Creamy Kale & Potato Gratin (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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vromans back

My intention was to make this entirely vegan – and I almost finished it vegan – but it came out of the oven looking very sad – because the vegan cheeses I used did not melt well & it was just a delicious-smelling but not pretty (really not pretty) thing that I could not post here & lure a single person to try it.  If you are not vegan – use whatever cheeses you prefer and, if you are vegan, either use your favorite (and – hopefully – melty) mozzarella.  I used real mozzarella in the last half hour of cooking time – which is why it has the golden, melted topping.  But – had I not been under pressure to make it LOOK pretty – I would have left it vegan & just shoveled it into my face – because it really is yummy!  And – when I am home & eating alone – WTF do I care what it looks like?  So – vegan or not – I think you can modify this to suit your diets & have a yummy kale & potato gratin.

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Creamy Kale & Potato Gratin (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 6 as a side


1-2 TBS olive oil or coconut oil

1/2 large onion – diced

2-4 garlic cloves – chopped

1-3 jalapenos – diced (very, very optional – I just like spice so I used 3)

2 small heads of kale – ribs removed & chopped

10 small potatoes (or any combination – I used a mix) – sliced into 1/4″ slices

2 cups soy or almond or other milk

2/3 cup vegan sour cream

10 slices vegan cheese (I used 2 sharp cheddar slices & 8 Chao Original slices) or other grated cheeses (I used about 1 cup but more is always better and I would have used way more had I had it – but less is healthier so…your call)

1-2 cups grated vegan mozzarella (I used real mozzarella because I had it but my homemade vegan mozzarella would be great and it kinda melts!)

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the sour cream into the milk & set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  Cook the onions until soft & then add the kale, jalapenos (if using) and the garlic.  I added a few TBS of water to aid in the wilting of the kale.  You can do this or not – but simply cook until the kale is wilted & soft.  Set aside.

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Grease a casserole pan (I used olive oil Pam) and layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the bottom of the pan.  Add 1/2 the kale & 1/3 of the non-mozzarella cheese.  Add another 1/3 of the potato, the rest of the kale & another 1/3 of the non-mozzarella cheese.  Top with remaining potato & non-mozzarella cheese.  Pour the milk/sour cream blend over it all.  I was a lazy whisker & my sour cream stayed lumpy.  It looks bad but didn’t hurt the recipe.  Add some S&P.

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Cover with foil & bake for 1 hour.

Remove from oven & top with the grated mozzarella.  Bake – uncovered – another 20-30 minutes or until the gratin is sorta firm & your cheese (especially if using real cheese) looks done.  Non-melting vegan cheese might never look done – so – be careful not to overcook the gratin because it will dry out.

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