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Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin
I feel like I’ve written about all my failed Thanksgiving sweet potato attempts several times already (or maybe it just feels that way?) and I really don’t want to bore you with yet another story about those sweet potato failures, but I’m going to do it anyway. Because without those failures this Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin would not exist! (And after this, I will have written about each one of my sweet potato failures, so you won’t have to hear about them again. Promise.)

My very first idea for a sweet potato side was a gratin. I had this fabulous idea for a recipe involving fresh rosemary and cheese and I just knew it was going to be delicious. But I was a little too sure of myself and I thought, “I bet I can make this lighter! I’m going to use milk instead of heavy cream!”

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin Ingredients
You guys? If you’re making a gratin, don’t use milk. Oh sure, it works some of the time. But the other times, you have a curdled gratin. That curdled gratin might taste good, but it is quite literally a hot mess. A greasy hot mess. My husband reassured me that it tasted good, but it looked like something that would be served to prison inmates. When you’re cooking for the holidays, you don’t want to run the risk of a gross looking sweet potato gratin. And it’s the holidays! The time of the year when you can get away with using heavy whipping cream!

Cheese & Cream for Gratin
Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin
So this is my redemption gratin. I used Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream to make it. No curdled sweet potato gratin this time! I also decided to replace the rosemary with nutmeg for a more traditional sauce and then because I can never bear to do anything completely traditional, I used fewer sweet potatoes and replaced them with kale. (Yes, kale! I can’t get enough kale and sweet potatoes!) With a rich side dish like this one, the addition of greens helps lighten things up a little bit.

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin
Organic Valley is a brand that I use often in my cooking, so when I had the chance to develop this recipe for them, I was pretty excited about it. I try to be mindful of what I put in my grocery cart, and when it comes to dairy, things like hormones and antibiotics are a concern for me, which is why I like Organic Valley. And when I buy produce, I buy organic when possible in order to avoid pesticides–well, did you know that dairy can also contain pesticides? Organic Valley products don’t; the pastures that their cows graze on are free of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Those are the reasons I’ve bought Organic Valley in the past, but in working with them on this post, I learned a new reason to buy from them in the future: Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative, helping small family farmers thrive in an era of agribusiness. Organic Valley’s Pasture Perfect Holidays website highlights recipes from the families that run these farms–the families that, together as a whole, own Organic Valley.

Organic Valley Products
In addition to holiday recipes, the Pasture Perfect Holidays site has a $1 off coupon for Organic Valley butter (it’s the holidays–you know you are going to use a lot of butter!) and a sweepstakes where you could win up to $12,000 for kitchen appliances, one of five $1000 gift certificates for cookware, or a weekly prize for a year of free Organic Valley products.

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin Recipe

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin

A rich, creamy gratin made with sweet potatoes and kale. Perfect for the holidays!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 -12 servings


  • 1 large bunch about 1 lb. kale, tough stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes peeled and thinly sliced (mine were between 1/8 and 1/4-inch - you can use a mandoline slicer)
  • 1 c. shredded Organic Valley Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pint Organic Valley heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. Organic Valley salted butter cut into small pieces, plus more to grease baking dish


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Steam kale for about 3 minutes, or until wilted, in a large steamer basket set over boiling water. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Squeeze out excess water.
  • Place half of the potatoes in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. (You don't have to do this neatly, but try to make sure each layer is even!) Top potatoes with kale, then top kale with half of the Parmesan cheese. Place remaining potatoes in dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Whisk together whipping cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and pour over potatoes. Dot with butter.
  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20-25 minutes more, or until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden brown. Allow to sit 15 minutes before serving.


To make this more of an everyday side dish, you can use whole milk in place of the heavy whipping cream, but this increases the likelihood of the gratin curdling. If the gratin curdles, don't panic! It is still perfectly fine to eat, it just doesn't look very pretty.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Brandfluential for Organic Valley. All opinions are my own.

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  • Reply
    Nathan Strange
    January 2, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    This looks great! I plan on making it for a dinner party next week. What would you suggest serving it with? I plan on doing a big green salad with sliced walnuts and apples…do you think there should be something else? I’m pretty new to entertaining and want to do something nice.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Taylor
    January 8, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I made this over the weekend and it was an enormous hit! It will replace my sweet potato casserole from now on. It is healthier and has the same texture and sweetness. I could eat it once a day. Okay maybe more like once a week. I paired it with ham loaf. Highly recommend this recipe. Thank you for sharing as I found it on Pinterest (of course).

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 8, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I think I could eat it once a week too. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 12, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Have you ever used evaporated milk instead of the heavy cream? I’m wondering if that wouldn’t curdle?

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve heard it’s less likely to curdle.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    This looks delicious. Does Organic Valley have Carrageenan or anything else in it? I have weird reactions to it and I have a hard time finding heavy cream that doesn’t have something weird in it.

    The gratin looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it.


    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      I just looked it up on the Organic Valley website and the pasteurized cream doesn’t have carrageenan in it; only the ultra-pasteurized variety does, so I’d avoid that one.

      • Reply
        March 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        Hello, a friend just sent me your recipe above. I must take exception with
        using Organic Valley products. They are not as pristine as you would like to
        think. Ultra-pastuerized cream or any dairy is DEAD FOOD !
        I wrote to them 5 yrs ago expressing my great disappointment with them.
        I received a very long, convoluted Corporate speak letter saying: ” some folks
        lived far away from markets and could not get to the store very often so this
        way the product could stay on the shelves longer”. !!!!!! RED FLAG.
        Since then, many other up-to-date nourishing blogs have picked up on this
        and say so …

        • Reply
          Kiersten Frase
          March 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm

          You can make this recipe with whatever kind of heavy cream you usually use.

  • Reply
    Mary S
    June 18, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Can this be made ahead and frozen? I’m stocking the freezer with healthy vegetarian for an ill family member. Loved the ingredients. Thanks

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      June 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      I haven’t tried it myself, but I think it should be fine – you’ll need to cook it before freezing unless you blanch the sweet potatoes first. Occasionally dairy will separate when thawed and reheated, but if it does, it’s still edible, it just doesn’t look very nice. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 23, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I’m thinking off making this but using spinach instead of kale…anyone tried this? What about using coconut milk instead of cream?

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 27, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Spinach should work just fine, but I’m not sure about the coconut milk.

  • Reply
    Susan | Simple Healthy Kitchen
    November 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Cheese+Cream+Sweet Potatoes+Kale= I’m sure my new favorite thing! cant wait to try! Also..loving your little blue measuring cup, where did you find that? (so Santa knows what to bring me:)

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      November 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      It was from Anthropologie! They were on clearance a few years ago, so I doubt they still have them…

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Thanks for your lovely posts. I would love to try this for our Thanksgiving potluck, which is about a 3-hour drive away. I’m trying to simplify things by making what I can ahead. Can this be assembled the night before, and baked in the morning, or will the sweet potato dry out or blacken in the fridge? Also, can I replace it with potatoes, and if so, which kind?

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      November 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      I haven’t tried making this in advance, so I’m not sure how it would hold up. We did have leftovers when I made this and like most leftovers, they weren’t as pretty the next day, but they were still just as tasty. I think Yukon gold potatoes could substitute for the sweet potatoes just fine.

  • Reply
    Bat-el Miller
    November 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I just made this dish and it was incredible. I had to put it in the fridge before I ate it all. I switched the kale for spinach and the parm for Mexican low fat cheese blend and I used a little less than a pint of cream but more of the cheese and it is amazing !!!!!!! Thank you so much !!!! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was incredible. Everyone loved it, and as long as you have a mandoline slicer, it’s quick and easy to make. I love your site by the way. It’s my new favorite go-to recipe site. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

    This was RIDICULOUSLY easy to make and SUPER delicious. I’m still enjoying the leftovers a few days later. Will be a part of my regular cooking regime…but will experiment with less cream/cheese versions.

  • Reply
    Ethar Baba
    December 10, 2014 at 1:12 am

    I made this two weeks ago for Thanksgiving and I just had to come back and thank you for the recipe!! It was an amazing hit!
    Being a college student, I find myself only making simple pasta, eggs, pan-cooked veggies and basic stuff, but an actual oven-made dish? Maybe three times a year or something when I’m home.
    This Thanksgiving, I was home and decided to cook something, and found this! I stumbled upon it very last minute, and had only regular potatoes, so I took my chances. It turned out great. I received compliments from everyone who was at the dinner table!
    I have a friend’s Christmas dinner that I’m attending next week, and I’ll definitely try it with sweet potatoes.

  • Reply
    Lacey Williams
    December 28, 2014 at 10:07 am

    This recipe is awesome. I bring it to every pot luck I attend and inevitably forward the recipe to 5-6 people afterward. The ingredients can be assembled the night before and baked day of. Just pour on the cream and pop it in. It also travels well in an insulated Pyrex case. This is a favorite of ours! The only change I’ve made is that I sub gruyere for Parmesan and I add a ton more of it on top.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2015 at 10:01 am

    You got shares in Organic Valley or something? Man just went straight to Lidl and got the same ingredients there, minus the kale. Ive never even heard of kale before so used spinach and rocket instead. My veggie girlfriend loved it!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    We have had this recipe 3 times in this past week….yes, 3 TIMES! Obviously it is a huge hit. I added vidalia onions and this last time replaced the kale with spinach…it was incredible. Definitely a recipe I will use as a base to add other things as well. Very, very yummy…thanks.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Is this dish really sweet? My main issue with sweet potato casseroles is they are usually 1 – too mushy and 2 – wayyyyy too sweet.

    I am a savory over sweet person – especially with a side dish. However, I know that sweet potatoes can be very good if done right. So many people turn their sweet potato casserole into something that resembles a dessert (maple syrup, marshmallows, pecans…blech).

    You said you added nutmeg instead of rosemary. Have you tried this with rosemary instead? I’m thinking I would like the taste of that better . Or is the nutmeg subtle enough that it doesn’t overpower? I am thinking with the cheese, and kale this dish really is more savory – but someone earlier mentioned it was sweet. So I would like to know.


    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 14, 2015 at 10:21 am

      There’s no added sugar or syrup, so it’s about as sweet as sweet potatoes naturally are, if that makes sense. If sweet potatoes alone are too sweet for you, then you probably wouldn’t like this; if you don’t mind the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes, I think it should be fine. I haven’t tried making this with rosemary, but I think that would definitely work.

    • Reply
      December 23, 2016 at 1:07 am

      I too prefer savoury over sweet and this dish is a nice mix of both, even with the nutmeg (which was subtle and balanced out the savoury seasonings… I would add garlic next time however!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Do you have a vegan version of this recipe? Or something similar? Thanks!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    This is the first time I’m trying this recipe and I have to say it smells wonderful, I can’t wait to try it my tummy is grumbling!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    This recipe looks very delicious 🙂 I’d like to try to make it soon…do you happen to have the nutrition facts for the recipe?

  • Reply
    December 20, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Hi Kiersten! Boy can I relate to lightening up a recipe too much! Took me way too long to make my kids birthday cakes that were a happy medium and not too healthified. You’ve made yourself a beautiful ‘happy medium’ gratin. I recently bought “Gratins: Sweet and Savory Recipes from Oven to Table” and think I will enjoy the recipes in there.

  • Reply
    December 23, 2016 at 1:03 am

    This was delicious with a mix of spinach & local kale. I added half a yellow onion but forgot to sweat (sauté) it first, so our dish had lots of tasty juice but we didn’t mind. My thick cream blended with cooking cream still curdled, but as many have said it still tastes amazing and cut like a dreams.

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Could you use almond milk?

    • Reply
      February 21, 2017 at 9:18 am

      I’m not sure almond milk would be rich enough for this. Cashew milk or an unsweetened non-dairy coffee creamer might work, but we haven’t tried the recipe with either ingredient, so no guarantees!

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