This Ain’t Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on November 24, 2009




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!



This Ain’t Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole (Vegan)

adapted from Fat Free Vegan blog.


  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1/3 cup white or spelt flour (or gluten-free)
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans (I didn’t have- optional)


Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish with canola oil. I wipe a bit on with a paper towel. Peel and then boil sweet potatoes until tender.  Mash the sweet potatoes with the margarine until smooth. Add the vanilla, maple syrup, sea salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour into casserole dish. Next, mix the topping ingredients together until well-combined. Sprinkle topping mixture over the casserole and bake for approx. 50 minutes, checking it every so often.

Makes 10 servings at approximately 215 calories per serving (without pecans)





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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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

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Heather October 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Hi Angela,
I have made this recipe multiple times before and have loved it! I will be travelling over the holidays this year and wanted to bring this dish with me. Have you ever frozen it and then reheated it? If so how did it turn out?


Keri November 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I just made this dish for the first time for a party since we have a vegan friend, and everyone raved about it for hours. Thank you so much for the amazing recipe! I will make it again, even if there are not vegans to cook for it was that good!


Susie Bondi November 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Next time you make this wonderful recipe, try adding little orange juice and 1/2 cup bourbon! That was my late Mother’s recipe, and it is classic in my family! Except of course Mom added eggs and I don’t!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 23, 2013 at 7:50 am

I love that idea, thanks!


Katie November 26, 2013 at 8:13 am

Can’t wait to make this for thanksgiving!! I was thinking I would sub coconut sugar for the Brown and gf oat flour for the white. Do you think that would be ok? I’m new to vegan cooking and not always sure about subs. Thanks so much!!! I love your blog. Can’t wait for the book.


Faith November 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Cooking my sweet potatoes for this now! Realized I only have a 2.5-qt casserole dish. Will it still work? What adjustments should I make?


Karen November 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm

How did you cook the sweet potatoes? Boil, microwave, bake?


Marissa Marquez November 27, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Can you make this with New Jersey sweet potatoes?


Heather November 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm

This turned out amazing!! Sooooooo good, definitely making it again.


Meghan-Rose November 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Just made this recipe for the second year in a row for American Thanksgiving. It’s so good, especially since I make roasted (and not mashed) potatoes! Gotta have that mashed consistency somewhere :)


Rachel November 29, 2013 at 7:25 am

Thank you for posting this recipe! This was everyone’s favorite dish this thanksgiving!


Kristy Spain December 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Dear Angela, I have to tell you I really love your website, and recipes, and the first recipe I made from this site was your famous “ Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-Free Sweet & Salty Spiced Pecan Crust.” That was the first pie I ever made from scratch, and it turned out so well that I had to come back and try another recipe, and I am so happy I did.

Your Sweet Potato Casserole was the 2nd homemade vegan recipe I made from Oh She Glows, and this turned out fantastic. In fact, I brought some leftover, and I am eating it at my desk as I type this e-mail. I followed the directions exactly, and it took some time with all of the steps, and in the end it turned out great. I made this for Thanksgiving day, and three of the folks who tried it claimed they didn’t like sweet potatoes, but they loved the Sweet Potato Casserole. I will make this again, and this is a great dish to take for a party. ;)
Thank you so much for taking time to share with everyone! This is really wonderful!!
Kristy Spain


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I’m so happy to hear this Kristy!! Thank you so much for letting me know and for trying it out :) Happy holidays!


Raya December 24, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Try this recipe today! :) Sooo yummy!


Jennifer March 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Do you think I could substitute coconut oil for the earth balance??


Jenna November 6, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Late reply- but I’ve made this with coconut oil a few times and it works very well! I think I prefer it actually, it goes so well with sweet potatoes.


Heather October 14, 2014 at 8:47 am

This sweet potato dish was amazing!!


Kim October 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

I’ve never made sweet potato casserole before. How and when would you incorporate the marshmallows?


claudia November 18, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Can one USE earth Balance CoCONUT SPREAD? instead of the earth balance BUTTERY spread?


claudia November 20, 2014 at 11:28 am

update: i used EB cocunut spread and raw sugar, my cassorole did not come out looking like OH SHE GLOWS cassorole but regardless, everyone at the potluck enjoyed it.


Patty Poietai November 25, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Although I understand that you need ads to finance your website, I’m one of many people who cook and listen to music/television at the same time. The ads that you have (video and audio) encroaching on your site are distracting, aggravating and (above all) deterring. I really don’t fancy your site at all and this is perhaps the second time I’ve used it. I also work in a tech department, so please don’t attempt to tell me it’s a problem at my end.
Not satisfied.


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 26, 2014 at 1:26 pm

hi patty,
there shouldnt be any ads with audio (we have them blocked!), that being said these ad networks sometimes mess up. we only see the ads run here in Canada. Please email adinquiries(at)ohsheglows[dot]com with the name of the ad (brand) and we’ll have it removed. thank you.


Andria November 26, 2014 at 10:39 am

What flour do you recommend for a gluten free version?
I have Oat and Almond currently in my pantry. :D Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!


Elisia December 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Hi Angela, I’m excited to make this recipe for my family this Christmas and am wondering for times sake if any of this can be prepped in advance without sacrificing texture or taste? Thanks!


dee October 10, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Does anyone actually try these recipes- it’s sort of bizarre to have all the responses (including this one) but not about the final product-its deceiving when one is looking for positive reviews and nobody has made it.


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 13, 2015 at 10:02 am

Hi Dee, I recommend looking at the final pages of the comments – those are the most recent ones and often include reviews. Hope this helps!


Kris November 25, 2015 at 8:58 am

I’ve made this probably 4 times now and it’s turned out perfectly each time, it’s my favorite vegan casserole recipe. I think all of the recipes on this site are spot on!


NA September 17, 2017 at 9:33 am

I agree that it is sometimes frustrating… I posted a comment below (2 years later) so if you have not tried this I recommend you do because for a person like myself who is the queen of messing up recipes, this was out of this world and sooooooo easy to do… totally worth the effort and you will have others drooling!


Kris November 25, 2015 at 8:56 am

I’ve made this many times and LOVE it!! Going to make it for Thanksgiving tomorrow, too. But I thought I’d make them in little individual dishes. Any ideas how to adjust the cooking temp or time (if at all) So they cook the same?


Jill November 27, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Quick note for anyone wanting to make this ahead – I found this comment on another part of the site: “You can prepare it (without cooking) the day before (and place in the fridge), bring to room temperature, and cook it 45 mins before dinner is served.” I’m assuming that means including putting the topping on it, and refrigerating the whole thing. I’ll be doing that at Christmas. FYI!


Tara December 26, 2016 at 12:28 am

I just made this as my contribution to my family’s Christmas dinner and it was a hit! The only thing I changed was sunflower seeds to replace the pecans (my niece has nut allergies). Delicious! I think this will be making regular appearances at family holiday meals. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!


Anne April 24, 2017 at 4:01 pm

I assume that the Earth Balance called for in the topping is butter?


Angela Liddon April 26, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Yep, you got it, Anne! Earth Balance is a vegan butter.


NA September 17, 2017 at 9:29 am

I stumbled across this recipe while I was looking for something different for breakfast and I had sweet potatoes around. amazing!!!
I love how versatile this recipe is. See below-
I had 4 leftover baked sweet potatoes in the refrigerator that were 2 days old and measuring them it came to the equivalent of tripling the recipe. So I peeled them, mashed them and
bravely triple the recipe. I did put it in a larger pyrex baking dish and had to cook it longer and despite not quite knowing how to use the broiler ( mine does not have a hi low setting and I could not find the serial number to look up how it worked) this was soon delicious. It was softer not so solid but it was soon good! Wow!
I also did not have chia seeds so I used ground flaxseed instead and it still turned out amazing.
I had vanilla bean powder that I used instead of the vanilla extract.
Because I was scrambling around looking for sugar and could only find some old turbinado sugar, I only doubled instead of tripled the brown sugar in the topping but again still sumptuous! Will need to make sure I have some sucanat around for next time.
The main part of the dish, oats and sweet potato part were so tasty even before baking and even without the topping. The topping just added that much more zing! party in my mouth.
Just like the author said this is sooooo good cold or warmed up the next day.
I added frozen unsweetened cranberries and raspberries (1.5 cups) that i briefly heated on the stove and mashed a little and added it to the cold leftovers in a bowl with some soymilk and oh my word… i was in heaven thinking I was eating a fabulous cobbler.
Wow… home run… thank you thank you thank you!!!!


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