My Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole is a lightened up version of a classic Thanksgiving side dish. You won't miss the marshmallow topping in this tasty dish! Creamy, fluffy sweet potatoes are baked to perfection and topped with a crumbly oatmeal pecan streusel. This healthy recipe can easily be made dairy free, nut free, and vegan too.
Sweet potato casserole is one of those classic Thanksgiving side dishes that everyone loves. It's always a staple at my holiday table alongside the Thanksgiving turkey. And it’s the one dish that my husband Pete makes every year.
He usually follows a certain Food Network chef's recipe but it’s not exactly the healthiest recipe around. With a full cup of sugar in the filling and another cup of sugar in the topping along with ¾ stick of butter, it's a calorie bomb!
This year I'm taking over sweet potato duty with my lightened up casserole. My healthy Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole has less calories, fat, and sugar. But it still tastes decadent and is sure to be a crowd favorite at your holiday dinner!
This dish is perfect for entertaining because it also suits many different dietary needs. It's inherently gluten free because I use certified gluten-free oats and gluten-free flour in the topping. It can also easily be made dairy free, nut free or vegan.
Say goodbye to the sticky, sweet marshmallow topping we all grew up eating. My healthy sweet potato casserole has a delicious, crumbly oatmeal pecan streusel topping that lets the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes shine through. Once you try it, you'll never go back!
Why You'll Love This Dish
- The perfect holiday dish- add it to your Thanksgiving menu!
- Suits many dietary needs- this recipe is gluten free and vegetarian and can be made dairy free, nut free or vegan too
- Easy to make
- Healthier than traditional sweet potato casserole
- Make-ahead- can be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen
Sweet potatoes are superfoods! Their rich orange color means they’re high in beta-carotene, which gets converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for vision, immune health, growth and reproduction. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and disease-fighting antioxidants!
Who doesn't love a good sweet potato casserole? Although it's delicious, the traditional dish can be quite rich with lots of added sugar. I made several changes to lighten it up in this healthy gluten-free sweet potato casserole.
- Most sweet potato casseroles have a lot of butter and heavy cream in the filling. My version has no butter or cream. I just use some milk to keep the filling moist and an egg to bind it together.
- Traditional recipes use a LOT of sugar in the filling. My version uses maple syrup, a natural sweetener. I only use ¼ cup for the entire dish. Roasting the sweet potatoes brings out their natural sweetness so less added sugar is needed.
- I skip the marshmallow topping. Instead, I top the casserole with an irresistible crumbly oatmeal pecan streusel made with certified gluten-free whole grain oats gluten-free flour. Read my post on the nutritional benefits of whole grains.
- Chopped pecans add a nice crunch along with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
A note on oats: While oats are inherently gluten free, they may come into contact with gluten-containing grains during the manufacturing process. If you're following a gluten-free diet, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats in this recipe.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
Sweet Potato Filling:
- Sweet potatoes- the star of the dish; can be cooked in advance to save time
- Egg- can substitute a flax egg (see recipe card)
- Maple syrup- a natural sweetener; can substitute honey or agave
- Milk- any type of milk can be used including nondairy milk like almond or coconut milk
- Vanilla extract
- Spices- cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt
Oatmeal Pecan Streusel Topping:
- Rolled oats- used certified gluten-free oats to keep this recipe gluten free
- Flour- use gluten-free flour like a 1:1 baking flour
- Pecans- can substitute other nuts like almonds or walnuts (or leave them out if following a nut-free diet)
- Brown sugar- can substitute coconut sugar but it won't give you the same crumbly topping
- Butter- can substitute coconut oil if dairy free
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole Step-By-Step Instructions
- Step 1- Cook the sweet potatoes by baking them in the oven or cooking them in the air fryer. If you're pressed for time, you can cook them in the microwave. To make the filling, mix the cooked sweet potato in a bowl with an egg, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a pinch of salt with a hand mixer or whisk.
- Step 2- To make the topping, mix the oats, flour, pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter or coconut oil together in a bowl until a crumbly topping forms.
- Step 3- Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a greased baking dish and smooth out the surface.
- Step 4- Scatter the topping evenly over the sweet potatoes. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 30 minutes until the filling is hot and topping is golden brown.
- This gluten-free sweet potato casserole can be made in advance. Refrigerate or freeze the filling and the topping separately. Then, when you're ready to assemble the dish, spread the topping on over the filling and bake it in the oven.
- This recipe is very flexible for different dietary needs. It is vegetarian and gluten free. It can also be made dairy free, nut free, and vegan.
Yes, sweet potatoes are a nutritious root vegetable and are naturally gluten free.
Yes, you can easily make this dish vegan. Just use coconut oil instead of butter in the topping. In the filling, use a nondairy milk like almond milk, oat milk or coconut milk. Instead of an egg, use a flax egg. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water. Let it sit for 5 minutes then use it in the recipe as a substitute for 1 egg.
Yes, you can freeze sweet potato casserole up to 3 months in advance. Make the filling and assemble it in a baking dish. Then wrap it securely with plastic wrap and foil and place it in the freezer. Make the topping and freeze it separately from the filling. Then, when you're ready to cook the dish, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, spread the topping over the filling and bake it in the oven as directed in the recipe card.
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Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 ½ pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 medium)
- 1 large egg or flax egg
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup milk, any type (can use dairy-free milk like almond or oat milk)
- 1 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 400F for 40-45 minutes until soft. Alternatively, you can bake the sweet potatoes in the air fryer or microwave them. Scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Lower the oven to 350°F.
- Add the egg, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt to the sweet potatoes. Mix with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and smooth out the top.
- To make the topping, mix the oats, flour, pecans, and brown sugar together in bowl. Stir in the melted butter and mix until crumbly. Scatter the topping evenly over the sweet potatoes.
- Bake the sweet potato casserole for 30 minutes until the filling is hot and the topping is browned. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
- To make this recipe vegan, use coconut oil instead of butter in the topping. In the filling, use a nondairy milk like almond milk, oat milk or coconut milk. Instead of an egg, use a flax egg. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water. Let it sit for 5 minutes then use it in the recipe as a substitute for 1 egg.
- To make this recipe nut free, leave out the pecans from the topping
- This sweet potato casserole can be made up to 3 months in advance and frozen. Make the filling and assemble it in a baking dish. Then wrap it securely with plastic wrap and foil and place it in the freezer. Make the topping and freeze it separately from the filling. Then, when you're ready to cook the dish, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, spread the topping over the filling and bake it in the oven until done.