Slow Cooker Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

vegan sweet potato casserole ingredients | comfort food | hearth health happiness

Slow Cooker Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

I love sweet potato casserole. Let me be clear, I love sweet potato casserole loaded with brown sugar and topped with marshmallows. More specifically, marshmallows lightly melted and browned on top, so all the sugar infuses the sweet potato mix underneath. But, I also love feeling healthy and am determined to find alternatives that offer a little indulgence with a little less guilt. Plus, some sweet potato casseroles err on the side of too sweet. We wouldn’t want to overshadow dessert, would we? 😉 That’s what I love about this slow cooker vegan sweet potato casserole. It offers a subtle sweetness and delicious spices from plant-based ingredients without losing its comfort food credentials. 

Why this recipe?

  • The slow cooker frees up your oven. Although this isn’t just a “dump and let it cook” recipe, it does take some of the pressure off of the baking process and allows you to put attention elsewhere on holidays when the kitchen turns into a mini orchestra. 
  • A pecan-oat crumble topping is a little more hearty than traditional marshmallows. Unless you use special marshmallows, too, you do get some less-than-appetizing ingredients with those puffy white treats. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the pecans and stir ingredients together in a bowl. 
  • Unique flavors provide greater contrast to your fall table. Yes, the cinnamon, ginger, and allspice aren’t strangers to autumn treats, but their interaction with maple syrup and coconut sugar (for example) make this a special treat.
  • Plant-based ingredients offer a guilt-free opportunity. 
  • It’s not too sweet. I love letting the sweet potatoes and pecan topping shine. When sweet potato casseroles are too sweet, the flavors get overpowered. Why not a little sweet, a little spice, and some hearty root veggie flavors all in one? If you are a fan of extra sweet sweet potato casserole, you can add more maple syrup or sweetener of your choice, 1 tbsp at a time. 
slow cooker vegan sweet potato casserole ingredients


  • Sweet potatoes: Of course. I would suggest 4-5 large sweet potatoes or 5-6 medium. Approximately 4 lbs., but this particular recipe is not an exact science. 
  •  Neutral-flavored oil: Replaces butter in a traditional recipe. I used pecan oil, which I am ALL ABOUT these days. This may be less accessible in your area, so any oil that doesn’t have an overpowering, heavy flavor should work well. I would consider EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) or a vegetable oil as a substitute. Some other vegan sweet potato casserole recipes call for coconut oil, so that is a personal preference. I particularly like the neutrality of the pecan oil. The brand I used here is a 1:1 butter substitute. 
  • Pure maple syrup: I like the depth of flavor and it’s ability to offer moisture. 
  • Coconut sugar: Replaces brown sugar in a traditional recipe. Similar to the maple syrup, I like the depth of flavor. Coconut sugar is preferred by many as a substitute to brown sugar, but it is still sugar and should still be used sparingly. 
  • Pure vanilla extract: Also adds sweetness to any dish, and this is no exception. 
  • Spices: I added cinnamon as the most prevalent spice, but ginger and allspice add nice contrast. 
  • Plant-based milk: Replaces dairy milk in a traditional recipe. I used soy milk (original, full fat) because that is what I always have on hand. You are welcome to replace with the milk of your choice. Some enjoy a vanilla-flavored milk in their recipe, but I would be cautious adding too many flavors to one dish. Just exercise caution. 
  • Kosher salt: I used pink Himalayan salt because it offers an even texture. Salt helps bring out the flavors in a dish. 
slow cooker vegan sweet potato casserole ingredients | hearth health happiness

Pecan-Oat Crumble Topping Ingredients

Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats: To help maintain structure during time in slow cooker. 

All-purpose flour: To help the ingredients clump and form a crumble consistency. 

Raw pecan halves: You can toast these on the skillet for a few minutes before tossing in the food processor, but that is a completely optional step! I suggest using raw pecans, or you can toss in some salted pecans (no skillet toasting necessary) for a little extra pop. 

Neutral-flavored oil: See above for additional thoughts on this, but I recommend pecan oil or a light extra virgin olive oil. 

Pure maple syrup: Adds sweetness and offers moisture (with the oil) to help the rest of the topping ingredients form loose crumbles. Offers greater depth of flavor. Add an extra teaspoon or two for a little more sweetness, if you’d like. 

Pure vanilla extract: You guessed it, flavor and sweetness only vanilla extract can provide! 

Truvia Sweet Complete: Just a little more sweetness for fun. Completely optional. 

Spices: Cinnamon and allspice for a little kick. I skipped the ginger because I didn’t want the topping to taste exactly the same as the sweet potato foundation. 

Salt: You already know. 😉 Pulls out the flavors and kosher is best for consistency’s sake! 

Step-by-Step Assembly

Wet Ingredients

The wet ingredients will serve as a sauce of sorts for the sweet potato cubes to cook in for a few hours before getting incorporated into the potatoes when you mash them. 

peeled sweet potatoes next to bowl of seasonings | comfort food | hearth health happiness

Drizzle the wet ingredients over the top of the sweet potatoes and stir to coat before covering to cook on high for 2 hours. Stir occasionally (about once every hour). 

Pecan Oat Crumble Topping

The slow cooker doesn’t have to do all the work – if you have a food processor on hand, you can use it to pulse the ingredients and create a nice crumble for the top of the sweet potatoes. Drizzle the oil and syrup through the pour spout to gently combine the ingredients. 

vegan sweet potato casserole topping ingredients in food processor | comfort food

Once the cubes are tender, use a potato masher or back of a spoon to mash and incorporate the juices. Sprinkle with the pecan-oat crumble and cook for about another hour. 

vegan sweet potato casserole topping on half potato mixture | comfort food
vegan sweet potato casserole baked in slow cooker | comfort food

A few tips for the perfect vegan sweet potato casserole

Honestly, the best tip I can give is to feel empowered to adjust the sweetness and spices (a little) to suit your palate. I prefer this a little less sweet, but if you are a die-hard “give me all the sugar” sweet potato casserole fan, that’s ok! Add a little more coconut sugar, maple syrup, or substitute with some brown sugar. When you mash the potatoes, give them a little taste and decide if you want to add anything. Half-way through the cooking process is a perfect time to make additions! 

Pro Tip:

Add contrast to the dish with the pecan-oat crumble OR sprinkle some granola over the mixture and allow to warm through. The crunch adds a wonderful contrast to the rest of the dish…something marshmallows can’t boast no matter how delicious they are! 

slow cooker vegan sweet potato casserole | comfort food | hearth health happiness

Slow Cooker Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

Melanie Lorick
A sweet potato casserole that is now even more deserving of its place on the Thanksgiving table. With delicious depth of flavor from fall spices, subtle sweetness from pure maple syrup, and nutty hints of pecans, you'll savor every bite. Dairy-free, vegan, and traditional sugar substitutes make this guilt-free. Plus, the slow cooker frees up some space in your oven!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people


  • 6 qt. slow cooker


Slow Cooker Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk use your preference
  • 4 tablespoon pecan oil can substitute with olive or any neutral-flavored oil
  • 1/8 cup coconut sugar can substitute with light brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup it's ok to add an extra dollop, if desired
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • pinch kosher salt we used pink Himalayan salt

Slow Cooker Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole Topping

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup pecans lightly toasted, if desired (optional)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons pecan oil can substitute with olive or any neutral-flavored oil and have more on standby
  • 1 tablespoon Truvia sweet complete can substitute with light brown or granulated sugar, or more maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice optional


  • Use non-stick cooking spray to lightly coat the slow cooker interior. Add diced sweet potato.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and spices (milk, oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt. Pour over the diced sweet potatoes and stir to coat each piece.
  • Cover and affix lid and cook on high for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • While sweet potatoes are cooking, add the remaining ingredients, reserving the oil and syrup to pour through the pour spout of the food processor while pulsing. Start by pulsing a few times, until it clumps gently. Add more syrup or oil if the oats resist clumping at all (in 1 tsp increments).
  • Once the sweet potato pieces are tender, use a potato masher to mash (you can either mash to create an even consistency, or leave small potato pieces for a rustic feel. Up to you! Stir to incorporate any juices from cooking.
  • Sprinkle the pecan oat topping over the sweet potatoes, cover, reaffix the lid, and set the slow cooker to low. Cook for 1-2 more hours.
  • Allow to stay on low during your meal and serve straight from the slow cooker, transfer to another dish, or cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy!!!!


Acceptable substitutes: 
  • Light brown sugar for coconut sugar or maple syrup in sweet potato casserole base
  • Light brown sugar or granulated sugar for Truvia Sweet Complete
  • Neutral-flavored oil in the pecan oat topping in place of maple syrup, but be prepared to add more sugar or Truvia for sweetness. 
  • Spices are relatively interchangeable, but cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and even pumpkin spice are great compliments. 
Keyword dairy free, healthy, side dish, sweet potato casserole, sweet potatoes, thanksgiving, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Serving & Storage

Serve this straight from the slow cooker, or transfer to a casserole dish using a large spatula (this works best if you remove a piece first – give that spatula some leverage!). You can cook the sweet potato cubes and sauce ahead of time and freeze in an airtight container up to a few months. I would wait to make the crumble topping until the day you prepare the rest of the recipe. The finished product can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can reheat in the microwave or stick a few pieces under the broiler of the oven for a few minutes (on a sheetpan, of course!) to make the crumble a little more crunchy before serving.  

What are your favorite sides to serve on Thanksgiving – or other autumnal holidays? I look forward to hearing about what’s on your table. And, if you need another side, don’t forget to give this pumpkin beer bread a try! Until next time, friends, cheers to your hearth, health, and happiness! 

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