Sweet Potato Gratin Without Cream (A Healthier Take on a Classic Dish)

Who doesn’t love a warm, creamy gratin for dinner? Unfortunately, most gratins call for cream—lots of it. But don’t despair! There’s a way to enjoy a delicious gratin without all that extra fat and calories.

Sweet potato gratin without cream uses unsweetened almond milk, making it a lighter and more nutritious option. Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin A, so this dish is delicious.

Sweet Potato Gratin Without Cream (A Healthier Take on a Classic Dish)

Let’s examine why this classic comfort food is the perfect alternative to cream-filled gratins. 

Sweet Potato Gratin without Cream

Cream Substitutes

Another difference between a typical gratin and this one is the use of cream substitutes.

Unsweetened Almond Milk

Almond milk is lower in fat than cream and contains fewer calories.

Although lower in calories than regular dairy milk, it still provides protein for muscle health. It is also packed with nutrients, including vitamins D and E, and it’s also high in fiber, protein, and calcium, which can benefit overall health.

Using almond milk instead of cream in your gratin makes it lighter and healthier and adds a subtle nutty flavor that complements the sweet potatoes beautifully.

Sweet Potato Gratin Without Cream (A Healthier Take on a Classic Dish)
Almond milk. Credit: canva

Low-Fat Milk

Another cream substitute that can be used in this dish is low-fat milk. Like almond milk, low-fat milk is lower in fat and calories than cream but still provides plenty of protein for muscle health.

And since it’s rich in calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, and phosphorus, it offers various health benefits.

Sweet Potato Gratin Without Cream (A Healthier Take on a Classic Dish)
Sweet potatoes. Credit: canva

Sweet Potatoes instead of the Regular White Potatoes

One of the main differences between a classic gratin and this version is that it uses sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of nutrients, especially fiber, potassium, and vitamin A. They are rich in beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A in the body and helps promote healthy vision and immunity.

Plus, they contain fiber and complex carbohydrates—carbs that provide lasting energy—making them an ideal choice for any meal. 

Sweet Potato Gratin Without Cream (A Healthier Take on a Classic Dish)
Gruyere cheese. Credit: canva


The final ingredient in this recipe is some cheese. The most common cheese used is gruyere cheese. Gruyere cheese is delicious but also high in fat and calories.

If you’re looking for a lighter, healthier option, try swapping some of the gruyere with ricotta cheese. Ricotta is lower in fat than most other cheeses and has only about half the calories of gruyere.

Parmesan and mozzarella are both also good choices. They’re lower in fat than gruyere but still provide plenty of flavors that pair well with sweet potatoes.

Cheese gives the dish its creamy flavor while providing additional calcium and protein. You can use whatever type of cheese you prefer (or skip it altogether for a vegan version).

Vegan Recipe

Sweet Potato Gratin Without Cream (A Healthier Take on a Classic Dish)
Sweet potato gratin. Credit: canva

This is a gluten-free, low-fat, and vegan recipe. It is lighter, not as creamy as the usual gratin. But it is healthier.


  • Eight medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • Two tsp thyme
  • One bay leaf
  • One and a half cups of fat-free milk
  • Two cups of Parmesan cheese that’s been grated
  • Two tablespoons of light, fat-free unsalted butter
  • Two teaspoons of olive oil
  • One clove of garlic that’s been minced
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a paper towel, take a baking dish and oil the bottom with olive oil. Using a spoon, massage the garlic into the base of the dish. Remove any remaining minced garlic once rubbed into the bottom of the dish.
  3. Because we’re replacing the cream with Parmesan, we’ll be building cheesy layers. Slice potatoes until they are roughly medium thickness, which is an excellent place to start.
  4. In a large mixing dish, combine the melted fat-free butter, salt, pepper, minced garlic from before, and potatoes. Stir until the potatoes are well-coated.
  5. Place a third of the potatoes at the bottom of the dish. On top of the layer of potatoes, add a thin layer of cheese. Repeat until you’ve used up both ingredients three times.
  6. Place the milk, bay leaf, and thyme in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour the heated milk mixture over the potatoes and cheese. This should melt the cheese.
  7. Cover the dish in aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes at 425°F. When you can remove the aluminum foil and check that the potatoes are soft in the sauce by poking them with a fork, you’ll know it’s done.
  8. Remove the foil, and bake for 10 minutes to brown it on top.
  9. Remove the dish from the oven and set it aside for five minutes before serving.

What to Serve with Sweet Potato Gratin

Here are some ideas to help you complete the perfect dinner menu. 

Roast Chicken and Veggies 

This classic combo of roast chicken and veggies will surely be a hit with your family and friends.

Roast chicken has always been a fan favorite. The juicy, succulent taste paired with equally-delicious veggies like carrots and parsnips make the perfect accompaniment to your gratin.

All you need to do is pop all those ingredients into the oven while you relax and prepare the rest of your meal. 

Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce 

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, why not try salmon? Salmon is packed full of protein and omega-3s, making it one of the healthiest fish!

Additionally, this fish dish is sublime when served with lemon dill sauce. The sweet hint from the lemon balances out the subtle tanginess from the dill sauce, making it perfect for serving alongside your dish.

Your guests won’t believe how amazing this combination tastes!  

Salad Greens 

No meal would be complete without some leafy greens!

Salads can be made in minutes using whatever vegetables are in your fridge. They provide freshness alongside creaminess from the gratin itself and tie everything together nicely.

You can add some nuts or cheese if you want additional flavor, but they’re also great, just as they are. Plus, they’re healthy, so everyone’s happy!  


How do you prepare the sweet potato for this gratin dish?

Typically, the sweet potato would be peeled and sliced thinly before layering into the gratin dish.

Can you substitute regular potatoes for sweet potatoes in this recipe?

While some may prefer to do so, it is not traditional to use regular potatoes in a sweet potato gratin.

What are other ingredients typically included in a sweet potato gratin?

Common additions include onions, garlic, milk or cream, cheese (such as Parmesan or cheddar), breadcrumbs, and seasonings like thyme or nutmeg.

Is this a healthy dish?

It can depend on the specific ingredients and proportions used. Using low-fat milk and cheese and limiting the butter or oil used for cooking can make it a healthier option.

Can this dish be made ahead of time?

Yes, it can be assembled ahead of time and then baked before serving. It can also be made and then reheated for leftovers.

Can I add other vegetables to this gratin?

It is certainly possible to add other vegetables, such as sliced carrots or diced bell peppers, along with the sweet potato slices in the gratin dish.

Just be sure to adjust cooking time accordingly if using thicker vegetable slices.

Was this article helpful?