This vegan sweet potato casserole is a scrumptious, dairy-free spin on the classic, featuring creamy coconut milk, toasty spices, crunchy pecans and fluffy toasted vegan marshmallow topping.
For a long time there the idea of a vegan marshmallow sweet potato casserole was but a mere dream for most of us. Because: marshmallows. Let’s set aside the challenge of making an eggless and dairy-free sweet potato casserole for a moment and just consider the fact that marshmallows are generally not vegan. In fact, they’re not even vegetarian! Most of the marshmallows you see at the store are made with gelatin.
So, I decided it was time to develop a vegan marshmallow sweet potato casserole recipe. That’s just what I did, with plenty of time before Thanksgiving to spare, and let me tell you: this vegan sweet potato bake is the best holiday side-dish ever.
What You’ll Need
- Sweet potatoes. We’re using fresh sweet potatoes of the basic orange variety. They might be labelled as “yams” if you buy them in the United States.
- Coconut milk. Use the full-fat kind from a can for the absolute richest and creamiest vegan sweet potato base.
- Maple syrup.
- Vanilla extract.
- Spices. We’re using just cinnamon and cardamom here. The cardamom is totally optional, but really adds to the flavor.
- Chopped pecans. You can leave these out if you’re not a fan of pecans. I’m sure other nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts could also be substituted.
- Vegan mini marshmallows. Look for Dandies brand, which are available at most Whole Foods type places, or Trader Joe’s brand.
How to Make Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
- Peel, chop and boil your sweet potatoes until they’re very soft. Drain them and return them to the pot you boiled them in.
- Use a potato masher to mash up your sweet potatoes. Don’t have a potato masher? Try a fork or electric mixer.
- Add your coconut milk, maple syrup, spices, and salt. Stir everything up, give the mixture a taste-test, and make any adjustments you deem necessary.
- Stir in some chopped pecans.
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, then sprinkle the top with some more pecans, followed by vegan mini marshmallows.
- Pop the dish into a preheated oven and bake the casserole until your marshmallows are lightly browned on top.
- Be sure to serve it while it’s hot and the vegan marshmallow topping is still melted and gooey!
Make Ahead Option
The sweet potato base for this casserole can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator, then on the day of serving transfer it to a baking dish, top it with pecans and marshmallows, and bake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not to me! But if you absolutely can’t stand the taste of coconut, you can substitute another non-dairy milk, such as cashew or soy. The dish won’t be as rich and creamy though.
I haven’t tried it myself, but I don’t see why not!
More Vegan Holiday Side Dishes
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Creamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- The Best Vegan Stuffing
- Vegan Creamed Corn
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts (4 Ways!)
- Mushroom Gravy
Marshmallow-Topped Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional but really nice)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups chopped pecans, divided
- 3 cups vegan mini marshmallows
- Place the sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover them with water.
- Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Allow the potatoes to cook until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes into a colander and return them to the pot.
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Mash the sweet potatoes well with a potato masher, then add the coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and salt.
- Stir the mixture everything until everything is well blended and creamy. Taste-test and adjust any seasonings to your liking. Stir in ¾ cup of pecans.
- Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a 2 quart baking dish (a 9 x 9 square or deep pie plate works) and smooth out the top with a spoon. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of pecans, then top with marshmallows.
- Bake the casserole for 20 minutes, or until the marshmallows are slightly melted and browned on top.