We already had mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and scalloped potatoes, but there was something special missing from our potato-themed holiday side dish collection! Say hello to the (vegan) potato gratin — a creamy and classic side that’s stunning enough for any celebration!
Whether you prefer Yukon gold potatoes, purple potatoes, or sweet potatoes, this dish has you covered. It’s full of garlicky, savory goodness thanks to a dreamy dairy-free sauce, and it requires just eight ingredients! Let us show you how it’s done!
What is Au Gratin?
Gratin, also called au gratin, is a French cooking technique that involves creating a delicious browned crust over a dish (source). While the topping is usually made with breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg, and butter, the following is a vegan and gluten-free version of a potato gratin.
How to Make a Vegan Potato Gratin
This savory plant-based side starts with a flavorful cream sauce made with cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and nutmeg (for elegance)! The result is a creamy dairy-free sauce that will naturally thicken and caramelize in the oven. YUM.
After blending the sauce, chopped rosemary joins the party for an extra flavorful touch. Then, it’s time to coat the thinly sliced potatoes in the sauce and add them to the baking dish. We like to use a variety of potatoes because we love pretty colors, but any potato works well!
The final touch before the oven is a sprinkle of vegan parmesan (duh) and an extra dash of rosemary (so classy)!
After a quick vacay in the oven, the gratin is ready: tender potatoes with crispy edges coated in garlicky, “cheesy” goodness. And that presentation? Ten out of ten, if we do say so ourselves!
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- Three medium cloves of garlic
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary (finely chopped // plus more for topping)
- Three large (~200 g each) potatoes of choice (very thinly sliced, ~1/16 inch. We used 1 Yukon gold, one sweet potato, and one purple potato)
- 2 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and set out an 8 x 8-inch (or similar size) baking dish or oven-proof skillet (adjust the size of the word if altering the default number of servings).
- To a high-speed blender, add the water, cashews, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg (optional). Blend on high until very smooth with no bits of cashews remaining, scraping down the sides as needed. This takes about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the finely chopped rosemary. Mix to combine evenly.
- Add the sliced potatoes to the bowl of sauce in small batches, tossing with clean hands to evenly coat each slice in the sauce. Transfer the pieces to your baking dish of choice and arrange them in spirals or rows, where they are close together with no large gaps (see photos). Repeat until all the potatoes are coated in sauce and arranged in the dish. Pour any remaining sauce over the top of the potatoes and jiggle the dish side to side to get the sauce to settle between the potatoes.
- Sprinkle the top with the vegan parmesan cheese and a few small sprigs of rosemary, then cover with foil. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender when poked with a knife. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown the top.
- Enjoy warm! Leftovers are kept for 2-3 days in the refrigerator or the freezer for up to 1 month.