Smashed and Loaded Sweet Potatoes With Coconut Bacon 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Smackdown IX Jan 28, 2015

Smashing sweet potatoes -- boiling them, flattening them and roasting them -- results in wonderfully crisp, craggy edges. Finishing them with toppings usually reserved for baked (or twice-baked) potatoes, including a brilliant vegan take on bacon, turns them into a worthy Super Bowl party dish.

This recipe makes about twice as much coconut bacon as you'll need, but you'll be glad to have it around for putting on sandwiches, salads and more.

VIDEO: The Super Bowl dish to please them all

Make Ahead: The coconut bacon can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. The sweet potatoes can be boiled, smashed and refrigerated up to 1 week before roasting.

Where to Buy: Let's Do . . . Organic brand coconut flakes and Annie's Naturals vegan Worcestershire sauce are available at Whole Foods Markets and natural-foods stores.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • For the coconut bacon
  • 1 3/4 cups large, unsweetened coconut flakes, such as Let's Do . . . Organic brand (see headnote)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (may substitute tamari)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce, such as Annie's Naturals brand (see headnote; may substitute regular Worcestershire sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • For the sweet potatoes
  • 8 small, slender sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed well
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups no-salt-added canned or home-cooked black beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche (may substitute sour cream or Greek-style yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade salsa verde (see related recipe)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

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For the coconut bacon: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the coconut in a large mixing bowl with the maple syrup, soy sauce, black pepper, vegan Worcestershire, sesame oil and liquid smoke until evenly coated. Spread in a single layer (with all the coating) on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes; stir it around and spread it back out on the baking sheet; bake for 5 minutes, until the coconut has browned. (Leave the oven on.) Let it cool, during which time the coconut bacon will crisp up. If you're not going to use it right away, transfer the cooled coconut bacon to an airtight container.

For the sweet potatoes: Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.

Combine the sweet potatoes in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium; cook until very tender and easily pierced with a skewer, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, line a separate large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil; coat generously with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Arrange the cooked sweet potatoes on the sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Use a spatula or the bottom of a small skillet to smash the sweet potatoes, flattening them to about 1/2-inch thick. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.

Combine the beans and 1/4 cup bean cooking liquid (if homemade) in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook just enough to warm through. Cover to keep warm. (If using store-bought beans, rinse and drain them first, and combine with 1/4 cup water, before warming.)

Whisk together the salt, chili powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, if using. Sprinkle half of the mixture on the smashed sweet potatoes. Roast the sweet potatoes until crisp and golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes, then use a spatula to turn them over. Sprinkle with the remaining spice mixture; roast until the tops are crisp and browned,10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter or plates.

Peel, pit and dice the avocados. Divide the toppings among the sweet potatoes: beans, crème fraîche, avocado, salsa verde, cilantro and coconut bacon. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from recipes in "The Southern Vegetarian," by Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence (Thomas Nelson, 2013) and "Sweet Potatoes: A Savor the South Cookbook," by April McGreger (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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