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  • Writer's pictureNicole Kuhn

Root Vegetable Gratin

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

I decided to make this dish for Thanksgiving because I fell in love with the vibrant fall colors that radiate from this dish. The sweet potato, parsnips and beets really showcase the essence of fall.

In attempts to make this dish appealing to a larger group of people, I have also made a version in which I substituted the beets for purple sweet potatoes and the parsnips for Yukon or russet potatoes. Both versions are wonderful. Though I particularly enjoy the one with beets and parsnips, the one consisting of three types of potatoes is a perfect variation for those picky eaters or those who may not be too adventurous or fond of these pungent root veggies.

I love this dish and the vibrance it brings to the table every time I make it. It has become one of my most requested dishes of the holiday season,





  • 1 tbsp. butter, softened

  • 2 long sweet potatoes (about 2 in. thick), peeled

  • 3-4 large parsnips, trimmed ends and peeled

  • 3-5 small beets, peeled

  • 8 oz. heavy cream, divided

  • 5 oz. fresh parmesan, grated and divided

  • 1 tbsp. freshly minced thyme, divided (plus more for garnish)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1-2 oz. freshly shredded gruyere

  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

  • Grease a 3 quart baking dish with butter. You can use any shape, but an oval dish gives off a beautiful effect and allows the vegetables to stay perfectly in position.

  • Slice the sweet potatoes, parsnips, and beets into very thin round (I highly advise using a mandoline for ease and uniformity). Place each vegetable into their own separate bowl.

  • Pour 4 tablespoon each of heavy cream over the sweet potatoes and parsnips, and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream over the beets.

  • Top each bowl of sliced veggies with 1/2 an ounce of parmesan and 1 teaspoon of minced thyme. Then liberally season each bowl with salt and pepper and toss until all of the slices are well coated.

  • Pour the remainder of the heavy cream into the bottom of the baking dish and sprinkle with a 1/2-1 ounce of parmesan and the garlic.

  • Grab a stack of sweet potato and begin to line them up, overlapping each other, at a bias on one side of the dish. Next, add the parsnips in the same manner, then the beets, repeating this pattern until you have 6 rows of veggies.

  • Season the top of the gratin with salt and pepper and then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and a pinch of thyme. Cover the dish tightly in foil and place in the oven covered to bake for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender.

  • Uncover and top with shredded gruyere. I typically use about two handfuls of gruyere (~2 oz) to top my gratin, but feel free to adjust to your liking.

  • Place the gratin back into the oven to cook for another 15-20 minutes until the veggies are fork tender, the cheese has melted, and the top has slightly browned.

  • Sprinkle the remaining thyme atop your gratin and serve. Enjoy!

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