light parsnip-potato-leek-gratin recipe from Healthy Seasonal Recipes via @healthyseasonal

parsnip, potato and leek gratin

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


Light scalloped potato or potato gratin recipe with parsnips, leeks and extra sharp cheddar. The serving size here is really generous, so if you’re serving several side dishes, this will serve more like 15 or 16 people!



  • 2 ¼ cup low-fat milk, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 6 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 3 pounds thin-skinned potatoes
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled (about 2 medium)
  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced and washed
  • 2 slices bread, preferably sour-dough or mild whole wheat, crusts removed if desired
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13 baking dish (or similar size) with cooking spray.
  2. Heat 1 ½ cup milk and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming.  Whisk the remaining ¾ cup milk, flour, mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a medium bowl until smooth.  Whisk the flour mixture into the hot milk and continue cooking, stirring often until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove garlic cloves with a slotted spoon. Stir in 4 ounces (1 cup) cheddar and Parmesan. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Slice potatoes and parsnips into 1/8-inch slices using a mandolin or sharp knife.
  4. Spread 3 tablespoons of the cheese sauce into the bottom of the prepared dish. Layer in one third of potatoes, parsnips and leeks. Pour about one third of cheese sauce over the vegetables. Repeat with a two more layers of vegetables and cheese sauce. Cover with a layer of parchment and then foil, and bake until the vegetables are tender, 1 hour 40 minutes.
  5. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until it becomes fine crumbs. Add oil, paprika and garlic powder and process until evenly moist and orange.
  6. Remove foil from the gratin. Sprinkle the remaining 2 ounces (1/2 cup) cheddar over the top. Spread the bread crumb mixture over the top. Return to the oven and continue baking until golden brown, about 20 minutes longer. Let cool fifteen minutes before serving topped with parsley.


Sat Fat: 4 grams. Protein: 11 grams. Sodium: 414. Fiber: 3 grams.


  • Calories: 224
  • Fat: 6 grams

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