French Green Vegetable au Gratin

Vegetable gratin

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  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
326 Calories
18g Fat
28g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 326
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 24%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 526mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 14g
Calcium 367mg 28%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

"Au gratin" is a French phrase which means to be covered in cheese or breadcrumbs and browned. Vegetable gratin is such a lovely, versatile dish. This version is made with green veggies—broccoli, zucchini, and spinach—but the same technique can be used to spruce up a variety of different vegetables.

The smallest hint of a secret ingredient, poultry seasoning, is nearly undetectable hidden in the cheese and green vegetable mixture, yet gives the dish a special complexity. If you don't have it, use a mix of dried thyme, rosemary, and black pepper. 

Vegetable au gratin makes a great side that works well with many meat and fish dishes, like roast chicken, pork tenderloin, and baked salmon. Serve a larger portion and you have a great main course for a simple lunch or even a dinner, especially when served with crusty bread on the side. 

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 pound zucchini (chopped)
  • 2 cups leaf spinach (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups Cantal cheese (shredded; or cheddar)
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F and butter a large gratin dish.

  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, gently sauté the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and continue sautéing the mixture for 30 seconds.

  4. Add the milk, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper to the pan and stir constantly for 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

  5. Stir the prepared broccoli, zucchini, spinach, and Cantal or cheddar cheese into the sauce and bring the mixture to just a simmer. Turn it out into the buttered gratin dish.

  6. Stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and melted butter and sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the gratin.

  7. Bake the vegetable gratin in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until it is hot and bubbly, the vegetables are tender, and the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown.

Recipe Variations

  • You can switch out the vegetables to suit your taste, seasonality, or ​pocketbook. This recipe relies on green vegetables, but there is no reason not to add a few mushrooms or top it off with a couple of meaty tomato slices. 
  • The cheese in this classic recipe is Cantal. Cantal has a distinctive flavor that works very well with the vegetables. You can switch out the cheese for your own preferences; cheddar, goat cheese, or a crumbly blue cheese also work well.

What Is the Difference Between Scalloped and au Gratin?

Recipes that start with "scalloped" and "au gratin" will result in very similar creamy, bubbly baked dishes. Often made with potatoes, there's one key difference. Scalloped dishes include a sauce often made with heavy cream, but cheese is not required (although many recipes include a cheese topping). Gratin dishes almost always contain cheese, often with a layer on top, and frequently include a crispy breadcrumb topping as well.