Well, this one is a bit of a triumph! An Easy Creamy Vegan Potato Gratin – all bubbly and oozy, full of savoury flavour and perfect as a vegan side dish. Eat it with your Sunday roast or your Christmas dinner. Sizzle some sausages and dip them in its creamy goodness or let it shine as a main dish with a crunchy green salad alongside.
I was delighted when I discovered how easy Vegan cheese sauces are to make. Once I had perfected this version, lasagne, moussaka and pasta bake were all back on the menu, much to my family’s delight! It is creamy, cheesy, savoury and comforting and it works perfectly in this simple vegan potato gratin!
Two of my children are mildly dairy intolerant and they avoided large helpings of anything with a dairy cheese sauce involved in our pre vegan days. Headaches, nausea and feeling generally meh were not a happy eating experience. Dairy free vegan cheese sauces don’t have the same affect and they happily wolf down extra helpings, while those who had (or still have) a bit of a love affair with cheese are very happy that cheesy creamy sauces are still a thing!
How To Make A Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce
How To Get A Creamy Texture
There are lots of ways to make vegan cheese sauces and I have more recipes to share with you over the coming months. Some use blended white beans, cashew nuts or sunflower seeds to make a creamy vegan sauce while others rely on tofu, carrots, squash or potatoes for that silky smooth saucy texture. Today’s offering, however, sticks to the traditional white sauce base of milk added to a cooked flour and butter roux. My Granny would be proud!
How To Get A ‘Cheesy’ Taste
- Dairy butter is replaced with vegan and cow’s milk with a mixture of plant milk and vegetable stock.
- Garlic, onions, nutritional yeast flakes and the stock along with fresh thyme, salt and pepper provide the flavour.
- If I’m using the base sauce for other dishes I might also add some Dijon mustard or a dash of sriracha, maybe some soy sauce. Rosemary is a good replacement for thyme and smoked garlic gives a lovely depth to the flavour.
- You can add some of your favourite dairy free cheese for a flavour boost but, in this dish, I prefer a subtler savoury taste.
How To Make Vegan Potato Gratin
Oh how I love a quick side dish! This one takes 10 minutes on the hob and then is just bunged into the oven to get on with the job – excellent! Scroll down for detailed instructions and ingredients but it really is as simple as:
- Fry onions and garlic in olive oil.
- Add flour, cook gently then add milk and stock gradually, stirring thoroughly. Bubble until thickened. Add thyme, yeast, salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour a little sauce into the base of a buttered casserole dish, layer in sliced potatoes and pour over the rest of the sauce.
- Cook in a preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes until potatoes are cooked and sauce is browned and bubbling.
What To Serve With Potato Gratin
This creamy vegan potato gratin is lovely on its own with a crisp green salad and some fresh tomatoes but it also works really well as a side. Serve it with:
- Shop bought vegan sausages or my Vegan Bratwurst.
- Cashew Nut Roast.
- As a hot dish on a buffet with Vegan Sausage Rolls and a selection of salads.
- Carrot fritters or Green Lentil Burgers.
- Easy Vegan Chilli and broccoli.
- A simple Lentil Loaf
Vegan Potato Gratin
- Oven proof casserole or gratin dish with a lid
- 400 g potatoes very thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp vegan butter for greasing
- 1 red onion very thinly sliced
- 5 large cloves garlic very thinly sliced - feel free to add more garlic if you are a garlic lover or reduce the amount if you're not so keen.
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 500 ml soya milk use your favourite plant milk if you are avoiding soya.
- 375 ml vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the finely sliced onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the sliced garlic and fry for a further minute.
- Add the flour and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
- Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Add the thyme, nutritional yeast and salt and black pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Use a little vegan butter to lightly grease your casserole dish.
- Pour a little sauce into the base of your dish and spread evenly.
- Layer in your thinly sliced potatoes.
- Pour over the remaining sauce, ensuring all the potatoes are covered.
- Cover and cook for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender and the sauce is browned and bubbly.