Love or hate sweet potato casserole, you’ll want to try this one

A kitchen torch browns the top nicely.
(Evan Sung / For The Times)

Mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows baked on top is a Thanksgiving staple that gets a vegan twist here. The result is lighter, fresher and more flavorful. Sweet potatoes are enriched with coconut milk and get a little hit of heat from chipotle chile powder to cut the sweetness of the meringue topping made with aquafaba. Aquafaba is the starchy liquid that comes from cooking chickpeas; it can be whipped like egg whites. You get it by opening a can of chickpeas and pouring out the liquid. You need only 1 can for this recipe and can reserve the chickpeas for another use. The aquafaba should be spooned over the sweet potatoes after they’ve cooled to warm, because steaming hot potatoes will cause the foam to collapse. If you’ve made the Pecan Pie, use any leftover coconut milk here.

Here are the reasons why you should try a vegan Thanksgiving menu of classic dishes like sweet potato casserole and bread stuffing and tips that make it easy to pull off.

Smashed Sweet Potatoes With Torched Meringue

1 hour. Serves 12.


  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • ⅓ cup canned coconut milk
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup aquafaba (from one 15-ounce can chickpeas)
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Prepare a large steamer. Add the sweet potatoes and steam until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain if needed, then transfer to a large bowl and mash until smooth. Fold in the coconut milk, chipotle (if using) and 2 ½ teaspoons salt. Spread in an even layer in a shallow baking dish for serving.
  2. While the sweet potatoes steam, whisk the aquafaba and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until opaque and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch and cream of tartar and whisk on medium-high speed until very stiff peaks form and the mixture has an almost taffy texture, about 15 minutes.
  3. Dollop and swirl the meringue all over the sweet potatoes. Using a kitchen torch, brown the topping.

Make ahead: The steamed seasoned sweet potatoes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Spread in a baking dish and reheat in the microwave or oven before topping.