Butternut Squash Gratin with Leeks, Sage and Walnuts – a delicious vegetarian side dish, highlighting the best of fall ingredients, worthy of the holiday table! Vegan-adaptable. With a Video!
Think of this like scalloped potatoes, but made with butternut squash instead. Hearty and satisfying, this is pure and total comfort food.
I suppose one might categorize this as a Thanksgiving side dish and yes- that is what it was designed for, but truth be told, we’ve been eating this for “dinner” the last few nights, along with a salad and sourdough bread and couldn’t be happier. Use it as you please.
The recipe makes a big batch- enough to serve eight, so feel free to cut this in half for smaller gatherings.
Butternut Gratin Video
Ingredients in Butternut Gratin:
- 2 lb butternut squash
- 2 leeks
- Gruyere cheese (or vegan parmesan cheese)
- heavy cream ( or plant-based cream, milk or coconut milk)
How to make Butternut Squash Gratin:
Start by preheating the oven to 375F and peeling the butternut squash.
Slice as thinly as possible- aiming for 1/8 of an inch. The thinner the slices the faster this will cook.
When you get to the seeds, scoop them out and keep slicing.
The half-moons, we will hide in the middle of the gratin.
Slice the leeks, rinse well and saute until meltingly tender.
Add the fresh sage leaves.
Mix up the cream with the seasonings.
Here we are using heavy whipping cream, feel free to use half and half or plant-based cream if you like.
Then begin layering all the ingredients. Use a 9×13 inch baking dish, or a shallow round 11-12-inch baker like you see here.
A large shallow baking dish is key here to getting this to bake evenly and quickly.
There are 3 layers of butternut, so save the prettiest slices for the top.
Sprinkle the two bottom layers with leeks and cheese and a little of the cream mixture.
Here below is the top of the second layer. I’ve hidden all the misshapen pieces of butternut in this middle layer.
Top with the final layer of butternut slices- layering a little if need be.
Spoon the remaining cream mixture over top.
Sprinkle with cheese and the toasted walnuts.
And if you like, add an additional sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.
Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes.
Then uncover, turning the heat up to 4oo for 10-15 more minutes until beautifully golden
Garnish with crispy sage leaves if you like.
Can this be made ahead?
Yes, this can be assembled ahead and baked the day of serving, bringing it to room temp before baking. Alternatively, this can be baked ahead and reheated in a low 325-350F oven, covered (also bringing to room temp before reheating).
Can this be frozen?
Probably. My hesitation is it might get watery- but only guessing here. If you freeze this, please report back and let us know in the comments.
Can this be made vegan?
Yes, I think so! Use vegan parmesan and a vegan cream or plant-based cream. Lite Coconut milk from a can would taste good, I bet. Please let us know if you try this- leaving notes for others- thanks!!!
Give this Butternut Squash Gratin a try this Thanksgiving and let us know what you think (or ways you adapt it) in the comments below.
More recipes you may like:
- 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Side Dishes
- Parsnip Gratin with Gruyere and Thyme
- Cauliflower Gratin with Garlic and Sage
- Tomato Zucchini Gratin
- Butternut Lasagna with Mushrooms and Sage