Now everyone can enjoy sweet potato casserole with this easy, gluten-free recipe! No speciality ingredients are required, so it’s simple to prepare, even for those not familiar with a gluten-free diet!
Best Allergy-friendly sweet potato casserole
Sweet potato casserole, along with green bean casserole, gravy, and traditional stuffing are staple side dishes at the Thanksgiving table. When accommodating guests for a gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner, though, it’s important to provide allergy-friendly foods all will love!
This easy gluten-free sweet potato casserole uses Chex cereal, pecans, butter, and brown sugar for a crunchy, sweet gluten-free topping. The ingredients are safe for all to enjoy, widely available, and affordable, just like the recipes highlighted in my gluten-free cookbook.
To make a dairy-free gluten-free sweet potato casserole, simply swap out the cream with coconut milk and the butter with dairy-free butter. Additionally, it can be made without eggs for an egg-free or vegan casserole.
are sweet potatoes gluten-free?
Yes. On their own sweet potatoes are a naturally gluten-free food and safe for those with celiac or on a gluten-free diet. However, contamination may occur depending on how they are prepared.
For instance, sweet potato fries cooked in the same fryer as non-GF foods will contain traces of gluten. Some sweet potato casseroles also have crumble or streusel toppings, containing wheat flour, so they are not safe to consume.
Ingredient Notes / substitutions
Many of the ingredients for gluten-free sweet potato casserole may be easily modified for dairy-free or vegan diets.
- Sweet Potatoes – Roasting the sweet potatoes concentrates and caramelizes the flavor, eliminating the likelihood of a runny or watery casserole, which often happens with boiled potatoes.
- Heavy Cream – A small amount adds an extra creaminess to the mashed sweet potatoes. Substitutions include half and half, whole milk, softened cream cheese, or a non-dairy milks, such as coconut or almond milk for a dairy-free casserole.
- Butter – For a dairy-free recipe, replace with plant-based vegan butter or coconut oil.
- Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup – Adjust the amount to taste, but generally I find sweet potato casserole recipes to be overly sweetened. A reduced amount is included in the recipe card.
- Egg – Used as a binder for the potatoes, but for an egg-free sweet potato casserole substitute an egg replacer or 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
- Orange Zest – Not an overpowering flavor, but adds an unique hint of citrus that compliments the potatoes. It may be omitted or replace with ½ teaspoon cinnamon, vanilla extract, or a dash of nutmeg.
- Chex Cereal – This is a spin on southern casseroles with a crunchy cornflake topping, which unfortunately are not gluten-free. Use rice or corn Chex, or gluten-free cornflakes, such as Nature’s Path.
- Pecans – Chopped pecans adds a salty crunch to compliment the topping’s sweetness. If you prefer a different gluten-free topping, such as marshmallows, see the gluten-free sweet potato topping section below.
how to make gluten-free Sweet Potato Casserole
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Prick the sweet potatoes 5-6 times with a fork. Roast for 50-60 minutes, turning halfway, until fork tender.
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel away the skins and transfer the flesh to a large mixing bowl. Use a hand held mixer to mash the potatoes until smooth.
- Pour in the heavy cream, softened butter, brown sugar, egg, orange zest, and salt. Beat again until well combined. Spread in a 2-quart baking dish.
- For the topping, combined the crushed cereal, pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Sprinkle on top of the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake in a 350ºF oven for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are heated through and the top is golden.
gluten-free sweet potato casserole toppings
Instead of a pecan topping, you may also make gluten free sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. You will need a 10-ounce bag of mini marshmallows, but do not sprinkle on top until the last 5 minutes of baking.
You may also do a half and half topping with pecan crumble on one side (half recipe) and marshmallow topping on the other. This gives options for guest to choose what they prefer!
It’s quite simple to adjust the recipe for a gluten-free dairy-free sweet potato casserole. Replace the butter with plant-based butter or coconut oil. For the heavy cream, use full-fat coconut milk or dairy-free almond milk.
doubling the recipe
This recipe is baked in a 2-quart casserole dish, which can be swapped out with a 8×8, 9X9, or 9-10 inch pie plate. It will serve about 10-12 guests since generally there are plenty of Thanksgiving side dishes to choose from!
If hosting a larger group, or you plan on serving larger portions, the recipe may be doubled and baked in a 9X13 casserole dish. The baking time will extend about 10 minutes to heat through.
Can I Use canned sweet potatoes or yams?
To save a step, you may use canned sweet potatoes or yams. You will need two 29 ounce cans, drained.
However, canned potatoes are often packed in syrup so either omit the sugar from the sweet potato mixture or reduce the amount by half.
make-ahead and rewarming
To make this side dish ahead of time, prepare the casserole and cover with foil once the potatoes have completely cooled. Store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before baking.
For best results, let the dish sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking. Remove the foil and bake as directed, adding 5-15 minutes, depending on how cold the potatoes were.
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Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole (BEST!)
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream see recipe notes for dairy-free
- 4 tablespoons butter, very softened see recipe notes for dairy-free
- ⅓ cup brown sugar or pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg see recipe notes for egg-free
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Crunchy Pecan Topping
- 1 cup crushed corn Chex cereal about 2 cups whole cereal
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 4 tablespoons melted butter see recipe notes for dairy-free
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Prick the sweet potatoes 5-6 times with a fork. Roast for 50-60 minutes, turning halfway, until very tender.3 pounds sweet potatoes
- Reduce the oven to 350ºF. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel away the skins and transfer the flesh to a large mixing bowl. Use a hand held mixer to mash the potatoes until smooth.
- Pour in the heavy cream, softened butter, brown sugar, egg, orange zest, and salt. Beat again until well combined. Spread in a 2-quart baking dish.3 tablespoons heavy cream,4 tablespoons butter, very softened,⅓ cup brown sugar,1 large egg,1 teaspoon orange zest,¼ teaspoon salt
- For the topping, combined the crushed cereal, pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Sprinkle on top of the sweet potato mixture.1 cup crushed corn Chex cereal,½ cup chopped pecans,4 tablespoons melted butter,3 tablespoons brown sugar,⅛ teaspoon cinnamon,pinch salt
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are heated through in the middle and the top is golden.
Dairy-Free / Egg-Free ModificationsReplace the butter with plant-based butter or coconut oil. For the heavy cream, use full-fat coconut milk or dairy-free almond milk. For an egg-free casserole, substitute 1 tablespoon cornstarch or use an egg replacer, such as Neat Egg.
Marshmallow ToppingA marshmallow topping may be substituted for the cereal topping. You will need a 10-ounce bag of mini marshmallows, but do not sprinkle on top until the last 5 minutes of baking. You may also do a half and half topping with pecan crunch on one side (using a half recipe) and marshmallow topping on the other. This gives options for guest to choose what they prefer!
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