This vegan sweet potato casserole is easy to make, naturally sweetened, and gluten-free. A creamy sweet potato base is topped with a crunchy layer of candied pecans. Flavors of cinnamon, orange, and maple pair so well together and make a wonderful side dish that is perfect for your holiday table!
Mmm sweet potatoes. One of my favorite veggies. They are so good prepared so many different ways. Today I present you with one of my favorites – a vegan take on a Thanksgiving classic. Sweet potato casserole!
This casserole comes in towards the top of my list of best side dishes ever – it might even be first place. It’s made extra dreamy thanks to a few special, simple ingredients:
- Coconut milk – Coconut milk helps to make the sweet potatoes creamy and rich.
- Oranges – Oranges really complement the flavor of the sweet potatoes. Orange juice is mashed in with the sweet potatoes to give them a hint of citrus. The flavor is much more apparent in the pecan topping, which features orange zest.
- Cinnamon – I don’t think this could be a sweet potato casserole without including cinnamon! It melds perfectly with the other flavors in the dish.
- Maple syrup – Maple syrup acts as the sweetener for this casserole. Not to mention, maple is perfect for this fall dish.
As much as I love the creamy sweet potato layer of this casserole, I equally love the pecan topping. It consists of only 4 ingredients that are easily thrown together: chopped pecans, orange zest, maple syrup, and cinnamon. The casserole is baked until the pecans are toasted, resulting in a crunchy, candied pecan topping.
This recipe is the perfect side dish to serve during the holidays. If you are feeding a really large group, you could easily double the amounts for the sweet potato layer and bake it in a deeper casserole dish. But who says you have to have a special occasion for sweet potato casserole? I think it’s great to have anytime!
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear how it went. Please let me know in the comments below!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Orange Pecans
- 3 large sweet potatoes (~2.5 pounds) peeled and cut into large chunks
- ¼ cup coconut milk (canned)*
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (~1 navel orange)
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
Maple Orange Pecan Topping:
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 1.8 L casserole dish.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, approximately 15-20 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of the sweet potato chunks. Once done, remove from heat, drain using a colander, and place in a large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the pecans, maple syrup, orange zest, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the large bowl with the potatoes, add the coconut milk, maple syrup, fresh orange juice, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt.
Mash using an electric mixer or a stand mixer until combined and creamy.
Add the sweet potato mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
Sprinkle the pecan topping over the sweet potatoes in an even layer.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pecans are toasted and the dish is warm throughout.
Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
*I used canned coconut milk. Be sure to shake the can well before opening.