Gluten Free Scalloped Sweet Potato Casserole with Apples
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples may become your new favorite side dish recipe. With sweet and savory flavors, a rich and creamy sauce, and plenty of cheddar cheese, this cheesy casserole will be a tasty addition to any meal, whether it’s a holiday feast, Sunday dinner, or just a steak on the grill. It’s a delicious gluten free twist to the classic potatoes au gratin, and not as sugary as your usual sweet potato casserole.
I really must be getting old. As a kid, basically, the sweeter anything was, the better. Now, well, you won’t find me turning down some butter pecan ice cream.
When it comes to dinner, though, I definitely like a little sweetness sometimes to balance the savory, like when I add a little apple cider to these BBQ Turkey Meatballs. But I definitely don’t want a super sugary side for my chicken or steak.
That’s why I have been on a quest. The quest for the perfect sweet potato side dish recipe to serve for the holidays. That classic sweet potato casserole, whether it is covered with marshmallows or streusel or even both is just a bit too much for me when I am trying to enjoy my turkey or ham.
Even when I make baked sweet potatoes, while my kids love when I give them a shake of Maple Salt, I’d rather just add a pat of butter.
Well guess what. I think I’ve found it! This gluten free casserole has the perfect amount of richness and savory flavor, with the sharpness of the cheese to balance out just the right hint of natural sweetness from the apples and sweet potatoes.
I bet even the marshmallowy sweet potato casserole lovers will enjoy this!
Scalloped Sweet Potato Casserole with Apples and Cheddar Cheese
The sweetness of the tender sweet potatoes and apples surrounded by a creamy sauce. Layers of cheese that brown on top for that slightly nutty flavors. Bits of thyme for an herbal, earthy quality. It sounds sophisticated, but this Cheesy Scalloped Sweet Potatoes recipe has flavors that will even appeal to the kids, making it the perfect addition to a holiday meal.
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
- Unsalted butter
- Onion – diced
- Corn starch – you can also substitute potato starch
- Chicken stock or broth – to make it vegetarian, you can use vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh thyme leaves – you’ll need to mince some for making the cream sauce and leave some whole for sprinkling on top of the casserole
- Sweet potatoes – peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
- Apples – peeled and sliced. I used Gala, but any apple that holds up when cooked will do, sichad Granny Smith, red delicous, and golden delicious. Your choice of apple will also determine the sweetness of the final dish.
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese – I used white cheddar, but yellow cheddar will be fine too. The final color of the dish will be a little different.
Directions overview – scroll to the recipe card for the full set of instructions
Peel and slice sweet potatoes about 1/8-inch thick and and apples about 1/4-inch thick. Preheat oven to 400°F, and coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Make the cream sauce.
Melt butter in a large skillet, and saute onion. Whisk corn starch into stock, then whisk while pouring into the skillet. Stir in milk, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer till thickened, then remove from the heat.
- Layer the casserole.
Spread half of the sliced sweet potatoes in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan and top with half of the apples. Pour over half of the cream sauce and top with cheddar cheese. Repeat the layers.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly, the top is browned, and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
When you are trying to slice a love of sweet potatoes and slice them evenly, I definitely recommend using a mandoline slicer. This will ensure they bake evenly.
You can use a basic glass baking dish, but if you are serving these scalloped sweet potatoes and apples for a holiday meal, it’s nice to bake it in a 9 by 13 inch stoneware or ceramic baking dish that doubles as a serving dish.
Baking time will vary slightly based on how thick and even you slice your sweet potatoes. The first thirty minutes it is baked covered to help get the potatoes cooked through. Then it will take another 25 to 30 minutes uncovered for them to get completely tender and for it to be browned nicely on top.
Some scalloped potato recipes are thickened with flour, but this one uses cornstarch, so it is gluten free.
I do think these are best when you make it and serve right away. But you can make the cream sauce and slice the potatoes a couple of hours in advance, and then assemble it right before baking.
Another option is to assemble the entire dish and store it in the refrigerator for a day or two before baking.
And it can be baked and reheated if needed. You will want to take it our of the fridge to warm up for about an hour before reheating. Then put it in the oven at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
I do not recommend freezing it, as cream sauces tend to get grainy when frozen and thawed, and the sweet potatoes and apples will get mushy.
I find that a sharp cheddar is a nice balance to the sweetness of the potatoes and tartness of the apples. White or yellow cheddar will work exactly the same, the only difference is in the appearance of the final dish.
Feel free to experiment with other cheese like Monterey Jack, gruyere, or Swiss cheese.
Make it a Meal
- Apple Cider Dijon Marinated Tip Roast
- Steamed Green Beans
Prime Rib Feast
More gluten free casseroles for side dishes
- Corn Pudding Casserole
- Cheesy Cauliflower Hash Brown Casserole
- Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
- Loaded Mashed Cauliflower with Bacon
- Hasselback Potato Casserole from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
More sweet potato recipes
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Melting Sweet Potatoes
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Herbs
- Chili Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato and Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 2 Tablespoons corn starch or potato starch
- 1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided and one teaspoon minced
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch rounds (I used a mandoline)
- 1 pound apples (I used Gala), peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided. I used Cabot Seriously Sharp
- Preheat oven to 400°F, and coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Whisk corn starch into stock, add the stock to the skillet, and whisk until combined.
- Stir in the milk, salt, pepper, and the 1 teaspoon of minced thyme until combined.
- Bring to a simmer, then cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spread half of the sliced sweet potatoes in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan and top with half of the apples.
- Pour half of the cream sauce evenly over the potatoes and apples, then sprinkle evenly with 1 1/2 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Top evenly with the remaining sliced sweet potatoes and apples, the remaining half of the cream sauce, and the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly, the top is browned, and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon whole thyme leaves.