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This vegan savory sweet potato casserole is a rich and decadent dish that will add an elegant touch to your family’s table. It is made with coconut milk and infused with sage and rosemary and is adapted from the (non-vegan) Savory Sweet Potato Casserole by Bon Appetit.
A follower had requested that I look at her favorite holiday sweet potato dish and see if I could find a way to make it vegan-friendly. I had never made a savory sweet potato casserole. In my family, we love a sweetly spiced sweet potato dish, but I was definitely up for the challenge! And I’m so glad I did. I believe we have found a new family favorite side-dish for our holiday table! For other delicious holiday side dishes, try my Slow Cooker Corn Casserole or Cheesy Creamy Vegan Funeral Potatoes. For a sweeter sweet potato casserole dish, try another family favorite – my Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans and Brown Sugar.
To make this recipe for Savory Sweet Potato Casserole you will need:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Fresh Rosemary and Sage
- Vegan Butter
- Sourdough Bread
- Coconut Milk
- Nutritional Yeast
- Lemon Zest
- Salt and Pepper
Tips and Tricks for Making Savory Sweet Potato Casserole:
Read through the tips and tricks section to ensure your savory sweet potato casserole turns out fabulous!
- I often take shortcuts with canned goods such as canned sweet potatoes. For this recipe, however, which really is a special decadent dish, I am happy to go to the extra effort to use whole uncanned sweet potatoes and bake them. It’s an extra step, but I think for this recipe, worth it.
- For the best color and texture, use the bright orange sweet potatoes.
- You will need 5 lbs of sweet potatoes. Since sweet potatoes come in various sizes, it is important that you weigh yours. I purchased 8 medium-sized sweet potatoes to get 5 lbs.
- No need to scrub the sweet potatoes because you will be scooping out the cooked flesh and discarding the skins. Just give them a quick rinse to get rid of any obvious dirt and cut out any dark or damaged spots.
- Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place face down on two foil-lined baking sheets.
- Place in oven on two separate racks but change places half-way through cooking for even heat distribution.
- You’ll know the sweet potatoes are done when they give to a gentle squeeze. Allow cooling for about 10 minutes and then scoop out the soft flesh into a large bowl. Discard the skins. Because we use foil on which to bake the sweet potatoes, just wrap up the skins and throw it all away. Easy cleanup!
How to cook the herbs in (vegan) butter:
- Use fresh sage and rosemary. You will not be happy with the dried jarred herbs for this recipe.
- Pull the sage leaves and rosemary off from the stems. The sage leaves can be easily pulled off. Strip the rosemary leaves by firmly grasping one end of the stem with one hand and pulling your other hand along the stem to strip the leaves.
- The original recipe calls for browning the butter and cooking the herbs until they are crisp. Vegan butter will not “brown” as dairy butter does. It will, however, nicely crisp the herbs and lend a buttery flavor. Just carefully watch and attend to your herb/butter mixture so that it doesn’t burn.
How to Assemble and Finish the Sweet Potato Casserole:
- Half of the herb/butter mixture is used to toss with the sourdough bread cubes and half is added to the cooked sweet potatoes.
- After spooning out half of the herb butter mixture into the bowl with the sweet potatoes, add the sourdough breadcrumbs to the remaining amount left in the saute pan. Toss around to coat well then put in another bowl so that you can use the saute pan to cook the shallots.
- Saute the shallots in two tablespoons of vegan butter until they are soft and slightly browned. Add in the coconut milk and cornstarch and stir around for a few minutes until thick and bubbly.
- Add the coconut milk mixture to the potatoes and herbs and with an immersion blender, blend well until everything is incorporated and most of the herbs are finely chopped.
- For best results use an immersion blender (affiliate link). If you do not have an immersion blender, you can mix with a hand mixer. Your herbs will remain larger though.
This dish makes a beautiful addition to your family’s special dinner event. It is rich and decadent and a real crowd-pleaser.
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Items I found Useful in Making this Dish (affiliate links):
The Recipe for Savory Sweet Potato Casserole (Vegan):
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- immersion blender
- 5 lbs sweet potatoes (about 8 medium)
- 1/4 cup rosemary leaves
- 1/4 cup sage leaves
- 2 shallots chopped, 1 cup
- 2 cups sourdough bread cubes fresh, 2-3 slices
- 1/2 cup vegan butter 1 stick, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper more to taste
- 1 15 ounce can coconut milk full fat
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Line 2 large cookie sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray.(After the sweet potatoes cooked and are out of the oven, you will turn temperature up to 400°)
- Rinse and cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Set on two foil-lined cookie sheets, cut sides down, and bake for about 60 minutes or until done. You will need to use two oven racks. Switch out midway so that the sweet potatoes cook evenly. The sweet potatoes are done when they give when squeezed gently. Let cool till easy to handle.
While sweet potatoes are cooking:
- Prepare rosemary and sage by stripping the leaves. Set aside. Dice shallots and set aside (separate from herbs)Cube/crumb sourdough bread and set aside. Zest lemon and set aside.
- Cook rosemary, sage in 6 Tablespoons of the vegan butter over medium heat, stirring often until the herbs are crisp, about 5 minutes. You will need to divide this in half. One half will go into the cooked potatoes and the other half will coat the breadcrumbs. (See instructions below.)
After potatoes have cooked and cooled slightly:
- When potatoes have cooled enough to handle, scoop out the flesh from potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. (Throw the skins away.) This will give you about 6 cups of cooked sweet potatoes.
- Add about half of the warmed butter and herbs to the sweet potato mixture. Set aside.
- Add cubed bread to the saucepan with the remaining herb/butter mixture. Toss to coat. Add in salt and pepper. Transfer to another small bowl (separate from potato mixture.)
- Do not clean out the saucepan. Heat the other two tablespoons of vegan butter in the same saucepan. Add in chopped shallots and saute until shallots are tender and translucent and slightly browned -about 5 minutes.
- Add in coconut milk, cornstarch, and nutritional yeast. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes or until bubbly and slightly thickened.
- Add to the potato mixture and with an immersion blender, blend until mostly smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, add the coconut cream and shallots to a blender and blend till smooth. Then add in about half of the potato mixture and continue to blend.
- Pour blended potato mixture into the prepared 9x13 pan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs on top. Continue to bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes or until breadcrumbs are crisp and lightly browned. Sprinkle lemon zest on top of baked casserole. Let cool slightly before serving.