A gratin is a casserole but not just any casserole. With thoughtful layers of artfully arranged ingredients baked under a golden topping that typically includes breadcrumbs and/or cheese, gratin comes to the table all dressed up and ready to mingle with an array of other dishes. It's an elegant, crowd-pleasing way to showcase seasonal produce all year round, from root vegetables in the colder months to zucchini and sliced tomatoes in the summer — and of course, potatoes whenever the occasion calls for it. Here's our collection of gratin recipes for comforting, creative casseroles.
Smashed Potato and Shallot Gratin
For this luxurious side dish, whole baby potatoes are roasted with shallots and smashed right in the baking pan before they're covered in garlicky cream and Parmesan. The whole thing gets a quick pass under the broiler until it's deeply golden brown.
Rainbow Vegetable Gratin
Six layers of colorful vegetables cook together in former F&W culinary director at large Justin Chapple's free-form gratin; panko and Parmigiano-Reggiano absorb extra juices and provide a nice crunch.
In this fennel gratin, the bulbs are perfectly tender and completely smothered in a luscious garlicky cream sauce. It’s a decadent side dish that feels right at home on a holiday table — the option to bake it in advance comes in clutch when oven space is at a premium.
Creamy Swiss Chard Gratin with Crispy Gnocchi
A riff on creamed spinach, this cheesy gratin is studded with buttery toasted gnocchi. Swiss chard adds an earthy bite, while a duo of nutty Gruyère and salty Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses brings richness and depth to the bechamel. Store-bought gnocchi help this gratin come together in a flash, and toasting them in butter instead of boiling adds a compelling crunch.
Rutabaga, Celery Root, and Potato Gratin
This recipe for a three-root gratin is reinvigorated by a hearty combination of Yukon Gold potatoes, rutabaga, and celery root. Rutabaga and celery root bring an earthy depth and an engaging, subtle sweetness, giving the gratin a flavorful lift. Classic gratins lean on heaps of Gruyère; here, robust Parmigiano-Reggiano cuts in with more intense flavor, accentuating the vegetables instead of smothering them.
Potatoes au Gratin
For this creamy, cheese-laden recipe, thin-sliced red potatoes and onions are shingled from the outside in, creating an enticing decorative top. Bechamel made with heavy whipping cream, Gruyère, and cheddar creates the base for the rich, cheesy sauce. Broil the dish for a few minutes to yield a crisp golden brown exterior, then sprinkle with fresh chopped chives.
In this sophisticated yet comforting gratin, tangy Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples, shallots, and potatoes are baked under a golden brown crust dusted with fennel pollen. This gratin is equally at home served with a roast bird or as a side to a pan-seared, butter-basted steak.
Crab Macaroni Gratin
"A glorious amount of crabmeat baked with shell-shaped pasta in a three-cheese cream sauce — tangy white cheddar, nutty Gruyère, and sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano — is no-joke delicious, and trés riche," recipe developer Andrea Slonecker writes. "That's where the Champagne comes in. The tingly bubbles give your palate an ultrasonic scrub between each creamy, cheesy, blissful bite."
Summer Squash Gratin
Recipe developer Laura Rege puts abundant summer squash and zucchini to good use in this beautiful and very simple gratin, which gets fantastic flavor from white wine, leeks, and Gruyère cheese.
Triple-Cheese Curried Cauliflower Gratin
Chef Sang Yoon seasons this creamy, cheesy potato and cauliflower gratin with vadouvan, a curry spice blend flavored with dried shallots and garlic.
Winter Squash and Savoy Cabbage Gratin with Garlic Crema
San Francisco chef Matthew Accarrino looks to cornstarch to thicken the creamy milk-based roasted garlic sauce here. It's a rich and nutritious combination of winter squash with cabbage, all topped with crunchy hazelnuts.
Garlicky Cherry Tomato and Bread Gratin
The cherry tomatoes in chef Jacques Pépin's simple gratin add color to a winter menu and hold their shape well during cooking — but don't reserve this dish just for winter.
Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms
Commercial wild mushroom mixes (usually a combination of shiitake, cremini, and oyster mushrooms) are a godsend: Someone has already cleaned, stemmed, and sliced the mushrooms for you. In this recipe, they're combined with spinach and cream, then baked in a luscious gratin under smooth rounds of precooked polenta until bubbling hot.
In Northern Italy, pizzoccheri are short, flat buckwheat noodles cooked with cabbage and potatoes and layered with cheese. For his version, chef Jonathon Sawyer cuts fresh lasagna sheets into noodles and bakes them in a gratin dish with a crispy breadcrumb topping.
Lima Bean and Sweet Pepper Gratin
"This butter bean gratin is based on an amazing flageolet bean gratin that one of my mentors, Frank Stitt, makes. His recipe was originally inspired by one from Richard Olney," says chef Hugh Acheson. "It's an ode to the marriage of Southern vegetables and French know-how."
Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Gratin
Goat cheese fans will love the tang that the cheese adds to this sweet and luscious gratin, with its crispy topping.
Citrus Gratin with Toasted Almonds
This warm citrus dessert is an updated version of the old-fashioned half grapefruit broiled with brown sugar. A scattering of crunchy almonds and turbinado sugar forms the crust on top.
Ziti, Eggplant, and Fontina Gratin
Eggplant is sautéed in olive oil until it's creamy-soft and then tossed with pasta and cheese. A quick stint under the broiler melts the Fontina and browns the top.
Brandade de Morue au Gratin (Whipped Salt Cod Gratin)
The Provençal dish known as brandade de morue elevates humble salt cod and potatoes by whipping them with milk, olive oil, and garlic until luxuriously silky. Jacques Pépin's extra step of serving the dish au gratin (browned, with cheese on top) makes it that much more delicious.
Squash Gratin with Poblanos and Cream
Los Angeles chef Julie Robles makes this cheesy vegetarian gratin in individual dishes with a topping of candied pumpkin seeds. Our simplified version is for one big gratin garnished with plain toasted pumpkin seeds.
Spicy Eggplant Gratin
Chef Chris Behr roasts his eggplant instead of breading and frying it for this fresh, lighter take on eggplant Parm. In place of regular mozzarella, he opts for gooey smoked scamorza cheese, which pairs perfectly with the creamy eggplant.
Pearl Onions au Gratin
Inspired by the pickled pearl onions that became a family tradition, chef Barbara Lynch bakes fresh pearl onions in a mixture of cream, garlic, shallots, and bacon, then tops it all with a crispy panko crust.
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