This healthy vegan sweet potato casserole with pecan ‘Parmesan’ is perfect for special occasions because it’s loved by vegans and non-vegans alike. Mashed sweet potato combined with roasted garlic forms the base of this hearty casserole, and it’s topped with crispy kale and pecan ‘Parmesan.’ This a great vegan and gluten-free dish to serve on fall and winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Remember the sweet potato casserole of the 90s? The one with a nut/bread crumb/sugar topping and probably even more sugar and butter in the mashed sweet potato. I’m told this was an improvement on the one of my parents’ youth, which included a saccharine marshmallow topping. I’ve always wondered why people ever thought that they had to make sweet potatoes even sweeter than they already are. Surely I’m not alone in this thinking.
My version puts an altogether savory spin on the sweet sweet potato casseroles of yore: there’s nary a teaspoon of sweetener in this recipe, which allows the natural sweetness of the potato to shine through. Mellow roasted garlic is woven throughout the mashed sweet potato, along with some silky olive oil, salt, and pepper. It all gets topped with massaged kale, which crisps up in the oven, plus a pecan ‘Parmesan’ made with pecans, nutritional yeast, garlic, and sea salt.
To make this vegan sweet potato casserole, you’ll start by roasting a whole head of garlic. While that’s in the oven, steam sweet potato until tender. Mash the garlic and the sweet potato together, then add salt, pepper, olive oil, and non-dairy milk. Transfer to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish and put it into the oven to bake while you massage a bunch of kale and throw together the pecan Parmesan in your food processor. Add the kale and the pecan Parmesan to the casserole and put back into the oven until crispy.
Some final thoughts:
-I served this casserole with BBQ baked tempeh steaks and braised red cabbage.
-Leftover massaged kale can be used as the base of a salad: just add veggies or fruit as desired, plus some nuts and seeds/avocado/cooked beans and legumes.
This is a really lovely recipe, one that I will be making for our Thanksgiving dinner this weekend. I hope some of you give it a try, too! If you do, leave a comment and a rating below, and tag a photo on Instagram with #upbeetkitchen and @upbeet.kitchen.Print
Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole w/ Pecan Parmesan
This sweet potato casserole is perfect for vegan-friendly holiday celebrations. It features a mashed sweet potato and roasted garlic base and a crispy kale/pecan ‘Parmesan’ topping. So satisfying and warming- the perfect fall comfort dish!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6–8 servings 1x
- 5 medium/large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch half circles
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 bunch of green kale
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup raw pecan halves
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Tightly wrap the garlic in parchment paper (I prefer parchment over aluminum foil because it is less toxic) and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until garlic cloves are very soft and mushy. Unwrap and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, place the chopped sweet potato in a steaming basket and steam until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Empty into a large mixing bowl and mash using a potato masher.
- Once garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft cloves into the bowl of mashed sweet potato and mash in. Then add the olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and non-dairy milk. Stir to incorporate.
- Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Spoon the mashed sweet potato into the dish and spread out with the back of a spoon.
- Place in the oven and pre-bake for about 15 minutes while you make the topping.
- To make the topping, chop the kale into ribbons. Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil plus a pinch each of salt and pepper. Massage the oil into the kale with your hands until it is bright green and tender.
- In a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade, combine the pecans, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and garlic powder. Process into a powder.
- Remove the sweet potato from the oven. Top with the massaged kale (you might not need all of it) and the pecan Parmesan. Return to the oven for 10 minutes more, or until the kale is crispy and the pecan Parmesan is lightly browned.
Keywords: sweet potato casserole, pecan Parmesan, vegan sweet potato casserole, vegan Thanksgiving
I’m wishing you all a joy-filled, productive week! I’ll be back in a couple of days with another fall-inspired recipe. 🙂