This Ain’t Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole





Last week when I asked you to send in your favourite Thanksgiving recipes that you wanted veganized, a certain email from Julianna spoke to me:

Hey Angela,
This is a famous recipe that has been in our family for generations. Our family calls it the Senator Russell after some Senator in Georgia a long time ago. It’s very Southern and delicious.
As the token vegetarian (and most days vegan except for honey and occasional greek yogurt) in my Southern family I would love a way to make this so that I could enjoy it as well.


I knew that I had to try out my first vegan sweet potato casserole. My mom has been making sweet potato casserole ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper and it is a treat that I always enjoyed! I was determined to make a vegan sweet potato casserole that would taste delicious.

Out of respect for Julianna’s family, I am not going to post their recipe on here, but I will tell you some ingredients that I chose to do without: eggs, white sugar, butter, evaporated milk, brown sugar, white flour.

My first attempt was a huge and utter epic failure. It tasted good, but the texture was not up to par. Too much liquid. But I knew that could be easily resolved.

Last night, I jumped into my car at 10pm and booted it to the grocery store to buy more sweet potatoes. From 10:30-midnight, I was working on attempt #2. How is that for dedication?!

This morning I popped the casserole into the oven…and voila, my friends. Magic happened. Second time is a charm. ;) Not to mention I got to photograph in natural light which is always superior!





1) You can add marshmallows if you’d like (Dandie’s brand are vegan). I thought it was fine without any though.


How did it taste?


This sweet potato casserole is a big winner in my books! Both the sweet potato mixture and the sweet spelt topping was utterly divine. I did not miss the marshmallow topping, in fact I liked this one better.

I cut down the sugar by over half. I really DID NOT miss the 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 T of maple syrup that I cut out. It was still very sweet. I actually can’t imagine having it any sweeter than it already was. It was ‘just right’ in my opinion and isn’t going to give you a tummy ache. ;)


I also removed the pecans because I didn’t have any. I actually mixed in some chia seeds into the topping! The best thing about this dish is that you can adapt it to however you’d like it

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

natalie @ nono2yoyo November 24, 2009

Oh my goodness, this looks so delicious! I love holiday recipes! I also love learning new ones and trying them out! Thanks for sharing! Thanks for your help with Project Feed Me too! You’re awesome!!! xoxo nat


Ameena November 24, 2009

Trying a new recipe at 10:30?? You have such dedication! Looks delicious!!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 24, 2009

This is awesome! Can’t believe you veganized it and it looks delicious! :)


Dori November 24, 2009

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG. Sweet potato casserole is my obsession and I live for it all year long. This version looks AMAZING and I NEEEEED to make it. You have no idea how much I need this. This is my favorite post of yours ever.


Christie @ Honoring Health November 24, 2009

I have been wanting to make over my mom’s sweet potato casserole and this looks like it would do the trick!


Courtney November 24, 2009

YAY! This looks awesome and I’m no where near vegan or even vegetarian. My first intro to sweet potatoes was in a buttery, sugary casserole a few thanksgivings ago at my hubby’s family thanksgiving. I since then have learned to appreciate the sweet potato unadorned, or with hummus or beans on it. But I think this is something I would make and enjoy!
Adventures in Tri-ing


Julianna November 24, 2009


I am thankful for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it out!

THANK YOU!! :) It was totally worth the anticipation :)


Estela @ Weekly Bite November 24, 2009

Angela, this looks delicious! I think I may make this for Turkey Day!


Claire November 24, 2009

Yum!!! and dairy-free…perfect:-) cc


krissy November 24, 2009

HOLY YUM!!!!! I am SO trying this – my mouth is watering looking at your pictures :) hehe I love recipes that our Non-vegan family members can’t complain about – this will certainly be one of them :)
Thanks for adapting and posting the recipe!
xoxo love you doll!


Lauren @ Eater not a runner November 24, 2009

That looks awesome! I may just make it for a regular dinner :-)


Shannon (The Daily Balance) November 24, 2009

looks amazing! Love that you cut the sugar, too — Nice work, Ange!


Lauren @ Eater not a runner November 24, 2009
Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness November 24, 2009

Great quote from Emerson! He’s one of my favorite quotable philosophers.

Thanks for this recipe, it sounds super yummy! Can’t wait to try it out :-)


Nicole November 24, 2009



Jill November 24, 2009

Thanks again for helping me get the word out, Angela. We’ve raised $30 so far, but I know that we can get $500 by the end of the day!


Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers) November 24, 2009

Glad it was a success! I think I’m going to have to try your recipe :)


Melinda November 24, 2009

Looks great. We are using my mother in laws recipe for ours that we plan to bring to a party so I hope it goes well. No marshmallows for me either.


Erin November 24, 2009

Oh my god, this looks amazinggggg! I love the crust. How you manage to look so fabulous and eat meals like this all the time is such a testament to your focus, drive, and healthy living philosophy!! :)


Kris | November 24, 2009

Great recipe! I am so happy to see you not use sugar! you know me…I think sugar is the enemy! ;) Natural baby!


Laura Georgina November 24, 2009

That dish is so pretty I could lick the computer screen. I think I may have to give the family thanksgiving sweet potatoes and peaches casserole (oops, my southerner is showing) a makeover based on this and mash it all up just so I can add the topping…


Gillian November 24, 2009

I have never tried ANY form of a sweet potato casserole before (my fam was never big on any casserole type dish actually) – but this I think I must try!!!


Janna November 24, 2009

wow does that ever look good.

your recipes continue to impress me! keep them coming!


Julie @savvyeats November 24, 2009

I really wish my parents weren’t already set on their sweet potato dish for Thursday, because I would totally make this instead. Though, they sweet potatoes mashed with bananas and topped with strudel that we’re having are good too….

I’ll be putting this on our Christmas menu, though :)


Tiffany S. November 24, 2009

Oh yum – I would eat that for dessert!

Happy un-Turkey Day!


Jil November 24, 2009

I’ve never had a sweet potato casserole before, as I usually prefer my sweet potatoes with a more savory topping — like hot sauce!– but that looks SO good. I will have to try it at some point. :)


Eve November 24, 2009

Hey Angela, I know you live near(ish) Toronto, and there’s a little all-vegan store there called Panacea that sells sweet and sara marshmallows! Maybe for your next sweet potato casserole? :)


Jenna November 24, 2009

Sweet potato casserole is a very, very big weakness of mine. This looks great!


Katie November 24, 2009

YUMMY! I may actually like that sweet tator casserole. You do a great job veganizing these and we really do appreciate it!


Sarah November 24, 2009

I’m super impressed by your dedication and amazing recreation of that sweet potato casserole!


amanda@thegrainsofparadise November 24, 2009

Oh my gosh Angela! That looks insane! On my “to do” list for sure now :-) Aloha!


Paige (Running Around Normal) November 24, 2009

That looks and sounds amazing! I wouldn’t know what to compare it to, though – I’ve never had the real deal either!


Lauren Modeen November 24, 2009

I am making this on Thanksgiving day for my whole freaking family. WOW!!!!


Ingunn November 24, 2009

My husband found vegan marshmallows from Dandies Candies that actually melt(!), so last night we made s’mores:

They were delicious, but I couldn’t find any big graham crackers that didn’t have HFCS and/or trans fats. Lame.


Rachel November 24, 2009

I love ANYTHING sweet potato, so this is definite temptation! Most of all, thanks for leading me to the Fat Free Vegan blog. My, oh my, I might be here for hrs. :S


Dawn (HealthySDLiving) November 24, 2009

This looks deliicous! Perfect…I was looking for some vegan recipes to make for Thanksgiving!


Kate November 24, 2009

That looks so delish and I’m not even a big casserole fan!

Potatoes are just sooo sooo comforting anytime of the year. I’m really enjoying new pototoes as the moment as it’s summer time here in New Zealand!


Trainerpack November 24, 2009

Yum yum yum yum!


Sweet Cheeks November 24, 2009

WOW. that looks uh-mazing! Awesome job OSG!


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg November 24, 2009

That looks delicious! Thanks for sharing. I feel like sweet potato casserole is one of those things that is always loaded with calories and fat, but shouldn’t be! It’s nice to see a healthy alternative.


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