A finished sweet potato casserole in a baking dish.

Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows is a classic recipe in northern America. In fact, it’s a Thanksgiving classic! However, folks from the rest of the world might be thinking … “what?” As Australian expats, we thought it was weird too – until we enjoyed this dish with a holiday dinner.

It turns out that the marshmallows and sweet potato are the perfect balance to bright, tart cranberry sauce. It’s also a starchy, creamy partner to your (well seasoned) plant protein of choice. Once you lighten all this up with greens or a salad, the casserole – sweet potato, marshmallow, and all – makes perfect sense!

Who Invented This?

That’s a fair question, given such an unusual combo. We were surprised to find out that it was all about marketing! The first recipe for Marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole was published by a company called Angelus-Campfire. These folks just happened to be the first mass-producers of marshmallows. Obviously, the recipe then caught on in a huge way.

Plant-Based, Please!

Our first priority to make sure our (and hopefully your) holiday meals are entirely vegan. Luckily it’s easy to find great-tasting vegan marshmallows. Two of our favorite products are the in-house Trader Joe’s brand, and Dandies (which even have a handy store locator).

Treat Yourself (to some Vitamins)

Even when vegan, sweet potato casserole is definitely an indulgence. However, that doesn’t mean there are no nutrients. You still get everything that’s in sweet potato – check out the infographic below!

An infographic listing the nutrients in sweet potatoes.

Of course, we would love to tell you all about the nutrition in marshmallows. However, they’re just a treat! Save them for special occasions 😊.

How to make

Let’s get down to business, how do we make this? Well, start with two pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes. Next, add them to a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Keep this going until the sweet potatoes are tender. You’ll know they’re ready when you can easily slide a fork into the flesh. When they’re done, drain the water but leave the sweet potatoes in the pot.

Sweet potato, vegan butter, sugar, and plant milk in a pot.

The next step is to make the veggies into a creamy casserole filling. Add almond milk, dairy-free butter, brown sugar, and salt. Then use a potato masher or hand mixer to mix everything until smooth. To finish up, spread the mixture evenly into a small baking dish and top it with two layers:

  1. A sprinkling of ground cinnamon and pecan pieces, then
  2. A blanket of fluffy marshmallows

Place the casserole under the broiler and cook until the marshmallows are brown on top. Be very careful here – it’s super easy to burn the marshmallows. Trust us, we ruined more than one batch while getting ready to take these photos 😉.

Oh – one last tip. You can do a lot of preparation in advance by cooking the filling and adding the toppings later before broiling. However, don’t reheat the sweet potato casserole and do the broiling until just before you serve it. The marshmallows are best while they’re still warm and melty!

We hope you enjoy this vegan Sweet Potato Casserole recipe! As the holidays approach we’re giving thanks for our friends, our family, and for all of you – our readers! Let’s be kind by being vegan – kind to the animals, to the earth, and to ourselves!

Sweet potato casserole before baking, showing the layered topping of of pecans and vegan marshmallows.

And if you’re looking for more delicious dishes for your holiday table, you might like our Pumpkin Pie, Stuffed Winter Squash, and Homemade Cranberry Sauce recipes!

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Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe | A Vegan Holiday Treat

Sweet potato casserole before baking, showing the layered topping of of pecans and vegan marshmallows.

Try our vegan spin on a classic Sweet Potato Casserole recipe, complete with marshmallows! This is the perfect sweet side to a kinder holiday feast.

  • Author: Rachel Steenland | The Plant Riot
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings, as a side 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Sweet Potatoes

 

Marshmallow topping

Instructions

  1. Place sweet potato cubes into a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until sweet potatoes are tender. You’ll know they’re ready when you can easily slide a fork into the sweet potato. 
  2. Drain the water and leave the sweet potatoes in the pot. Add almond milk, dairy-free butter, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Using a potato masher or hand mixer, mash/mix until the sweet potatoes are smooth and creamy.
  3. Turn on broiler to heat up.
  4. Transfer the warm sweet potato filling to a casserole dish (we used a 9″ x 6″ / 23cms x 15cms dish), sprinkle with ground cinnamon, pecans and top with a blanket of marshmallows. Place the casserole under the broiler and cook until the marshmallows are brown on top. Be very careful here – it’s super easy to burn the marshmallows!

 

Serve your Sweet Potato Casserole warm alongside your favorite Thanksgiving meal… or at any time of the year!

Notes

  • Make Thanksgiving preparation a little easier by preparing this side dish ahead of time, by cooking the sweet potato filling and having it in the casserole dish ready to reheat. 10 minutes or so before the main meal is to be served, reheat the sweet potato casserole in the microwave, and then top with cinnamon, pecans and marshmallows and place the casserole under the broiler until the marshmallows become golden brown and melty. Serve immediately! 

Keywords: sweet potato casserole recipe, sweet potato casserole marshmellows, sweet potato casserole vegan, vegan thanksgiving recipes, The Plant Riot

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