Why It's Good to be Bad: Sinfully Wonderful Potato Gratin

Sometimes it's good to be bad! This sinfully wonderful vegan potato gratin is just the kind of indulgent treat I love. It's rich, creamy, cheesy, and the perfect compliment to light and bright recipes like this Citrus Salad with Juniper Vinaigrette, or My Favorite Brussels Sprouts. Try it for the holidays instead of mashed potatoes and it will be sure to get rave reviews.

cast iron skillet with potato gratin

Potato Gratin: The People Pleaser

I can't think of any dish that everyone loves universally more than potato gratin. It's comfort food to the extreme. Who doesn't love ooey gooey cheesy sauce broiled over roasted potatoes? Not only is it a crowd pleaser, but it also goes with so many different foods. Pair it with light dishes like I mention above, or put it down on the table with country cooking like these Korean BBQ Meatballs and Country Fried Tofu. At the holidays, I love this instead of mashed potatoes (or IN ADDITION TOO!).

How to Make Vegan Potato Gratin

The recipe for this gratin is simple, and hard to mess up. There's a few pointers that will help you along the way:

  • I always use a cast iron skillet. It cooks evenly and maintains the heat so that the potatoes cook from all sides, as well as from above. If you don't have a cast iron skillet, use a thick casserole dish.

The Trick to the Potatoes

  • Always use Russet Potatoes. Russets have a lot of starch and so help to thicken the sauce, making it more creamy while the potatoes stay tender.
  • Use a mandolin to evenly slice the potatoes. This is a wonderful kitchen tool that is fairly inexpensive. I would take a mandolin over many of the "fancier" tools out there. Even if your knife skills are fairly good, a mandolin is fast and easy to use (just be sure to use the guard)
  • Be sure to spray the skillet with olive oil before layering the potatoes.
  • After slicing the potatoes, lay them on their sides and place them in a spiral ring around the edge of the skillet and then continue, working your way inside until the entire skillet is ringed with potatoes. Lightly sprinkle with half the salt and pepper.

Making the Cheese Sauce

  • Have all your ingredients measured before starting the sauce. You can use whatever broth you want, but my personal favorite is to use this No-Chicken Broth from Better than Bouillon. I follow the measurements on the jar to make one cup of the broth with hot water and then mix that mixture with the oat milk.
  • Put the pot over medium-high heat to start.
  • Melt the butter and sauté the garlic with the remaining salt and pepper.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and whisk in the cornstarch. You'll see in the video I use a flat whisk. These are fantastic for whisking sauces, as opposed to a basket whisk used for batters and baking.
  • After that, slowly add in the broth mix. Do this a little at a time so that the cornstarch doesn't clump.

Finishing the Sauce and the Potatoes

  • Once the sauce starts to thicken and come together, you can add the rest of your ingredients. Add the nutritional yeast, thyme, paprika, and cheddar cheese shreds.
  • Continue cooking, whisking to combine, until the cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened to the consistency of a gravy.
  • Pour the sauce evenly over the potatoes, wrap in foil, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for another 40-50 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has cooked down. Remove and let sit for the sauce to set.

Recipe

a cast iron skillet with vegan potato gratin

Sinfully Wonderful Potato Gratin

Kajsa@TwistofVegan
Sometimes it's good to be bad! This sinfully wonderful potato gratin is just the kind of indulgent treat I love. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Recipes- Holidays
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 156 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350f.
  • Peel and slice the potatoes with a mandolin, approximately ⅛" thick.
  • Spray the sides and bottom of a cast iron skillet with the olive oil spray
  • Stack your potatoes in short stacks and then lay on their sides along the sides of the skillet.  Continue placing the potato stacks against each other in a spiral ring until the whole outer edge of the skillet is lined with potatoes.  Repeat with the inside until the whole skillet is filled with sliced potatoes lying on their sides.  Lightly sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper.
  • Set the skillet aside.
  • Have all your ingredients measured before starting the sauce. You can use whatever broth you want, but my personal favorite is to use this No-Chicken Broth from Better than Bouillon. I follow the measurements on the jar to make one cup of the broth with hot water and then mix that mixture with the oat milk.
  • In a separate pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped garlic, the rest of the salt and pepper.  Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until the garlic has released its aroma but has not browned.
  • Turn down the heat to medium and whisk in the cornstarch.
  • Slowly start adding the broth mixture a little bit at a time.  Be sure to whisk constantly so that the cornstarch doesn't clump.  Continue adding and whisking until all of the broth is incorporated.  Let sit and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is slowly bubbling and starts to thicken.
  • Add the nutritional yeast, thyme, paprika, and shredded cheddar cheese.  Whisk to combine.  Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until all of the cheese has melted and the mixture thickens to the consistency of a thin gravy.
  • Turn off the cheese sauce and pour evenly over the potatoes in the skillet.
  • Cover with foil and place in the center rack of the oven with a sheet pan underneath on the next shelf down to catch any drippings.
  • Bake for 20 minutes with the foil, then remove foil and bake for another 40-60 minutes until the potatoes are tender when poked with the tip of a knife.
  • Remove and let rest for the cheese sauce to set.

Notes

*This dish can be made the day before and reheated in the oven.  Cover with foil and bake at 350f for 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 156kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.02gSodium: 530mgPotassium: 159mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 405IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 1mg
Keyword potato gratin, potatoes, side dishes, vegan, vegan holiday recipes, vegan potato gratin, vegetarian
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