Today we’re making potato gratin in cute ramekins that can be served straight from the oven to your table. Each hold together a large stack of thinly shaved potatoes, cooked with cream to tender perfection and topped with bubbling cheddar. It’s a perfect side for your proteins.
Is Potato Gratin Healthy?
Properly done, potato gratin can be healthy.
Often made with lots of cream and cheese, the dish can be too high in saturated fat. We avoid this by using just enough of these ingredients, keeping the fat at a reasonable level (4 g per serving). This means that the calorie content is lowered as well.
Apart from that, the dish yields many nutritional benefits:
There’s an abundance of micronutrients.
Potatoes have complex carbohydrates, and unlike refined carbs, they’re considered a healthy source of energy.
The complex carbs make the meal more filling.
As a side dish, potato gratin is best paired with something rich in protein, probably with extra greens on the side, tossed with a dressing rich in unsaturated fats.
Ingredients You'll Need
Potatoes: the dish favors starchy potatoes. The texture, unlike waxy potatoes, is much more tender and comforting. We also prefer russets better—the slices they shave out naturally fit a typical ramekin.
Garlic: garlic is mandatory in this dish, as it’s the main source of flavor. You can add more to your liking.
Cream sauce: milk, cream, and flour. The flour is used reasonably so the sauce won’t be too thick. Everything is seasoned with salt and pepper, probably some paprika if you’d like a mild kick.
Thyme: we recommend using fresh thyme, since dried thyme is too strong. If you use dried thyme, use just a pinch, and let it steep with 1 tbsp water before adding the mixture to the sauce.
Cheese: to top the gratin, cheddar is typically chosen, and it’s perfectly suitable in terms of flavor, texture, smell, and color. Mozzarella is a close substitute.
Tools you’ll need are four ramekins (four to five inch in diameter), a large bowl, a mixing bowl, and a saucepan. Detailed cooking instructions are in our ‘Potato Gratin Recipe’ card at the bottom.
Tips to Tender Perfection
Potato gratin is about the potatoes’ thinness, achieved with a scalable mandoline, proper force, and patience. The thinner the slices, the more tender they’ll be and the more flavors they’re able to absorb. The slices are typically less than 1/8”—going thinner may make them too fragile and difficult to work with.
Instead of a mandoline, you can use a knife, but make sure that it’s very sharp or the task is almost impossible. It also helps to submerge the potatoes in water for 10 minutes—the added moisture makes them more pliable and easier to slice through.
Store and Reheat
Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Freezing the potatoes in ramekins is not recommended. The frozen ramekins could break if exposed to direct heat from the oven. Transfer the portion to a plastic container first, then transfer it to a ramekin for reheating. Freeze it for up to 3 months.
To reheat, bake the dish at 400 degrees Fahrenheit—if it’s refrigerated, for 7 minutes; if it’s frozen, for 15 minutes. To microwave, cover the ramekin with plastic wrap, and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Of course, if you just want a complete, healthy, and filling main course for those dinner nights, take a look at our Air Fryer Salmon and Potatoes Recipe, you might just fall in love with how quick, easy, and simple yet scrumptious it is.
Peel and mince the garlic: Cut to remove the root part of each garlic clove and mash them down with a knife to remove the peel with ease. Mince the peeled cloves. Measure out 1 tbsp.
Chop 2 tbsp parsley.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Shave the potatoes: Adjust the mandoline to the thinnest setting, and carefully shave 16 oz potatoes. Soak the slices in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning, and let them sit while you prepare the cream sauce.
Mix the sauce ingredients: In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup milk, 2 tbsp heavy cream, 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp thyme, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Put the potatoes into ramekins: Drain the potato slices and divide them evenly among 4 ramekins. Pour the sauce in equal amounts into each ramekin, and cover each with foil.
Bake for 50 minutes.
Add the cheese: Remove the foil and sprinkle 0.75 oz cheddar over the top of the ramekins. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Garnish with 2 tbsp parsley. Serve.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 170Calories from Fat 59
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3.9g
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6g
Vitamin A 388.7IU
Vitamin C 13.9mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.