This is a very easy recipe for vegan sweet potato flatbread, made with spelt flour and a handful of other ingredients. The original recipe used yeast for something more naan-like, but I’ve switched it out for an instant no knead option instead, as a kind of yeast-free naan.
If you like to bake sweet potatoes in bulk and keep them in the refrigerator to use throughout the week, this’ll come together even faster. It has a lovely fluffy, chewy texture and slightly sweet flavour.
Since this comes together so quickly – in about 20 minutes – it’s a great weeknight dinner option if you need a quick side dish. Try serving the flatbread with easy lentil chili, pinto bean soup, or pantry-friendly chickpea soup.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Sweet Potato: either roast or steam – see more on that below. You can probably sub pumpkin puree for the sweet potato, but depending on the winter squash type, the flour amount will need to be adjusted slightly. Just use a little more or less as needed.
- Spelt Flour: light, whole grain, or a mix of the two. Any wheat flour can be subbed for the spelt. White, whole wheat, or ww pastry flour are all fine. I haven’t tested with GF flour but I think buckwheat would work, though you may have to alter the amounts slightly.
- Olive Oil: you may prefer to use coconut oil (which is a bit easier) and certainly use a splash guard if using olive oil as it does tend to splatter a bit.
Step by Step
If you’ve used a rolling pin before, you can make this flatbread. It’s super easy, ideal for beginners or anyone short on time (i.e. everyone) and will turn out perfectly the first time if you follow the recipe.
1. Prep the potato: place the cooked sweet potato in a large mixing bowl and mash well with a fork.
2. Mix the other wet ingredients: add the water and olive oil, then mix well to combine.
3. Mix in the dry ingredients: add the remaining ingredients. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until no streaks of flour remain and you have a soft ball of dough.
4. Divide and roll out: form eight balls of dough. Roll each piece into rough ovals, then fry until lightly browned.
The flavour and texture is better if the sweet potato is roasted beforehand. Simply halve lengthwise, place cut-side down on a parchment lined sheet, and bake at 200°C until easily pierced with a fork. You can steam pieces if preferred, which takes less time, but doesn’t taste as nice.
Sweet potatoes do vary significantly in terms of the water content. You can see the consistency of mine after roasting, but if yours is quite liquid, just add some more flour. If steaming, it might contain a bit more water as well, so keep that in mind.
The dough is quite soft, but it shouldn’t be very sticky. Just sprinkle more flour as needed when rolling out the flatbreads and you’ll be fine.
- Add extra flavours: try adding some herbs or spices to the flatbread to change things up. Cumin, turmeric, garlic, thyme, whatever you like.
- Preheat well: make sure the pan is quite hot before frying. The bread should start to bubble up immediately after it hits the pan, just like naan or tortillas.
- Don’t over mix: this dough doesn’t contain yeast and doesn’t require kneading. With spelt flour, if mixed too long, the dough will become tough – mix until just combined.
More Savoury Sides
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Sweet Potato Flatbread
- 130 grams roasted sweet potato
- 180 ml room temperature water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for frying
- 350 grams spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Place the cooked sweet potato in a large mixing bowl and mash well with a fork. Add the water and olive oil, then mix well to combine.130 grams roasted sweet potato, 180 ml room temperature water, 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until no streaks of flour remain and you have a soft ball of dough.350 grams spelt flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut it into eight equal pieces. Use your hands to roll each piece into a rough ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a round about 1cm (~1/4 in.) thick.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and start to fry the flatbreads.
- Carefully place a rolled out round into the hot pan. You’ll need about 45 seconds for each side, flipping once the first side is browned. The bread should start to bubble and puff up as soon as it hits the pan (if not, it’s not hot enough).
- Continue to roll out the flatbreads as you cook, and repeat the frying process until all of the dough has been used. Serve warm.
- Leftovers will keep well in a sealed container at room temperature for a couple of days, and freeze well.
This was originally posted in November 2015. It has been updated most recently as of January 2023.