This Sweet Potato Pavé is made from thinly sliced, layered sweet potatoes soaked in cream and herbs. Twice-baked and crispy, this showstopper blows traditional sweet potato casseroles out of the water. Truly unforgettable!
Showstopping Sweet Potato Pavé Recipe
The sweet potato is one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, but there isn’t one recipe I gravitate toward year after year. Sometimes, I keep things traditional and put together a Molasses Sweet Potato Casserole. In other years, I’ve made delicious Mashed Sweet Potatoes with a Bourbon Glaze. One year, I got really feisty and made a Baked Sweet Potato Soup!
But this year, I wanted to stretch myself and make something truly awe-inspiring. This Sweet Potato Pavé is visually stunning and takes your breath away. I won’t lie and say it’s a snap to put together. This recipe will be a labor of love – and time. But it’s a great dish to make on Wednesday; you’ll only need a few minutes to heat it up the next day.
The end result is crispy, flaky layers of sweet potato that will wow your holiday guests. Let’s jump in!
What is Pavé in Cooking?
“Pavé” is a French culinary technique describing any flat, rectangular-shaped food. Potato pavé is thinly-sliced potatoes layered and baked in a rectangular dish. It’s then weighed down and refrigerated overnight to achieve the flat pavé look. When baked again and sliced, sweet potato pavé is a beautiful dish that pairs well with any elegant holiday dinner.
What You’ll Need
Even though this Sweet Potato Pavé recipe is a little fancy, it only requires a few ingredients. Scroll down to the recipe card for actual amounts of each ingredient.
- Garlic – We’re going to roast this whole, so look for a large head of garlic.
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Thyme – Grab some fresh thyme leaves from the store or your garden. They’ll add a lot more flavor than dried herbs.
- Heavy Cream – Don’t skimp and use regular milk. Heavy cream adds all the creamy goodness to the thin layers of potato.
- Sweet Potatoes – Look for 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes. This Pavé will be a little easier to put together if everything is roughly the same size.
- Unsalted Butter
How to Make Sweet Potato Pavé
We tend to gravitate toward fancy and visually stunning food a few times a year. For me, that always happens around the holidays. This Sweet Potato Pavé is one of those Thanksgiving side dishes that takes time and preparation to get right. Still, the end result is totally worth it. Here’s how you make it.
Day One – Prep, Cook, and Chill
- Preheat the Oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Roast the Garlic. Cut the top of the garlic head, exposing the cloves. Drizzle the top with good olive oil, and wrap the garlic head in aluminum foil. Bake it in a preheated oven until the cloves are very tender and browned. This should take about 45 minutes. Set the garlic aside to cool.
- Prepare the Loaf Pan. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with olive oil and line it with parchment paper. Leave extra paper overhanging the sides by 2 inches. This will help you lift the potato pavé out of the dish when it’s cooked.
- Make the Cream Mixture. Using your fingers, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into a large bowl. Add the salt and mash the garlic into a paste with the back of a spoon. Whisk in the heavy cream, thyme, and pepper and mix until well combined. Set this aside.
- Prepare the Sweet Potatoes. Using a mandoline, thinly slice the potatoes lengthwise into 1/16-inch slices. Add the sweet potato slices to the cream mixture and toss gently to coat.
- Layer the Potatoes. Layer the potato slices in the bottom of the loaf pan, slightly overlapping them to create a shingled layer. You can trim off the ends of any potatoes that are too long. Continue layering, pressing them down occasionally, until the top of the potatoes are about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan. You can discard any remaining cream and potatoes or use them for something else.
- Bake. Fold the excess parchment over the potatoes and cover the entire pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F for 2 hours or until the potatoes are tender throughout the pan.
- Cool. Remove the foil, leaving the parchment in place. Let the potatoes cool for 2 hours at room temperature.
- Refrigerate Overnight. Place a second 9×5-inch loaf pan on top of the cooled pavé, and weigh it down with unopened canned goods. Place the entire thing in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
Day Two – Portion, Chill, Bake, and Serve!
- Remove any Liquid. The next morning, carefully remove the top pan and the weighted objects. Pour off any accumulated liquid around the pavé, taking care to not tip the potatoes.
- Cut the Pavé. Invert the potato pavé onto a cutting board and remove the parchment paper. Cut it crosswise into 8 slices.
- Chill Slices. Place the pavé slices on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat the Oven. Preheat the oven to 500°F and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Bake. Brush the pavé slices generously with melted butter, and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 6-10 minutes or until the bottom edges are browned.
- Serve. Invert the pavé (again) onto a serving platter, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve hot.
This Sweet Potato Pavé would make an excellent side for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. But if you’re feeling fancy, or want to throw a more formal dinner party, the pavé would be amazing with Balsalmic Roasted Pork Chops and a Goat Cheese Roasted Beet Salad. Or, try it paired with Orange Rosemary Pork Tenderloin and Seasame Roasted Asparagus. Cap the night off with your favorite cocktail. Personally, I love something a little spicy or herbaceous with rich sweet potatoes. Give our Spicy Jalapeno Margareta or Bourbon Bomber Cocktail a try!
How to Store Sweet Potato Pavé
You can store leftover pavé in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to eat, reheat individual portions on a plate in the microwave or in the oven. I prefer reheating in the oven, so the potatoes don’t get mushy.
Can I Freeze Leftover Pavé?
Potato pavé freezes pretty well. Allow leftovers to completely cool and then place in an airtight container or freezer bag. pavé will stay fresh for up to 6 months.
Sweet Potato Pavé
- 9×5 inch loaf pan
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 3/4 lbs sweet potatoes about 3 medium
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drizzle garlic cloves with oil, and wrap the garlic head in aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated oven until cloves are very tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside.
- Lightly grease a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with olive oil and line with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on both long sides. Place kosher salt and 5 roasted garlic cloves in a large bowl; using the back of a spoon, smash into a paste. Whisk in cream, thyme, and pepper. Set aside.
- Using a mandoline, thinly slice potatoes lengthwise into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Add sweet potatoes to cream mixture; toss gently to coat. Layer potato slices in bottom of prepared pan, slightly overlapping to create a shingled layer, trimming potato slices if needed. Continue layering, pressing occasionally, until potatoes are about 1/2 inch from top of pan. Discard remaining cream and potatoes.
- Fold excess parchment over potatoes, and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F until potatoes are tender, about 2 hours. Remove foil from pan, leaving parchment in place. Let cool for 2 hours at room temperature. Place a second 9- x 5-inch loaf pan on top of the cooled pavé in the pan, and weigh it down with unopened canned goods. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
- Carefully remove the top pan and weights. Pour off any accumulated liquid around pavé. Invert pavé onto a cutting board; remove and discard parchment paper. Cut pavé crosswise into 8 slices. Place slices on a rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate 20 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Brush pavé slices generously with melted butter, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until bottom edges are browned, 6 to 10 minutes. Invert pavé onto a serving platter, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve hot.