Root Vegetable Gratin (light, easy recipe)

Although the festive season has just come to an end, the quest for warm, comforting recipes inspired by the flavors and colors of the winter produce never stops. This is why I am here today to introduce you to my earthy and nourishing root vegetable gratin. Colorful layers of beetroots, carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, topped with a creamy, gooey sauce made with Parmesan and light Gouda cheese, seasoned to perfection with herbs and spices. A lighter version of the traditional vegetable gratin, which is usually enriched with butter and heavy cream, but definitely no less delicious! πŸ˜‹

Arm yourself with a mandoline or sharp knife and get ready to enjoy crispy, golden layers of pure deliciousness! Find the complete recipe for this incredible Winter veggie gratin down below.


Winter Veggies Gratin: an All-Time Favorite! πŸ’―

Easy to make, ready in less than an hour, and incredibly nourishing: there are no reasons you should not try making my Winter veggie gratin!

  • A balanced dish 🍽
    Serve it as a light and flavorful side dish or as a main paired with a source of lean protein. For example, a portion of Red Lentil Curry, or some Turkey Spinach Meatballs. Doing so you will have a complete and balanced meal, packed with micronutrients, fibers, and complex carbohydrates from the potatoes, carrots, beetroots, and parsnips. As you might know, complete meals allow you to feel lighter and more energized for longer, preventing mid-afternoon slumps and cravings.
  • Easy to meal-prep ⌚
    At the same time, this recipe is great for your weekly meal prep. You can cut and layer the ingredients the day before, and then cook it following the instructions below. Alternatively, you can also portion it after cooking and either store it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. Just remember to wrap it tightly in some foil, and add an extra 5-10 minutes of baking time to the dish, depending on the power of your oven. If the veggies appear too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of low-fat milk (or unsweetened almond or soy milk) for a moister, more indulgent result.
  • Kid-friendly πŸ‘§πŸ½
    If you are a mom, you already know that getting your children to eat vegetables is not always easy. Over time, I have learned that the best way to go about it is to use them as a base for cozy, indulgent recipes, that are still extremely healthy and nutritious, as in the case of this root vegetable gratin!
  • Vegetarian and vegan-friendly 🌱
    Lastly, the recipe can be easily made vegan. Just swap the cow milk with some unsweetened almond or soy milk, and the Parmesan and Gouda cheese with some cashew-based (or nut-based) vegan cheese and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. This is great for adding flavor and key nutrients to the dish.

Root Vegetable Gratin: How to Make it Lighter, Easier, and Tastier! 🍴

One of my biggest satisfactions in life is when I manage to make my all-time favorite dishes healthier while keeping the whole process simple also for people who do not have lots of time to spend in the kitchen. Here are a couple of tips I picked up while trying this light gratin recipe, which allowed me to get a great result with minimal effort and ingredients.

  1. Bake with Foil
    Cover the gratin with foil during the initial baking period to lock in the moisture from the veggies. At the same time, this prevents excessive browning. Uncover only when the veggies are tender but still firm to achieve a golden and crispy crust without compromising softness.
  2. Avoid Using Excessive Fats: Use some cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil to grease the baking dish. This reduces unnecessary fats while still preventing sticking. Alternatively, you can spread some tablespoons of light cream or bechamel on the base of the baking dish.
  3. Ditch the Heavy Cream
    Choose low-fat milk or unsweetened almond milk instead of heavy cream. This will help to reduce the overall fat content of your gratin while still maintaining a creamy texture. You can also add a little bit of flour to thicken it if needed.
  4. Choose Low-Fat Cheeses
    Opt for light cheeses, such as Parmesan or Gouda, instead of hard, industrial cheeses. This reduces excessive calories without compromising the overall flavor profile of the dish. Other great options are feta, ricotta, or cottage cheese, both pretty low in calories and fats, yet rich in proteins.
  5. Thinly Slice your Veggies
    Make sure to thinly slice the root vegetables using a mandoline or a sharp knife. This ensures even cooking and also reduces the overall prep time. Be careful to also maintain a uniform thickness for all the veggies, ideally around 2-3 mm.
  6. Enhance the Flavours with Herbs and Spices
    Use herbs and spices to add a burst of aromatic flavor to the gratin without extra calories. Here I used some fresh thyme and rosemary. Other herbs that go extremely well in this dish are basil, marjoram, and estragon.
  7. Allow Cooling Time
    Allowing the gratin to cool before serving helps it set, making it easier to cut into neat portions. This also gives the flavors a chance to meld for a more satisfying experience.

These changes will help you reduce the calories and fats in your root vegetable gratin while increasing its overall nutritional profile! If you decide to try these tips for yourself, please let me know how the recipe turned out below in the comments. I am sure you will love it! And don’t forget to connect with me on my socials (all the links are down below). πŸ’—

root vegetable gratin

Root Vegetable Gratin

Enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of this Mixed Root Veggie Gratin. Serve it as a warming side dish or as an earthy main course during these cold Winter evenings!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour

Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings 4

Calories 278 kcal

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Preheat your oven to 375Β°F (190Β°C). Lightly grease a baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil.

  • Thinly slice the root vegetables using a mandoline or sharp knife for even cooking.

  • Arrange a layer of vegetable slices in the dish, then top with some minced garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and herbs. Repeat the layers until all vegetables are used.

  • In a bowl, mix the milk with half of the Parmesan and Gouda cheeses. Pour this mixture over the layered vegetables, ensuring it seeps in between the layers.

  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top for a flavorful crust.

  • Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the vegetables are tender.

  • Allow it to cool slightly before serving to help the gratin set and make it easier to cut. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Root Vegetable Gratin

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Keyword healthy side, healthy side dish, plant-based appetizer, plant-based dinner, veggie gratin

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