Scalloped sweet potatoes is a creamy cheesy potato casserole with layers of flavor. Make this sweet potato recipe for a tasty and easy make ahead holiday side dish!
Need a new side dish idea for the upcoming holiday dinner table, or something to bring to your host to lighten their cooking duties? This sweet potato side dish is packed with flavors and is a comfort food favorite.
If you enjoy traditional scalloped potatoes, I’m confident that this recipe will become a favorite of yours. It’s basically the same casserole, but with a sweet, nutty flavor. Plus, the nutritional and health benefits of sweet potatoes!
Scalloped sweet potatoes
Layers of sliced sweet potato and shallots are layered in a casserole dish with heavy cream, cheese and chicken broth, then baked to a bubbly, golden brown.
Au gratin vs scalloped
When I first published this recipe back in 2016, it was titled sweet potato gratin. Why did the name change? Well, I initially thought the two dishes were the same, but in fact, there are some differences between au gratin and scalloped sweet potatoes. Minor differences, but still…
Incidentally, gratin and au gratin mean the same thing; one is just a fancier way of spelling the French potato dish. A dish that’s made au gratin includes a vegetable with a topping of grated cheese and/or breadcrumbs. This is how the dish got its name, because the French term au gratin in English means by grating.
Both gratins and scalloped dishes have toppings, but the topping doesn’t necessarily include cheese.
The difference is that scalloped sweet potatoes (and other scalloped dishes) have a creamy sauce baked in with the vegetables. Gratin recipes don’t have to include a sauce, but most do.
There are also minor differences in the sauce ingredients, and in the way the casseroles are assembled. My scalloped sweet potatoes have two layers of potatoes, while most gratins have three or more layers.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Sweet potatoes
Look for sweet potatoes that are free from any dark black spots. They may have a strange shape, which is fine, but they should feel firm and not at all mushy.
What’s a good substitute for sweet potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, Vitamin A, beta carotene, and they’re also a great source of antioxidants. Although sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than traditional potatoes, they aren’t the lowest carb veggie in the garden. For a lower carb swap, use jicima in place of sweet potatoes!
Did you know?
What stores sell as “yams” in the U.S. are actually sweet potatoes. Actual yams are grown in Africa and several countries throughout the Middle East.
Sweet potatoes and yams are essentially the same vegetable, but they come from different plant species.
Shallots have a milder onion flavor than actual onions, so they’re great to use in the scalloped sweet potatoes, or in sweet potato au gratin for that matter. You want the sweet potato flavors to shine through!
If you can’t find shallot, you could use the white portion of scallions (green onions) as a substitute.
I use Gouda cheese, as I find to have a milder flavor than Gruyere, which is what many people use in a traditional sweet potato gratin. Other good substitutes include sharp cheddar cheese and Fontina, another great melting cheese.
- Heavy cream
This product is also known as heavy whipping cream, and it’s not sold very widely overseas. A great substitute for heavy cream is to use a combination of half-n-half and whole milk.
Recipe tips and notes
- Use caution when slicing sweet potatoes! You’ll need to carefully slice the sweet potatoes horizontally into thin rounds, no larger than 1/8” thick. The simplest way to do this with a mandoline. If you’ve never used one, please be sure to use the food guard that came in the box with it. Your fingers will thank you.
- Topping browning too quickly? If the cheese and bread crumb gratin begins to brown too quickly, prevent it from burning by loosely covering the casserole dish with aluminum foil. This will serve double duty, as the steam under the foil will help cook the sweet potatoes through.
- Let the dish rest. After removing it from the oven, you want to allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. This will firm it up and make it easier to slice.
Make ahead instructions
If you’d like to partially make the scalloped sweet potatoes ahead of time, you can peel and slice the potatoes the day before. Store them in a zip top bag in the fridge. One less thing to do on the day of serving.
You can also completely bake the dish ahead and refrigerate. It saves time, but it’s not the best choice, because when the cheese remelts, it can become a little bit oily.
Serving suggestions for scalloped sweet potatoes
This casserole makes a fantastic side dish, but it doesn’t only have to be served with holiday meals! Treat it like you would any other cheesy vegetable dish.
Pair it with cranberry stuffed boneless pork chops or a boneless turkey roast. It’s a delicious dinner for weeknights and for special occasions!
If you have any leftovers, be sure to cover and refrigerate them. Reheat and reuse within 5 days.
This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Dec. 21, 2016, was last updated with new content on Oct. 23, 2021.
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and sliced 1/8th inch thin
- 1 large shallot thinly sliced, rings separated
- 2 tsp fresh thyme about 3 sprigs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 cups shredded Gouda cheese (See Note 1)
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour divided
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×9 inch (2 1/2 quarts) baking dish with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
- To a small bowl, add salt, pepper and fresh chopped thyme. Whisk to combine.
- Using a mandoline slicer or sharp knife, slice sweet potatoes and shallot 1/8th inch thin, then separate shallot rings. Set aside.
- Arrange half of the sweet potatoes and shallot rings in the baking dish. Sprinkle one tablespoon of flour on top with half of the thyme mixture and half of the cheese. Repeat another layer with remaining potatoes and shallots in overlapping rows. Scatter with remaining thyme mixture.
- In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 of heavy cream and remaining three tablespoons of flour until smooth. Whisk in remaining cream and chicken stock. Pour evenly over sweet potatoes and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Let scalloped sweet potatoes rest for 10 minutes, then garnish with sprig of thyme and serve while warm.
- 2 cups shredded is about 6.5 ounces of cheese. I’ve used 12 slices of Gouda before and divided it to 6 on top of one layer and 6 slices on the other. Feel free to use sharp cheddar cheese or Gruyere if Gouda is not available. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on the top is fantastic too.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.