Decadent scalloped sweet potatoes are an unforgettable side dish. Full of rich Gruyère cheese and flavorful bacon, they are sure to be a hit!
Why you’ll love it: This is a special dish that will elicit admiration from everyone.
How long it takes: 1 hour
Equipment you’ll need: sheet pan, oven, large baking dish, skillet
These scalloped sweet potatoes are sort of sweet potato casserole’s sophisticated sister. They are rich and decadent, with so much flavor, thanks to bacon and shredded Gruyère cheese.
You all know the classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows? This is nothing like that. I repeat, this sweet potato casserole is nothing like that one (not that I have anything against that iconic dish).
I’m posting this recipe well before the holidays so put it into your back pocket. When you’re coming up with your Thanksgiving menu, pull it out and give it a try. What am I saying?!! Give it a try right now! Why wait to enjoy this extremely scrumptious gratin?
If you’re crazy about all things scalloped or au gratin, try cheesy Brussel sprouts au gratin. That recipe will change the way you think about Brussels sprouts, and I mean that in a very good way. These stovetop scalloped potatoes are amazing, too, and are ready in less than an hour. Cheesy baked corn is popular with everyone.
About This Recipe
You’ll see that I’ve added the extra step of roasting the sliced potatoes before adding them to the casserole. It’s easy to do and roasting the sweet potatoes with a little maple syrup increases the flavor profile of the potatoes.
I think roasted vegetables have a better flavor in general. I’m very biased towards roasted vegetables (more than 40 recipes!) but roasting the sweet potatoes really does make a difference to this recipe. It also guarantees that they will be tender and creamy.
The potatoes can roast while you’re cooking the bacon and shallots, preparing the sauce, shredding the cheese, etc. You can also roast them a day ahead if you prefer.
We tested this recipe several times (it was not a hardship, let me assure you) and in the end, we decided to increase the sauce. We didn’t want anyone complaining that the potatoes were not creamy enough.
The recipe is written for 3 pounds of sweet potatoes. Keep in mind that using more or less potatoes will affect the ratio of creamy sauce to potatoes.
I’ll get you started here and give you some helpful tips. Look for the printable recipe card near the bottom of the post for complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- Sweet Potatoes: The size of the potatoes doesn’t really matter as much as the total weight. If the potatoes are really large, cut them in half length-wise before slicing them so that the slices are a more manageable size.
- Maple Syrup: As I mentioned above, the sweet potatoes are roasted with a little maple syrup which enhances their natural sweetness and flavor. Use real maple syrup, not pancake syrup. If you don’t have any, it’s okay to omit it.
- Olive Oil: Any neutral flavored oil is fine, including grapeseed or avocado oil.
- Bacon: I usually choose center cut bacon or thick-sliced bacon. You’ll love the rich smoky rich flavor that bacon imparts to this gratin. Sweet potatoes and bacon go really well together. Try this recipe for air fryer sweet potato hash with candied bacon — so good!
- Shallot or Onion: When I first wrote this recipe, I used a shallot because I was all out of onions. Shallots have a milder, sweeter flavor but onions are totally fine, too. Half of a small cooking onion would be just perfect.
- All-Purpose Flour: The sauce is thickened with flour. You’ll need a quarter cup.
- Milk: Either 2% or whole milk works in this recipe although the sauce will be creamier if you use whole milk.
- Heavy Cream: Found in the dairy section of your grocery store, heavy cream has a high milkfat content, usually around 36%, and works best for the cream sauce. Whipping cream or half & half have a lower milkfat percentage.
- Dried Thyme: Either dried or fresh thyme are fine. If you prefer fresh thyme, remove the leaves from the stem and use up to 3 times more than dried.
- Nutmeg: Freshly grated nutmeg has much better flavor than ground nutmeg. Buy whole nutmegs and use a microplane grater. If you don’t want to bother with that, it’s just fine to use ground nutmeg.
- Gruyère Cheese: A type of Swiss cheese, Gruyère is firm and light yellow with a sweet nutty flavor. It goes really well with the sweet potatoes, bacon, and nutmeg.
How To Make This Recipe
Okay, let’s get started! Turn your oven on to preheat. You’ll need a large rimmed sheet pan (13 x 18 inches) to roast the potatoes.
Scrub the sweet potatoes and peel them if you want. It’s also okay to leave them unpeeled; just be sure to trim off the little roots and the wrinkled ends. Slice the potatoes into quarter-inch rounds. If your sweet potatoes are pretty wide, cut the rounds in half so they aren’t such huge slices. We’re looking for uniformity here.
Toss the sliced sweet potatoes with maple syrup, oil, salt and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer (as much as possible) on the sheet pan and roast them until they are fork tender. It will take about 25 minutes.
While the potatoes are roasting, you can get going on the rest of the recipe. Chop the bacon into half inch pieces and put it in a large skillet. Fry the bacon until it’s crisp. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined but reserve the grease. There should be around a tablespoon or so and you can use it to sauté the shallots.
Add the chopped shallots to the skillet and cook them over medium heat until they are softened. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook it for one minute, stirring constantly.
Slowly stir in the milk, cream, and seasonings. I usually use a whisk. Keep stirring while the sauce cooks, about five minutes. The sauce will come to a low simmer and thicken.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in most of the cheese. Reserve a half cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of the casserole. There! Your creamy sauce is ready to go. The potatoes should be about ready too so it’s time to assemble the casserole.
Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Arrange half of the sweet potatoes on the bottom. Pour about half of the sauce on them and sprinkle with half of the bacon pieces.
Add another layer of sweet potatoes (the rest of them) and pour the remaining sauce over them. Add the rest of the bacon and the shredded cheese you held back.
Put the baking dish in the oven and bake the casserole until it’s lightly browned and heated through, about 20 minutes. Don’t overbake the scalloped sweet potatoes. Since everything is cooked already, it basically just has to heat up.
I can’t wait for you to try these. You’re going to love them!
Normally sweet potatoes, as well as tender skinned red or yellow potatoes, do not have to be peeled. The skins are nutritious and eating potatoes unpeeled saves you the bother of peeling them.
However, since this recipe is a special occasion recipe, peeling the potatoes is advisable. It’s not necessary, and if you feel strongly about it, it’s fine to leave the peelings on.
Both dishes are usually baked and have a creamy sauce. Technically, scalloped potatoes are made without cheese and au gratin potatoes are made with cheese. However, unless you’re in cooking school, the terms are often confused or ignored.
I decided to call this recipe “scalloped sweet potatoes with Gruyère” because many folks are more familiar with the description scalloped than au gratin. I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone with an unfamiliar term.
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, a sweet potato and a yam are not the same. Sweet potatoes have moist orange flesh, thin smooth skins, and are sweeter in flavor. Yams have white, dry starchy flesh, rough brown exteriors, and taste more like potatoes. North Carolina Sweet Potatoes compares sweet potatoes and yams with pictures and descriptions.
Make It Your Own
- To make scalloped sweet potatoes vegetarian, omit the bacon. Use a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to cook the shallots.
- Swiss cheese can be substituted for Gruyère cheese, if desired. The cheese can also be omitted for a more classic scalloped potato dish.
- Looking for a recipe made without cream and with no cheese? Try roasted Hasselback sweet potatoes or my healthy sweet potato casserole which is gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free.
If you want to get a head start on this recipe, peel and slice the sweet potatoes up to a day ahead. Store them in a covered container or bowl, completely submerged in water. Before using, drain them well and pat dry with a paper towel or clean towel.
The sweet potatoes can be roasted a day ahead as well. Cool the potatoes on the roasting pan for an hour or so, then transfer them to a covered container and refrigerate. Continue with the recipe at step 2. Add extra baking time (5 to 10 minutes) since the potatoes are ice cold. They’ll need a little extra time to heat through.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Refrigerate leftover sweet potato casserole in a covered container for up to three days. It does not freeze well.
Reheat individual portions in the microwave until warm. Do not overheat. Larger portions can be reheated in the oven. Place potatoes in an oven-safe dish, cover, and put in a preheated oven at 325ºF.
More Sweet Potato Recipes
Looking for more sweet potato ideas? I have lots of them for you.
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Maple Mustard Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Shallots
- Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free)
- Vanilla Bean Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Handheld Sweet Potato Casserole (in mini tortilla boats with marshmallows but without nuts–kids love these)
- Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta, Olives and Sundried Tomatoes from Gourmande in the Kitchen
- 3 to 4 sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs.), peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds (cut rounds in half if very large)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper, divided
- 3 strips thick sliced or center-cut bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups 2% or whole milk
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 6 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Mix sliced sweet potatoes with oil, maple syrup, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Arrange on large rimmed baking sheet (sheet pan). Roast for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pan and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Reduce heat to medium, add sliced shallot, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to bacon drippings and cook until tender. Stir in flour, cooking and stirring about 1 minute. Add milk, cream, thyme and nutmeg slowly while whisking, increase heat to medium, and cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in all but ½ cup of the Gruyère cheese.
- Arrange half of sweet potatoes in greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover with half of the sauce and sprinkle with half the bacon.
- Arrange remaining sweet potatoes on top, cover with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese and bacon.
- Bake at 325ºF for 20 minutes; serve immediately.
- Make Ahead Ideas: Peel and slice the sweet potatoes up to a day ahead and store in a covered container, completely submerged in water. Drain well and pat dry before using. Sweet potatoes can be roasted up to a day ahead, if you prefer. Roast as directed, cool, and refrigerate. Proceed with recipe as directed when ready to use.
- For a vegetarian option, omit the bacon. Use a tablespoon of olive oil to cook the chopped shallots.
- Sweet potatoes can be left unpeeled, if you prefer.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.