Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce - comfort food featuring a handful of pantry staples and a few super healthy ingredients. | pinchofyum.com

I look at this picture and my mind goes yumyumyumyumyumyum.

I’m frozen. Stuck. Can’t stop the yum track in my head. IT’S SO LOUD. And my eyes are starting to glaze over. It’s like what the blue screen of death does to computers but it’s just, like, in my brain.


Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce - comfort food featuring a handful of pantry staples and a few super healthy ingredients. | pinchofyum.com

This weekend was phe-nom. Anyone else feel that way? I got a lot of work done but also took some time off for a date with Bjork and a nice long-for-me run. Picture proof on Insty. Also – I got to meet Cookie and Kate, er, Kate, which was so fun, because her blog is amazing and she’s adorable and next time I’m going to make her bring Cookie, too.

Something weird happened this weekend: the sun came out. And it was actually so so nice out, after the most brutal winter, it people were actually spending time outside, I mean like in the out-of-doors, in Minnesota. What.

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce - comfort food featuring a handful of pantry staples and a few super healthy ingredients. | pinchofyum.com

We saw kids riding their bikes up and down our block. There were people walking dogs of all shapes and sizes, including pugs which, yes, I do always stop and request a quick petting. We stood in the sun and talked with our neighbors on our front steps while their little three-year-old, who is both adorable and ingeniously bilingual, ran up and down the block, wearing glittery mariposa wings and waving her arms and gently stomping in puddles with her green plastic rainboots. It was basically the movies.

Movie titled: Life After Winter.

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce - comfort food featuring a handful of pantry staples and a few super healthy ingredients. | pinchofyum.com

Life After Winter also features good food that is still really comforting but starts to hint at getting ready for shorts season. Like this recipe with roasted sweet potatoes, fresh green kale, spicy Italian chicken sausage, and… the white cheese sauce, salty and creamy with melty strings of Gruyere. Er, wait. Shorts.

But kale, okay?

I was not expecting kale to be such a superstar in this recipe, but it was really the crown jewel of the whole thing. I think that’s food karma – include good healthy things and more good things will come back to you, and it will probably be covered with cheese. Honestly, though, the just slightly wilted taste and texture with the salty bite and melted softness of the Gruyere was like heaven to me. And roasted sweet potatoes and Italian sausage are my bread and butter, so the combo altogether was obvi comforting and delicious.

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce - comfort food featuring a handful of pantry staples and a few super healthy ingredients. | pinchofyum.com

And cheesy.

I swear, food blogging has made me obsessed with cheese.

4.7 from 34 reviews
Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (3-4 cups)
  • 16 ounces Italian pork or chicken sausage, cut into small rounds
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and Italian sausage. Shake to coat in oil, let sit for a few minutes to brown, and shake the pan gently again to move everything around. Repeat until the sweet potatoes and sausage both have golden brown exteriors. Toss with the kale and transfer to a greased 9-inch square baking dish.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring the broth and ½ cup milk to a low boil, then turn the heat to keep it at a low simmer. Whisk the flour and remaining ¼ cup milk to form a thick paste. Add this to the broth, whisking to keep the sauce smooth. Add ¼ cup Gruyere and stir until melted.
  3. Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes, kale, and sausage in the baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.
This makes quite a bit of sauce - you might not need all of it depending on how sau-say you like things.

Nutrition Kale Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce - comfort food featuring a handful of pantry staples and a few super healthy ingredients. | pinchofyum.com
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  1. I can definitely think of worse obsessions than cheese. Especially white cheese…I don’t know what it is about any cheese that is white, but it SO MUCH BETTER.
    I had a really hard time reading the rest of your post after that first picture. That was cruel. BUT so glad you had a fab weekend and a nice date
    Now, I’m gonna go drool over these pictures more. Pinned!

  2. This looks so good! I love, love, love all the cheese on it :-)

  3. This looks awesome. Dishes like this make me happy because they incorporate the deliciousness of sausage and cheese with some healthy things to balance it out. Yummy!

  4. How great was that sunshine this weekend?!!! I am celebrating with you too! Love this dish Lindsay. I love that it toes the line of chilly air and sunshine and spring all at once. Yum is right!

  5. Awww I love Kate! She’s the best! And this meal has my brain stuck on YUM mode too. Need to make this asap!!!

  6. Oh man, I really love gruyere cheese. Please pass the fork, no … the plate! Looks delicious and oh, so cheesy! Pinned.

  7. Wow this looks great! We too in Delaware experienced the sun which has not come out in weeks it feels like. It was so nice to be outside and see our neighbors again too

  8. This is a beautiful dish. I love kale and I am seriously addicted to cheese. So I think this is a great dish to surprise the wife with. Thanks so much and please keep these great ideas coming. You are my favorite!

  9. What a great way to sneak in lots of good nutrition! Love these kind of meals =)

  10. The white cheesy sauce is just the icing on the cake! This sounds like a kicking dinner! 😀

  11. Oh yum. Sweet potatoes and sausage pair so well together. Add some creamy cheesy sauce and this gal is in foodie heaven. Great recipe, Lindsay!

  12. Food karma! Love the expression :)
    I still have not try Kale… I need to fix that! Very appetizing dish! I am going to sound like crazy an but you guys are my blog super heros!!

  13. I’m totally addicted to cheese, especially in white sauce! Oh, Sweet potatoes and kale can come too? I’m in! Pinned. Thanks for sharing! PS- That movie sounds awesome.

  14. Your weekend sounds as lovely as this bake looks! Mmmmm cheesy white sauce! Yummmy!

  15. Can you please come and cook me this right now? Maybe with veggie sausages, sorry to be boring! I’ll give you lots of lovely Italian ingredients in exchange! Lots and lots of cheese! I just discovered Toma from Piedmont, it’s a mild yet farmy-tasting cheese and they served it with honey and hazelnuts!!! xxx
    La Lingua : Food, Life, Love, Travel, Friends, Italy

    • If you need to go veg, swap the sausage for some white beans (but maybe add some more seasoning – Italian sausage has a lot of flavor and you might miss that). :)

  16. Shoot! I just went to the grocery store yesterday and bought all of the ingredients for your broccoli quinoa chicken casserole, and now I want to make this instead!! Life is hard!

  17. This looks so yummmmmmy! I wish you lived close by so I can just come over and have this deliciousness in my plate!!

  18. Kale is a standout player is so many ways! I have never thought of it with Gruyere, but that might have to go on the list…

  19. Gosh this looks good! I might have to make it with white potatoes–Dustin has an aversion to sweet potatoes, even though I love them. Maybe in this savory application he’ll come around to them.

  20. This recipe has all the things! Greens, protein, healthy carbs and CHEESE. Also, thanks for the happy image of the bilingual girl with the mariposa wings jumping in puddles. That’ll have me smiling all day. :) Happy spring!

  21. Yum, this does looks delicious! All this super-duper healthy stuff covered in that super decadent cheese sauce. Perfection! : )

  22. This sounds great! Did you use raw sausage or pre-cooked? thx!

  23. What a beautiful looking dish. I am into sweet potatoes of late. In fact I bought more yesterday at the market. I agree with the comment that the guilt of eating cheese and sausage is offset with the healthy sweet potato and kale. Excuse systems are wonderful!

  24. Sooo..funny thing, I saw the white cheese sauce and was afraid it was cauliflower sauce, which I still haven’t tried to make, and was like “okay, maybe I’ll finally do it” only to find that this sauce really is cheese sauce!

    • Hahah – nope! I think I have my fill on that for the next few years. :)

      • Actually, I DID make this last night, with the creamy cauliflower sauce! I saved two jars from the last time I made a big batch, and I’ve stirred it over pasta, into a mushroom risotto, and now this, in place of the gruyere sauce.

        It was delicious, and now we’re stirring the (very few) leftovers into an egg scramble as we speak.

        Happy Tuesday!

  25. Hey Lindsay! I can totally relate on the weather front. Today is the first day in a while that we have had warm weather in Calgary. I have so much more energy today.

    I love kale, and melty cheese. How did you know??
    What brand of sausage did you use? Find something local?

    • Trader Joe’s! But in the summer we have some great local sausage and bacon at our Farmer’s Market. Just a few more weeks till that’s open again!

  26. If this gets my family to eat kale and sweet potatoes, I will love you forever!

  27. What brand of sausage did you use?

  28. Kayla M. says:

    Wow, this looks awesome! Do you think you could use whole wheat flour in the sauce recipe and still get the same effect?

  29. This looks amazing, right now my favorite cheese is Havarti.

  30. Two super foods in one yummy dish! We will definitely give this a try!

  31. “Life after Winter” that is exactly what our neighborhood looked like this weekend also. FINALLY it’s spring. This recipe is the perfect thing to celebrate! Shared and pinned :)

  32. Hi, Lindsay!
    I’m new to your blog and I really like your recipes. But the only negative thing is that it is a very bad idea to go through your blog and 10 pm. :( all the food photos make me hungry 😉

  33. Lovely! It’s a little past midnight here and reading your post is making me even more hungry! Mmmmm the white cheese sauce looks like something I’d be OD-ing on.

  34. This looks awesome! Making it tonight!

  35. Wow!! I’m going to have to try this. I think my veggie-wary boyfriend would like it! What does Gruyere cheese taste like? I’ve been seeing it pop up in recipes lately.

  36. Looks yummy, as always! So I only follow two food bloggers..you and Kate! When I read this post it made me incredibly happy to hear that my two favorites connected. :)

  37. comfort food to the max – love that first picture

  38. Wow this looks incredible. Similar to what I am making for dinner tonight actually but now I want this instead…

  39. I saw these pictures and my mind also said yumyumyumyumyum very loudly lol. Can’t wait to try this absolutely beautiful and delicious sounding recipe!

  40. Oh good grief! I still haven’t restocked my fridge since the trip but I might have to go on a grocery run for sweet potatoes, kale and cheeeeese. Thank you for the sweet mention! I had such a great time chatting with you!

  41. I made this tonight and it was INCREDIBLE. Had to make some substitions though for what I had on hand: leftover baked ham instead of sausage, half the amount of sweet potatoes, twice the amount of kale, monterey jack cheese instead of gruyere. So so so so good.

  42. This sounds fabulous! Sweet potatoes and kale are two of my favorite veggies; I will not pass up this opportunity to pair them together (with cheese no less). Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  43. Cheese. Lots of it. That picture speaks a thousand drools.

  44. I made this recipe substituting almond milk and it was delicious. Took a little tweaking to get the sauce to thicken, but my boyfriend loved it. Thank you!

  45. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it last night for a family get-together. everyone loved it, even some of the kids had second helpings! Its delicious!!

  46. Lindsay, I am totally obsessed with cheese right now. And chicken sausage. They’re my favorite things ever, but I’ve only combined them in a pizza before… Baked with kale and sweet potatoes to make it even healthier? Absolute perfection. Definitely time for a trip to the grocery store… Yum yum yum yum. Now your yum song is stuck in my head too! :)

  47. Mmmmm, this dish looks incredibly yummie!! Only one thing, I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoe but I presume that I can just substitute regaular potatoes for the sweet potatoe and it will work just as well? Thanks. Kim

  48. Samantha says:

    As much as I hate to remove something as delicious as cheese, I am trying to cut out dairy for my son. I was thinking a sauce with maybe some dijon mustard? Would you suggest anything in substitution?

    • I like that idea! Also, what about using almond butter to help it be nice and creamy and nutty? Might give it a good depth and creamy flavor without the cheese. Not the same, but worth a shot! :)

  49. This was so so SO fantastic! I used mild italian sausage, and added just a bit of garlic and hot paprika to the sauce. I’m in love, thank you for creating it!

  50. This was dinner. It was delicious. Mine turned out a little soupier, apparently I rushed thru the thicken the sauce part, but it was still great! My finely chopped but not shredded gruyere didn’t melt much, either, but again, Still fabulous. Thanks for the great blog Lindsey & Bjork, you two have it ALL going on! Loved your vacation pics/blogs. Good luck with your beautiful new home and neighborhood. I’m in MN as well so I can totally relate to lots of your thoughts. I make at Least one of your recipes every week. So glad to have you two at work for all of us. xo

  51. Cindi Davern says:

    Did you use raw cut sweet potatoes or cooked potatoes?
    I’m making this dish tonight.

  52. This looks delicious. Sausage and cheese together is all that matters lol. I appreciate the included nutrition facts as well. I don’t see that enough and it matters to some of us. Thanks!

  53. Tanya Mantle says:

    Love is the only word I can think of when it comes to all of these ingredients! It was easy to make and filling enough that even my meat and potatoes husband loved it!

  54. This looks super good. It reminds me of a pizza recipe I found this summer that has kale, sweet potato, and gruyere. I don’t eat meat, so I’m thinking I will use some black beans for protein.

  55. will be trying next week. wish me luck. that picture came up in my Pinterest email and i was SOLD!!!

  56. Hi Lindsay,

    Great recipe! Also very cute bowl with handles. Do you know where to find bowls like this? I’ve never seen one with handles at the store so far but would love to find one like it.

  57. Christina says:

    I just made this and the flavor is wonderful. However, I think that anyone using uncooked sausage might have to add a step to drain the excess grease before adding it to the baking dish. I was wondering about that as I was cooking, but from the comments I learned that your sausage was pre-cooked. I also had trouble getting my sauce to thicken…when I whisked the paste into the milk/broth mixture, it immediately gelled up into clumps that wouldn’t dissolve! I finally had to strain them out of my sauce and cut my losses. The thickening step for sauces always seems to get me.

    • The sauce is definitely temperamental like that because it’s not the traditional butter/flour sauce – I always have to really whisk it to get it as smooth as possible, and even then I often end up with a few small specks or lumps. And yes, I would definitely drain any uncooked sausage. Appreciate the comment Christina!

  58. OMG, this sounds amazing. I don’t tolerate much dairy (flexible Paleo diet but cheese is a rare treat for me) but I bet it would still be very tasty without!! I might have to try and let you know! =)

  59. Heather says:

    Made this for dinner tonight! Used my le cruset Dutch oven so I could do the potatoes/sausage in the same dish on the stove and in the oven (less dishes). Turned out awesome. Even my husband loved it. This is going in my personal cookbook. Thanks for the recipe.

  60. Excellent recipe! I also used my Le Creuset. I used uncooked sausage, so I drained it and set it aside while I cooked the sweet potatoes. I used a gluten-free AP flour blend in the sauce, it turned out great!

  61. Tried it and LOVED IT!!!! Bought fresh chicken sausage from italian deli had to brown it first before cutting! Used a lil bit too much cheese sauce but who didnt :-) sites like these make me feel like I really know what im doing in the kitchen 😉

  62. I just made this dish… I can’t wait to eat it! 😀

  63. This recipe is AH-MAZING and so easy to make. I’m salavating thinking about my leftovers for lunch. The flavors go so well together. I did use boring jennie-o turkey sausage and would try something else next time.
    Thanks Lindsay for another great meal!

  64. Used lettuce from my garden. This was a great dinner. I used turkey sausage.

  65. Mel Louth says:

    This was really easy and yummy. No gruyere here so just used tasty cheese. Kids even liked it – fancy that!! Thank you.

  66. I left out the sausage and flavored the cheese sauce with:

    red onion diced, 1/2 a jalapeno pepper de-seeded and diced, some fresh sliced mushrooms, a tablespoon of Dijon-style prepared mustard, a tablespoon of Sriracha sauce and a dash of whit wine/vermouth. Incredibly yummy!

  67. Lindsey….great recipe….for my husband that runs I used turkey sausage instead of Italian …. Great for runners with the kale and sweet potatoes. Glad to use kale and sweet potatoes for something other than Thanksgiving!

  68. Hi! If I were making this and freezing it for someone else when do you think I should freeze it? Thanks so much!!

  69. Looks really, really good! I will return and let you know how it goes.
    One thing – the video on the right side of your page has locked up my computer three times as the plugin (Flash or shockwave) stops working. Plus, with the noise, I have to make sure to turn down my monitors before I get busted surfing at work! 😉

    • I am so sorry – we have been working on those horrible video ads for about a week now with no luck so far… but they drive me crazy, so trust me when I say we’re doing everything we can do to get rid of them with our ad networks.

      • Tried it – loved it!!! I doubled it, and handed off different jobs to everyone as this does dirty quite a few dishes (and it was my turn on cleanup!). Since I doubled it, I used a large pot to make that dreamy, divine white cheese sauce and mixed everything in there before baking. I was a bit worried that there wouldn’t be a lot of flavor as there are no spices, but I was wrong! The cheese (we used swiss $$) definitely adds saltiness and it really didn’t need anything else.
        Next time, I will probably add a bit of garlic, probably roasted, fresh black pepper, and hold some of the sauce back. You said it made a lot of sauce, and I LOVE saucy, but why not save just a bit to put on something (anything) else later down the road? :)
        Thanks for a great recipe!

  70. Darlene Coleman says:

    Delicious recipe. I made this tonight and added garlic salt,pepper and Italian seasoning. I did use a gluten free Turkey kielbasa and pretty sure I ended up with a cup of cheese too. Thank you for the great recipe.

  71. Loved the concept, but I’ll tweak the cheese sauce portion next time. I think I’d prefer it with a traditional butter/flour roux, more milk, a lot more cheese, and much less broth. Thanks for the idea!

  72. Joelle Dennie says:

    Tried this recipe today. It was very good. My only comment was that I didn’t look at your photos to see that you actually used yams not sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes take a much longer time to cook so that was a bit of an issue with hungry kids dying to eat!! Will try it again with yams next time. Thanks.

  73. I made this tonight for a pre-holiday dinner with friends and it was a huge hit. We had it with salad and fresh bread. The combo worked really well together. The only changes I made to the recipe were to microwave steam the sweet potatoes prior to cooking them on the stovetop with the sausage and using the entire head of kale since it cooks down so much. I’d say I used about 3/4 of the sauce and wasn’t reading the directions carefully enough at the time I was making it so ended up putting all of the gruyere in there but remedied that mistake by shaving a bit of other cheese I had on hand over the dish before baking it. What an easy and delicious dinner. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  74. I made this tonight and it was good, but the sauce a bit soupy. . Any ideas what I did wrong?

  75. This looks so delicious – putting it in my meal plan for next week! Can’t wait to try it out.

  76. Sorry, but I can’t give this recipe more stars. The cheese sauces is way too liquid (I didn’t even use the full 2 cups of stock), so the other ingredients end up sitting in liquid. I recommend cutting down on the stock or milk (or both). I also recommend that you start cooking the sweet potatoes first, as they need more time to soften up (then add the sausage and kale).

  77. Thought this was a good recipe. It needed a few more spices in the white sauce so I added a little kosher salt, pepper, and garlic. I also salt and peppered the sweet potatoes while they were cooking as well as the kale. I also doubled the kale amount since there was so much white sauce. I’ll definitely be making it again with a few of my own adjustments! Thanks!

  78. Jen Chambers says:

    Excited does not even explain my feeling right now – I must say I made my own white sauce (equal parts butter and flour then cooked out flour then added liquid) with leftover mustard & ale cheddar from Christmas – I also left out the sausage as I’m serving it with crab cakes – my kitchen smells DIVINE!!!

  79. Natalie Cookson says:


    I love your blog and your recipes, and this was no exception. I have a few questions though – after sauteing the potatoes, they were not very cooked (just brown), so 10 minutes in the oven was not nearly enough. Did I do something wrong? I increased the cook time to 25 minutes, but I’m wondering if I should have sauteed them more or something (they were about 1/2 inch cubes or smaller)? Also, I noticed that you left salt and pepper out, probably because you like people to decide for themselves what is a good amount. But instead of having each person have to salt and pepper their own portion, do you have a recommendation for how much to add to the sauce?



  80. This came out SO WELL! I (as Natalie said before) perhaps should have sautéed the potatoes more as well, because after ten minutes in the oven I tried a little sample and the potato was definitely cooked, but not enough. Besides that little speed bump this was such a warm, cozy, and delicious recipe! Love the kale and the cheese!

  81. I swear I make this almost every weekend-my husband and I love it! I’ve experimented with ground turkey, chorizo and have taken to putting some montechevre in the white sauce to thicken it a bit. It’s so easy to make though! I even crack a few eggs on top to give it a more breakfasty feel, but it’s good any time of the day. Thanks for sharing!

  82. I tried this recipe out today and the flavors were so good. But the thing I am having trouble with is getting the sauce to thicken. When I added the flour mixture to the milk/broth, it just immediately turned in to dumplings and I could not get it to dissolve. Any ideas on what I’m doing wrong? I am dying to taste this sauce done right!

  83. Made this last night and the whole family loved it… even my picky kiddos… definitely a keeper recipe!!!!

  84. I made this for dinner a while back. My husband was SO hesitant to try it….he doesn’t do “casseroles”. He loved it. Couldn’t stop eating it. Kept going to the container I had put the leftovers in and eating more…..Thanks for the great recipe!

  85. Alicia Solakian says:

    I am thinking of making this for dinner tomorrow but was wondering, can I use spinach leaves rather than kale? Also, I am not a fan of how strong Gruyere cheese is, would a milder white cheese work as well?

  86. Made this last night for dinner and am eating the leftovers for my lunch as I type! I subbed spinach for kale as I already had some spinach in the fridge and found some Johnsonville Italian chicken sausage links at the store. My sauce didn’t turn out as creamy as I would have liked…but looking back at the recipe I think I messed it up since I put the whole 3/4 cup milk in the broth at once, and then whisked the flour into that. Or maybe I should have added a bit more flour and some cornstarch to thicken it more? Or added more cheese (which is never a bad thing :) ). All in all, this recipe is definitely getting added to my rotation!

  87. Made this last night for dinner with my boyfriend, it was AMAZING. He loves kale and I love comfort food and this was their perfect love child. Definitely will be making again.

    Also, seemed like a lot of sauce when we poured it in and when first came out of the oven, but as it cooled and thickened it was the perfect amount.

    Thank you for this!

  88. I’ve made this three times. The first two times I had major issues with the sauce coming out right. I thought that maybe I screwed something up the first time, but when it happened again after carefully reading the directions, I decided to make a good old fashioned roux and it finally turned out thick and creamy. Before it was just a runny, chunky mess despite whisking like crazy. I also had to add quite a bit more cheese into the roux than what’s called for. I was also surprised that you chose not to season at any point throughout the recipe. Third time was a charm here!

  89. This was terrible. You should go back to teaching.

  90. Made this the other night and it was awesome! We had leftovers so I added some Mexican seasonings, black beans and some leftover shredded chicken to make quesadilla filling and it was great then too!

  91. I love this recipe and it’s become a favorite in our house! Question – do you think it would freeze okay?? I want to make it for my friends who just brought home their first baby, but want to make sure it’s something they can freeze. Thoughts? I’m not sure how the sauce would hold up.

    • Honestly, I’m not exactly sure either! My gut tells me it would hold up fine, but we haven’t frozen this so I can’t say for sure. One thought would be to freeze the sauce separately from the other ingredients. That way, when your friend thaws it out she can see if it’s separated. If it has, then she (or you!) could whip up a new sauce to put on the other ingredients before baking.

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