Food

Savory Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole (+Grated Crumbles!)


If you are looking for an aromatic, herby, savory sweet potato casserole (that is vegan and gluten-free as well), you may want to give this recipe a try. It has a soft sweet potato mash as a base topped with caramelized onions and flaky grated crumbles seasoned with thyme, sage, and rosemary. You’ll thank us later.

A white casserole dish from above showing orange mash topped with grated crumbles and thyme twigs. A serving spoon is dipped within. The first serving is on the background on a white plate.

If you are looking for more side dishes, try our reader favorite Vegan Scalloped Potatoes recipe or our Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Celeriac.

This recipe is part of the 35+ Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes.

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What can you expect from this recipe?

You might have already tried sweet potato casserole with vegan marshmallows (which are not easy to come by) and a crunchy pecan topping. However, I am here to convince you to give this savory version a chance. It may just become the best vegan sweet potato casserole you have ever tried. You’ll thank us later.

  1. It tastes more like a real side dish and not a dessert compared to its cousin with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Thyme, sage, and rosemary are infused in both the sweet potato base and in the flaky crumbles making it aromatic and well-balanced.
  3. No eggs or heavy cream is needed to make it light and fluffy, only a hand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  4. Soft mashed sweet potatoes go perfectly with a crispy pie dough topping and the crunchy caramelized onions.
A white casserole dish from above showing orange mash topped with grated crumbles and thyme twigs. A serving spoon is dipped within. The first serving is on the background on a white plate.

Ingredients

So what do you need to make this vegan sweet potato casserole recipe?

What toppings can you add?

You can add various savory toppings. The easiest would becoarse breadcrumbs or croutons or diced stale bread, but we recommend trying this flaky grated crumbles recipe which is seasoned with thyme, sage, and rosemary. It is really easy to make and the extra herbs you can add there really help to make this dish an aromatic side dish.

We also added caramelized onions, but you can add

A white casserole dish from above showing orange mash topped with grated crumbles and thyme twigs.

How to make Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole?

Pre-cook sweet potatoes

  1. Wash, peel, and dice sweet potatoes.
  2. Boil water in a kettle or in a stockpot. Add the diced sweet potatoes in boiling water and cook them for approx. 10 minutes or until fork-tender.
  3. When ready, drain it and add dairy-free butter, dairy-free sour cream, garlic powder, ground thyme, ground rosemary, and ground sage, grated parmesan cheese (we used Violife Vegan Parmesan*).
  4. Use a hand mixer to make it creamy. You can certainly use the classic potato masher or ricer, but it is harder to get 100% creamy without any chunks. Although if you want chunks, go with that. It is also how we make Vegan Mashed Potatoes.
3 photo collage of how to make orange sweet potato mash. Stockpot from above with first diced orange potatoes, then other ingredients like grated cheese, sour cream and herbs added on top, Finally the mashed potatoes.

Flaky grated crumbles instead of breadcrumbs

You can use many different toppings to make this side dish savory like coarse breadcrumbs or croutons or diced stale bread, but we recommend trying this flaky grated crumbles recipe which is seasoned with thyme, sage, and rosemary, the same herbs we used to make the mashed sweet potato base. We first used this method in our Gluten-free Caramel Apple Crumble recipe and it was just perfectly even and light.

  1. Add all dry ingredients to the food processor (buckwheat flour, rice flour, tapioca starch, and seasoning). Pulse once to combine. 
  2. Add the cold dairy-free butter in cubes and pulse/mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Form a ball or rather a brick from the dough and wrap it tight in a cling foil or saran wrap. Place it in the freezer (quick freeze compartment) for 15-30 minutes. If you have a long thin shape, then the dough freezes faster compared to a ball.
3 photo collage of how to make crumble dough. First is showing a food processor with the mixed ingredients, the second hands are forming a ball. The third shows the dough wrapped in saran wrap.

Caramelize onion for topping

To make sweet potato casserole savory, we chose to add some caramelized onions. It is a great addition to many comfort food recipes and it is perfect for this casserole as well. They are easy to make, albeit you need 20-30 minutes to caramelize onion on a low heat so be sure to make it ahead.

  1. Peel and slice the onions.
  2. Pre-heat your skillet over low heat and add dairy-free butter. We used our UnoCasa cast-iron skillet*.
  3. Once the butter has been melted, add the sliced onions.
  4. Cook them until they reach a nice caramel brown color. Use a spatula to stir occasionally. It usually takes 20-30 minutes to get there. We recommend starting with the onions as you cannot rush it, but you can make other steps in the meantime.
2 photo collage of a black skillet from above. First one has raw white onion slices, while the second one shows the cooked brown onions.

Bake the casserole

When you have everything ready, let’s assemble this vegan sweet potato casserole.

  1. Pre-heat the oven over 390 Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  2. Take an oven-safe casserole dish and spread the mashed sweet potato evenly.
  3. Spread the caramelized onions on top evenly as well.
  4. Use a large hole cheese grater and grate the dough to make flaky crumbles on top.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crumble gets crispy.
3 photo collage of a white casserole dish from above showing orange mash, then topped with caramelized onions, then topped with grated crumbles.

FAQs and substitutions

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes, you can. The mashed sweet potato base can be stored for 1-2 days without a problem. The dough for the crumbles can also be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. If you put it in the freezer overnight, wait for it to thaw a bit otherwise it will be hard to grate.

How long will it last in the fridge?

The baked sweet potato casserole can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days top. The crumble can get soggier with every passing day. We recommend storing the different parts separately and assembling them for baking on the day as the casserole only needs 15 minutes in the oven to be ready.

A white casserole dish from above showing orange mash topped with grated crumbles and thyme twigs. A serving spoon is dipped within.

What to eat with sweet potato casserole?

This savory casserole can be a perfect side dish for many vegan main course meals. Classic thinking usually dictates that people serve it with some kind of meat, but the below vegan dishes would be just heavenly with this casserole.





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