Creamy Vegan Potato Gratin
This vegan potato gratin (aka potato dauphinoise) has French roots. Even though we may not be using the traditional ingredients of heavy cream, milk and a variety of cheeses, we have created a dish that is pretty close!
Trust me when I say that you won’t be missing the use of dairy in this creamy yet perfectly balanced side dish. We have managed to achieve that same creamy experience but using plants instead.
We also had the option of using vegan versions of the above ingredients. However, we opted to go with whole foods. It makes this dish much more approachable and consistent when it comes to flavour and healthier!
Potato gratins are a great side dish or as a main. You can serve it with:
Free Recipe eBook
Join our newsletter and get our eBook featuring exclusive breakfast recipes to kickstart your mornings.
- A beautiful salad – from simple green, or rainbow, to fennel or tomato salad
- Steamed vegetables tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper
- Lentil loaf with a maple-balsamic glaze
- Grilled vegetables
- Vegetable skewers
- Veggie patties
- Bread (best part is when you dip it in the sauce that the potatoes are cooked in)
Or if you’re like us, you just eat a big few scoops on their own!
What potatoes should I use for the best dauphinoise?
The best kind of potatoes is the yellow-fleshed variety. They included Yukon Gold, Dutch Cream, Yellow Finn, German Butterball, Carola, Nicola, and Alby’s Gold. They have a beautifully creamy and buttery texture and work really well in a gratin.
Slightly waxy potatoes would be ideal for this recipe. I always buy organic potatoes from either the local markets or the organic shop just down the road. They are always covered in soil, and I either scrub them underwater and use them with the skin on or give them a peel. In this case, I peeled them.
Cutting tips to save time in the kitchen
The main part of this recipe is the beautiful potatoes and a full kilo (2.2 pounds) of them. So cutting them to the correct size (around 3mm or 0.12 inches) might be tricky and very time-consuming if done with a knife.
Not to mention that it can also be dangerous! However, if this is your only option, please be careful to cut the side of the potato that is facing down on the chopping board flat to create an even surface so that the potato doesn’t wobble around when slicing.
Other options are a mandoline or a food processor (which is what I use). Mandolines are very sharp and can be dangerous if you’re not careful. I once cut myself on one and have not used one since (luckily, it wasn’t mine). So please be careful when using it.
Food processors are the safest and quickest option here. Just place in your slicing attachment, and off you go!
Here’s a picture of the thickness you want to be aiming for with the potatoes.
What type of baking tray is best for this recipe?
A gratin is typically known to use a shallower baking tray. They do work best for this type of dish if you are layering the potatoes with the sauce. However, if you’re going for the same approach as what we have in our recipe, any baking dish that will fit the potatoes in comfortably will do.
We have used a square ceramic dish that is 24cmx24cm (9.45inx9.45in). We found that this size worked best for the number of ingredients we have utilized.
Best plant milk and creams for vegan gratin
In this dish, you need good quality plant-based milk that has a creamy, neutral taste. This is why unsweetened soy works best. This is also great for those that have a nut allergy.
If you can’t have soy or choose not to use it, you can also try oat or almond. Again, look for one that is unsweetened and has no additives. Or simply make your own!
The other crucial component for a gratin is the cream. In place of dairy cream, we have picked to use unsweetened 100% pure coconut cream.
The coconut cream created a creamy, smooth and rich consistency that we want in the sauce. If you have issues with coconut, you can use cashew cream instead.
Highlights of this vegan potato gratin
I love the simple yet elegant flavours of a classic potato gratin. The texture is so smooth and creamy, with hints of rosemary, onion and sweetness from the coconut cream. But don’t worry, the coconut flavour is not overpowering or too noticeable.
This gratin is:
I’ve tried to make this recipe as approachable as possible, eliminating all the layering of the potatoes and sauce and creating a full bechamel sauce that can sometimes fail! This fool-proof method will have you enjoying your gratin in no time.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Bake (7 Ingredients)
- Wholesome Vegan Lentil Lasagna
- Easy Vegan Baked Ziti
- Simple Creamy Vegan White Sauce
- How to Make Vegan Béchamel Sauce
If you try this recipe, let me know! I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram, or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest. Or Pin It for later!Print
Creamy Vegan Potato Gratin
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 as side or 4 as main
A rich and creamy vegan potato gratin that makes the perfect side dish for any occasion. It’s gluten and dairy-free and filled with nutritious ingredients.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1½ cups / 375ml unsweetened soy milk
- 1 cup / 240g coconut cream,* (or full-fat coconut milk)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt, (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 kilo / 2.2 pounds yellow flesh potatoes, peeled and washed (we used Dutch Cream)
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius (390 degrees Fahrenheit).
- In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onion. Sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften.
- Add in the garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients besides the potatoes and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off and set aside.
- In a food processor with the slicing attachment, slice the potatoes to around a 3mm / 0.12 inches thickness. (On my food processor, that is the thinnest setting.)
- Once you’ve put through all the potatoes, add them to the saucepan and give it a good stir, making sure to cover all the potatoes with some of the sauce.
- Transfer it all to a medium baking dish (mine was 24cm x 24cm / 9.45 inches x 9.45 inches) and spread out evenly.
- Cut some baking paper to fit the size of your baking dish and press down the potatoes with it (like a cartouche without the hole), and bake for 20 minutes. Make sure to fold the baking paper around the edges of the dish so that you’ll be able to peel it off easier once out of the oven. (Refer to image further up in the recipe.)
- After 20 minutes, remove the baking paper by peeling it back and return the gratin back to the oven to bake for a further 20 minutes.
- If you want a nice brown top, place under the oven grill for a few minutes to achieve this look at the end.
- Remove from oven and serve.
Coconut cream: Coconut cream is the thick part that sits at the top of the can of coconut cream or chilled coconut milk.
- Diet: Vegan
Non vegans were so surprised at how cheesy this was. Tastes delicious
Oh I’m so glad they also liked it 🙂 Thanks for the lovely review x
Hi! Before I do a test run before Christmas, what is the baking paper in aid of? Do the vegan milk and cream mean it behaves differently than a milk and cream based gratin?
Hi Magnus, the baking paper helps prevent the top from browning too soon as it’s in the oven for 40 minutes. I hope you enjoy it!
Just made this, super tasty! Currently cheese is the reason I have trouble going vegan. I seriously did not miss it in this recipe. Great job ?
I really liked this recipe. Unfortunately, the family consensus was that 1tbsp of dried rosemary was unpleasantly overpowering, so perhaps closer to 1tsp or even 1/2 tsp might work? I was very impressed with the creaminess of this dish, was liberal with the garlic, and pleased that overall the potatoes came out beautifully soft! Thank you so much.
Oh, I’m sorry you found the rosemary overpowering! I don’t feel that 1 tbsp of it would be too strong and I’ve had plenty of positive feedback on it. However, everyone has different taste preferences. Glad you enjoyed it otherwise 🙂
I just added a spoon of dijon mustard to it, it turned out so creamy and rich 😋
The flavor on this was so amazing! We kept eating spoonfuls of the sauce before baking it! The recipe is also very simple, but the results are decadent and delicious. I sliced the potatoes by hand and it was easy enough and baked up very well. I plan on making this for guests and holiday meals, too. Super easy, but spectacular results!
This was a hit when I made it for Christmas dinner. It was so flavorful especially with the fresh rosemary. I will definitely be making this throughout the year.
This recipe is amazing, still can’t believe the coconut cream doesn’t make this dish taste like coconut! I cut the potatoes by hand, didn’t really pay attention to how “thin” I sliced them, and it was perfect.
This is a major comfort-food dish and about to become a staple in my home.
SO happy to hear you loved it, Roberta! It’s great how you can still achieve the creaminess that the coconut adds without the coconut flavour 😉
In the recipe instructions, you state to slice potatoes to 3cm thickness. Was this to be 3mm instead? Thanks!
Whoops, yes it’s meant to be 3mm. We’ve updated it now. Thanks for picking it up!