This vegan sweet potato casserole with caramelized pecans will be the star of the show at your Thanksgiving gathering! Each bite of the creamy sweet potatoes with the crunchy, melt-in-your mouth caramelized pecan topping will have you seeking out seconds before they're gone.
Since I was a young, this was my favorite dish of all time on Thanksgiving day (and for the leftovers days after). My mom always made a double batch because I would eat the whole thing in one sitting if I could (haha!).
This is a vegan version of the traditional sweet potato casserole and your guests will have no idea it's vegan! It has all the classic flavors including the creamy, buttery sweet potatoes and the nutty pecan crumble topping.
There is no better perfect side dish for Thanksgiving than this! This is the best vegan sweet potato casserole recipe you will find out there.
Looking for more Thanksgiving dishes? Try out my Roasted carrots & asparagus with lemon & thyme or my Fall Farro Salad with butternut squash! Serve this casserole with a delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Cornbread.
- Sweet potatoes: In this recipe I used three large sweet potatoes, but these can vary in size so much so I recommend weighing them out. This was equivalent to 2 pounds of sweet potato, or 7-8 cups chopped.
- Non-dairy milk: You can use whatever version you prefer such as soy milk or almond milk. I don't recommend coconut milk as this has a stronger flavor. You can consider choosing a sweetened version if you prefer but this recipe already adds a lot of other sweeteners so it's not necessary.
- Vegan butter: I recommend using stick butter, not margarine (tub butter). I love the Country Crock Plant-Butter or Earth Balance. 🔄 You can also try coconut oil if that that is all you have, but it may give it a slight coconut flavor unless you use refined coconut oil (which has less coconut-y flavor).
- Pumpkin pie spice: I prefer this over just cinnamon because it adds more flavor to this fall dish. It is a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. If you don't have access to this you can also just use cinnamon.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
Step 1: Peel & Chop Sweet Potatoes
Wash and dry your sweet potato. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin.
Chop into large cubes (no need to be that precise with this).
Step 2: Boil Sweet Potatoes
Add your sweet potatoes to a large pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt.
Boil for ~15 minutes until fork tender. Check them a few minutes early for doneness.
Step 3: Mash/Blend Sweet Potatoes
In a large bowl, add your drained sweet potatoes.
Now you have two options: use a potato masher or immersion blender.
I prefer the immersion blender as its quicker and takes less effort. It also tends to get rid of large chunks than the regular potato masher.
Mash or blend your potatoes until smooth or desired consistency.
Step 4: Mix Sweet Potatoes
Add in non-dairy milk, brown sugar, melted vegan butter, vanilla, salt, and pumpkin pie spice to the sweet potato mixture. Mix well until combined.
Step 5: Prepare Crumble Topping
At this time begin to preheat oven to 325 F.
In small bowl, add brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon. Mix well. Then add in cold butter slices and using a pastry cutter or fork, press butter until its in small pieces and incorporated in the flour/brown sugar mix. Add in chopped pecans and a dash of maple syrup (optional for maple flavor) and mix until combined.
Step 6: Prepare Casserole
In a 9x13 baking dish, add in sweet potato mash and smooth evenly with a spoon. Sprinkle over pecan mix.
Bake vegan sweet potato casserole for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown.
▶︎Tip: Let vegan sweet potato casserole cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
You can prepare most of the components of this recipe ahead of time. You can cook and mash your sweet potatoes, mix with the milk and other sweeteners, and place in the casserole dish covered for 1-2 days. I don't recommend adding the pecan mixture until just before baking.
You can do it three ways: with a potato masher, a fork, or an immersion blender. I personally think the immersion blender gets the creamiest texture and is the easiest to use. If you like your casserole with texture of sweet potato in it, consider mashing it by hand and you will have a few lumps.
While using fresh sweet potatoes is recommended for the best flavor and texture, you can use canned sweet potatoes in a pinch. Be sure to drain and rinse them before mashing, and adjust any liquid measurements in your recipe accordingly.
Yes, you can easily make a gluten-free sweet potato casserole by using gluten-free flours or oats for the topping.
Store leftovers in the original casserole dish covered or in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat leftover sweet potato casserole in the oven at a low to moderate temperature (around 325°F or 165°C) until heated through. This helps maintain the texture and prevent burning.
- In vegan sweet potato casserole we use 3 large sweet potatoes which can vary greatly in size. I recommend weighing your sweet potatoes if possible to keep measurements more accurate. In this recipe I use 2 lbs of sweet potatoes.
- For a great fall flavor in this dish, I recommend pumpkin pie spice instead of just cinnamon. Pumpkin pie spice is a common spice found at most grocery stores which includes cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. If you don't have access to this, you can use just regular cinnamon in its place!
- If you want a healthy sweet potato casserole, decrease the amount of butter and sugar by half.
- I recommend cooking in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Cooking time varies more metal with metal as it will reach its temperature much faster and may burn your casserole.
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Vegan Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole with Caramelized Pecans
Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 large sweet potatoes (~ 2 pounds)* peeled and chopped - See note
- ⅓ cup non-dairy milk unsweetened (such as almond or soy)
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice* See note
- 1 cup halved or chopped pecans
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon vegan butter cold (solid), sliced or cubed
- 1 tbsp maple syrup optional
- pinch salt
- pinch pumpkin pie spice
Peel & Chop Sweet Potatoes
- Wash and dry your sweet potato. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin.3 large sweet potatoes (~ 2 pounds)*
- Chop into large cubes (no need to be that precise with this).
Boil Sweet Potatoes
- Add your sweet potatoes to a large pot of boiling water.
- Boil for ~15 minutes until fork tender. Check them a few minutes early for doneness.
Mash/Blend Sweet Potatoes
- In a large bowl, add your drained sweet potatoes.
- Now you have two options: use a potato masher or immersion blender.
- I prefer the immersion blender as its quicker and takes less effort. It also tends to get rid of more lumps than the regular potato masher.
- Mash or blend your potatoes until smooth or desired consistency.
Mix Sweet Potatoes
- Add in non-dairy milk, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, and pumpkin pie spice to the sweet potato mixture. Mix well until combined.⅓ cup non-dairy milk, ⅓ cup packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoon vegan butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
Prep Pecan Topping
- At this time begin to preheat oven to 325 F.
- In small bowl, add brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon. Mix well. Then add in cold butter slices and using a pastry cutter or fork, press butter until its in small pieces and incorporated in the flour/brown sugar mix. Add in chopped or halved pecans and maple syrup (optional) and mix until combined.1 cup halved or chopped pecans, ½ cup packed brown sugar, ⅓ cup all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoon vegan butter, pinch salt, pinch pumpkin pie spice, 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- In a 9x13 baking dish, add in sweet potato mix and smooth evenly with a spoon. Sprinkle over pecan mix.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cooking time may vary based on the oven so you may need slightly longer to achieve that crisp topping.
- Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes before servings. Enjoy!