This healthy vegan sweet potato casserole is easy to make with simple ingredients like oats and pecans and makes the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This recipe is oil-free, gluten-free, plant-based and refined sugar-free.

A spoon scooping sweet potato casserole out of a baking dish.

Who doesn’t love sweet potato casserole? With a fluffy, creamy bed of sweet potato sitting under crumbly pecan and oat topping, what’s not to love!

Whether it’s a part of your Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter feast, you’ll love this healthier version of the classic side dish.

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Casserole

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make this lightened up sweet potato casserole:

  1. Sweet potatoes. You’ll need 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes – or about 3 pounds (1300 g) worth. We’ll be baking them in the oven so there’s no need to peel and cube them.
  2. Maple syrup. Traditional sweet potato casserole is made with a whole lotta sugar. This version uses just a small amount of maple syrup to sweeten the recipe, keeping it refined sugar-free.
  3. Pecans. Pecans are slightly sweet and go wonderfully with the other flavours.
  4. Rolled oats. We’ll be using whole rolled oats as well as blending up some oat flour so there is no need to any other flour in this recipe.

That’s basically it! The recipe also calls for some pantry items like cinnamon, salt and vanilla.

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

This healthy, dairy-free casserole is easy to make with just a handful of everyday ingredients. Let’s go over the steps to make it.

Step 1. Prepare the sweet potato filling.

First we need to roast the sweet potatoes.

I think roasting the sweet potato gives them the best flavour since they caramelize a little as they bake. All you need to do is slice them in half lengthwise and roast cut-side down on a baking tray. They should be ready in 30-45 minutes, depending on size.

Sweet potatoes cut in half and placed face down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Roasted sweet potato on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Remove the Skins

Once they’re nice and tender, remove them from the oven and let them sit for 5-6 minutes until they’re cool enough to pull the skins off. The great thing about this method is the skin easily pops right off after roasting. No need to peel!

Mash or Blend the Sweet Potato

Next, it’s time to mash…or blend! Mashing right in the baking dish is the quickest and easiest method but for ultra-creamy filling, transfer the sweet potato to a large mixing bowl and puree with an immersion blender or electric mixer.

Roasted sweet potato with the skin removed on a baking tray.
Mashed sweet potato with maple syrup in a baking dish.

Step 2. Prepare the Oat Pecan Topping

To make the oat pecan topping, we’ll use a combination of oat flour, oats and pecans. No oat flour? No problem! A quick blitz of rolled oats in a food processor blender and you’ve got yourself some homemade oat flour.

Once you’ve blended up the oat flour – either add the rest of the topping ingredients and pulse to combine or chop the pecans and add everything to a bowl and mix.

Oat flour and pecans in a food processor.
Pecan and oat crumble topping in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

Step 3. Bake the casserole.

Finally, sprinkle the topping over the mashed sweet potato and bake until golden brown. Yum!

Pecan and oat sweet potato casserole in a baking dish.

Do I have to use vegan butter or oil?

No. You can omit this ingredient to make the recipe oil-free. Without the oil or butter, the topping is a little softer and not as crispy but it still taste great!

Can this recipe be made in advance?

Yes, this recipe can be made up to 1 day in advance. Simply prepare the casserole then wait to bake it until you’re ready to eat.

Pecan and oat sweet potato casserole in a baking dish.
Pecan and oat vegan sweet potato casserole in a baking dish.
A serving spoon scooping out healthy vegan sweet potato casserole from a baking dish.

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

If you love sweet potato casserole, you’ll love this healthy twist on the classic side dish. It’s made without butter, flour or refined sugar and is completely vegan and gluten-free, but no one will ever know it’s made with healthier ingredients!

The recipe can also be made oil-free, see the recipe notes below for omitting the oil or butter.

More Thanksgiving Recipes

Pair this sweet potato casserole with these other dishes for a complete Thanksgiving feast!

For an alternative sweet potato recipe, try my coconut mashed sweet potato with candied pecans.

Print
A spoon scooping sweet potato casserole out of a baking dish.

Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Vegan

This healthier version of classic sweet potato casserole is made with wholesome ingredients like maple syrup, oats and pecans. Serve this side dish with other holiday favourites for a complete feast.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Sweet Potato Filling

For the Oat Pecan Crumble


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise and place cut-side down on a baking tray.
  3. Bake for 35-45 minutes until very tender. 
  4. Let them cool for 6-7 minutes on the tray then remove the skins. The skins should peel off very easily.
  5. While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the oat pecan topping. Blend 1/2 cup of the oats into fine oat flour using a food processor. Add the rest of the topping ingredients and pulse to combine into a crumbly mixture.
  6. Transfer the peeled, cooked sweet potato to a baking dish and mash with a potato masher. Stir in the rest of the filling ingredients. Alternatively, for extra creamy filling, add the cooked sweet potato to a large mixing bowl and mix with an immersion blender or hand-held electric mixer, blending in the rest of the filling ingredients.
  7. Spread the sweet potato filling in an approximately 8×8 inch baking dish or a 1.5-2 qt. oven-safe casserole dish.
  8. Sprinkle the oat pecan topping evenly overtop.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. 
  10. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 day.

Notes

For an oil-free recipe, the vegan butter or coconut oil can be omitted. The topping will be softer without it but I’ve made it both ways and it will still taste great.

If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender or immersion blender to make the oat flour then transfer it to a bowl. Finely chop the pecans. Add the chopped pecans and the rest of the topping ingredients and stir to combine. If you don’t have any method to blend the oat flour, use 1/3 cup whole wheat flour and 1/3 cup rolled oats instead of 3/4 cup total rolled oats. 

Keywords: healthy, easy, best, refined sugar-free, oil-free