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Vegetarian Recipes

Sweet Potato Casserole

https://www.loveandlemons.com/sweet-potato-casserole/

Without question, this is the best sweet potato casserole recipe I’ve had! A nutty pecan topping covers a creamy ginger-spiced layer of sweet potatoes.

Growing up, I only had sweet potatoes once a year at Thanksgiving, where they were layered into a sweet potato casserole loaded with mini marshmallows. For years, I thought I didn’t like sweet potatoes. But if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I actually love sweet potatoes. What I don’t like are marshmallows. In my opinion, sweet potatoes are sweet enough on their own, so why make them sweeter, especially in a dinner side dish?

Since sweet potatoes are one of my favorite fall veggies, I’ve always wanted to make a vegan sweet potato casserole recipe that I’d enjoy at Thanksgiving. This seemed like the perfect time to take on the challenge. And guess what? I liked it so much that I ate the leftovers for breakfast!

Whatever your opinion on traditional sweet potato casserole, you have to try this recipe. I make a simple, creamy filling that really lets the sweet potatoes shine. Then, instead of covering it with sugar, butter, and marshmallows, I sprinkle it with a savory pecan topping. The toasty, nutty topping offers a delicious crunchy contrast to the velvety sweet potato mixture, and cozy herbs make it perfect for fall. Best of all, you can find the ingredients at ALDI, so this is an affordable holiday recipe too!


Healthy sweet potato casserole recipe ingredients


Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Ingredients

I’ve been impressed by the quality of the fresh produce at ALDI for some time (just look at these veggie fajitas!), but as I developed this recipe, their pantry staples really blew me away. I punch up the creamy sweet potato filling with their Simply Nature Organic Ground Ginger, and dried thyme adds the perfect savory touch to the nutty topping. And speaking of that topping, basics like Southern Grove Raw Walnuts, Southern Grove Pecans, and Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup are super affordable without skimping on quality.

Aside from the pantry ingredients I listed above, here’s what you’ll need to make this sweet potato casserole recipe:

  • Sweet potatoes – of course! I blend them with a splash of almond milk to make the filling nice and smooth.
  • Old fashioned oats – Along with the nuts, they give the crumble topping plenty of hearty texture.
  • Fresh rosemary and sage – If I’m cooking with sweet potatoes in the fall, chances are, I’m using rosemary and sage as well. They’re the perfect autumn flavor combination.
  • Garlic – Along with the herbs, garlic is key for giving this sweet potato casserole its delicious savory taste.

Just grab some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you’re good to go!

 

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

This easy sweet potato casserole recipe has 4 basic steps:

1. First, roast the sweet potatoes.

2. While the sweet potatoes are baking, make the pecan topping. Pulse the nuts, oats, herbs, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor until just combined. The mixture should clump a bit, but it should still have lots of texture.

3. Then, blend up the filling. Instead of using a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes, I use a food processor to get them super smooth. Peel the cooked sweet potatoes, and blend the soft flesh with almond milk, olive oil, ground ginger, and salt.

4. Layer and bake! Spread the creamy sweet potato mixture at the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle it with the crumble topping, and add a few whole pecans and sage leaves for garnish. Then, bake at 425 until the topping is nicely browned and crisp, and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole Tips

  • Bake your sweet potatoes until they’re super tender. You want the filling of this casserole to be luscious and creamy, without any chunks. Make sure that a fork can easily slide through the potatoes when you take them out of the oven. This way, they’ll blend into a perfectly smooth puree.
  • Save some whole nuts for garnish! The best bites of this casserole combine creamy sweet potato with big, toasty nuts. When you blend up the crumble, reserve a few whole nuts to dot on top. You’ll thank yourself later.
  • Make it ahead. Like all great Thanksgiving recipes, this healthy sweet potato casserole is easy to prep ahead of time. You can do almost everything a day or two before your feast: blend up the sweet potato filling, pulse together the crumble topping, and store them in separate containers in the fridge. Right before serving, sprinkle the crumble over the filling, and bake! (If you bake the entire casserole ahead of time, the topping will lose its crispness in the fridge.)

More Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

If you’re looking for more Thanksgiving dinner ideas, check out any of these delicious recipes:

If you want to make your holiday season affordable and easy, head to ALDI for all the essentials! And if you’re new to Instacart, use the code ALDILemons19 to get $10 off your first three orders of $35 or more.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Total time

Author: Jeanine Donofrio

Recipe type: vegan side dish

  • 5 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Simply Nature Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, more for drizzling
  • 1¼ cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Almondmilk, more if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon Simply Nature Organic Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Stonemill Sea Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon Stonemill Black Pepper
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves
  • ⅓ cup Millville Old Fashioned Oats
  • ¼ cup Southern Grove Pecans, more for garnish
  • ¼ cup Southern Grove Walnuts, more for garnish
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Simply Nature Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Simply Nature Organic Thyme Leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Stonemill Sea Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon Stonemill Black Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush an 8×11-inch baking dish, or similar, with olive oil.
  2. Use a fork to poke a few holes into the sweet potatoes. Place on the baking sheet and roast until very tender, about 60 minutes.
  3. Make the crumble topping: In a food processor, place the oats, pecans, walnuts, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pulse until just combined. Remove and set aside.
  4. Scoop the cooked sweet potato flesh out of the skins and place in a food processor. Add the olive oil, almond milk, ginger, salt, and several grinds of pepper and process to combine. Spread the mixture into the baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle with the crumble topping, additional nuts, and sage. Drizzle with olive oil and bake 20 minutes or until the topping is browned and crisp.
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Vegetarian Recipes

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

“I want you to come watch the movie with us ON the couch, not be in the kitchen!”

I’ve been filling out this one-question-a-day journals for moms that I received for Christmas. It records a little thought or memory over the last year, and then starts again, so you can see how your answers change over a few years. One of the recent ones, prompted me to jot notes about what I am learning as a mom, and I found the question so general I was basically annoyed. I am a romantic, and also wildly pragmatic. In the span of a day I can tear up over the depths of love I feel for my kids, and also wish for them to have a mute button. We all have worlds within us; mothering pushing me into the corners of myself I am sometimes proud of or other corners ashamed of, but am I learning? Yes, every single day. Sometimes in the moment and other times after a particular season. But in 2021, my answer in the bullet journal was that I see my kids are wanting me to play with them. They aren’t registering all the service and shuttling and laundry and what it takes to pull off a week, they just want to play WITH me. It’s natural for me to move within lists and tasks and responsibilities and hustling, but playing is something I have to pay attention to. For them and for me. We usually do a family movie on Friday nights and my son (6.5), see quote above, pointed out that I don’t actually watch the movie, I tinker in the kitchen and he wants me in the couch cuddle. Flattered, and found out that I’d rather make granola than watch The Croods 🙂 So from annoyed, to passing on the question to fellow parents, what are you learning? Try not to be annoyed. Maybe circle back to it.

I published this recipe over on SKCC a few weeks ago and wanted it to live here. We’re trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian recipes (it’s easy for me to fill up on roasted veggies and big salads, not so much for the kids). This batch lasts us two meals – once with noodles, maybe half zoodles, and the second round on toast or english muffins with cheese melted on top, like a pizza sort of thing? It freezes well and is great to deliver to new parents.

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion – roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 head of cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 12 oz. riced)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts pieces
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds – crushed
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of red wine (or broth of any sort, and double the vinegar to mimic the wine’s acidity)
28 oz. of canned, crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of red lentils
red pepper flake to taste

For serving

12 oz. of pasta or choice, zoodles, etc.
parmesan
fresh, torn basil

Directions

In a large Dutch-oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic into smaller bits. Add them to the pot with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, about 3 minutes.

Pulse up the cauliflower florets to get a rice-like texture. Add the riced-cauliflower to the pot and sauté to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pulse the walnuts in the processor and add those to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, fennel seed, another few generous pinches of salt and pepper, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Sauté until fragrant.

Add the red wine, cook about 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, lentils, pinch of pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, put the cover ajar and let it simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust.

Cook your pasta or zoodles according to instructions. Top with cauli Bolognese, grated cheese, fresh basil and enjoy!

The Bolognese will keep in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a few months.

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