Looking for vegan Thanksgiving recipes? This creamy and comforting vegan potato gratin with cashew béchamel will be adored by everyone at your table.
Scalloped potatoes, a.k.a. Pommes Dauphinoise in French, a.k.a. Potatoes au Gratin in French-English. Whatever you wanna call it, this is a super indulgent, très français way of cooking potatoes and always a crowd-pleaser. Classic Julia Child-era potato gratin is made with milk and/or cream, butter, and lots of Gruyere cheese. But just because you’ve opted out of eating dairy or have trouble digesting it, does not mean you should miss out on all the glory of Pommes Dauphinoise. Mais, non!
Enter cashews. Yes, good ol’ humble cashews. When soaked and blended with boiling water, the nuts create a rich milk that works perfectly for this vegan potato gratin. Combine that with a roux (oil + flour), and after just a few minutes of simmering, you get a thick and creamy vegan béchamel sauce. To replicate the savory flavor of Gruyere, I use a combo of nutritional yeast and miso for “cheesiness.”
Although the dish requires a relatively long time investment (just short of 2 hours), most of it is inactive (i.e. while the cashews are soaking and when the gratin is baking) and it’s so worth it. This vegan potato gratin is rich, creamy, and satisfying – the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table.
This creamy and comforting vegan potato gratin with cashew béchamel will be adored by everyone at your table.
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 3 cups boiling water
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 1 garlic clove, crushed or grated
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided
- 2 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold or butter potatoes (about 6 medium potatoes), peeled and very thinly sliced (*See Note)
- 3 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
- In a blender, combine the cashews and boiling water and let stand for 30 minutes to soak.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Add ¼ teaspoon salt to the blender. Puree the cashew mixture until it starts to resemble milk and the nuts are pulverized, about 2 minutes. Strain the milk using a nut milk bag or a mesh sieve. (Reserve the cashew pulp for other recipes, if desired).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly – the roux should be a pale blonde color. Then whisk in the cashew milk. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat, whisking frequently. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and whisk in the miso, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the nutritional yeast, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. (It’s okay if the sauce tastes a little too salty because it will flavor the potatoes).
- Place the potatoes in a high-sided baking dish. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and tap the dish on the counter a few times to help distribute the sauce to the bottom. Cover the dish with foil. Bake until the potatoes are cooked through and can be pierced with a paring knife, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, and a pinch of salt. Using your fingertips, rub the mixture together to combine.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle the potatoes with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake uncovered until the top is golden brown, 15 minute more. Let the potatoes stand for 5 minutes before serving.
*Keep peeled potatoes in a bowl of water to prevent them from browning.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 244
- Carbohydrates: 35.5 g
- Fiber: 5.3 g
- Protein: 5.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g