This Christmas vegetable gratin is just the one you need on your holiday table. What’s more, it is the perfect festive meal that you can make with loads of Christmas veggies or any that you love. Fuss-free, vegetarian and simply delicious with seasonal vegetables.
Take a look at our 50+ Vegetarian Christmas Dinner recipes collection.
About my easy Christmas Vegetable gratin recipe
It is the season to indulge in festive feasts and revel in the joy of Christmas. Yet, the thought of preparing a Christmas dinner can induce significant stress—juggling planning, cooking, and the crucial task of ensuring everything is piping hot when it reaches the table.
To simplify your Christmas day, you can consider opting for partially prepared gratin dishes available at major UK supermarkets such as Waitrose, M&S, Tesco, Morrisons, Lidl, Asda, and Sainsbury’s. However, there’s a small catch—these still require baking or air frying.
What if I shared a secret with you? Imagine effortlessly crafting your own festive veggie gratin at home with just 15 minutes hands on time. Yes, it’s true! The result is a dish that’s not only fresh and delectable but also bursting with flavour come Christmas day. And the best part? The air frying time is significantly shorter than traditional oven baking.
Why you’ll love this recipe?
- Simple and Quick: Streamlined preparation, removing the hassle, and just 15 minutes of hands-on time.
- Air fry or Oven: No matter what method of cooking you choose, Christmas gratin can be air fried or oven baked. However keep in mind the latter takes a little longer to bake.
- Budget-Friendly: Craft a flavourful dish without overspending, utilising affordable, seasonal veggies readily available.
- Versatile : Serve as a festive side or elevate it to a main course with added proteins or veggies—perfect for various celebratory occasions.
- Easy Adaptation: Customise with your favourite herbs, spices, or cheese for a personalised touch that suits your taste.
- Dietary Flexibility: Suitable for vegetarians or go vegan with plant-based alternatives, making it an inclusive choice for diverse dietary preferences.
- Make it ahead: Prep, assemble the dish and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking.
Slicing the Veggies for Christmas Vegetable Gratin
To prepare the festive Gratin at home, start by washing the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts thoroughly. Then, follow these simple steps:
- Peep and slice the potatoes, carrots, and parsnips into thin, 1/8-inch thick rounds using a sharp knife. Alternatively, you can use a food processor or mandoline slicer for even and precise cuts. I prefer the mandoline slicer for quicker slices.
- Trim the edges and slice the Brussels sprouts into thin discs, using a sharp knife.
- If the sliced potatoes release starch or appear discoloured, soak them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes to remove excess starch and maintain their freshness (Optional step).
How to make Christmas Vegetable Gratin in the air fryer?
Prepare Creamy Sauce: To prepare the Christmas gratin in air fryer, first make the sauce. In a jug, combine cream, milk, garlic, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Microwave for 2.5 minutes to infuse flavours. Remove the bay leaf before pouring the cream.
Layer Veggies in the Gratin Dish: Grease the baking dish. Arrange potato, sliced onion, carrots, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts in layers. Repeat until you have used up all the veggies. Remember the top layer must be finished with potatoes. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes, ensuring even coating. Add half the cheese.
Air Fry: Transfer the dish to the air fryer basket, cover with foil, and air fry at 180°C(360F) for 35-45 minutes until veggies are tender. Test by poking a knife through the potatoes.
Cheese Finish: Remove the foil, sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese on top. Bake for an additional 4-5 minutes until the cheese is golden and melted.
Rest and Garnish: Remove the festive vegetable gratin from the air fryer basket. Allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to let the flavours meld. Consider garnishing with fresh parsley for an extra touch of freshness. Enjoy!
How to make Vegetable Gratin in the Oven?
To make Christmas Vegetable Gratin in the oven, preheat to 170°C (340°F). Layer sliced potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips and brussels sprouts in a baking dish, pour cream over them, cover with foil, and bake for 50-60 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 200°C (390°F), remove foil, sprinkle grated cheese on top, and bake for another 8-10 minutes until golden. Allow the dish to cool slightly before serving. These creamy and flavourful potatoes make a delicious side dish for any meal and are perfect for special occasions or gatherings.
Storing leftover Vegetable Gratin
In the fridge: Place the leftover Air fryer vegetable gratin in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. They can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
In the freezer: To freeze the leftovers, transfer the veggie gratin to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator before reheating.
Make ahead Vegetable Gratin for Christmas / Thanksgiving
Christmas and Thanksgiving are busy occasions, requiring careful planning and preparation for a seamless holiday meal. One way to save time and reduce the last-minute chaos is by assembling your vegetable gratin ahead. Follow these simple steps:
- Assemble the veggies: Layer the sliced potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips and brussels sprouts with the cream mixture and cheese in a baking dish.
- Cover and Refrigerate: Cover the dish with foil or cling film and store it in the refrigerator for up to one day. This allows the flavours to develop and the potatoes to absorb the creamy goodness.
- Preparing for Serving: About one hour before you’re ready to serve, remove the vegetable gratin from the fridge.
- Air Fry to Perfection: Place the dish in the air fryer and cook until the veggies are hot, bubbly, and golden on top. The air frying method ensures a crispy finish without losing the creamy texture.
- Garnish and Enjoy: Once cooked, garnish the festive gratin with your favourite herbs, such as thyme or parsley, for a festive touch. Serve them alongside your Christmas or Thanksgiving feast, impressing your guests with this delectable and hassle-free dish.
More Vegetarian Christmas mains recipes
- 450 g Potatoes sliced to ⅛ inch thin
- 200 g carrots 2 medium sized, sliced ⅛ inch thin
- 150 g parnips 2 medium sized, sliced ⅛ inch thin
- 150 g brussels sprouts sliced into thin discs
- 1 medium white onion sliced into ⅛ thickness, loosen the rings
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 300 ml double cream
- 150 ml milk
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 50 g cheddar cheese grated
- 2 tsp parsley
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the double cream, nutmeg, garlic, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves. Microwave the mixture for 2 ½ minutes until heated through. Remove the bay leaves. Add 150 ml of milk to the cream mixture and stir well.300 ml double cream, 150 ml milk, 3 cloves garlic, ½ tsp nutmeg, salt, 3 bay leaves, ½ tsp black pepper
- Grease a 28cm baking dish with unsalted butter.1 tsp unsalted butter
- Begin layering the sliced potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts in the greased baking dish, arranging them in a single layer without overlapping too much. Repeat this process until you have used all the veggies. Make sure the potato is the top most layer450 g Potatoes, 1 medium white onion
- Pour the infused cream mixture over the layered veggies, making sure it seeps into the crevices.1 tsp unsalted butter, 300 ml double cream, 150 ml milk, 3 cloves garlic, ½ tsp nutmeg, salt, ½ tsp black pepper
- Sprinkle 1/2 the amount of grated cheddar cheese over the top.50 g cheddar cheese
Air fryer Instructions
- Preheat the air fryer to 180°C (360°F).
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated air fryer basket. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Check the potatoes for tenderness by piercing them with a knife.
- Remove the foil, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and continue air frying for another 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and turned a beautiful golden brown.
- Remove the Cheesy Christmas Gratin from the air fryer basket and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavours to meld together.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.2 tsp parsley
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) fan oven. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place it in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 50 -60 minutes. Check the potatoes for tenderness by piercing them with a knife.
- Increase the temperature to 200C. Add the remaining cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove the Cheesy Christmas Gratin from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavours to meld together. Garnish with parsley and serve.