Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake is one of my favorite fall-inspired side dishes.
Nothing says autumn like sweet potatoes and apples. They’re two quintessential favorites of the season, and both are incredibly versatile.
I decided to chop both and bake them in the oven together to let the flavors marry, and the result was so good.
How to Make Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake
Basically, the apples and sweet potatoes roast while in the oven, and the edges get lightly browned. The caramelized edges are sweet and have a depth that’s hard to get from other methods, and the flavors concentrate.
Cranberries, notorious for their tart, almost bitter flavor, combine perfectly with the sweet apples and sweet potatoes. Bringing cinnamon to the party adds subtle, spicy warmth.
I don’t use dried, sweetened cranberries. They are usually loaded with sugar and tossed in canola oil (yuck).
Why I Use Fresh Cranberries
But since fresh cranberries aren’t available year-round, I usually stock up with several bags of fresh cranberry in the fall and freeze them.
That way, I can pop a handful into anything I’m cooking, no matter what time of year it is. Cranberries are packed with Vitamin C and loaded with fiber and antioxidants, so they’re a potent little powerhouse of nutrition.
This Recipe is a Great Source of Post-Workout Carbs
If you’re tired of plain, baked sweet potatoes as your go-to post-workout carb source, try this Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake instead. Want to learn more about why carbs (and protein) are important to eat after your hard exercise session? Click here to read an article I wrote about the topic.
The long and short of it is eating carbs post-workout replenishes fuel (glycogen) in your muscle tissue, helping you recover more efficiently.
Starchy carbohydrates like sweet potato, white potato, plantains, and hard squash – plus some non-starchy fruits like banana and pineapple – are rich sources of muscle-replenishing glucose.
Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake
This Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake has all the best tastes of autumn in one convenient dish. It's paleo and gluten-free!
- 6 small sweet potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 apples diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries*
- 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
- 2 tsp cinnamon or Primal Palate Apple Pie Spice
- Pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease the inside of a large baking dish with coconut oil or ghee.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and apples. Chop into uniform pieces, ~1/2″ dice.
- Place half the chopped sweet potato/apple into the dish. Sprinkle with ¼ cup cranberries, half the cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt.
- Repeat with remaining sweet potato, apple, cranberry, cinnamon and salt.
- Dot the top with small pieces of ghee or coconut oil.
- Bake covered for ~1 hour or until the potato and apple have softened.
Wow, this looks awesome! I can’t wait to try it. I’ll post when I do 😀
Thank you Ursula! Hope you enjoy 🙂
Home alone this week, this will last a couple of meals, with some form of pork I am thinking! Yum!
Don’t think I have ever seen fresh cranberries, so will try with a few organic dried ones I have.
The organic dried ones would work but I think I’d sprinkle them on toward the end so they don’t burn 🙂
We loved this!! Thank you for yet another delicious recipe!
Yes!!! I’m happy to hear that!
Will definitely be making this to bring to my family Thanksgiving dinner!
🙂 It’s one of my favorites!
I’ve been making a variation (add brussle sprouts, pear, and butternut squash) of this to go with dinner using whole cranberries and love it. Will definitely be trying this one for PWO. Thanks!
Yay!! That sounds so ridiculously good 🙂
This is one of my first things to try cooking paleo and as I pulled it out of the oven my mouth was watering! It smells so good! Thanks for the simple instructions and good ideas.
Woohoo! That’s a huge victory Jess. Here’s to a long line of tasty food coming your way.
SO good. Not a lot of work, very tasty AND I can (safely) eat it in the car post WOD on my way to work. So good! thanks!
Sorry if this is a stupid question (that’s never a good disclaimer, is it), but do you cover the dish with aluminum foil? I’m new to the world of cooking, as you can tell! LOL
Hi Sarah…sorry it took me a while to reply, but yes, I cover it either with a glass lid or if you don’t have one for that dish, some foil.
my sweet potatoes don’t come in “small”, rough measurements would be helpful if I want to make this…
Use as many or as few as you want; there is no way to do it wrong.
YUMMY- loved the Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake, however, could not find fresh or frozen cranberries in Florida in March…..So 30 mins into the cooking, I added a bag of frozen cherries- a bit of zing, but honestly a little too mushy….next year I will put away a few bags of cranberries in my freezer! thanks!
Perfect! I think they’re good without the cranberries, too 🙂
Oooohhh….I was JUST thinking I need a new breakfast recipe. Thinking I may caramelize a couple of sliced sweet onions first and then mix them into the recipe prior to baking….and then top each serving with drippy eggs as a breakfast meal! Maybe with some chopped bacon sprinkled on top?
Clearly I need to eat! LOL!
That sounds fantastic!
Making this for Easter Sunday lunch with our house church!! 🙂
AWESOME!! Good crowd pleaser 🙂
This has been one of my go to recipes since discovering it this past fall when I need to use up sweet potatoes (after buying too many at one time!). If you’re not watching sugar intake, sprinkling a pinch of coconut palm sugar between the layers and on top brings this dish a maple-y touch of sweetness that compliments it wonderfully. Yum.
That’s great Kim, I am so glad you enjoy it!
I see you are using the white corning wear dish, any thoughts on using the ceramic covered metal over glass for baking?
Hi there…if you’re referring to something like Le Creuset (porcelain over cast iron), I think it’s wonderful for baking. I haven’t been able to purchase any for myself yet, but I know many people who have it and love it 🙂
Thanks for the great recipe! It sounded so good for breakfast, so I included a pound of pork breakfast sausage in the baked dish, then served with runny eggs on top! I ate it for breakfast every day this week! It was phenomenal!
Nice add! That sounds super tasty! 🙂
What kinds of apples are best in this recipe Stephen? Granny-smiths? Thanks!
Hi Laura! I’d recommend something like granny smith or Pink Lady. Something that has a more firm flesh will work best 🙂
Tat was supposed to be Steph, not Stephen. Stupid iPad was on auto-correct and I didn’t see it till afterwards. Sorry.
It’s okay…autocorrect does that to me ALL the time 🙂
Hi there! How many servings does this yield? Or rather, what should the serving size be? I’m definitely going to be making this tonight!
As a side dish, about 4-5. It sort of depends on how big your sweet potatoes are but I always have leftovers!
I made this for Christmas dinner today. I think it was my favorite thing on the table. Thanks a ton!
Made this tonight to go with roast duck. Really delicious. Thanks for the recipe!
Yay! You’re welcome Sarah!
This looks great, but cranberries aren’t yet available here. Do you think blueberries would work?
Sure! The cranberries aren’t mandatory. You could also sprinkle on some dried tart cherries after it’s done baking.
Thank you for this amazing recipe!! I have included it in my list of Whole30 Thanksgiving Side Dishes post.
Great turkey day dish!
So happy I found this recipe! I have a Holiday Party to attend and was wanting to bring this for lunch. Do I cook it the night b4, place in the fridge, and reheat in microwave b4 serving? What do you think?
You totally can do that 🙂
We made this as a side to the chicken recipe (it’s pictured with) and it was delicious. My hubby went back for seconds and then took the remaining for his lunch the next day.
When I make a new recipe, we have our own little “scale” we go by, and he said it was so good he could eat it once a week.
Thanks again for the recipe ?
I’m so glad that everyone liked it! That’s music to my ears 🙂
yes, yes, and yes! Whole30 or not, this recipe is delicious! So happy, comforting, and healthy! I thought the cranberries would be weird, but they actually are the little spunk that makes this dish shine. LOVE
A little pop of tang 🙂
What does PWO mean?
If you can’t find cranberries…. Add chopped pecans!
Would frozen cranberries work? Or would dried be better? They are the only options open to me and I really want to try this! 🙂
I think I’d opt for frozen 🙂
I couldn’t get any cranberries, so I used pomegranate instead… Sooooo good! I will definitely do it again, so I just got cranberries and put them into the freezer. Thanks for the recipe and greetings from Germany 🙂
Perfect! I usually buy extra cranberries in the fall and toss them in the freezer too 🙂
Question: would this work well if I didn’t peel the sweet potatoes and/or the apples? I always eat those two items with the peel, but I don’t want to ruin the recipe. Super excited to try this out! Thanks in advance!
Yes ma’am! I don’t ever peel them 🙂
Awesome, thanks! Gonna make this over the weekend as a test drive for Thanksgiving. 🙂
Sweet!! Super glad to hear that,Victoria!
Has anybody tried adding chopped pecans to the top of this?
Yes! It’s delicious that way 🙂
These look delicious and stupid easy 😉 ! Steph, I would LOVE to share your recipe with my followers. Would you mind if I share this for a round up of delicious healthier Thanksgiving dessert options over on my fitness blog? I’d love to use a picture with your permission and of course link people over to your site 🙂 Thanks!
Please email me using the contact form on the site 🙂
So comforting and tasty~
My whole family loved it and said the house smelled great while it was cooking.
I love the simple ingredients, it really is stupid-easy to make!
I’m wanting to make this for Thanksgiving but we’re sensitive to cinnamon. What do you think I could sub for spices? Ginger and allspice maybe?
Any of those will work. Nutmeg too maybe.
Now that cranberries are in season, I am cooking this dish all the time! I am using half the recipe for breakfast skillets, can I freeze the other half?
Sure thing! Will freeze well.
This site was recommended to me by a friend. I’m so excited to try cook this!
In the pic it looks like the skins are on. Do u ever eat it with the skins on (recipe says to peel)?
Do you ever try it with yams?
I usually leave the skin on 🙂 Yams, sweet potatoes…both work!
I can’t wait to try this. I noticed an asterisk after the 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, but I don’t see an explanation for the asterisk. Can you clarify?
I don’t think it came across when we switched sites. I think I just wrote that you can use dried and sprinkle them on after baking.
This is delicious. I am wondering about the serving size. Is it a 1/2 cup? Thank you so much.
There are 4 servings calculated out.
I skipped the fat except to spray my baking pan.
After baking I served with sprinkles of walnut for protein.
My husband and I love your recipe. Now to find more cranberries.
So glad you enjoyed!
I make this every year as soon as cranberries are available. It’s so easy, yummy and versatile. Keep it simple, usually the best choice! Thanks Steph
So glad you’re enjoying it!