Sweet Potato Gratin in casserole dish with thyme

Sweet Potato Gratin

Side Dish

Today I’m sharing an epic Thanksgiving side dish, possibly my favorite. Sweet Potato Gratin is creamy, sweet, and just a little bit smoky. Thin slices of sweet potato are layered with smoked gouda, then the whole thing gets covered in cream and baked until tender and bubbly. I seriously can’t think of anything more awesome.

Sweet Potato Gratin in casserole dish with thyme

We’ve always done Thanksgiving a little bit differently. In Taiwan, we went to our favorite American diner because my kitchen situation was pretty limited. In Honolulu, we usually ate Thanksgiving dinner in our tiny backyard under the shade of a palm tree. Sometimes we had a few friends over, other people who’s family lived far away, but often it was just us.

In Scotland, nobody even knows what Thanksgiving is. Everything they know about the holiday they learned from watching Friends. There are zero work holidays in the month of November, and Christmas is everywhere, In fact, I’ve weaseled out of going to the work Christmas party a couple of times because I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving dinner on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We’ve had friends and family over, but mostly they’ve never experienced a turkey day dinner before.

Sweet Potato Gratin with thyme and green linen

Is Thanksgiving even happening this year?

I have a feeling this Thanksgiving is going to be radically different for a lot of us. Due to current Covid restrictions in my part of Scotland, we’re not allowed to have anyone in our house except the dog walker and our builder. What’s more, we’re getting everything delivered for our complete kitchen remodel on the Saturday after Thanksgiving this year. It’ll be just the two of us and a kitchen that won’t really be suitable for cooking.

I’m thinking I might make a Thanksgiving dinner for two the weekend before and share some of the recipes with you on Instagram. Would you find that helpful as you prepare for your own big day? Oh, and if you haven’t gotten my new ebook, Easy Holiday Entertaining, you get it for free by signing up for my email list in the sidebar. Get on it.

Sweet Potato Gratin in a casserole dish

What makes Sweet Potato Gratin so awesome?

Okay, sorry. Enough babbling about Thanksgiving. It’s just my favorite. And I definitely look forward to it when I know I’m going to be making this Sweet Potato Gratin. It’s creamy and gooey with so many flavors, don’t be surprised if you actually shudder with pleasure.

The key is to use at least half smoked cheese. In the recipe below, you’ll see I used smoked gouda, but that wasn’t available at my grocery store here. So instead, I went with half Edam and half smoked cheese. It just adds an extra layer of flavor that I think really makes the dish special.

How to make Sweet Potato Gratin

Start by gently warming some cream with a bit of chopped garlic added into it. We’re basically steeping the garlic in the cream so the whole thing has a hint of gentle garlic flavor instead of just a few harsh bites. While that gets steamy, peel and thinly slice a few sweet potatoes.

To build the gratin, we spread our sweet potatoes in a single, shingled layer in our casserole, then season that layer with salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Add a third of your cheese, then repeat the whole thing again two more times to make three layers of sweet potato cheese action.

Then pour your garlic and cream over the top and let the whole thing cook in the oven until tender. Cover it with foil to start, then remove the foil toward the end to let the top get a little brown. Let it rest for up to 30 minutes before cutting into it and digging in.

Sweet Potato Gratin

Thanksgiving has always been really special to me, and I’m determined to hold on to that this year, no matter what the world throws at me. I hope this Sweet Potato Gratin makes an appearance on your table, whether it’s for Thanksgiving or any other day. It’s gonna be awsome.

Looking for more awesome Thanksgiving sides? Try this Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese.


Sweet Potato Gratin

Sweet Potato Gratin with thyme

Sweet Potato Gratin is creamy, sweet, and just a little bit smoky. Thin slices of sweet potato are layered with smoked gouda, then the whole thing gets covered in cream and baked until tender and bubbly.

  • Author: Renee Rendall
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 11/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces smoked gruyere cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and lightly spray a 2 quart casserole dish or large baking dish with oil.
  2. In a small sauce pan, gently heat the cream with the garlic over low heat. Remove from heat as soon as it starts to bubble.
  3. Start your layering by arranging your sweet potato slices in an overlapping shingle-type configuration. Then sprinkle the potatoes with a third of the thyme, salt, and pepper. Finally spread a third of the cheese over the sweet potatoes. Repeat this with two more layers, making three layers in all.
  4. Pour your warm, garlic infused cream over the sweet potato, cheese layers.
  5. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is lightly brown, and you can easily slide a sharp knife all the way to the bottom.If your sweet potatoes need a few more minutes to cook through but they’re getting too brown on top, just pop the foil back over the dish.
  6. Allow the gratin to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.


  • If you can’t find smoked gouda, you can use any Swiss cheese or a combination of Swiss cheese and smoked cheese of another variety.

Keywords: Sweet Potato, Cheese

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