This delicious vegan sweet potato casserole is a classic holiday recipe. A crunchy oat streusel on top takes the place of nuts. Now everyone can enjoy this dish – it’s nut free and allergy friendly!
There’s nothing like being thrown a curve ball like a new tree nut allergy right before the holidays. Several years ago, after we were told my son had a severe cashew allergy and we needed to get rid of all tree nuts, I started thinking about how we were headed straight into holiday nut season. It was a little daunting, to be honest.
Roasted nuts, candied nuts, nuts in breads, nuts as gifts…the holiday season includes a lot of nuts.
Of course, we adapted, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make delicious, nut free versions of my favorite holiday recipes.
For Thanksgiving, we usually have turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed spinach, sweet potato casserole, wild rice and sweet potato stuffing, my mom’s sage stuffing recipe, biscuits and flavored butter, and vegan apple pie with cider caramel sauce.
First on the list for adaption was making a nut free, vegan sweet potato casserole. I’m used to a nutty version, kind of like this. I used to like the crunch of pecans with the creamy sweet potatoes.
Of course, the question was, what could I add to the topping to give it a good crunch?
I could have gone with seeds I guess, but I thought I would try a crunchy oat streusel topping.
I know I’ve seen some sweet potato casseroles that include oats along with pecans, so I thought I could go with just oats! And it was delicious. Because this isn’t a dessert, and because I love a salty sweet combination, I added more salt to the streusel than I would have if this was a fruit crisp.
My mom loved this sweet potato casserole – and she normally was not a sweet potato fan. I loved making this each Thanksgiving for her to enjoy.
- Sweet Potatoes – You want fresh sweet potatoes from the produce section of the store. Canned yams will not work.
- Vegan Buttery Spread – We use Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Buttery Spread in a tub.
- Non-Dairy Milk – Use a neutral tasting non-dairy milk like coconut milk, rice milk, or soy milk.
- Oats – If you are gluten free, you will need to use oats that say they are certified gluten free. Try brands like GF Harvest or Gerbs Allergy Friendly Foods.
Step by Step Instructions
- Place the washed sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce with a sharp knife. Bake at 400 degrees F for about one hour.
- Slice the sweet potatoes open so that they can cool down.
- Put the sweet potatoes in a bowl with salt, vegan buttery spread, and non-dairy milk.
- Mash the sweet potatoes either by hand or with an electric mixer.
- Put the certified gluten free oats, brown sugar, buttery spread, and flour in a bowl.
- Mix the ingredients together with a pastry blender or two forks.
- Spread the sweet potatoes out in a casserole dish, then top with the streusel mixture.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes.
Sweet potatoes are the long root vegetable that has a reddish skin, and orange flesh inside. Sometimes people call them yams, but that isn’t correct. True yams are starchy root vegetables from the Caribbean that have white flesh inside. Read more about yams and sweet potatoes here.
Canned yams are sweet potatoes canned in syrup. They won’t work very well in this recipe because the canning syrup adds a lot of sweetness to the final dish. Fresh sweet potatoes are the best choice for this casserole. Plus, they usually contain dairy, so they aren’t suitable for a vegan diet.
Store leftover casserole in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for about 4 days.
Watch the video below to see how to make this casserole.
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Nut Free Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole.
This nut free and vegan sweet potato casserole is topped with a crunchy oat streusel topping. It’s sure to be a big hit on your holiday table!
For the sweet potatoes:
- 4 large sweet potatoes for about 5 cups mashed sweet potatoes
- 3 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread
- ⅓ cup non-dairy milk
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
For the topping:
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup flour your choice – spelt flour, oat flour, gluten free blend, all purpose flour, any of these are okay
- 1 cup certified gluten free whole oats
- ¾ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 6 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes and pierce them with a fork. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about one hour or until tender.
Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees F. Slice the sweet potatoes open and let them cool until they are cool enough to handle.
Scoop the sweet potato flesh into a bowl and add the vegan buttery spread, coarse sea salt, and the non-dairy milk. Use a mixer and mix on medium speed until smooth, or use a potato masher to mash them by hand. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into a casserole dish.
In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, sea salt, gluten free oats, and buttery spread. Mix together with a pastry cutter until the mixture forms large crumbs with some balls of buttery spread.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
Canned yams will not work in this recipe.
Leftovers should be refrigerated and eaten within four days.
This post was originally published in November 2014.
I’ve been making a dairy-free, nut-free sweet potato casserole for about 20 years now. (My son, age 22, has allergies to dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and bananas, and also has IBS.) While most of my family members prefer sweet potato casserole with a pecan topping, my son loves our traditional casserole with marshmallows on top since it’s sweet. I want to try your oat streusel topping to give my family a break from marshmallows this year.
By the way, my son is allergic to cashews, pecans, walnuts as well as peanuts, but we found that he can eat almonds! Turns out, almonds are botanically related to stone fruits, such as peaches and apricots. My son had a dozen food allergies as a small child, including bananas and melons, but he was never allergic to any stone fruits. Now he loves almond butter and almond milk; we even make an almond pie every Thanksgiving. Might be worth seeing if your son can challenge almonds in the doctor’s office.
Thank you for that information! I will ask about that the next time he has an appointment. I really miss almonds!
This recipe looks delicious! Sweet potato casserole is one of my Thanksgiving favorites. Love the addition of oats!
I just love the sound of an oat streusel topping! Such a nice twist from the usual nut-laden toppings! This is my idea of a perfect sweet potato casserole. Gorgeous, Kelly!
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely
The oat topping is a great idea! I might almost like that more than nuts. I make a similar crumble topping for my apple pie, which I like so much more than a pie crust topping. Baby bee will just love this!
I mean…just….yes. Hand me a shovel. ;) True story, I’m going to a friendsgiving this year where two of the kidlets are allergic to nuts, so this casserole is PERFECTO! I hope you have a marvelous thanksgiving with Mr. Bee and Lil’ Bee!!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Yum! I’ve never had a sweet potato casserole with nuts. I know people do, but I totally prefer mine without them 100%!