Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Gluten-Free Pecan Crumble
This Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Gluten-Free Pecan Crumble recipe is the best sweet potato casserole ever! It’s made with fresh yams and coconut sugar for subtle sweetness. With a crispy gluten-free pecan crumble topping, you’ll definitely be serving yourself seconds. It’s easy to make the day of, or can be prepared in advance for an easy make-ahead holiday side dish.
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Are you a fan of sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving?? Usually, folks are either all-in on sweet potato casserole, or they’re all out. There’s not a lot of “kinda like it” people. Usually, I’m on the all-out side.
On my Thanksgiving plate, I like everything to be able to go well together, and the sweet potato casserole at my family’s Thanksgiving is just too sweet to play well with the stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and other Thanksgiving goodies I love so much. I know a lot of you are used to the marshmallow-topped sweet potato casseroles, which are always sweet, or you’re used to a version similar to my family’s, with a crunchy pecan topping.
This recipe is based off of my grandma’s recipe, that she’s been making for as long as I can remember. She sent me a picture of her recipe. It included 1 1/2 cups of sugar (not including the yams packed in sugar-syrup) and 1 cup of butter. Let’s just say I lightened things up a bit.
Either way, most recipes call for a TON of sugar and butter. That leaves the dish feeling more like dessert than dinner. I originally wasn’t planning to include a Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole in my Gluten-Free Vegan Thanksgiving Menu. However my mom insisted, and on Instagram, there was EXCITEMENT about the idea. So, I got to work, and this one is a WINNER!
How to make this Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble:
Peel & cook the sweet potatoes: my grandma always used canned yams for this dish, however, the only ones I can find are packed in sugar syrup. We want to control the sweetness in this dish, so we start by peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes and then boiling in water until softened. It’s a bit of extra work, but worth it for this dish. Once they’re fork-tender, drain and place them in a large mixing bowl.
Make the filling: Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Then, add two flax eggs. Real eggs could be used as well if you’re looking to keep things dairy-free but don’t need to be vegan. Also add in the vegan butter, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Mash together well, and then spread into your casserole dish and set aside. If you prefer a smoother filling, you can use a hand-held mixer to get things super-smooth.
Make the gluten-free pecan crumble: this is equally easy to make. Mix together chopped pecans, gluten-free flour of your choice, coconut sugar, vegan butter, plus a dash of cinnamon and sprinkle of salt. For the flour, I used oat flour in my testing, but almond flour would also work to keep things grain-free and paleo-friendly. I bet an all-purpose gluten-free flour would work well here, too.
Add the topping: sprinkle it over your vegan sweet potato mash and you’re ready to bake until the pecan crumble is crisp, golden, and ready for the holiday table. You can also make this ahead of time – see below for instructions!
Can this be made ahead of time?
YES! Absolutely. This is one of my favorite recipes to prepare ahead of time because it keeps so well.
To make ahead: you can prepare this day 1-2 days ahead of time. I prefer making it entirely except for the baking and keep it covered in foil in the refrigerator until I’m ready to cook it up. When you’re ready to bake, simply follow the same cooking instructions listed below.
Storing leftovers: this dish can be kept covered in the refrigerator for about five days.
This Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble is perfect for your gluten-free vegan thanksgiving meal. This recipe has officially turned me into a sweet potato casserole lover, because it pairs so beautifully with the rest of your Thanksgiving plate, without the overwhelming sweetness, but all of the delicious flavor. I hope this makes its way onto your holiday table this year!
FOR THE REST OF YOUR THANKSGIVING MENU:
- Autumn Kale Harvest Salad with Apple Cider Vinagrette
- Refined Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce
- Vegan Broccoli Gratin
- 20 Gluten-Free Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts
Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings
This Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble recipe is the best sweet potato casserole ever! It’s made with fresh yams and coconut sugar for subtle sweetness that pairs perfectly with the rest of your holiday meal. With a crispy gluten-free pecan crumble topping, you’ll definitely be serving yourself seconds. It’s easy to make the day of, or can be prepared in advance for an easy make-ahead holiday side dish.
For the Sweet Potato Mash
About 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 flax eggs (see Notes)
⅓ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
For the Pecan Topping
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup almond or oat flour
¼ cup coconut sugar
½ cup (1 stick) vegan butter, softened and cut into cubes
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, optional
Pinch of salt
For the Sweet Potato Mash
- Add your sweet potatoes to a large pot and just barely cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until fork-tender, about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of your cut potatoes.
- Once they’re tender, drain the potatoes and add them into a large mixing bowl.
- Let cool slightly, and then mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
- Add in the flax eggs, coconut sugar, vegan butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until well combined, mashed to your liking, and the butter has fully melted and incorporated.
- Spread the sweet potato mash into a lightly greased casserole dish. Mine was around 8″x11″, but anything around that size will work well. Set aside while you prepare the pecan crumble topping.
For the Pecan Topping
- In a mixing bowl, combine the pecans, flour, coconut sugar, vegan butter, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together until well combined and crumbly.
- If it doesn’t seem crumbly enough, place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to firm up the butter.
- Sprinkle evenly on top of the sweet potato mash.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes until the top is crispy and browned.
For the flax eggs: combine two tablespoons flax meal with ⅓ cup water. Whisk together and let gel for 5 to 10 minutes until thickened before using.
To make ahead: Prepare the dish right up until baking, and then cover with foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to bake, remove the foil and bake as directed above. It’s perfect to make ahead of time to reduce stress on Thanksgiving!
To store leftovers: Keep tightly wrapped in foil in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keywords: thanksgiving, gluten-free, vegan, pecan crumble, sweet potato casserole
I made it and it’s so yummy and something I can eat! and my husband with no dietary restrictions approves
So glad you love it Katelyn!! :D
This recipe is great! I made it last year and everyone loved it. It reheats well too! 10/10 recommend
So glad you loved it, Taylor!
Would I be able to use regular butter or coconut oil instead of vegan butter? Would the measurement be the same?
Yes absolutely, either will work and the amount stays the same.
I am out of flax meal. Would it be ok to omit?
It definitely helps thicken things up, so the filling will be softer without it, but it should be okay! If you’re not vegan, 2 eggs will do the trick or you could use another egg replacer.