’Tis the season for feasting, and what is a holiday dinner without a sweet potato side dish? We are happy to bring you a recipe for a creamy, Savory Sweet Potato Casserole that is just a little different! It is a savory sweet potato casserole that tastes as impressive as it looks.
Thinly sliced sweet potatoes, layered with a creamy sauce and rich, smooth Gruyère cheese then baked until tender and crusty. This is a must-try potato side dish.
Our savory scalloped sweet potato casserole may just replace your traditional sweet potato casserole.
There is no brown sugar, maple syrup, or fluffy marshmallows in this dish but I am confident that you will love the flavor combination with fresh sage, thyme and Gruyère cheese. It may become your new traditional dish!
One of my favorite ways to enjoy a sweet potato is to bake it. I can make a meal with just a steaming-hot baked sweet potato cut open and stuffed with a nice chunk of butter! The gorgeous orange flesh adds some ‘pretty’ along with the flavor.
Ingredients needed for this savory sweet potato casserole
- Butter. Use regular stick butter not tub butter which has air whipped into it.
- Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan is so much better in flavor and aroma than the pre-grated stuff in a can. We highly recommend using the fresh stuff.
- Heavy cream. Cream gives a smooth, creamy richness.
- Fresh herbs. Sage, rosemary, and thyme are often packaged together in the produce section.
- Fresh garlic. Three garlic cloves. If the cloves are small, you might toss in an extra clove or two for good measure.
- Nutmeg. We used freshly grated nutmeg which makes an incredible difference in flavor. The fresh stuff really adds a gourmet flavor to the dish but you can use pre-grated nutmeg if you don’t have whole nutmeg.
- Salt and pepper.
- Gruyère cheese. Two cups of grated Gruyere cheese makes this casserole a creamy, cheese-packed delight.
- Sweet potatoes. Three pounds with the skins peeled. Technically, you could leave the skins on if you want but we think the dish is better if you peel the potatoes.
How to make this casserole
Here are the easy steps but make sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.
Make the sauce:
- Combine the cream, herbs, garlic and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl then add a few tablespoons of the heated cream to the eggs. That will warm the eggs up a bit.
- Next, slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot cream. Finally, make a paste out of butter and flour then whisk it into the cream. Set aside while you prepare the casserole.
For the casserole:
- Coat a casserole dish with butter then sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese in the dish. Turn the dish so the cheese coats the sides and bottom.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/8 inch thick rounds. We used a mandoline to get them all evenly sliced.
- Layer half of the sweet potatoes into the bottom of the dish, overlapping them.
- Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper then pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the top.
- Top with 1/2 of the Gruyere cheese then repeat the layers and press everything down with a spatula.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes then remove the foil and finish baking until the potatoes are soft.
Tips for success:
- When you make the cream sauce, do not bring the cream to a boil or the sauce will break.
- Make sure you continually whisk the hot cream mixture as you add the egg mixture to the cream.
- Slice the potatoes as evenly as possible. If you use a mandoline slicer remember to use a guard to protect your fingers from the sharp blade.
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- 4 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 3 large garlic cloves, grated or minced
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, skins peeled off
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
- Heat the oven to 400°F.
- Use 2 tablespoons of the soft butter and coat the inside of a 9x13-inch oven-proof dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the butter turning to cover the bottom and sides. Set aside.
- Combine the cream, sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Do not allow to boil.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together with 2-3 tablespoons of the cream mixture, then slowly add the mixture to the hot cream while continuing to whisk.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of soft butter and the 2 tablespoons of flour to a small dish. With the back of a tablespoon mash the butter and flour together until blended into a paste.
- Whisk the butter-flour paste into the hot cream mixture and simmer for 1 minute until lightly thickened. Set the mixture aside.
- With a sharp knife or a mandoline, slice the peeled sweet potatoes into 1/8-inch thick rounds.
- Layer 1/2 of the sweet potato rounds on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, overlapping as you go. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper then pour 1/3 of the creamy mixture over the potatoes. Top with 1/2 of the Gruyère.
- Repeat with another layer of potatoes, salt/pepper and 1/3 of the cream and the remaining Gruyère cheese.
- Add the final layer of potatoes, salt/pepper and the last of the cream. With a spatula, press down on the potatoes to compress them.
- Tear off a sheet of foil and coat one side with non-stick oil spray. Cover the dish of potatoes with the foil and transfer the dish to to the oven. Bake the potatoes for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue baking until the potatoes are tender, browned and bubbly at the edges and no resistance when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 25-30 minutes.
- Transfer from the oven and serve piping hot.
- Slicing the sweet potatoes in a uniform thickness will ensure that the casserole bakes evenly.
- I consider a mandoline an essential kitchen tool. There is a wide range of mandolins available in all sizes and prices.
- The flour and butter paste is a French method finishing sauce known as a Beurre manié or kneaded butter.
- Any cheese may be substituted for the Gruyère. Try a smoky Gouda or creamy Fontina for variety.
- To test for doneness, slide the tip of a paring knife into the center of the dish. If there is resistance continue baking for another 5-10 minutes and test again.
- You can make this dish up to 3 days in advance, cover with foil and reheat in a 300F oven for 30 minutes. You could also prepare the components separately and refrigerate. I would slice the potatoes, store them in the refrigerator in cold water to keep them from drying out then drain well and assemble the dish according to the recipe.
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