Sweet Potato Casserole

Without question, this is the best sweet potato casserole recipe I've had! A nutty pecan topping covers a creamy ginger-spiced layer of sweet potatoes.

Sweet potato casserole

Growing up, I only had sweet potatoes once a year at Thanksgiving, where they were layered into a sweet potato casserole loaded with mini marshmallows. For years, I thought I didn’t like sweet potatoes. But if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I actually love sweet potatoes. What I don’t like are marshmallows. In my opinion, sweet potatoes are sweet enough on their own, so why make them sweeter, especially in a dinner side dish?

Since sweet potatoes are one of my favorite fall veggies, I’ve always wanted to make a vegan sweet potato casserole recipe that I’d enjoy at Thanksgiving dinner. This seemed like the perfect time to take on the challenge. And guess what? I liked it so much that I ate the leftovers for breakfast!

Whatever your opinion on traditional sweet potato casserole, you have to try this recipe. I make a simple, creamy filling that really lets the sweet potatoes shine. Then, instead of covering it with a marshmallow topping, I sprinkle it with a savory blend of chopped pecans, walnuts, and herbs. The toasty, nutty topping offers a delicious crunchy contrast to the velvety sweet potato mixture, and the cozy herbs make it perfect for fall.

Healthy sweet potato casserole recipe ingredients

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Ingredients

And the best part? This easy sweet potato casserole recipe comes together with basic pantry ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Sweet potatoes, of course! I blend them with almond milk to make the filling nice and smooth.
  • Pecans and walnuts – I pulse some into the crumble topping and leave a few whole for garnish.
  • Old fashioned oats – Along with the nuts, they give the crumble topping plenty of hearty texture.
  • Ginger – It adds a refreshing kick to the creamy sweet potato filling.
  • Fresh rosemary, sage, and dried thyme – If I’m cooking with sweet potatoes in the fall, chances are, I’m using rosemary, sage, and thyme as well. They’re the perfect autumn flavor combination.
  • Garlic – Along with the herbs, garlic is key for giving this sweet potato casserole its delicious savory taste.
  • Pure maple syrup – It adds a touch of sweetness to the nutty topping. I may not love sweet potatoes and marshmallows, but sweet potatoes and maple are a combination I can get behind.

Pecans, walnuts, oats, and herbs in a food processor

Just grab some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you’re good to go!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Pecan topping in a food processor

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

This easy sweet potato casserole recipe has 4 basic steps:

1. First, roast the sweet potatoes. You can find my best tips on baking sweet potatoes here!

Sweet potatoes in a food processor

2. While the sweet potatoes are baking, make the pecan topping. Pulse the nuts, oats, herbs, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor until just combined. The mixture should clump a bit, but it should still have lots of texture.

Sweet potato casserole filling in a food processor

3. Then, blend up the filling. Instead of using a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes, I use a food processor to get them super smooth. Peel the cooked sweet potatoes, and blend the soft flesh with almond milk, olive oil, ground ginger, and salt.

Sweet potatoes in a casserole dish

4. Layer and bake! Spread the creamy sweet potato mixture at the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle it with the crumble topping, and add a few whole pecans and sage leaves for garnish. Then, bake at 425° until the topping is nicely browned and crisp, and enjoy!

Sweet potatoes in a baking dish Hand sprinkling pecan topping over sweet potatoes Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Tips

  • Bake your sweet potatoes until they’re super tender. You want the filling of this casserole to be luscious and creamy, without any chunks. Make sure that a fork can easily slide through the potatoes when you take them out of the oven. This way, they’ll blend into a perfectly smooth puree.
  • Save some whole nuts for garnish! The best bites of this casserole combine creamy sweet potato with big, toasty nuts. When you blend up the crumble, reserve a few whole nuts to dot on top. You’ll thank yourself later.
  • Make it ahead. Like all great Thanksgiving recipes, this healthy sweet potato casserole is easy to prep ahead of time. You can do almost everything a day or two before your feast: blend up the sweet potato filling, pulse together the crumble topping, and store them in separate containers in the fridge. Right before serving, sprinkle the crumble over the filling, and bake! (If you bake the entire casserole ahead of time, the topping will lose its crispness in the fridge.)

Easy Sweet potato casserole recipe

Serving Suggestions

This sweet potato casserole would be a wonderful addition to any autumn dinner, but it’s especially at home at Thanksgiving. Serve it alongside stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, homemade mac and cheese, or any of these delicious side dishes:

For more favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, check out this post. And don’t forget the pumpkin pie (or apple crumble) for dessert!

Sweet potato casserole with pecans

Crazy for sweet potatoes? Try one of these tasty recipes next:

Sweet Potato Casserole

rate this recipe:
4.89 from 26 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Serves 6 to 8
You'll love this healthy sweet potato casserole recipe! To make it ahead, prep the topping and filling separately. Then, assemble and bake when you're ready to eat.

Ingredients

  • 5 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk, more if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves

Crumble Topping

  • 2/3 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, more for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush an 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
  • Use a fork to poke a few holes into the sweet potatoes. Place on the baking sheet and roast until very tender, about 60 minutes.
  • Make the crumble topping: In a food processor, place the oats, pecans, walnuts, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pulse until just combined. Remove and set aside.
  • Scoop the cooked sweet potato flesh out of the skins and place in a food processor. Add the olive oil, almond milk, ginger, salt, and pepper and process to combine. Spread the mixture into the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with the crumble topping, additional nuts, and sage. Drizzle with olive oil and bake 20 minutes or until the topping is browned and crisp.

This post is in partnership with ALDI.

56 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Brenda
    02.27.2022

    4 stars
    I made this for a dinner party last night and it was very good. The only changes I’d suggest include: a large stand mixer with a metal beater (since I don’t have a food processor), a little less salt in the crumble (I put in 1 tsp instead of 1 1/2, and it was still a bit salty for me), and a bit more herbs and ginger in the purée, as it was a bit bland without the additions. But overall? A lovely alternative to the typical and overly sweet casseroles I usually see. It went well with a Honey Baked Ham. Well done! .

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.28.2022

      Hi Brenda, I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Lauren
    11.28.2021

    5 stars
    Made for my first Thanksgiving and this got rave reviews. I think my sweet potatoes were a touch small, so I should have gone lighter on the ginger. I also made it the night previous and followed the separate container advice. Pulling it together day of was seamless. Everyone loved it. Different than the typical sweet potato casserole.

  3. Steve Warner
    11.25.2021

    3 stars
    This dish got mixed reactions at Thanksgiving dinner. Some seemed to really like it while others just left it on their plates. I personally was not crazy about the texture, but I thought the flavor was okay.

  4. Michelle
    11.25.2021

    It would’ve been nice to specify the type of sweet potato because it is yams that you are using not sweet potatoes.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.25.2021

      Yams or sweet potatoes will both work in the recipe.

  5. Yum
    11.24.2021

    5 stars
    About how many pounds of sweet potato is in this? Not sure how to convert 5 large sweet potatoes to the small ones that I have!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.24.2021

      Hi, I’m sorry, I didn’t weigh the potatoes, but it doesn’t have to be exact – if your potatoes are very small, you can use one extra and that should be fine.

  6. SAS
    11.24.2021

    Hi –
    Love your recipes!
    Have you made this the day before needed?
    Thanks!
    SAS

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.24.2021

      Hi, yes, you can make it the day before and bake it before you’re ready to eat.

  7. regina
    11.21.2021

    Can anything be substituted for the oats ? For carb free folks ?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.21.2021

      Hi Regina, you can add extra walnuts and pecans in place of the oats (but note that there are carbs in the sweet potatoes).

  8. Andrea
    11.20.2021

    Hi! Your recipes are fantastic. For this one, could one use unsweetened coconut milk?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.21.2021

      I’m glad you’ve been enjoying them! Yes, you could use coconut milk.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.