This creamy, cozy vegan sweet potato gratin is the ideal dish for Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners, or anytime you want to warm up on cold nights. You’re welcome to only use orange sweet potatoes, but if you buy sweet potatoes in assorted colors you can easily create an edible mosaic that makes the perfect festive centerpiece for your table. The cheesy cashew-based sauce binds everything together, and fresh sage adds an herbal flavor that complements the earthy sweetness of the dish. For best results, use a mandoline to slice your sweet potatoes extra thin for even cooking.

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 3 lb. assorted-color sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • ½ cup apple cider or juice
  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cashews in a small bowl; cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes; drain well. In a 13x9-inch baking dish spread half of the potatoes. Add onion and pear; top with the remaining potatoes.
  • In a high-speed blender combine soaked cashews and the next five ingredients (through apple cider). Cover and blend until smooth, gradually adding broth and ¼ cup water until very smooth. Stir in chopped sage. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes in a baking dish. Cover dish.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with sage leaves. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Comments (16)

(4 from 3 votes)

Recipe Rating

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This was not great. It was a bit of effort and looked beautiful with the different sweet potatoes. However, I think there is too much apple cider vinegar in the recipe.

Janina McBride

That’s probably because the recipe didn’t call for apple cider vinegar lol


I have a nut allergy and I always substitute with hemp seeds. It works beautifully. So good.


Anyone tried this without the pear? Onions and pears together - just can't do it.


The perfect Thanksgiving buffet contribution!

Julie Lindner

My daughter has a tree nut allergy. Is there a good substitute for the cashews?


I was looking at the comments for the same reason. It occurred to me that soy milk might be a good sub, but If be interested in hearing what they suggest as well.


Other recipes I have seen have suggested oat flour as a substitute for a nut-free variant of "cheesy sauce", in roughly 1:1 ratio. I have yet to try either myself, as the processor gives both of us a headache & the oat flour idea is new to me. We intend to try the oat flour sub in a dish this Thanksgiving though.


Recommended low salt vegetable broth? Need when travel.


Imagine brand No Chicken Broth.

Sylvia Ball

Apple cider vinegar or just apple cider….


I wondered the same thing! (Australian - we’re always thrown by American ingredients haha!)


Its apple cider i.e. the alcohol containing drink or apple juice. If you put a 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar in this it will ruin the dish. Any alcohol in the apple cider will evaporate off in the oven as the dish is baking if you use the cider


Apple cider juice or regular apple juice


what is calorie count please.

Douglas R Mosier

According to Cronometer, the full recipe has 1821 calories, so serving 6 people, it'd be 303+ cal., 5 g of fat, 7 g protein, just under 9 g calcium, only 2.4 g iron,

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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