flavor in every single bite. And I’m addicted to the crisp, cinnamon pecan streusel topping made with almond flour, old-fashioned rolled oats, and plenty of chopped pecans.
What you'll need
To make the casserole, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Almond milk
- Almond flour
- Raw pecans
- Old-fashioned rolled oats
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Sea salt
How to make a vegan sweet potato casserole
1. Cook the sweet potatoes: In a large pot, pour enough water to cover an inch of the base. Insert steamer basket and place the chunks of sweet potato on top. Cover with lid and cook on medium heat until potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
2. Preheat Oven: While the potatoes are steaming, preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the baking dish and set aside.
3. Prepare the filling In a medium-sized bowl, add the steamed sweet potatoes and mash using a hand mixer, food processor, or potato masher.
Add almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix until well combined. Adjust seasoning and sweetness, if needed. Set aside.
4. Prepare the topping: In another medium-sized bowl, combine the chopped pecans, rolled oats, almond flour, brown sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
5. Assemble the casserole: Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the sweet potato mixture in baking dish.
5. Bake the Casserole: Bake in preheated until the topping is a golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Even though the ingredients are very similar to a pie, sweet potato casserole is usually served as a side dish.
Prepare ahead of time
Here are a few different ways to make this recipe ahead of time:
Prepare the filling without adding the pecan topping up to a week ahead. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. Place topping on the casserole and bake on Thanksgiving Day.
Prepare the entire casserole the night before. Cover and refrigerate overnight to make Thanksgiving a little easier. Reheat in the oven the next day.
To Store: Store any remaining leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days. While it can be enjoyed cold, I think it tastes best warmed up a little, either in the oven or microwave.
To Freeze: Divide into servings and store each in a freezer-safe container. When ready to enjoy, thaw and warm up. Note that the flavor of sweet potatoes will start to decline after about one month in the freezer.
Substitutions and variations
Roast the sweet potatoes: Instead of steaming the sweet potatoes, roast them instead for a deeper flavor. Peel, dice, and toss the sweet potatoes in some oil. Roasted until the sweet potatoes are cooked through. Then mash and continue with the rest of the directions.
Make it nut-free: either prepare the topping without the pecans or replace the topping with a light sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. Even without nuts, it's delicious.
Replace pecans with another nut: if you can't eat pecans, substitute with chopped almonds instead. Add shredded coconut for even more flavor!
Use maple syrup instead of brown sugar: If you prefer a natural sweetener, simply swap out the brown sugar with maple syrup. Start with about half the amount and add more, if needed.
Replace the coconut oil: Use a vegan butter or another type of oil.
More Thanksgiving recipes
- Vegan Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Vegan Collard Greens
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Apple Spinach Salad
- Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
Other sweet potato recipes
Did you make this vegan sweet potato casserole recipe? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out! Save this easy Thanksgiving recipe for later by pinning to your favorite Thanksgiving Pinterest board and be sure to tag me on Real + Vibrant’s Instagram to show me your delicious dish!
Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published on November 4, 2019. Since then, it’s been freshened up with new pictures and more details to help you make the recipe.
For the casserole:
- 2 ½ lbs sweet potatoes, about 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
- ¾ cup almond milk
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the topping:
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- ⅓ cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- In a large pot, pour enough water to cover an inch of the base. Insert steamer basket and place the chunks of potatoes on top. Cover the pot and cook on medium-high heat until potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mass the steamed sweet potatoes. Stir in almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Adjust seasoning and sweetness, if needed. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and spread into an even layer. Set aside.
- In another medium-sized bowl, combine the chopped pecans, rolled oats, almond flour, brown sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the sweet potato mixture in baking dish.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through and the topping is a golden brown.