Winter Veggie Au Gratin
This recipe is the tale of two dishes that left my mouth watering, yet my pants calling for cleaner, skinnier versions. The first inspiration for this dish came from the incredible Butternut Squash and Parsnip Gratin by Amanda Jane over at Seasonally Jane, one of the best food blogs I’ve just recently stumbled upon via Instagram. Amanda is an adorable South Florida food blogger who uses all seasonal, organic, local ingredients to whip up beautiful comfort food that instantly reminds you of home’s nostalgia.
The second dish behind this inspiration is Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash and Creamed Spinach Au Gratin. Both are absolutely HEAVELY; sent straight down from cooking angels themselves. However, they both contain heavy cream and butter, and as a fit-conscious clean-ish eater and cook, I wanted to adapt these recipes to fit my healthy eating & cooking lifestyle.
That being said, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and thank you so much to the original two recipes that gave me the inspiration behind this modified Fall Veggie Au Gratin. I made this gratin as a main dish & served my Sweet + Sassy Brussels as a side and it was THE perfect combo! For the Brussels this time, I left out the chicken sausage/bacon since I added meat to my au gratin, and subbed dried cranberries rather than fresh pom seeds since I had those in my pantry.
Quoting my husband, “This whole meal just feels like it was cooked with Christmas spirit!”
Serves about 2-4 depending on portion sizes, and if you serve additional sides or not.
- 2 All-Natural, organic apple chicken sausages, sliced (may leave out if going for veggie only; just add more veggies instead.)
- 1 butternut squash, cubed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 bag baby carrots or 3-4 large carrots, sliced
- 1 head organic broccoli, sliced into small pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup all natural, organic veggie, chicken, or turkey stock (especially if you have this leftover from Thanksgiving and need to use it up!)
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
- 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened almond milk
- 1-2 tablespoons arrowroot
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1/4 cup parmesan herb or Italian seasoned panko
- Optional (I’d definitely go for it): 2-3 tablespoons organic, grated parmesan cheese
- Spray Coconut or Grapeseed Oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray baking pan with coconut oil & leave to side for later
- In a large pan, melt coconut oil using medium-high heat. Add onion and rosemary and cook until sautéed; about 5 minutes.
- Add butternut squash, broccoli, carrots, spinach, and garlic to the pan with sautéed onion. Mix everything together, then add the ground ginger and marjoram. Sauté veggies for about 5 minutes, then add the sliced chicken sausages. Add pepper and sauté for another few minutes, or until all spinach is wilted and cooked.
- Add veggie/chicken/turkey broth or stock and cook for a few minutes, until almost all liquid is absorbed.
- Add almond milk, and mix everything together
- Add arrowroot and stir until sauce thickens. You may add more or less arrowroot, depending on your burners and what it takes for sauce to thicken. You want to leave a little gooey-ness, but sauce should not be runny
- Transfer pan ingredients into sprayed down baking dish. Spread evenly.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix together panko and parmesan cheese; sprinkle on top of the veggie mixture, evenly coating the top layer.
- Place dish in oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until “crust” is golden.
- Let cool for a few minutes, serve, and enjoy!
Serve a size of my glazed Sweet + Sassy Brussels as the PERFECT combo with this gratin dish!
*Warning: my husband & I ate nearly the entire pan. Amanda with Seasonally Jane also stated her boyfriend and she cleaned their entire skillet. If you’re prepping for a larger family, or want to plan to have leftovers, double or triple the amount of veggies + chicken sausage (along with the rest of the recipe’s ingredients) used, and bake in two dishes.
As I’m writing this, I’m already day dreaming of making this again. I’ll definitely be doubling the recipe next time to have more leftovers!! YUM! Can’t wait to see how you love it! Tag me on Instagram after you make it so I can see! 🙂
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