A Vegan and Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe to Make You Thankful

sweet potato

Next week, you’ll likely be walking away from the Thanksgiving dinner table hunched over, filled to the brim with delicious seasonal dishes like turkey, bread stuffing, creamy green beans and sweet potato casserole. However, despite the holiday’s reputation as a jaunt to calorie town, there are ways to tweak traditional Thanksgiving dishes so that they continue to comfort not only your seasonal hunger pangs but also your conscience.

Take the sweet potato casserole – this dish is a fixture at the winter holiday table. Despite its sweet potato base, it is ultimately no different than a candy bar. It is packed with sugar, essentially overshadowing any other possible nutritional benefits – to say nothing about the fact that is is also laden with animal-based products, including cream, milk, eggs and butter. But it’s the season to indulge and enjoy dishes that provide holiday cheer, making us all a bit more thankful, and the sweet potato casserole is no exception to this sentiment.

Luckily, you can have your casserole and eat it too. The following recipe for a vegan gluten-free sweet potato casserole is a great way to load up on the fiber and antioxidant-rich sweet potato without losing any of its nutritional perks in a mass of sugar. The recipe depends on the aromatic, low-glycemic maple syrup to bring out the sweet potato’s natural sweetness as well as coconut oil to provide creaminess and healthy, animal-friendly fats that your body can recognize and process efficiently. Enjoy!

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 10-15

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
For the topping
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (no sugar added)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13×9-inch pan with coconut oil and set it aside while you prepare the filling and topping.

Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pop into the oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they are softened through to the core. While the potatoes are in the oven, prepare the pecan topping – simply mix all the topping ingredients in a bowl until evenly combined. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cooked through, removed them from the oven and reduce the oven’s heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the potatoes sit aside until they cool to the point when you can work with them using your hands. Peel off the skins from the potatoes (they should release easily) and place the potato flesh into a large bowl. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to the sweet potato and mash until all the ingredients are evenly combined and the mixture is smooth. Spread the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan.

Sprinkle the pecan topping evenly across the top of the mashed sweet potato mixture. Place the casserole into the oven and cook for about 30-35 minutes, or until the pecan topping has browned. Keep an eye on it for the last 10 minutes to avoid burning the pecans. Serve hot with a few scoops of coconut milk ice cream, drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with extra ground pecans.

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Photo Credit: Mealmakeovermoms