This sweet potato side dish will perk up your holiday table with some smoky heat! Chipotle Scalloped Sweet Potatoes are a perfect side dish for holiday meals, special occasions and Christmas dinner. The natural sweetness of the potatoes paired with the smoky, spicy flavors of the chipotle chilies creates the best scalloped sweet potatoes for an exciting Thanksgiving menu!
If you love regular mashed sweet potatoes, that’s great! But if you want something out of the ordinary with some Southwestern flair to spice up your holiday season this easy scalloped sweet potatoes dish is it.
It balances the sweet flavor of the sweet potatoes with spiciness which both make the potato dish unexpected and exciting. Also for those who find the dense sweetness of the potatoes to normally be too much, these are not.
Having some spicy potatoes as part of a heavy meal also is an added benefit. Unlike a classic sweet potato casserole, this scalloped sweet potato recipe combines thinly sliced sweet potatoes with a chipotle cream sauce. This is the best type of comfort food.
There is no all purpose flour or cheese in this recipe. This savory dish has only six ingredients and is a great recipe any time you’d normally serve traditional scalloped potatoes…not just for the holiday season.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Unsalted butter. Start with room temperature butter. This will be used for greasing the pan.
Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. These smoky chile peppers are sold in cans with adobo sauce. You’ll find them in the international section of any grocery store. If gluten-free, read the ingredients. Some brands include wheat flour. We included a can of chipotle peppers in the ingredient photo above for reference; any brand can be used.
Heavy cream. Sold as heavy whipping cream, you’ll need 4 cups. This adds the creamy texture to the scalloped sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes. You’ll need 2 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes. Choose sweet potatoes that are similar in size, mainly in thickness. Peel and slice into 1/8-inch thick slices. The recipes uses about 9 cups of sweet potatoes. See more in section below.
Kosher salt. This type of salt has a less strong salty flavor and is our recommendation for salting any dishes.
White pepper. White pepper is less pungent than black pepper and goes perfectly with this creamy sauce.
Use a mandoline slicer
Though you can use a sharp knife to slice the potatoes we recommend using a mandoline slicer for making scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin. These handy slicers allow you to set any thickness and ensures all the sweet potato slices are the same thickness.
Use a guard over the sweet potatoes (or whatever you are slicing) to protect your fingers from the slicing blade on the mandolin slicer.
- Slice the potatoes horizontally (across the potato) instead of lengthwise (see photo above). This will produce smaller rounder slices.
- To make slicing potatoes easier, but the potato in half across the middle. This will provide a flat cut to more easily slice with the mandoline. Especially if using a guard, having a flat surface on the mandoline is more stable versus slicing a round end and trying to hold the other round end with a guard.
How to make Chipotle Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Printable recipe card at the end of this post.
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish.
STEP 2. Make the sauce
In a blender or food processor, combine cream and the chipotle peppers. Process (blend) until smooth.
STEP 3. Assemble
Line the bottom of the pan with a layer of slices of sweet potato overlapping but in a single layer. Pour ¼ of the cream mixture on top (about 1cup) and smooth out to cover potatoes. Lightly salt and pepper.
Repeat for 3 more layers (4 layers of potatoes total) ending with the chile-cream mixture on top. Smooth to cover any exposed potatoes on the top layer.
STEP 4. Bake
Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. The top should be lightly golden brown and bubbling.
NOTE: the potato dish will look slightly soupy when removing it from the oven. After resting, the liquids will thicken slightly and the potatoes will still be saucy.
STEP 5. Rest
Remove from oven and allow to sit 15-20 minutes before serving. This allows the dish to cool slightly and the sauce to thicken. Can be garnished with fresh thyme, chopped cilantro or torn fresh parsley for some color.
How to store
Leftover potatoes can be stored as individual servings or in the casserole dish. Store in an airtight container or covered tightly with aluminum foil in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both types of potato side dishes use potatoes that have been sliced thinly and are layered in a creamy sauce. ‘Au gratin’ is French and means ‘by grating’ or ‘with crust’. It refers to sprinkling on breadcrumbs and browning the top often using cheese. So most often au gratin potatoes will include cheese in the recipe. Scalloped potatoes are thinly cut and layered in a casserole dish with heavy cream. The main difference is au gratin has a crust and usually cheese and a scalloped sweet potatoes recipe will not.
Most ‘yams’ consumed in the U.S. are really a colorful species of a sweet potato. True yams can be difficult to find here outside of some international markets. For more specifics on the differences click here.
More recipes you’ll love!
Chipotle Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
- 1.5 tablespoons unsalted Butter room temperature
- 3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
- 4 cups heavy Cream
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick (I suggest using a mandoline slicer to ensure uniform thickness)
- kosher salt
- white pepper freshly ground if possible
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish.1.5 tablespoons unsalted Butter
- In a blender, blend the chipotle peppers and cream until smooth. NOTE: if a blender isn't available a food processor can be used.3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, 4 cups heavy Cream
- Line the bottom of the pan with a layer of sliced sweet potatoes overlapping but in a single layer (1/4th of the sliced sweet potatoes). Pour ¼ of the cream mixture on top (about 1cup) and smooth out to cover potatoes. Lightly salt and pepper.2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, kosher salt, white pepper
- Repeat for 3 more layers (4 layers of potatoes total) ending with the chile-cream mixture on top. Smooth to cover any exposed potatoes on the top layer. Lightly salt and pepper.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. The top should be lightly browned and bubbling. NOTE: the potato dish will look slightly soupy when removing it from the oven. After resting, the liquids will thicken slightly and the potatoes will still be saucy.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Slice the potatoes horizontally (across the potato) instead of lengthwise. This will produce smaller rounder slices.
- The recipe uses approximately 9 cups of sweet potatoes.
Originally published: November 9, 2011