5 Ingredients or Fewer

Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin

June 22, 2010
16 Ratings
  • Serves 12
Author Notes

Making these in muffins tins allows you to easily multiply the recipe for your guests! - cnevertz —cnevertz

Test Kitchen Notes

Far from a "sweet" sweet potato dish, these individual gratins get a big punch of flavor from the many layers of diced pancetta and Gruyere. Using a muffin tin allows for easy portioning, and if you choose your sweet potatoes carefully, the slices will fit perfectly into each compartment, which yields more polished personal gratins (if you care about that sort of thing; take note, Type A's!). Since this dish relies only on a few ingredients, the quality of each matters greatly. The more intense the Gruyere, the deeper the dish goes into savory territory. We say: bring it on! - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 pound)
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced small (1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and slice into 1/8-inch thick rounds.
  3. Generously coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Put one slice of the sweet potato into each cup.
  5. Top each with about a teaspoon of the shredded gruyere and diced pancetta; sprinkle with a little salt and white pepper.
  6. Repeat twice, overlapping small sweet potato slices if necessary to make a layer and use all slices.
  7. Add any leftover cheese and pancetta on top.
  8. Spoon a tablespoon of heavy cream on top of each cup.
  9. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover pan loosely with the foil, sprayed side down.
  10. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  11. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from muffin tin and serve as a side dish to your favorite main course.
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56 Reviews

baker3b March 17, 2024
Easy and delicious. I cut out the pancetta because my friends don’t eat pork. The tartlettes turned out wonderfully in the muffin tins. I had frozen a sliced raw sweet potato a few weeks ago, and this was the perfect use for the slices.

I let the slices thaw almost all the way before cutting them from 1/4 to 1/8 inch (remarkably easy) then put them in the muffin tin. Note that they needed about ten minutes less cooking time but still turned out crisp around the edges. As the recipe called for, I left the foil cover on for 20 minutes, but then cut the cooking time after removing the foil cover to about 10 to 15 minutes. When I make this again, I think I will intentionally freeze the slices in advance.

They were a hit!
Marisa November 25, 2019
This was so easy and delicious. I ended up using Raclette cheese and baked the sweet potatoes in a big oval dish. It was perfect.
Elizabeth January 1, 2019
The edges charred horribly when I tried to make them in muffin tins (maybe a much shorter cooking time would have worked?) but turned out amazing when I used the leftover ingredients to make a small casserole.

From other reviewer's suggestions, I rendered the pancetta first, used half the cream, and went really light on the salt
tbrooks November 19, 2018
Since Thanksgiving is just days away has anyone reheated these since I have to bring them to a potluck? I'd sure appreciate know how long and what temp

thank you
Jared K. November 19, 2018
I cooked the pancetta and assembled everything in a large casserole dish three days ahead, covered it and refrigerated it. The morning I wanted to serve it, I added the heavy cream and baked it, allowing it to cool to room temperature. Right before serving it, I reheated it at 225 degrees for about 20 minutes, just until the oil started to bubble.
Jared K. November 19, 2018
Made this in a large casserole dish and it was absolutely fantastic!
tbrooks November 10, 2018
I just love this recipe and with Thanksgiving coming up it would be perfect. Has anyone reheated it when they bring it to a potluck? If so please let me know if it's just as good and what temp?
Thank you
Shortrib February 25, 2018
Used sweet potato cubes and sliced them into thinnish pieces, then assembled in an oval casserole dish, just like I would do scalloped potatoes. Easy and delicious! It did take significantly longer in the oven than indicated, no doubt because of the format. It was more like 40 mins under foil and another 40 uncovered.
Shortrib March 20, 2018
I should add that this would not have cut into neat squares for serving as it is too loose. But served at the table with a serving spoon works nicely! Delish!
Tippy C. January 14, 2018
I know this is an oldie, but it is really a goodie. I made it for a book group tonight and we all loved it. I do think that next time I will skip the muffin tins and make this in a larger pan then cut into appetizer sized squares. (I made half with pancetta and half without for those in my group that do not eat pork.)
Malka L. December 10, 2016
I have made these before but it's been a while. Question: When the recipe says, "repeat twice" does that mean to stack another layer of sweet potato, pancetta, and cheese in the SAME muffin tin? It seems I didn't do that last time. Also, I used smoked salmon for some instead of pancetta. Thank you. I want to make this again for my Christmas gathering.
Melody November 24, 2016
This was a total hit amongst my friends this Thanksgiving. Probably the favorite out of everything I made! Thanks for the great idea! I ended up using a gruyere/cheddar cheese from Trader Joe's, omitted the salt, used black pepper of white, used closer to a tsp of cream, and greased the tin with olive oil. So yummy. Great flavor combos.
Melody November 24, 2016
***Correction: tsp of cream per cup. Also, I rendered the pancetta prior to assembly.
Rosalba P. July 22, 2016
I am surprised the recipe calls for salt as well as pancetta? Pancetta is pretty salty as well as the Gruyere cheese? Just seems like lots of soduim.
Emily |. November 28, 2015
Made these as a Thanksgiving side dish for a family that doesn't prefer truly sweet, sweet potatoes. They were great! I used smaller sweet potatoes (they almost looked like fingerlings) so I had to make overlapping rounds which made the preparation a little more tedious but was actually quite cute at the end, like tiny Pommes Anna. I also used a hard sharp white Dubliner cheese (I waited until the day before Thanksgiving and my local store didn't have Gruyere in stock) which worked great - it caramelized and gave a nice brown savory glaze. Because we have one small oven, I actually arranged the layers of potatoes, pancetta (which I did render first in a pan) and cheese 2 days in advance and kept them in the fridge covered with foil. On the night before Thanksgiving, I added the cream and baked off and removed from the muffin tins as directed. I stored in an airtight container overnight and reheated on a baking tray for about 8 minutes on Thanksgiving day in the oven after the turkey came out, which worked well.
Amy C. September 24, 2015
This is one of the easiest, most perfect sides to serve. Its a crowd pleaser and very easy to edit for vegetarians. It is my go-to in a pinch.
Donna S. August 5, 2015
I have been making these as appetizers using mini muffin tins for several years. Quality ingredients make the difference. I found New Seasons pancetta to be the best and has wonderful flavor. I do render the pancetta before assembling. Use fine shredder for cheese. The only ingredient I added to the recipe above is sauteed shallots and did omit adding the salt. Although white sweet potatoes work best, I sometimes add a layer or two of yams for color. Since I slice potato thin, I usually get four layers in mini tins. These are smaller than original recipe so cooking time will be less and I drop cooking temp a little. As a note: I found my Calphalon mini tins do not stick like others.
I assemble these early in the day (or night before) and keep covered in refrigerator...just before baking I add the heavy cream. This is my most requested appetizer. You may need to experiment a little to get the amount of each ingredient to match desired flavor. Great recipe!
ashley's B. December 15, 2014
Yum! Took these to a neighborhood gathering and they barely survived getting from the door to the table! Made some with chorizo, some with a smoky pepper bacon/pancetta combo.
Made some in a muffin tin, others in a mini-loaf tin. (8 mini loafs to the pan.) I liked the ones in the mini-loaf tin: were easy to flip out with a spatula, then I cut them in half to make the more bite sized for appetizers.
I (also) don't do the "non-stick spray thing", so put a piece of parchment paper on top of each pan, then foil over that. Worked fine.
I browned the meats a bit first. Mostly I wanted to render some of the fat from the bacon and ensure it got cooked. Also didn't add salt since my meats were salty and strongly seasoned. Was fine.
My pans are non-stick and heavy. I didn't spray or oil them and didn't have any trouble with sticking, but there was a lot of grease from the cheese & cream. (dabbed it off with a paper towel/ poured it off).
Folks asked for the recipe, so I've forwarded this link on. I'll definitely make these again & will play with the proportions, depending on what I want at the time. (more/less sweet potato or cheese or meat).
I'll probably try this in a small gratin pan, then cut them into bite- or single-serving sizes. (I think keeping the pan size smallish will help ensure there's 'enough' crispiness.)
This definitely goes into my rotation of standards!!
Ann F. November 13, 2014
Do you think these would work with shredded sweet potatoes? Maybe in mini-muffin tins?
robi Z. September 28, 2014
I made these without pancetta, using one yam and one sweet potato. Amazing! (No problem getting them out of the tins. They did cook down as the cream was absorbed, so I will stack a bit higher next time and see how that goes.)
Kathy March 6, 2014
I'm making these for the second time! I use the white sweet potato instead of the orange and I found that after the first 20 minutes they were already tender and ready to enjoy. Thank goodness because I had misread the directions and my chicken was already done! Even reheated the next day the last couple were yummy. Would love to try with smokey bacon some time.
Katie K. January 30, 2014
I made these for a shower. The flavor was DELICIOUS but they got super oily while they cooked and ended up charring the sides of the tins. Any thoughts on why this happened? The flavor combination was delicious (and frankly people still ate them, albeit with a spoon out of the charred pan.) Should I have cooked the pancetta first? Too much cream??
Meagen January 22, 2014
My husband and I made several variations of this for Christmas dinner. We have lactose intolerant and vegetarian family members and we easily adapted this dish for them. The original dish is amazing and we had so many compliments. The best part is that this dish is so easy to throw together. We all loved it and will be making it again.