A classic dish! Vibrant, sweet potato is whipped with coconut milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon into fluffy perfection and topped with crunchy, candied pecans. This vegan side dish is pure comfort food and perfect for cooler weather and the holiday season.
This past weekend flew by and this morning felt like the Monday-est Monday, even after 8 hours of sleep! Next weekend, we have lots of family coming in and unless a dog sitter falls from the sky, we’ll be having an early Thanksgiving of sorts and will need to forego traveling over the actual holiday. Oh, blind, deaf, old lady dog…the things we do for you. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday both for its meaning and for the food! The perfect holiday table is complete with savory dishes, sweet dishes, and also healthy dishes. This recipe satisfies both the sweet side while being healthy, and also vegan.
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Healthy Holidays: This traditional sweet potato casserole, worthy of any holiday menu, is made vegan without skimping flavor!
- Kid-Friendly: With a bit of added brown sugar and crunchy pecans to finish, this sweet potato casserole recipe could double as dessert while being the perfect side dish at the holiday table. A traditional family favorite for all to enjoy!
- Make-Ahead: This sweet potato dish can be fully prepared ahead of time and rewarmed the day of. Putting out delicious, wholesome dishes on your Thanksgiving table doesn’t mean slaving away in the kitchen!
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Sweet Potatoes: Yams, butternut squash, acorn squash, carrots, pumpkin, turnips, or parsnips all make for suitable substitutes.
- Cinnamon: Increase, decrease, or omit, as preferred. You may also use ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, or pumpkin pie spice.
- Salt: Salt brings out the sweetness of the potatoes. You can try with less salt or a salt substitute, if you prefer. Any salt will do, however a fine grain is best to most easily distribute throughout as a very small amount is used!
- Brown Sugar: You can use pure maple syrup or agave in both the sweet potatoes and pecans, if desired. Granulated sugar or coconut sugar may also be used.
- Coconut Milk: Canned coconut milk is unsweetened, thick, and rich in fatty coconut flavor. Shake the can well before opening or mix/whisk before using There are coconut cream and reduced fat canned coconut milk options and any will work well. For other plant milk, non-dairy milk, or vegan options, consider soy milk for the fat with almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, rice milk, or macadamic milk as suitable options.
- Pecans: Walnuts, almonds, or cashews will work as a substitute.
- Coconut Oil: A vegan butter, avocado oil, or melted butter will work as a substitute.
- Allergen-Friendly: gluten-free, dairy-free
- High-Fiber: More 5 grams of fiber per serving!
- Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – beta carotene!
Can the sweet potatoes be prepared in the slow cooker?
The slow cooker is a great way to make sweet potatoes. Simply clean the potatoes, pierce a few times with a fork, and place into the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or until fork tender.
Can this dish be made ahead of time for the holidays?
Being able to make this dish ahead of time makes it IDEAL for special occasions or a holiday meal. Simply cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes to rewarm. Ensure your casserole dish or baking dish is large enough that the mashed sweet potatoes are not too deep as to prevent heating through.
Is there a way to make this recipe without the candied pecan topping?
Certainly! You can serve the sweet potato mash as-is, or consider topping with something like vegan marshmallows and broiling in the oven for 1-2 minutes or until bubbly and hot.
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, and TIPS
- Bake the sweet potatoes until golden brown and fork tender, err on the side of over-cooked versus under-cooked. It’s impossible to whip potatoes that are too firm.
- An electric hand mixer or standmixer fitted with the whisk attachment are the ideal kitchen gadgets to achieve the fluffiest potatoes. However a potato masher and some elbow grease can yield a smooth sweet potato mixture, too!
- A splash of vanilla extract can be a nice touch to the cooked sweet potatoes.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- 3 lbs sweet potatoes
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 cup raw pecan halves
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wash and dry potatoes. Pierce flesh of potatoes using a fork, 5-6 times over surface of each potato before placing on a baking sheet.
- Bake potatoes for 50-70 minutes, depending on size. Bake until fork tender and insides are tender.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- To make the pecans, place melted coconut oil and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the pecans and toss to coat.
- Arrange pecans on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, checking often after the 10-15 minute mark to ensure they do not get overly browned.
- While pecans roast, cut each potato down the middle and scoop out sweet potato flesh and place into a large bowl, repeating with the remaining potatoes. Add the cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, and coconut milk.
- Using an electric hand mixer, whip potatoes until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Transfer potatoes to a casserole dish and spread into an even layer.
- When pecans are done roasting, add to the top of the whipped potatoes and as desired, Serve hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 12.3gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 193mgCarbohydrates: 36.1gFiber: 5.2gSugar: 13.5gProtein: 3.3g
Love sweet taters? Endless uses for these sweet, delicious spuds!
- Sweet Potato Fajitas
- Chili-Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
- BBQ Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
- Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Kale, Sweet Potato, & Avocado Salad
- Black Bean Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Chicken Sausage
- 3 Bean Sweet Potato Chili
- Mexican Chorizo, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Rice Skillet
- Ginger Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Stew with Lentils and Kale