These vegan baked sweet potatoes with sunflower-pecan crumble make an excellent (and easy) holiday side dish. Tender roasted sweet potatoes are topped with crunchy sunflower-pecan crumble. This holiday-appropriate side requires just 10 minutes of active kitchen preparation. You read that correctly: 10 MINUTES!
Sliced. Diced. Halved. Quartered. Baked. Mashed. Whipped. Topped. Roasted. Spiced. Sweetened. Glazed.
No matter the method, a good sweet potato side dish never fails to win over my heart. Yet somehow, I’ve never actually shared a recipe for one. Odd.
I don’t have an explanation for the oversight, but here’s a tasty fix to remedy the situation…
It’s not a sweet potato casserole. Why? Because there are already plenty of fantastic vegan variations out there already (Exhibit A).
But it most certainly is fantastic. Plus, this holiday-appropriate side requires just 10 minutes of active kitchen preparation. You read that correctly: 10 MINUTES. The rest of the time is hands-off baking, which means you can quit fussing around with these naturally jewel-toned beauties and move on to the sides that require a littttttle more help in the flavor and looks departments.
For instance, mashed potatoes. They need your help. Without a little extra love and attention, they’re bound to be bland, lumpy, or—heaven forbid—goopy. Nothing clears out a house full of holiday guests quicker than paste-like mashed potatoes.
Bottom line: less time on sweet potatoes equals more time to care for other veggies. Or better yet, more time to spend relaxing with family instead of doing a stress-induced tripped-out kitchen tango.
To make this simple side, you’ll quarter two extra-large sweet potatoes and brush them with a bit of melted coconut oil…
Bake the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, carefully flip them, and bake another 20 minutes, or until they’re soft and tender.
Prepare the sunflower-pecan crumble while the potatoes bake. In a bowl, whisk together chopped pecans, raw sunflower seeds, oats, cinnamon, sea salt, and a dash of nutmeg. Then, add some melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Give it a quick stir, and it’s good to go.
Once the potatoes are tender, remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature.
Lightly mash the fleshy side of each potato (just enough to give the crumble something to cling to), and spoon a bit of the filling on top.
Then, return the pan to the oven and continue to bake the potatoes for another 15 minutes, or until they’re luxuriously tender and the sunflower-pecan topping is bubbling.
Let the potatoes cool ever so slightly. You can serve them up as is, or for an extra-special holiday treat, drizzle each with a bit more maple syrup.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Sunflower-Pecan Crumble | Vegan
Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 2 pounds extra-large sweet potatoes, washed and quartered (about 3 )*
- 1/2 tablespoon to 1 virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup raw pecans, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Dash ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, at room temperature or warmer, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Lightly brush the fleshy side of each sweet potato with the melted coconut oil and place, flesh side up, in a large rectangular baking dish (they should be quite snug next to one another).
- Loosely cover the pan with foil and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, flipping to face flesh side down at the 20 minute mark.
- While the sweet potatoes bake, prepare the Sunflower-Pecan Topping. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sunflower seeds, chopped pecans, oats, cinnamon, sea salt, and nutmeg (if using). Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir well to combine into a crumble.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and use tongs or a spatula to carefully flip them over so that they're once again facing flesh side up. Use a fork or the back of a spoon to gently mash the inside of each sweet potato half.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375F. Then, sprinkle a bit of the topping over each potato, loosely recover the pan with foil, and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and feels firm but not yet crisp to the touch.
- Let cool slightly before serving. If desired, drizzle more warm maple syrup over top. Serve warm.