Butternut Squash Gratin (dairy free, gluten free, grain free, soy free, vegan friendly)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The naturally sweet butternut squash gratin is seasoned with herbs and spices, layered in a "cream" sauce. A deliciously rich and satisfying recipe that's even better the next day. Freezer friendly too!
Recipe type: Vegetable Side Dish
Serves: serves 6-8
  • Makes one medium-sized casserole dish
  • 3 medium butternut squash (about 6 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon(for water) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • For the ‘cream’ sauce:
  • 2 15-oz cans coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin (or agar agar powder, for vegan version)
  • For topping:
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup ground hazelnuts, cashew, macadamia or almonds (walnut is bitter tasting)
  • 1 tablespoon oil for greasing casserole dish
  • fresh thyme leaves and sage for garnish (optional)
  1. Preparation:
  2. Prepare a medium-sized oven-safe casserole dish
  3. Peel and cut the butternut squash in ¼ inch width circles and half circles of the seeded section. Note: when cut, the squash releases sappy-looking enzymes that stick to the skin with an uncomfortable tightness, wear gloves or try to avoid touching the released liquid. Set aside.
  4. Prepare a pot (large enough to fit your slices) with water and set on high heat to boil. Meanwhile, prepare spices for the butternut squash: thyme, garlic powder, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, sage, nutmeg, and black pepper. Set aside.
  5. When water is boiling, add the tablespoon of kosher salt and slices of butternut squash. Blanch for 5-7 minutes or until slightly soft (soft but should still have some firmness to it when lifted out of the pot). When ready drain and set aside until cooled enough to handle.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare ‘cream’ sauce: combine coconut milk, coconut oil, garlic powder, onion powder, sage, kosher salt, black pepper, and nutmeg, set on medium-high heat and whisk to combine well. When it comes to a rolling boil reduce heat to medium (watch carefully, reduce sooner, if needed, to prevent coconut milk from bubbling over) and continue to cook 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  7. Sprinkle gelatin or agar agar over the sauce as you whisk vigorously, continue to whisk vigorously for another half a minute to prevent clumping. Reduce to simmer and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. You will know it’s ready when it creates a thick film on a spoon that won’t run when you run your finger down the back of the spoon. Remove from heat.
  8. Layer slices of butternut squash in the greased casserole dish, beginning with any odd shapes and half-circle pieces. Evenly sprinkle herb mix over each butternut squash layer. Once completed, pour hot ‘cream’ sauce over the layers. It should come up to the top layer but not cover completely. Combine coconut oil and nut, then sprinkle over the top layer. Optional: sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves across the top for garnish.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F convection for 30-35 minutes. Let it cool for 30 minutes before serving (the inside is brutally hot!). Even better the next day, giving it time for the ‘cream’ sauce to seep into the squash layers. Will remain fresh refrigerated for 3 days.
  10. Note: The gratin will appear very thick when refrigerated, once reheated the sauce will thin out.
  11. For freezing: cool completely at room temperature (at least 3 hours) before freezing. This gratin freezes very well when plastic wrapped several times (around the perimeter of the dish, not just the top) then completely wrapped with aluminum foil. Can be frozen for one month.
Recipe by From Jessica's Kitchen at http://fromjessicaskitchen.com/butternut-squash-gratin-dairy-free-gluten-free-grain-free-soy-free-vegan/