An easy, slow cooker side that is sweet and filling. With cinnamon, a hint or orange and marshmallows, you almost feel like you’re getting away with having dessert for dinner! This Dairy Free Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole is also naturally free of: gluten; is top 8 free, & has a vegan option too!)
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For me, sweet potato season begins with Thanksgiving and goes all winter. I really can’t be friends with people who only have sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving because they’re depriving themselves!
I like to have sweet potatoes for both my Thanksgiving dish, and my Christmas feast. Plus, it puts me in good standing with my husband who loves them too. So, it’s a win-win for me. Seriously–I have to pretty much surrender all leftovers to him.
Another reason I love to have this scrumptious side dish on these big holidays is because it’s so easy! There’s enough work and prep with the rest of the dishes that it’s nice to have a no-fail side that you just throw in the slow cooker and forget about.
So, whip out your slow cooker and get ready for a sweet side dish with this dairy free sweet potato crock pot casserole.
Here are some FAQs about how to make this sweet potato casserole dairy free and allergy friendly:
Why is there no milk in this sweet potato casserole?
Milk or cream is usually used to help thin the sweet potatoes and to add some creaminess. There is actually no need for milk! I use apple (or orange) juice to help thin them, as well as add some natural sweetness. The starch from the smashed (or blended) sweet potatoes help it to thicken and be creamy enough all on its own!
How far in advance can you make this dairy free sweet potato casserole?
This can be made as early as the morning, and then left on the “low/warm” setting on your slow cooker/crock pot until you’re ready to eat. It can also be made 1-2 days in advance, and then re-heated. Just make sure to not put the marshmallows on until you’re ready to serve, otherwise, when you reheat them, they’ll melt into the casserole and while you’ll be able to taste them, you won’t have that pretty marshmallow topping to look at.
Is this sweet potato casserole vegan?
Because there are no animal products, milk or eggs in this, you would think so. The only thing that is sneaky and would make it non-vegan would be the marshmallows because they have gelatin in them. The easy way to get around this is to either omit them (they’re plenty sweet with the brown sugar), or use a vegan certified marshmallow brand like Dandies.
What does sweet potato casserole go good with?
It’s a sweet side dish, so I like to pair it with savory main dishes. I think it goes well with:
- Oprah’s unfried chicken made gluten free
- Dairy & gluten free crock pot turkey breast
- and of course…Thanksgiving!
- great for potlucks
- And, if you have leftover sweet potatoes, try my friend, Erin’s, Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese.
Do I have to toast the marshmallows on top of my sweet potato casserole?
No. The sweet potatoes should be warm enough to get them to meld into each other and make a nice layer of topping. However, to make it more visually appealing, as well as give it a nice little crunch, I like to toast mine. You can do this with a kitchen blow torch, or, if your baking dish/crock pot bowl (not the entire crock pot!) is oven safe, you can stick it in the oven and broil the marshmallows for around 1 minute, watching it closely until they’re nice and toasty.
Click here to see which marshmallow brands are dairy free if you need help finding a safe brand.
*If you’re looking at how to make this in the instant pot, there’s a recipe for that in my allergy friendly instant pot cookbook plus so much more!
- 4-5 sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (it doesn't have to be pretty since you'll be mashing them later)
- 1/2 cup orange juice* see notes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups mini marshmallows (or enough to top it with)**, vegan if needed
- Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Be sure to do this because of the high sugar content!
- Spread peeled and chopped sweet potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle the spices and pour the liquids over the sweet potatoes. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3. If possible, the slow is preferred just to make sure your sugar doesn't burn. But, by all means, once they're soft you can stop the cooking.
- Once cooked, mash until soft and a uniform puree. Take your slow cooker dish (not the electric shell) and place it in the oven. Be sure to make sure your slow cooker can do this! (If not, you can always put it in a 13x9...but I prefer to have less dishes.) Place the oven on broil and brown the marshmallows until golden and gooey!
*Feel free to use apple juice, if you don't want a taste of orange with your sweet potatoes. Either way it's delicious! When you use the apple juice, you can't taste the apples, it just gives it a nice sweet flavor without having to use so much brown sugar.
**If you want this to be vegan, be sure to use vegan marshmallows. Or, you can omit them and it's still amazing and sweet from the brown sugar.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 159Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 304mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gSugar: 24gProtein: 2g