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This vegan sweet potato casserole with pecans is decadent and rich with vegan butter, brown sugar, and pecans. It is a special occasion sweet side dish that will compliment your family’s holiday table.
There is sweet potato casserole that is savory as well as sweet. If you are looking for a savory sweet potato casserole, try my Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Sourdough Bread Crumbs. As I’m getting older, I find that my taste buds are shifting toward the savory. But I’m getting ready to make Christmas dinner for my family, and they like it sweet! We first discovered sweet potato casserole at a fun dinner theater in Dayton Ohio. It was called sweet potato souffle, and we’ve been big fans ever since! Some other delicious side dishes you should try for your holiday day table include:
The Ingredients for Sweet Potato Casserole:
Typically, one of the major ingredients in a casserole or “souffle” such as this is eggs. Eggs are the perfect ingredient to bind everything else together. You won’t need eggs in this dish! Using a little cornstarch and cooking the casserole a little slower and lower than the original recipe helps.
You will need:
(Please see the recipe card below for the full ingredient list with amounts along with the instructions.)
- canned sweet potatoes (you can choose to cook your own – you will need about 8 medium-sized sweet potatoes)
- vegan butter
- brown and white sugar
- orange zest
Tips and Tricks for Making Sweet Potato Casserole:
- I use canned sweet potatoes for this dish. It’s easier than cooking and mashing. I’ve tried it both ways and the flavor isn’t improved by baking your own. But if you would like to cook your own, bake about eight medium-sized sweet potatoes. Allow to cool enough to handle, and then scoop out the insides.
- Drain the canned sweet potatoes well and then mash with a masher or with your hand-mixer. Add the other ingredients with the exception of the topping ingredients.
- If you are ethically vegan, be aware that some sugar is processed using bone-char. Either use organic sugar or one that is labeled vegan if that is your concern.
- Pour into a prepared 9×13 casserole dish and smooth the top. It will be the consistency of a very thick cake batter.
- Combine the ingredients for the topping and mix well. I use the same beaters I used to make the sweet potato casserole part. I do not rinse between but shake them off well.
- Sprinkle the pecan brown-sugar topping evenly on top.
- I sprinkle a little orange zest on top as well. The day I made this dish I did not have an orange to zest. Luckily, I had some Valencia Orange Peel in a jar (affiliate link). I always keep a little on hand for this situation – just in case.
- The original recipe calls for a higher temperature and quicker cooking time. I find this recipe (without eggs) sets up a little bit better with a lower cooking temperature and slower cooking time. Be aware though that the finished product with thicken better upon standing. You don’t really want this dish piping hot anyway, but more luke-warm.
The Recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans and Brown Sugar:
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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans (Vegan)
- 3 29 ounce cans sweet potatoes drain well
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ cups organic sugar sub regular sugar
- 1/2 cup melted vegan butter more for topping
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
Brown Sugar Pecan Topping
- 1 cup organic brown sugar can sub regular brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup vegan butter softened
- 1½ cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350° and spray coconut oil baking spray in a 9x13" casserole dish. Set aside.
- Open cans of sweet potatoes. Drain well and put in a large mixing bowl.
- With a hand mixer, mix until sweet potatoes are light and fluffy.
- Add in cornstarch, granulated (white) sugar, melted vegan butter, vanilla extra and salt. Continue mixing until all ingredients are well incorporated. The sweet potato mixture will be the consistency of a very thick batter.
- Pour the sweet potato mixture into the prepared 9x13 casserole dish and smooth out.
Brown Sugar Pecan Topping
- Add brown sugar, flour, softened vegan butter, and chopped pecans to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- With the hand mixer, mix on low/medium until all ingredients are incorporated. You can use the same beaters. No need to clean.
- Spread evenly on top of the sweet potato casserole mixture.
- Sprinkle orange zest on top.
- Cook at 350° for 45 minutes. Allow cooling slightly before serving. The sweet potato mixture will thicken upon cooling.