Herbed Pumpkin Potato Gratin Recipe

A perfect embodiment of fall flavors, this dish combines earthy potatoes and sweet pumpkin with rich cream and fragrant herbs to create a comforting celebration of the season's bounty. Topped with a crust of nicely browned Swiss cheese, this is comfort food at its finest. Pumpkin potato gratin is an ideal side dish for any occasion, whether it's a holiday feast or simply a cozy Sunday dinner.

Gratin potatoes are originally a French dish consisting of thinly sliced potatoes baked with cream and topped with a crust of cheese and/or breadcrumbs and butter. It is a rich, comforting dish made even more special here with the addition of delicate pumpkin slices and aromatic thyme, rosemary, and garlic. These flavors take what can be something of a one-note dish and transform it into a complex and deeply comforting culinary delight.

As the leaves start to change and the first chilly nights come knocking, few things help one to embrace the beginning of autumn better than celebrating the harvest. This dish is rooted in fall's abundance and makes use of seasonal ingredients to create something that won't just warm the chill in your bones, but might make you grateful for the start of the cozy season.

Gather the herbed pumpkin potato gratin ingredients

For this recipe you will need starchy potatoes (we use russet), cream, fresh pumpkin, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and Swiss cheese.

Step 1: Start the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Mix the cream and herbs

In a small bowl, mix the cream, garlic, herbs, and salt. Set this aside for now.

Step 3: Peel and slice the potatoes

Peel the potatoes and slice into ⅛-inch rounds.

Step 4: Peel and slice the pumpkin

Peel the pumpkin and slice into ⅛-inch-thick pieces of roughly the same size as the potatoes.

Step 5: Add the first layer to your baking dish

Make a layer of potatoes on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish and top with a few spoonfuls of the cream mixture.

Step 6: Add a layer of pumpkin

Next, add a layer of pumpkin slices, followed again by cream.

Step 7: Repeat until the dish is filled

Repeat, alternating layers of pumpkin and potato, until the baking dish is full.

Step 8: Top with cheese

Top with any remaining cream mixture, followed by the Swiss cheese.

Step 9: Cover and bake

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Step 10: Remove foil and finish baking

Remove the foil and bake for another 20–30 minutes, until the cheese is nicely browned.

Step 11: Allow to cool and settle, then serve

Cool for 10–15 minutes before serving.

Which potatoes are best for pumpkin potato gratin?

Starchiness is the number-one factor when deciding on which potato is right for a dish. In general, potatoes are divided into two categories: starchy and waxy. Waxy potatoes include common varieties such as Yukon gold and red potatoes, whereas potatoes like the russets used in this recipe are considered to be starchy. Russets (also known as Idaho potatoes in the USA) are, in fact, some of the starchiest potatoes out there, which makes them perfect for this dish.

Waxy potatoes have a finer texture and tend to better maintain their shape and firmness when cooked. Starchier potatoes break apart more easily and provide a fluffy texture and a tenderness, which is why they are typically used for dishes like mashed potatoes and gratin potatoes. When baked with cream, they provide the soft, luscious texture that we're looking for here.

We have chosen russet potatoes for this recipe both because of their ubiquity and their high starch content, but there are many more varieties of potato, and many more that would work as a replacement. Just make sure you stick to the starchy end of the potato spectrum.

How do you store pumpkin potato gratin leftovers?

Pumpkin potato gratin makes for excellent leftovers, so don't worry if the dish is not finished at the end of the meal. Simply transfer the leftovers to an airtight container or wrap the original baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator. The leftovers will keep there for up to five days. If you intend to keep the leftovers any longer than that, they should be wrapped tightly and frozen.

To reheat, all you need to do is toss the leftovers into a baking dish (doubly easy if that's your chosen storage vessel) and bake uncovered at 350 F until they are warmed all the way through. Or, if you are in a hurry, place them in a microwave-safe dish and heat thoroughly. The top layer of browned cheese is likely to lose its crunch in the microwave, but this method will certainly save some time.

What can I use instead of pumpkin in pumpkin potato gratin?

Pumpkin is often pigeonholed as an exclusively sweet ingredient, but this recipe is here to show you how it can also shine in savory recipes. The first place most of our minds go to with pumpkin is pie, but pumpkins are simply another variety of winter squash.

Historically, winter squashes have been a staple because of their long shelf life. While you have surely seen how quickly a jack-o-lantern can begin to rot, if you do not pierce the hard rind of a pumpkin, they can easily keep for 2–3 months. For this reason, they have a long history of being both autumn and winter food, providing sustenance and nutrients well into the winter. In the middle of winter, squash is one of the few foods that is still in season without needing to be transported in from warmer climates.

Given that pumpkins are just another type of winter squash with similar flavor and texture to other varieties, they can be easily substituted for one another. If you can't find fresh pumpkin for this recipe, feel free to sub in any of the similar winter squashes, such as butternut, acorn, kabocha, or delicata (among others).

Herbed Pumpkin Potato Gratin Recipe
4.9 from 8 ratings
Take advantage of delicious pumpkins while they're in season with this pumpkin potato gratin, which features an herby cream sauce and a Swiss cheese topping.
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
1.08
hours
Servings
10
Servings
pumpkin and potato gratin on white plate with herb sprigs
Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 pound fresh pumpkin
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cream, garlic, herbs, and salt. Set this aside for now.
  3. Peel the potatoes and slice into ⅛-inch rounds.
  4. Peel the pumpkin and slice into ⅛-inch-thick pieces of roughly the same size as the potatoes.
  5. Make a layer of potatoes on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish and top with a few spoonfuls of the cream mixture.
  6. Next, add a layer of pumpkin slices, followed again by cream.
  7. Repeat, alternating layers of pumpkin and potato, until the baking dish is full.
  8. Top with any remaining cream mixture, followed by the Swiss cheese.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil and bake for another 20–30 minutes, until the cheese is nicely browned.
  11. Cool for 10–15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 260
Total Fat 17.1 g
Saturated Fat 10.7 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 52.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 2.9 g
Sodium 272.5 mg
Protein 7.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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