This easy Sweet Potato Casserole without Marshmallows is going to be a BIG hit at your next holiday dinner. It's perfectly sweet, light, and fluffy with a brown sugar streusel topping that is irresistible!
It's pretty easy to make a dairy-free sweet potato casserole taste like an old-fashioned one. And no marshmallows are necessary for making the best sweet potato casserole either! This is made with a brown sugar topping with added pecans for a delicious crunch.
It seriously doesn't get any better than this recipe here. So you have to make it this Thanksgiving. And be prepared for people to ask for it again at Christmas!
This has got to be my favorite dish at Thanksgiving, right alongside my Dairy-Green Green Bean Casserole. And the Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes and Brown Gravy. Seriously, I just love it all. But this casserole can actually be enjoyed year-round. Did you know that sweet potato casserole and BBQ go REALLY well together? Try it out yourself.
❤️Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Easy: Just bake the sweet potatoes, mix and mash them, and spread the streusel topping before baking.
- Delicious: It's light, fluffy, and buttery with sweet and salty flavors. Some sweet potato casseroles are too sweet, but I think this one is perfectly balanced in all its flavors.
- Great for dinner prep: Whether you're making this dish for a weeknight dinner or holiday dinner, you can prep it 1 to 2 days before you need it.
🍠What's the Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes?
In America, both names are used interchangeably. However, yams and sweet potatoes are very different in flavor and appearance, and they aren't even related! Canned sweet potatoes have been falsely labeled as yams which has created a lot of confusion around the two. There are different stories as to where this confusion comes from, but the common answer goes back to the transatlantic slave trade. When enslaved people were coming to America, they no longer had access to yams (as yams are native to Africa and Asia). So they found something similar which they called yams: sweet potatoes.
Here are the main differences between the two root vegetables:
- Yams: Yams are starchy with a dry texture, and a neutral flavor. Its skin can be brown or black and bark-like, and its flesh is white or purple. Yams can grow up to 7 feet long and up to 100 pounds! They are grown in Africa and Asia.
- Sweet potatoes: Depending on the variety, a sweet potato can be soft or firm with a sweet flavor. Its skin can be smooth and white, red, purple, or orange. Its flesh can also be white, red, purple, or orange. Sweet potatoes usually weigh about 5 to 7 ounces, and they are grown in the U.S.
If you want to read more about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, you can read this article from Southern Living called What's the Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes.
- Non-dairy butter: Use a brand you like the taste of. I use Country Crock Butter with Olive (or avocado) Oil.
- Light brown sugar: Light brown sugar has less molasses (about 3.5%) than dark brown sugar (6.5%). This gives dark brown sugar a more noticeable flavor that's richer and caramel-like. Using dark brown sugar for a streusel topping like in this recipe can be too overpowering. Be sure to use light brown sugar for the best flavor.
- Flour: For a gluten-free sweet potato casserole, swap out the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour. I recommend Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour.
- Light brown sugar: For the filling, you can use cane sugar instead of brown sugar. But I recommend using light brown sugar for the streusel topping.
- Eggs: I don't have a substitution for eggs. They help make the filling, light, fluffy, and custard-like. If you can't eat eggs, you can just leave them out.
- Pecans: Walnuts can also be used in place of pecans. Or if you just want a sweet potato casserole without marshmallows or nuts, leave them out!
- 9x13-inch casserole dish
- Electric hand mixer or potato masher
- Mixing bowls
🔪How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole without Marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash 4 pounds of sweet potatoes with water and pat dry. Using a knife or a fork, poke holes all over the potatoes. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour. Large potatoes could take up to 1 hour and 15 minutes. You want the potatoes to give a little when gently squeezed (with oven mitts). Once finished, turn the oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Once the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, slice them open and scoop out the insides using a big spoon. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add all of the ingredients except for the eggs. Using a hand mixer, mix well to combine. Add the beaten eggs and mix until well combined.
3. Grease a 13x9-inch casserole dish with non-dairy butter. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the bottom and evenly spread it.
4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, flour, salt, and pecans, and mix well. Pour in the melted butter, and mix to combine.
5. Crumble the topping evenly over the sweet potato mixture and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let it cool before eating. Enjoy!
Place the sweet potato casserole in an airtight container, or wrap the dish tightly with foil and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
Sweet potato casserole should not be left out for more than 2 hours. This can promote bacteria growth and cause foodborne illness.
- Make ahead of time: Store the filling and streusel separately in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days in advance. When ready to bake, assemble the casserole in a greased 13x9-inch pan and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes or so. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Freezing: Freeze the unbaked casserole unassembled in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months. Thaw the casserole in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before you need it. Assemble the casserole, let it come to room temperature, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Bake the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them: Baking the sweet potatoes actually makes them sweeter. This is because sweet potatoes have enzymes that break down the starches into sugars when they reach a certain temperature. Boiling the potatoes results in a more watery filling, so baking is preferred. To save time, you can bake them 1 to 2 days in advance. The next best option is to microwave them until they're soft.
- If you boil your sweet potatoes, DON'T over-boil: Sweet potatoes hold water when they're boiled. If they are boiled for too long, they can hold extra water, making your casserole look more watery than it should.
- Don't skip the eggs: Adding eggs to your sweet potato casserole makes the filling light, fluffy, and more custard-like.
- Don't add too much sugar: Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet (hence their name), and a common mistake when making a sweet potato casserole is adding too much sugar. I've found that ½ cup of brown sugar for the filling is perfect for 4 pounds of sweet potatoes.
- Weigh your sweet potatoes using a kitchen scale or a scale from the grocery store: Having the right amount of potatoes matters. Sometimes when you buy a bag of potatoes already weighed out from the store, the weight isn't accurate. Weighing the potatoes makes sure your filling turns out perfectly every time.
⁉️Frequently Asked Question
Yes. Store the filling and topping separately in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days before you need it. When ready to bake, assemble the casserole in a greased 13x9-inch pan and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes or so. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes.
The addition of eggs helps make the sweet potato filling light and fluffy.
Yes. Swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free all-purpose flour. I recommend using Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour.
⭐️Before you go! If you enjoyed this recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole without Marshmallows, leave a review and share it with me! I love to hear from you.
Sweet Potato Casserole without Marshmallows (Dairy-Free)
- Electric hand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- 13x9 inch casserole dish
Sweet Potato Filling
- 4 pounds sweet potatoes baked
- 6 tablespoons non-dairy butter melted
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- ½ cup flour scooped and leveled
- 1½ cups pecans chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup non-dairy butter melted
Sweet Potato Filling
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash 4 pounds of sweet potatoes with water and pat dry. Using a knife or a fork, poke holes all over the potatoes. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Large potatoes could take up to 1 hour and 15 minutes. You want the potatoes to give a little when gently squeezed (with oven mitts). Once finished, turn the oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, slice them open and scoop out the insides using a big spoon. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add all of the ingredients except for the eggs. Using a hand mixer, mix well to combine. Add the beaten eggs and mix until well combined.
- Grease a 13x9-inch casserole dish with non-dairy butter. Pour the sweet potato mixture in the bottom and evenly spread it.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, flour, salt, and pecans, and mix well. Pour in the melted butter, and mix to combine.
- Crumble the topping evenly over the sweet potato mixture and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let it cool before eating. Enjoy!
The nutrition label is only an estimate. Amounts may vary.