Rainbow Potato Stacks

published Dec 5, 2021
Rainbow Potato Stacks Recipe

These cheesy stacks call for a combination of orange and purple sweet potatoes, as well as regular russet potatoes, for one colorful side dish.

Makes12 stacks

Prep30 minutes to 40 minutes

Cook45 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
rainbow potato stacks on a dish
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Last holiday season I traded in classic scalloped potatoes for some less traditional, but incredibly delicious potato stacks. They might not be the first potato dish you think to serve for the holidays, but boy are they a mighty side. The cute little towers are made with thinly sliced russet potatoes, cheese, butter, and herbs — and who can say no to an ingredient list like that?

This year, I wanted to tweak these stacks ever-so-slightly and toss a sweet potato into the mix. Why? Because sweet potatoes are festive and I want the best of both worlds, okay? The result is an elegant, flavorful, extra-colorful way to serve potatoes that everyone at the table will love.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

What Potatoes Do I Need for Rainbow Potato Stacks?

You’ll notice that this recipe calls for both sweet potatoes (orange and purple, although if you can’t find purple, you can totally stick to orange) and russet potatoes. This is not only because the visual contrast of white, orange, and purple looks nice, but also because the russets — the starchiest variety of the bunch — provide structural support. Without them, the stacks would turn to mush, as sweet potatoes have a higher level of sugar and less starch than a white potato.

When shopping for the potatoes, opt for thin ones over round ones, which will ensure the slices fit into the muffin tin.

How Should I Layer the Potatoes?

Layering these potatoes in the muffin tin does not need to be an exact science. Use the smaller rounds towards the bottom of the tin, and if you need to break a round in half to get it to fit, that’s totally fine. Keep in mind that once you’ve added all the slices, the stacks will be taller than the tins. This is okay, as they’ll shrink down as they bake.

Do your best to alternate the russets between the sweet potatoes, which will prevent a large clump of sweet potato slices from becoming too soft (which could lead to a stack collapsing). I also like to sprinkle the tops of each one with more cheese before sending the tin to the oven.

Rainbow Potato Stacks Recipe

These cheesy stacks call for a combination of orange and purple sweet potatoes, as well as regular russet potatoes, for one colorful side dish.

Prep time 30 minutes to 40 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Makes 12 stacks

Nutritional Info


  • 3

    medium russet potatoes, preferably narrow (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total)

  • 2

    medium regular or purple sweet potatoes, preferably 1 of each (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total)

  • 4 ounces

    Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

  • 1 3/4 ounces

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (3/4 cup)

  • 2 cloves


  • 4

    large sprigs fresh sage

  • 7 to 8 sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • Flaky salt, for garnish


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Prepare the following, placing each in the same large bowl as you complete it: Use a mandoline or sharp knife to thinly slice 3 medium russet potatoes and 2 medium sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Grate 4 ounces Gruyère cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup). Grate 1 3/4 ounces Parmesan cheese on the small holes of a box grater or microplane (about 3/4 cup).

  3. Grate 2 garlic cloves on the small holes of a box grater or on a Microplane. Pick the leaves from 4 large fresh sage sprigs and finely chop until you have 2 tablespoons. Pick the leaves from 7 to 8 fresh thyme sprigs until you have 1 teaspoon.

  4. Melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, sage, thyme, 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour over the potatoes and stir with a rubber spatula until the potatoes are thoroughly coated.

  5. Sack the potato slices in the wells of a standard 12-well muffin tin, alternating the russet slices with the sweet potato slices and dispersing the cheese evenly throughout the layers, about 12 slices per stack. The stacks will be taller than the muffin tins; they will shrink as they cook.

  6. Cover the stacks with aluminum foil and place the muffin tin on a baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes are slightly softened, about 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until golden-brown and crispy, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool for 5 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of each stack to loosen, then remove the stacks from the tins. Sprinkle with flaky salt and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Herbs: Fresh rosemary can be used in place of the sage, and fresh oregano can be used in place of the thyme in equal amounts.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.