Trade traditional Sweet Potato Casserole for this easy vegetarian alternative. Featuring a fluffy marshmallow meringue and a pecan and brown sugar center, this is a must-have for this season’s Thanksgiving meal lineup.
This Sweet Potato Casserole is the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish: Crunchy pecan crumble, fluffy toasted meringue, and creamy sweet potato!
When living in Holland, I would throw a Thanksgiving feast every year, featuring all the great American classics for Dutch friends and family to try out. I made buttermilk biscuits and a butternut beet galette and sweet potato casserole (complete with marshmallows on top!)
Needless to say, they found the idea of marshmallows on top of potatoes…interesting. And I mean, it is a bit weird right? But it works. Oh, it works.
So in the spirit of creating a vegetarian version of our favorite marshmallow-topped side dish, today we’re making a sweet potato casserole with toasted meringue!
But why stop there? To counter all that creamy smoothness, we’re throwing in some pecans for added crunch, because why not pull out all the stops and make this the ultimate sweet potato casserole, amiright?
And so, friends, here is this year’s revamped Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble and Meringue! It’s a fabulous vegetarian alternative to the traditional marshmallow recipe. I hope you share it with all your favorite humans (if you can keep yourself from devouring the whole thing) (hint: I failed on that front).
Here’s what you’ll need
Sweet potato casserole calls for three sections of ingredients. We’ll start with the sweet potato base, followed by the pecan crumble center and the meringue top! Each section features flavorful ingredients like cinnamon, pecans, and brown sugar. Let’s just say I call this the best sweet potato casserole for a reason!
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
The first part of this recipe features 3 large, peeled sweet potatoes. They will be boiled, mashed, and then mixed with butter, milk, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, salt, and 4 large egg yolks. Together, these ingredients work to flavor the sweet potatoes and deliver a sweet, filling potatoy base.
For the middle layer of the casserole, we’re whipping together a crunchy pecan crumble. This is my favorite part of the recipe because the combination of the butter, chopped pecans, flour, and brown sugar is almost too delicious to handle! If you’re craving a sweeter casserole, double the pecan crumble ingredients!
Finally, we have the meringue. This is the magic final touch that makes this a vegetarian alternative to the traditional marshmallow recipe, as marshmallows are surprisingly not vegetarian-friendly. To create this layer, all you need is cream of tartar and granulated sugar. When mixed with egg whites, these two ingredients form a delicious, fluffy meringue.
How to make easy sweet potato casserole
This healthy sweet potato casserole is one of those recipes that takes a good amount of love to prepare, but the end result is so, so worth it. It’s far from complicated though, as there are only three steps involved. Just boil and mash the potatoes, mix them with a few flavorings, bake the crumble, and prepare the meringue!
When all is said and done, you’ll have a dish filled with fluffy, cinnamony potatoes topped with a mouth watering, tangy meringue.
Step 1: Prepare the sweet potatoes
First, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Bring a large pot of water to a boil, chop the sweet potatoes, and throw them in. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fork tender, and then drain. Mash the potatoes until they’re smooth.
Add the butter, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Stir until combined and then set aside until cooled (room temperature). Once cooled, stir in the egg yolks, reserving the whites for later use.
Step 2: Bake the crumble
Pour the sweet potato mix into a casserole dish. Then, in a small bowl, combine the butter, pecans, flour, and brown sugar. Sprinkle it on top of the casserole and bake for 25 minutes, or until the pecan crumble is crisp.
Step 3: Make the meringue
While the crumble bakes, add the egg whites to a clean bowl and begin beating at medium speed. When they become frothy, add the tartar and begin adding the sugar. Gradually add the sugar until it’s fully incorporated, beating until firm, glossy peaks form.
When the pecan crumble is crispy, spread the meringue on top. Return the dish to the top rack of the oven for 3 minutes, until golden brown (watch closely to prevent burning).
How to store sweet potato casserole
Does anyone else get just as excited about Thanksgiving leftovers as you do about the meal itself? Maybe it’s because the flavors get to settle and mix overnight, but the leftovers are always so tasty, this dish included.
If you wind up with sweet potato casserole leftovers (slim chance), keep it stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator. It should be eaten by the 3 day mark.
More vegetarian Thanksgiving favorites
To complete the Thanksgiving lineup, here are some more delicious recipes to prepare!
- Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner on a Sheet Pan
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes
- Thanksgiving Sides in a Slow Cooker
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Autumn Pomegranate Salad
- Vegan Bread Stuffing
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 3 large sweet potatoes peeled
- ¼ cup butter 60 g
- ¼ cup milk 60 mL
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 5 mL
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 large eggs yolks and whites separated
- 2 Tbsp melted butter 30 g
- ½ cup chopped pecans 30 g
- ¼ cup flour 30 g
- ¼ cup brown sugar 50 g
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar 50 g
- Sweet Potatoes: Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Chop the sweet potatoes then throw them in. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fork tender, then drain. Mash until smooth then add butter, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until combined and set aside until cooled (room temperature), then stir in the egg yolks (reserve the whites).
- Bake: Pour sweet potato mix into a casserole dish. In a small bowl combine butter, pecans, flour, and brown sugar, then sprinkle on top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until pecan crumble is crisp.
- Meringue: Meanwhile, add egg whites to a clean bowl and begin beating at medium speed. When they become frothy, add the tartar and begin adding sugar. Gradually add the sugar until fully incorporated, beating until firm, glossy peaks form. When pecan crumble is crispy, spread meringue on top. Return to the top rack of the oven for 3 minutes, until golden brown (watch closely to prevent burning!)