Sweet potatoes with marshmallows is a classic Thanksgiving side dish. This recipe is dairy free and even has the option for refined sugar free potatoes. Easy and delicious!
No Thanksgiving table would be complete without sweet potatoes and marshmallows, at least in my family! This is a classic Thanksgiving dinner side dish that is super easy to make allergy friendly. Just a simple swap of butter and marshmallows and you are done!
Free from: Wheat, gluten, dairy (optional), casein (optional), eggs, soy (optional), peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
This delicious recipe is one that is also perfect outside of Thanksgiving. It’s fantastic for Christmas dinners or anytime you are craving some sweet potato comfort food.
Want some more side dishes to accompany these sweet potatoes for your holiday table? Check out my sweet potato with streusel topping, easy roasted Brussel sprouts, or stovetop mac and cheese!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Filled with warm spices
- Classic recipe that’s easy to make dairy free
- Only 6 ingredients for a delicious classic side dish
- Easy to make the day before events
- Refined sugar free option
Yams vs Sweet Potatoes
Yams and sweet potatoes are often confused with each other but they are not the same thing. What you will find most often in US grocery stores are sweet potatoes, even if they are labeled yams!
Yams: Rough, textured brown skin, white starchy flesh inside, neutral flavor, outside looks and feels like tree bark. Originated in Africa.
Sweet Potatoes: Smooth, thin, red-brown skin, white, purple, or orange flesh inside, sweet flavor, outside is smooth with tiny roots often growing from them. Originated in Central and/or South America.
So if you mainly see sweet potatoes in the US, why are they called yams? Well, that was done for marketing purposes to help distinguish them from white potatoes. The American grocery stores adopted the African word yam and applied it to their orange sweet potato. Yep, even the canned yams are hidden sweet potatoes. And the name just kinda stuck.
True yams are imported so you're best bet to find them are at speciality shops!
You only need a few simple ingredients to make these sweet potatoes. And with a few simple swaps you can make them vegan and dairy free! Also you will need a sweetener, which I forgot to include in the photo. You have two options which I detail below.
- Sweet potatoes: The star of the show! By boiling and then baking the sweet potatoes, they become really soft, tender, and not stringy at all. Use a stand mixer to cream them so they are lump free, or a potato masher for something a little more rustic in texture.
- Brown sugar or Maple Syrup: This recipe works great with either sweetener. Use your personal favorite!
- Butter: Use your favorite butter. Both dairy and dairy free butter work in this recipe.
- Marshmallows: I love to use Dandies marshmallows for this recipe. They are vegan, gluten free, as well as nut free and gelatin free. I love to use the mini marshmallows but the large marshmallows will also be delicious on top.
- Cinnamon + Salt: The warm cinnamon adds a depth of flavor to these sweet potatoes and really keeps them from being just one note. If you haven’t tried it with cinnamon before you are missing out! A pinch of salt helps to balance out the sweetness.
If you are avoiding soy, make sure that you use a marshmallow that is soy free. My favorite brand is Campfire marshmallows.
If you are avoiding dairy, you can totally make this recipe dairy free! Use your favorite dairy free butter in place of the butter written in the recipe. This makes for an easy swap for yummy potatoes.
For the full instructions, complete with recipe measurements, please see the recipe card below.
In a large pot of cold water, add the peeled and roughly chopped sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Carefully remove the sweet potatoes from the hot water and add to a large mixing bowl.
Tip! If making the day before, you can even roast the sweet potatoes! On a lined baking sheet, place the peeled and chopped sweet potatoes in a single layer and roast at 400F for 40 minutes or until fork tender. You can use whole potatoes as well, just make sure to prick them with a fork before baking.
In this large bowl, or in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the rest of the ingredients of butter, sweetener of your choice, cinnamon, and salt. Mix this on low speed until the potatoes are smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. The heat of the sweet potatoes will melt the butter for you, so don't let them get to room temperature when making them.
Transfer to an ovenproof dish and smooth out the top. You can spray with some nonstick cooking spray, but I don't find it totally necessary. Add the mini marshmallows and cover the majority of the potatoes.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown. Remove from the oven when the marshmallows are toasted to your preference and let them cool on the countertop for 5 minutes. Enjoy!
I always use dark brown sugar in all my cooking and baking. However, light brown sugar is just as tasty. This is one recipe where both are a good choice.
So here is where we can get a little technical in our terms.
For the best ooey gooey marshmallows, use the mini marshmallows. They melt together into one glorious marshmallow.
For the best pillowy marshmallows, use the larger marshmallows. When I use them, I will evenly divide them onto the top of the sweet potatoes in rows so that everyone gets one pillowy marshmallow on top!
How to Store
Keep any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. However, I often let it cool down and just wrap the baking dish in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and save them for the next day. Sweet potatoes don’t last long in my house!
More Comfort Food Classics
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- 8x10 baking dish
- cutting board
- Large pot
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- Stand mixer or potato masher
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 2 cups marshmallows
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar OR maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cook the sweet potatoes. Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes into 2 inch cubes. Place in a pot of water on the stove and boil until fork tender, about 30 minutes at a rolling boil. Drain and place into a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish with oil and set aside.
- Mix. Add the vegan butter and brown sugar (or maple syrup) to the sweet potatoes and mash well. Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Cover with marshmallows.
- Bake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the marshmallows are lightly browned. If they are browning too quickly, you can make a tent of aluminum foil. Enjoy!
- Allergy Substitutions
- If you are avoiding soy, make sure that you use a marshmallow that is soy free. My favorite brand is Campfire marshmallows.
- If you are avoiding dairy, you can totally make this recipe dairy free! Use your favorite dairy free butter in place of the butter written in the recipe. This makes for an easy swap for yummy potatoes.
- How to Store
- Keep any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. However, I often let it cool down and just wrap the baking dish in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and save them for the next day. Sweet potatoes don’t last long in my house!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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Thanks for the Thanksgiving email! I’m SO *Thankful* for your allergy-free recipes! Can’t wait to make this one tomorrow - with dairy free butter. Oh, and the dairy free pumpkin pie as well! 😋
You are so welcome!! Wishing you a delicious dinner and happy memories tomorrow. 🙂 Enjoy an extra slice of that pie as well. With coconut whip cream on top it's so good!