Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin


Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond Dukkah

I keep meeting people who insist they don’t really like sweet potatoes. And by people, I mean my husband. This maple harissa sweet potato gratin topped with almond dukkah is for all those bah humbug naysayers. Here, the sweetness from red garnet “yams” is subdued with hot chili pepper paste (harissa) and topped with savory roasted almonds and spice seeds (dukkah). I’ve teamed up with got milk? to elevate your traditional sweet potato casserole with a whole host of new flavors and a bit of heat. Heat that’s perfectly tamed with a glass of milk.

Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond DukkahAlmond Dukkah

Even our little cheese baby agrees milk is the only cure for a little heat. Just this afternoon, Zoella showed us just how not baby-proof our house is when she crawled right onto our original 1950s floor furnace and got a grate-patterned burn across her delicate fingers (I got a matching one when I proceeded to test how hot it was with my own hand…). She has many cries, even many stages of crying, but that cry is distinct. That shrill pained cry that makes me feel so awful will only letup with one thing…

…got milk? (Or as Lucas refers to it: “mama’s magic powers.”) More and milk conveniently happen to be the two signs Zo knows…and uses often. And, don’t worry, she’s gonna be ok! She was back to cat chasing on her hands and knees in no time.

Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond DukkahMaple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond Dukkah

Now that we’re well into introducing solid foods to Zoella, I’m doing everything I can to prevent her from becoming a picky eater – her list of approved cuisines so far includes vegan Tibetan food, Ethiopian lentils and injera, and now this maple harissa sweet potato gratin with almond dukkah.

Basically what I’m saying is, if you invite us to your fancy holiday dinner party, Zoella’s ready. She will pull all the books off your bookcase and requires a 2 foot DO-NOT-PUT-ANY-DISHES-HERE radius around her at the dinner table, but as long as she can practice putting food in her mouth on repeat, she’s a happy camper. (Warning: she can also chipmunk sweet potatoes like a boss.)

Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond DukkahMaple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond Dukkah

This maple harissa sweet potato gratin with almond dukkah is both baby and husband approved. For the topping, dry roasted almonds are tossed with toasted sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper and flaky salt for a spin on dukkah – a spice mix traditionally made with toasted hazelnuts. While the harissa adds a little heat, the sweet potatoes calm the spice and the dukkah adds nutty spice aromatics, creating just the right savory balance to serve up at your fancy holiday dinner party. Throw a caraffe of milk on the table and it’s a feast!

Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond DukkahMaple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond DukkahThanks for reading Snixy Kitchen! To stay up on what’s coming out of my kitchen,  follow me on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterBloglovin’, or Pinterest, or subscribe via e-mail to get new recipes right to your inbox.

Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond Dukkah
Yields: 4-6 side servings
Maple Harissa Sweet Potatoes
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (2½-3lbs), thinly sliced 1/16th to ⅛th inch thick (preferably with a mandoline or food processor)
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mild harissa
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dukkah (recipe below or store-bought)
Almond Dukkah Topping
  • ⅓ cup dry roasted almonds coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon flaky salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the sliced sweet potatoes in olive oil, harissa, maple syrup, and salt.
  3. Arrange sliced sweet potatoes vertically in concentric circles in a 10-inch casserole or gratin dish (round, oval or even square will work!). Tuck garlic slices in between potatoes.
  4. Cover gratin dish in foil and roast for 40 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender and beginning to turn brown on top.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the dukkah. In a dry skillet, toast the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds over low heat, stirring constantly, until they smell fragrant and sesame seeds begin to turn golden, 2-3 minutes.
  7. Either in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle, finely grind black peppercorns. Add the toasted seeds and lightly grind with a few pulses. Toss the ground seeds with chopped almonds and salt.
  8. Top potatoes with 3 tablespoons dukkah (reserve remaining dukkah for later use) and serve warm.

Maple Harissa Sweet Potato Gratin with Almond DukkahDisclosure: Special thanks to got milk? for sponsoring this post! Food Loves Milk. And thanks to you for supporting the companies that keep Snixy Kitchen cooking!


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  1. Veronica says:

    Oh no my poor baby granddaughter! Glad to hear she is fine and chasing the cats around! I love sweet potatoes! This recipe looks so good! I will have to bake this beautiful side dish for our Christmas dinner! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Mary says:

    It looks so yummy !! I love sweet potato ! :)

  3. I am loving this cheese-baby-approved maple harissa sweet potato gratin. The almond dukkah topping is a genius idea!
    These photos are breathtaking as always!

    PS:I wish I could make dinner for that cutie pie.. Hopefully some day.. <3

  4. Caroline says:

    As soon as this page loaded and I saw that first image…I honestly took a deep breath and said, “oooooh.” This is such a beautiful mix of spices, textures and sweetness. Your images and food styling are so beautiful as well. Happy Holidays!

  5. Sheri says:

    What a gorgeous dish! Hope we get to try it over the holidays!

  6. YES harissa and dukkah are my fave! Together, they’re a match made in heaven. My other fave way of using them has been a harissa marinated chicken with a tabouleh, loads of hummus and heaps of dukkah. Definitely need to try these sweet potato soon – i’ve actually never made a gratin!

  7. I’m with you all the way. I am also introducing Teddy to ALL THE FOODS, so he doesn’t become a picky eater later in toddler-hood. So far, he loves everything I’ve given him (as long as it has ample flavor), and I’m crossing my fingers it lasts! It’s no wonder so many babies don’t like anything when all they eat is bland foods from six months on. He also happens to adore spice AND sweet potatoes, so both he and I would devour this! Gorgeous!

    • I just learned today that she doesn’t like EGGS! She straight up refused them. She ate cheese, mandarins, CHICKEN (for breakfast…) but picked allll around the eggs. I tried to feed them to her and she shook her head no. What’s up, baby?!

  8. Awww poor little thing. Burns are the worst.

    These potatoes however look awesome! My husband thinks he doesn’t like sweet potatoes, but I put them on the dinner table anyways, and he always eats them!

  9. TinaC says:

    I am the family member who doesn’t like sweet potatoes….but will try this recipe with the ones we received in our CSA package this week…..

  10. sarah says:

    Wow, your potatoes look so beautiful! I like sweet potatoes, but always forget about them unless it is a holiday. And, I’m sorry to hear about your littles burn! I had a flashback of my daughter’s baby scream when I read it, and got all anxious. :)

    • Thank you!! Also: Oh man – the baby scream is no joke, right? Tonight she burst into tears when neither of us were looking – that silent cry kind of cry…we still don’t know what happened!

  11. betty says:

    Oh wow, Sarah, this is just so gorgeous!!!

  12. alana says:

    i wanna see zo stuff her face with these tatoes. or anything really. also, lucas, i’m shocked. cannot believe he doesn’t like sweet potatoes… wtf dude?

  13. If I were your husband I’d be drooling all over these!! I really want to make this now. Pumpkin made this way would turn out just as well I bet!

  14. Who doesn’t like sweet potatoes?!! I don’t believe you! What a fancy little eater you have there. Can we set her and Fiona up on a vegan Tibetan food date sometime soon? You and I can stay home ate eat this gratin. So preeeeetty!!

  15. Sherrie says:

    What kind of crazy person doesn’t like sweet potatoes {LUCASSSSS}?

  16. A gorgeous and flavor rich recipe, Sarah. I could eat it all!!

  17. TinaC says:

    Sarah, I have always given my CSA sweet potatoes away but decided to go for this recipe….. I substituted hot paprika for the harissa(it is not preferred in our household)…
    the recipe is now a family favorite!!! …especially the dukkah…I used my coffee grinder and it worked like a charm…..thank you for another great dish!

  18. Carla says:

    SOMEONE in this house eats enough sweet potatoes for the two of us. AHEM.

    (Also, DUKKAH. YES.)

  19. Emily says:

    These photos are SO GORGEOUS. Sharing this on my Facebook page immediately and adding them to my menu stat. I also can’t stop staring at that gorgeous striped towel/napkin. Can I ask where you found it? It’s stunning!

  20. Billy says:

    Wow, this looks so good. I can’t wait to try making this at home. Harissa is such an interesting and flavorful ingredient – I’ve been trying to add it to my repertoire more!

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