With Thanksgiving just days away now, it’s time for another delicious recipe! This one is for anyone who’s looking to lighten-up traditional sweet potato casserole (marshmallows, anyone?), or if you are serving any dairy-free or vegan guests this year! Or really, anyone at all, because this recipe is so delicious that everyone should have it on their table this year.
I am a total coconut person. I love everything about it – the flavor, the smell, and the way it makes me think about summer time even during a rainy winter. Traditional sweet potato casserole includes things like eggs, butter, and lots of added sugar in order to achieve a deliciously sweet and creamy final product. My recipe has none of that, but no one in my house was complaining.
I swapped in creamy coconut milk to replace the milk and eggs, coconut oil to replace the butter, and maple syrup to replace all the added sugar. For the topping, I used a mix of nuts, oats, and coconut flakes to give it delicious texture and crunch. This was a hit with both the adults and kids in my family, and I loved serving a classic dish with a healthy vegan makeover.
Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (6 servings)
3lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
salt to taste
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup pecan pieces
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
zest of one orange
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and put them on a sheet pan in a single layer.
If you are short on time, you can also boil or steam the potatoes until soft, but I prefer the flavor that comes from roasting them. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes until soft and browning on the bottom, stirring once mid-way through cooking.
While the sweet potatoes are roasting, you can prepare the crumble. Combine rolled oats, coconut flakes, walnuts, pecans, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and the zest of one orange into your food processor.
Pulse a few times until it is all combined well and crumbly in texture, but don’t over-do it! Add a pinch of salt and pulse for another 10 seconds. Clean your food processor, because you are about to use it again!
Once the sweet potatoes are done roasting, toss them into the (cleaned) food processor. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Add the melted coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, spices, and a pinch of salt. I used Thai Kitchen organic unsweetened coconut milk, which helped make it really rich and creamy. (For those who prefer something even lighter, Thai Kitchen also has a “light” option!)
Pumpkin pie spices pair perfectly with sweet potatoes to make this taste festive and seasonal.
Process until it is totally smooth and delicious. Coconut milk is such a great non-dairy alternative to use during holiday cooking and baking, especially when you are cooking for a large group that might include some dietary restrictions. These sweet potatoes are so rich and creamy in taste, but they are dairy-free and have no added refined sugar. Of course this just makes me want to eat twice as much…
Spoon sweet potato mixture into the bottom of a baking dish (mine was 6.5×10 but anything close to that should be fine!). Use a spatula to spread it out evenly all the way to the sides of the dish.
One the sweet potatoes are smooth, pour the crumble on top! Carefully spread it into an even layer on top.
It will look like a TON of topping, but I promise it is just the right balance. Once you dig in you get a bit of crumble with every bite – perfection.
Bake casserole for 20 minutes at 375 degrees, until the topping is starting to brown and the potatoes are heated through.
Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then serve and enjoy!
Growing up, we never really had traditional sweet potato casserole (with all the butter and sugar and marshmallows!) for Thanksgiving, so I guess I didn’t know what I was missing. But I can tell you that as my family sat down to enjoy this last week, it sure didn’t feel like we were missing anything at all.
If you are trying to cook a healthier meal this year, or if you are serving vegetarian and non-dairy guests, don’t let the holiday decadence overwhelm you. Simple swaps like using coconut milk in place of dairy, or coconut oil in place of butter make it easy to satisfy everyone at the table. Even my kids, who I consider to be ridiculously picky, literally gobbled these sweet potatoes down. We’ll be making this all year long!
I’m planning to have one more (stuffing!) recipe for you guys tomorrow, so stay tuned if you are still menu planning! Happy holiday cooking!