This Crustless Vegan Sweet Potato Pie recipe was sort of an accident. Gigi and I initially wanted to create a healthy vegan sweet potato pie but didn’t want to add flour, oil, or butter (even the vegan kind). The crust stumped us. So, we moved on to figure out a sweet potato pie blondie. We used the blondie recipe I came up with during our Iron Chef Smackdown on Chef AJ Live, but modified it with a fall holiday twist: sweet potato pie.
We went LIVE on Facebook, YouTube, and even LinkedIn for the world to see us try and figure out this sweet potato pie blondie. While it was in the oven, we chatted about navigating the Thanksgiving Holiday while following a whole food, plant-based diet.
After 20 to 25 minutes, we got it out of the oven and let it cool before we dug in. The flavor was delicious, but the texture was off. So, we put it back into the oven to bake another 15 minutes. We tasted again, and the texture was better, but still not quite there. We decided to go the other direction. Let it cool to room temperature, and then pop it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day we took it out of the refrigerator for another taste, and voila! It was the perfect sweet potato pie but without the crust.
The combination of chickpeas, rolled oats, and starchy sweet potatoes keep the filling together—especially after allowing it to set in the refrigerator overnight. Finally, adding the chopped nuts on top gives it that texture you need in place of the crust.
What's in this vegan sweet potato pie with no crust?
Crustless Vegan Sweet Potato Pie has the following 10 key ingredients:
- Sweet potatoes
- Chickpeas (canned works great)
- Almond butter
- Dates, pitted
- Flaxseed, ground
- Vanilla extract or powder
- Pumpkin spice
- Rolled oats, ground
- Chopped walnuts, pecans or both
- Cacao nibs (optional, but recommended)
How to Prepare
Start by preparing the sweet potatoes. Preheat oven to 425° F (218° C). Pierce two large sweet potatoes and place them on a lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature or cool enough to handle with your hands. Using your hands, carefully remove the skin so you’re just left with the flesh from the sweet potato. Set aside.
While sweet potatoes are baking in the oven, prepare the dates and rolled oats. Soak one cup of pitted dates (about 9 or 10) in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes, so they are very soft. Set the dates aside. Then grind ½ cup of rolled oats in a mini blender. Set the ground rolled oats aside.
Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).
Put cooked sweet potatoes (with skin removed), soaked dates, ground rolled oats, almond butter, drained and rinsed chickpeas, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and a splash of water into a food processor and process until you get a thick, sticky batter. You will likely need to periodically scrape down the sides and continue processing to get the desired consistency.
Spread batter evenly across an 8×8 or 9×9 square parchment-lined baking pan. Alternatively, put it into a round pie pan.
Add chopped walnuts, pecans, and cacao nibs to the top. Gently press into the batter.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Even though this is crustless, a thin light brown crust will start to develop on the edges.
Remove the pie from the oven. Let cool to room temperature and put in the refrigerator for 6 hours, or overnight.
Slice in a diagonal to create triangles. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Gigi and I have gotten this question a few times, and our response is, "it depends on what’s in it." Sweet potatoes are very nutritious—high in beta carotene (an antioxidant and precursor of Vitamin A), potassium, fiber, and resistant starch, which is good for gut health. I eat a plain baked sweet potato as a snack or part of my main meal.
However, the healthfulness deteriorates when sweet potato pie is loaded with saturated fat like butter, shortening, milk, cream, eggs, and refined sugar. These foods are pro-inflammatory and can contribute to plaque build-up in arteries.
This Crustless Vegan Sweet Potato Pie recipe has none of those pro-inflammatory ingredients. Instead, this recipe is made using whole plant foods, including healthful and anti-inflammatory plant fats like flaxseeds, almonds, walnuts, and pecans rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats.
It is unlikely that sweet potato pies are made from yams because true yams aren't available in the United States. Instead, those things we call yams are sweet potatoes. True yams are widely available in Africa and parts of the Caribbean. So the answer to this question is no. Sweet potato pies are not made from yams. They are made from sweet potatoes.
Store leftover pie covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Sweet potato pie can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 months. Be sure to thaw in the fridge before serving. The texture may change, but the flavor will still be yummy.
This dessert is a delicious ending to any one of our entrées, salads or soups.
So guys, the world is ever changing! 😂 We can enjoy our pizza without the cheese, our ice cream without the cone, our tacos without the tortilla, our falafels without the pita, our sushi without the roll, and now our sweet potato pie without the crust.
We hope you enjoy this recipe!
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