I’ll be honest – I’ve never been a fan of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes. I know, I’m probably in the minority with that sentiment. Instead, we like a more savory sweet potato dish to accompany our Thanksgiving feast. This year I’m including this healthy sweet potato gratin on our menu.
Typically gratins include loads of butter, cream and cheese. This one gets a healthy makeover. It still has cheese – just enough to be delicious. Leeks and fresh sage are added for extra flavor in place of butter and cream. Leeks, if you haven’t used them before, are in the onion family. They add a great onion flavor without being too overpowering.
A hint of fresh nutmeg adds another little something to the dish. The sweet potatoes are very thinly sliced and layered with the leeks. The flavors meld together as the gratin bakes.
This is really easy to make – it can also be made the day before and reheated. Another plus when you’re busy doing other meal prep and don’t want to worry about it.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving?
Healthy Sweet Potato-Leek Gratin
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 2 medium leeks white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place leeks in a very large bowl of water. Separate them into rings and swish around in water to loosen the dirt. Strain off the water and rinse briefly, then allow excess water to drain off. (A salad spinner works great for this.)
- In a 10-inch skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks. Cook, stirring frequently, until leeks start to soften. Add a little water, if needed, to prevent them from burning. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add the minced fresh sage, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Lightly oil the bottom and sides of an 8- by 11-inch baking dish. Arrange 1/2 of the sweet potato slices over the bottom of the baking dish. Season well with salt and pepper. Top with half of the leeks and sprinkle with a little freshly grated nutmeg. Repeat with remaining sweet potato slices and leeks, again seasoning well with salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg.
- Cover the top of the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and uncover. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Raise the oven temperature to 450°F and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.