This cranberry parsnip gratin recipe is a side dish game changer! Thinly sliced parsnips, cranberries, onions, and cashew cream are all baked together in perfect harmony. Root vegetables make the best substitute for potato's au gratin for a healthful option.
Parsnips are a root vegetable closely related to carrots. Starchy and sweet, making parsnips are the perfect substitute for potatoes. Check out my maple-roasted kabocha squash for another great side dish!
Au gratin potatoes are yummy around the Holiday or winter months. The creamy and cheesy texture is DELICIOUS!
Parsnips can be used in so many dishes. I have had them mashed, sauteed, roasted, and in soups. Try this roasted parsnip soup for a great recipe.
In this recipe, we replace carb-loaded potatoes with a healthier root vegetable. My cashew cream sauce creates a dairy-free au gratin. We remove the cheese because this casserole is delicious without it. If you try this recipe, jump down to the comment section and leave a comment. If anything, I hope I introduce you to a tasty new vegetable.
Why this cranberry-parsnip gratin recipe is so good
- This delicious parsnip gratin is dairy-free and Whole30 approved. We removed the cheese and cream for a healthy alternative. A cashew cream sauce gives this dish a creamy texture.
- Dried Cranberries add a nice pop of flavor! If dried fruit is not your cup of tea, this gratin is delicious without cranberries. I love the sweet and tart flavor cranberries bring to the table.
- Caramelized onions make everything taste better right. We slowly cook onions in ghee to bring out the natural sugars of the onions. What grows together goes together!
What you need to make this recipe
- almond milk
- dried cranberries
- salt + pepper
How to make cranberry parsnip gratin
Cranberry-Parsnip Gratin is so easy to make, here's how to make it:
- Peel and thinly slice parsnips on a mandoline. Slice the parsnips ⅛ inch thick. Tip - Be careful using a mandoline and toss away the inch of the parsnips. Cuts are common if you are not careful.
- In a medium-sized saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee. Throw in sliced onions and cook on medium-low heat for 15 minutes. This will bring out the sweetness of the onions. Cook until golden brown and caramelized.
- In a high-speed blender, combine almond milk and cashews. Blend on high speed for 1 minute or until thick and creamy.
- Grab your greased casserole pan and layer ⅓ of sliced parsnips.
- Top with ⅓ of cooked onions, cranberries, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle with ⅓ of the cashew cream sauce. Go easy on the sauce.
- Repeat this process 2 more times. Top with reserved cashew cream, thyme, and nutmeg. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
- Uncover the casserole dish and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Parsnips - Sweet potatoes and rutabagas make a great gratin as well.
Ghee - Butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil are great alternatives.
Herbs - Tarragon, thyme, chives, and parsley go well with parsnips.
Cashew Cream Sauce - Replace with 3 cups of full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream.
Dried Cranberries - Swap dried cherries out for cranberries or remove them from the recipe.
How to store and reheat gratin
How to Store: Cool gratin to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for no more than five days. You can also transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
How to Freeze: Cool gratin to room temperature. Cut into individual portions and wrap with plastic wrap. Place into the freezer for no more than 2 weeks to preserve the texture.
How to Reheat: Place a portion of parsnip gratin uncovered into the microwave for 3 minutes or until hot.
- Purchasing the right-sized parsnips. Go for the smaller-sized parsnip for better flavor. The larger ones have a woody and bitter flavor.
- Use a mandoline to slice parsnips. Every slice with be uniform in size and thin. I like to grip the end with a kitchen towel to prevent accidental cuts.
- Cook onions low and slow. The trick of caramelizing onions is to start on low heat. Allowing you to bring out the sugars gradually, resulting in the perfect golden brown onions.
- Season every layer. For a flavorful gratin, you need to season every layer. Use ⅓ of sauce, seasonings, and herbs for every layer.
Frequetnly Asked Questions
Parsnips have a sweet and earthy flavor that is delicious! Sweet potatoes, turnips, celery root, and rutabagas are great substitutions.
A French technique that refers to any dish with a crispy topping. Potatoes and root vegetables are typically topped with cheese, breadcrumbs and baked until crispy, and golden brown.
Yes! Parsnips are loaded with healthy vitamins like vitamin c, and manganese. For those of us, watching our sugar and carbohydrate intake parsnip is the perfect swap for potatoes.
Parsnips are great in soups, stocks, and stews. They also can be roasted, mashed, steamed, sauteed, and pureed. Parsnips are closely related to carrots and parsley.
Au gratin parsnips are best frozen in individual portions. Wrap each portion tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for 2 weeks to preserve the texture and flavor.
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Cranberry-Parsnip Gratin Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of ghee.
- Peel parsnips and thinly slice on a mandoline.
- In a medium-size saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee. Add in sliced onions and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Cook until the onions start to brown. Set aside.
- Place almond milk and cashews into a high-speed blender. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Set aside.
- In the greased casserole dish, spread 1 layer of sliced parsnips with ⅓ of sauce, cranberries, thyme, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, cracked pepper. Repeat 2 more times.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover the parsnips and cook for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Grip parsnips with a kitchen towel when using a mandoline to prevent cutting your fingers.
- Cook onions on low heat for 15 minutes for a perfect caramelized onion.
- The number of onions, cranberries, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper should be split between all 3 layers of the gratin.
- If the parsnips are cut too thick the gratin will take longer to cook.