Pecans are one of the best nuts to add to sweet potato casserole because they have a rich, buttery flavor. However, if you don’t have pecans on hand, you can use walnuts, almonds, or even hazelnuts instead.
For all you allergy sufferers out there, we’ve got a little secret for you: pecans aren’t the only nut that can be used in sweet potato casserole.
In fact, we’ve gone so far as to say that there are at least 18 substitutes for pecans in sweet potato casserole!
What might those be, you ask?
Let’s take a look!
18 Substitutes for Pecans in Sweet Potato Casserole
You’re likely to have a friend or family member who needs you to swap in some allergy-friendly ingredients.
But that doesn’t mean you or your loved ones have to miss out on your favorite holiday treats!
Here are 18 great substitutes for pecans in your sweet potato casserole:
Walnuts are a crunchy nut that will work well in this dish.
Just make sure to measure before chopping: 1 cup of whole walnuts is equivalent to 1 cup of chopped pecans or almonds.
2. Sunflower seeds
Substitute sunflower seeds for pecans in a 1:1 ratio.
They have a similar texture to pecans and will add a similar crunchy texture to the casserole—plus, the nutty taste of sunflower seeds complements the flavors of sweet potato casserole perfectly.
These watery, crunchy nuts provide the same crunchy texture that pecans do, but without the butter-and-sugar coating.
The flavor is also similar: slightly sweet and rich.
Just be sure to chop them finely.
A great way to keep them from rolling all over the kitchen is to place them in a zip-top bag and gently roll over the bag with a rolling pin until they’re at the size you want.
You can also use a food processor if you have one on hand.
These tasty nuts are great for adding crunch to your sweet potato casserole and they’re especially good when paired with marshmallows.
You can easily find them at your local grocery store.
They’re crunchy and sweet!
These nuts are also great for adding some texture and flavor to your casserole.
They have an earthy flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of sweet potatoes.
You can find these nuts at most grocery stores or specialty markets (like Whole Foods).
6. Macadamia Nuts
If you’re feeling extra fancy, try topping your sweet potato casserole with macadamia nuts instead.
These nuts are popular in Australia and Hawaii (even though they come from South Africa) and offer a rich taste that adds an element of sophistication to your dish.
Pistachios are healthy and a great source of protein, antioxidants, and other nutrients like vitamin B6.
They make a great substitution not only because they taste great with sweet potatoes, but also because they are similar in texture to pecans.
Simply add them into the casserole where the pecans would normally be called for.
8. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts have a unique earthy flavor that pairs wonderfully with sweet potatoes.
If you’re looking for something more traditional-tasting in your sweet potato casserole with an extra kick of protein and fiber, this is the nut for you!
Peanuts are actually legumes, but we love them so much (and they taste so good in this recipe) that we couldn’t leave them off this list.
While peanuts aren’t as high in some nutrients as other options on this list, they are a great source of healthy fats and protein.
10. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic substitute for pecans in sweet potato casserole, especially if you’re looking to add a little spice to your dish.
Whether you toast them or leave them raw, they will give your casserole a new and exciting flavor.
11. Coconut shreds
We also love coconut shreds as a substitute for pecans in sweet potato casserole because they can be used in so many different ways.
For example, if you’re looking for something crunchy and savory, you can toast them until they’re golden brown.
If you prefer something sweeter, use raw coconut shreds and sprinkle them over the top of your sweet potato casserole for a hint of tropical sweetness.
Hazelnuts are an excellent substitute because they have a similar flavor profile and texture, but with less of the earthy undertones that some people don’t enjoy about pecans.
If you want something with a little more kick, try adding some cinnamon to this dish as well.
Croutons add a very different dimension of texture than pecans do in sweet potato casserole.
They’re also much easier to find than sunflower seeds in most grocery stores, so they’re good if you don’t have time or transportation to get sunflower seeds.
Use them instead of pecans in a 2:1 ratio with croutons as the larger part of that measurement.
14. Corn Flakes
They’re crunchy, they’re salty, and they’re popular in just about every part of the world.
They can also be gluten-free, making them a great option for folks with sensitive diets.
15. Panko bread crumbs
Tossing in panko gives your sweet potato casserole the same kind of crunch you’d get from pecans, but without the nuts.
Panko bread crumbs are much larger than standard bread crumbs, which means you’ll get more bite per spoonful!
Granola gives your sweet potato casserole the perfect crunchy texture, while adding a little cereal-like sweetness.
If you go with this option, there’s no need to add the brown sugar or extra butter that the recipe calls for—the granola has plenty of sweetness on its own!
Replace pecans with granola at a 1:1 ratio, and mix it in with the rest of your topping ingredients before sprinkling it over top.
17. Pine Nuts
Pine nuts have a similar texture to pecans but, like walnuts, they have a less sweet flavor profile and may change the way your sweet potato casserole tastes.
If pine nuts aren’t something you have on hand often, they may be more expensive than other options on this list since they tend to be higher priced than other nut varieties.
They can also be hard to find in some areas.
18. Chia Seeds
Looking for something lower carb?
Chia seeds are a great option!
They bring the crunch without the carbs or fat, and they’re packed with omega 3 fatty acids which are good for both your brain and your heart health!
18 Substitutes for Pecans in Sweet Potato Casserole
- Sunflower seeds
- Macadamia Nuts
- Brazil Nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Coconut shreds
- Corn Flakes
- Panko bread crumbs
- Pine Nuts
- Chia Seeds
- Pick any of the substitutes from this list to use in your casserole.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Be ready to eat in no time!