Want to save yourself a lot of hassle and effort this Christmas? Then cook my Easy Christmas Vegetable Gratin! All the key Christmas vegetables in one dish. As a bonus this looks much more difficult than it really is…your guests will think you’ve been slaving in the kitchen all morning, when really this takes just 15 minutes prep and then let the oven take over while you relax. Plus, if you make this in a pretty oven dish, you can serve it on the table just as it is…so less washing up to do on Christmas afternoon – hoorah!!
One of the things that seems to cause the most stress on Christmas day, is the Christmas vegetables – there’s just so many of them…and they all seem to need love and attention at the same time! There has been many a Christmas where I have felt really organised, with a great Christmas time plan…until the last minute, when suddenly I feel like a need to do a hundred things at once…not just the veggies, but also the gravy, the bread sauce, the stuffing balls, the cranberry sauce… Leaving me feeling flustered and frazzled…and Christmas lunch inevitably gets later and later as I juggle pots and pans on the stove all whilst trying to baste the roast potatoes and make sure the roast parsnips don’t burn…sound familiar?
And then there’s the washing up! So many different vegetables and they all need a pretty serving dish…resulting in a mountain of washing up on Christmas afternoon – aaaargh!
So last year, I developed my all in one Easy Christmas Vegetable Traybake – parsnips, carrots and Brussels sprouts all roasted in one tray, resulting in less frazzle and less washing up.
But this year I thought I could go one better…and a include potatoes into the mix, to create an Easy Christmas Vegetable Gratin – kind of like dauphinoise potatoes, but with carrots, parsnips and Brussels sprouts thrown into the mix!
Co-op King Edward Potatoes
Just as I was beginning to think about the recipe, I was contacted by the Co-op, asking if I would like to try their King Edward potatoes, which they have recently launched as a new line in their stores…such great timing as I knew King Edwards would be perfect for this recipe!
King Edwards are a fluffy, floury potato, similar to Maris Pipers…they make makes awesome roast potatoes, chips, mash and baked potatoes…and they are also brilliant in gratins, such as dauphinoise potatoes…and now my Easy Christmas Vegetable Gratin!
Easy Christmas Vegetable Gratin
My Easy Christmas Vegetable Gratin, as the name suggests, is super easy to make – simply peel and thinly slice the vegetables (top tip – to get nice big slices, slice the carrots and parsnips diagonally), layer up and then pour over a mixture of cream and milk that has been infused with garlic and thyme. Finally top with cheese and bake in the oven, while you put your feet up and enjoy that glass of fizz in the living room with everyone else, safe in the knowledge that all the Christmas veggies are happily cooking away!
Another bonus is that my Easy Christmas Vegetable Gratin can be cooked in the oven at the same time as your turkey and at the same temperature, unlike roast potatoes, which usually need a hotter oven. Then, after you’ve taken the turkey out, you can turn up the oven a little – to crisp up the top of the gratin, while your turkey rests.
With all the vegetables safely cooking in the oven and your turkey resting on the side, you are free to leisurely sort out the gravy and whatever other sauces you like, rather than flapping like a mad thing over all the veggies!
Even better, having all your Christmas vegetables done in one pan like this means there is much less washing up…normally for these 4 vegetables you’d probably have to use 3 or 4 saucepans, at least 2 oven trays and possibly a frying pan too – with my Easy Christmas Vegetable Gratin, all you have is one small saucepan and one gratin dish – result!
And don’t worry about a mandoline to cut the veggies – for this gratin they really don’t need to be cut that finely…in fact please don’t, or they will lose all their texture and turn into mush. Simply cut the veggies into slices around 2-3mm thick, which you can easily do with a normal sharp knife (no fancy cheffy knives needed here!) and don’t worry about them being a little uneven – I always hide the really wonky ones at the bottom of the dish and save the prettiest ones for the top!
Anyway, for me a gratin is a lovely rustic sort of a dish and a few slightly wonky vegetables adds to its charm! Besides, it’s all going to be covered in cheese anyway!!
A few variations…
If you find the idea of cheese as part of the main course on Christmas day a bit random, then please feel free to leave it off – instead dot the top with butter, but otherwise follow the recipe as below.
If you don’t like the idea of cream OR cheese, use the same quantity of either vegetable or chicken stock instead (or turkey stock if you have it).
And if you’d rather just make this a Christmas root vegetable gratin, and do your Brussels sprouts separately…then simply leave the sprouts out and otherwise follow the recipe as written.
This makes awesome leftovers! After the gratin has cooled, simply cover the gratin dish with foil and put it in the fridge. The next day, reheat for 15-20 minutes at 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4 / 350F – it tastes fabulous with leftover turkey and ham.
Alternatively, if you’ve gone for more traditional Christmas vegetables on Christmas Day, you could make this from scratch on Boxing Day, to serve with your Christmas leftovers. If you are anything like me, you will have bought way too many Christmas vegetables anyway, so this is the perfect way to use them up!
If you want to save yourself some time, you can absolutely make this dish ahead of time. Simply cook up to the stage where you take the foil off. Take out of the oven and leave to cool, then cover and put in the fridge. The next day, remove from the fridge and heat your oven up to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4. Sprinkle over the cheese and cook for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and brown on top.
Easy Christmas Vegetable Gratin
- 200 ml cream
- 200 ml milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and left whole
- 4 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 500 g King Edward potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 large parsnips peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 large carrots peeled and thinly sliced
- 200 g Brussels sprouts thinly sliced
- 100 g cheddar cheese grated
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan/ gas mark 4 / 350F.
- Place the cream, milk, peeled garlic and 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, together with a little salt and pepper in a small saucepan…gently heat until almost boiling, but do not boil. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Leave to infuse for 10 mins while you prepare the vegetables.
- Layer the vegetables in a deep gratin dish, or small, deep oven dish. First put a layer of potatoes, then a layer of parsnips, then carrots, then sprouts. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, then parsnips, then carrots, then sprouts. Finally, finish with a layer of potatoes.
- Remove the garlic cloves from the milk and cream mixture with a spoon and then carefully pour the mixture over the gratin, trying to cover the top of the dish evenly and ensuring you don’t pour too fast (or the cream will splash over the sides!).
- Cover the dish with foil, taking care that the foil does not touch the potatoes or it may stick. Cook in the oven at 180C / 160C fan/ gas mark 4 / 350F for 1 hour.
- Turn up the oven to 200C / 180C fan / gas mark 6 / 400F. Take the dish out of the oven and remove the foil. Sprinkle over all the cheese and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until brown and bubbling.
- Serve scattered with the remaining thyme leaves.
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