Gratins land high on the list of comforting cold-weather dishes—after all, what’s not to love about a bubbling plate of deliciousness topped with a browned crust on a chilly night? French in origin, gratins generally include vegetables (potatoes are classic, as evidenced by the gratin shown here) and either cheese or cream (sometimes both!). They’re best made in a shallow dish, which allows for the perfect filling-to-topping ratio. And about that topping? It’s a key element to a gratin, whether made from breadcrumbs, grated cheese, butter, or some combination of all three.
A gratin can complement all manner of meaty mains, but they can also serve as an entrée in their own right, especially alongside a crisp green salad. And, happily for home cooks, gratins are great make-ahead dishes, whether you choose one that involves multiple steps (which can be spread out over the course of a day or two) or one that requires just a few ingredients.
No gratin recipe collection would be complete with a range of potato options, and we’ve got plenty here, including regular potatoes (both sliced and mashed) as well as sweet potato. We’re also sharing all kinds of combinations that incorporate spuds with other beloved vegetables, from morels and zucchini to tomato, cauliflower, or turnips.
Apart from potato-based gratins, there are many other options. Butternut squash is a terrific gratin ingredient, pairing well with apples, brie, kale, and (or!) leeks. Brussels sprouts, too, make for a super satisfying gratin (especially nice with smoked Gouda). There’s also escarole, spaghetti squash, and even celery, proving that nearly any vegetable can shine in these versatile and delicious dishes.