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 a splash of 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:
5 from 3 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
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves

Crumble Topping

  • cup whole rolled oats
  • ¼ cup pecans, more for garnish
  • ¼ cup walnuts, more for garnish
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush an 8x11-inch baking dish, or similar, 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 several grinds of 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.

27 comments

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  1. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    11.04.2019

    I’m all in on this recipe, thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.08.2019

      thanks Sabrina!

  2. Roxane
    11.09.2019

    I have a 42 oz blender (as far as the lines read) but no food processor (small apt. kitchen, etc –got rid of my food processor when I moved out of the family home as I didn’t use it all that much to justify the space). Can use the blender for pulsing the topping ingredients but suspect it is too small for the sweet potatoes. Would it be a problem to use an electric mixer or potato masher instead.

  3. Marissa Nguyen
    11.14.2019

    When do you add in the sage?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.15.2019

      Hi Marissa, it goes on top before you bake it – thanks for pointing that out!

  4. J
    11.15.2019

    This looks amazing! My high school boyfriend’s mom made a similar casserole but it had whole cranberries in it. Any suggestion for incorporating them? I’ve been scouring the internet for years trying to find a similar recipe and this is the closest I’ve seen!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.18.2019

      Hi, I’d sprinkle them on top after it comes out of the oven – I think they would be delicious with these flavors!

  5. Sarah
    11.16.2019

    Looks amazing! If I make it a day ahead, should I allow the sweet potato purée sit out to room temperature prior to baking with the topping?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2019

      You could for a few minutes but it should be fine either way – it’ll get hot in the oven as the topping crisps no matter what. I hope you enjoy!

  6. Annie
    11.17.2019

    This recipe looks delicious but my husband’s allergic to pecans. Do you have any suggestions for a worthy sub or am I out of luck?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.17.2019

      Hi Annie, you can replace them with additional walnuts – it’ll still be great!

  7. Becky
    11.17.2019

    Do you think that I could freeze this ahead of time?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.18.2019

      Hi Becky, I haven’t tried freezing it, but it’s really easy to make the filling and topping ahead of time and keep them separate in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it.

  8. Roxane
    11.17.2019

    I have a 42 oz blender (as far as the lines read) but no food processor (small apt. kitchen, etc –got rid of my food processor when I moved out of the family home as I didn’t use it all that much to justify the space). Can use the blender for pulsing the topping ingredients but suspect it is too small for the sweet potatoes. Would it be a problem to use an electric mixer or potato masher instead.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.17.2019

      Hi Roxane, I don’t think it’ll be too small for the sweet potatoes – I’d use the blender because you’ll want them pretty creamy. It might be a little thick, if you have a blender baton, use that to help blend without adding too much extra liquid. Hope that helps!

  9. Hayley
    11.18.2019

    About how many lbs worth of sweet potatoes would you say this is?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.18.2019

      About 4 pounds

  10. Roxane Javid
    11.27.2019

    Making this now for tomorrow. Will rate after I get to eat it. I notice that both the crumble topping and the sweet potato mixture has pepper in it. In the directions, pepper isn’t mentioned in the stuff you pulse for the topping. . I added it anyway because it was in the ingredient topping list but just wondering if you intended both places to use it. Thanks.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.27.2019

      Hi Roxane, thanks for pointing that out – I added a little pepper to both!

      • Roxane Javid
        11.27.2019

        Thanks glad I did it correctly.

  11. Jennifer Stejskal
    11.27.2019

    I just made this.. I am wondering why it looks like there is double the topping on your picture? I followed the recipe but mine looks sparse.. ? I am thinking of making a second batch of topping but don’t want to overpower the dish? Thoughts ?
    Thanks
    Jenni

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.28.2019

      Hi Jennifer, hmm… a few things: I left a bit of a sweet potato border around mine, centering much of the filling. I wonder what your pan size is – mine is 8×11. If you feel like you want more topping, I’d add 1/2 more crumble or just sprinkle more nuts on top. I don’t think it would be overpowering. Hope that helps!

  12. Jacky P
    11.29.2019

    5 stars
    Amazing! I added Vegan/GF Mini Marshmallows (low sugar) and it was great! Everyone liked it! No too sweet but full of flavor. Thanks!

    I wonder if I can boil the sweet potatoes next time for a faster prep time?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.08.2019

      Hi Jacky, I’m so glad you enjoyed the casserole! I often roast my potatoes the day before, which makes the assembly of this really quick. You could probably boil them, but then I’d add less almond milk as you’re blending so that the filling doesn’t get too watery. I hope that helps!

  13. Missy
    01.04.2020

    Where is the adorable giant serving fork from?? So cute!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.05.2020

      I found it on Etsy 🙂

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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.