April 2, 2015

Veg Au Gratin - Low Fat Version | April Baking Marathon - Day 2

After the Orange Almond Wholewheat cake, its time for some savoury bake today. Veg Au Gratin is a family favourite, which is so versatile that any veggies can be sneaked in for a whole dish. I made this for a party recently, and the kids and adults went gaga over it.

In the culinary arts, the term au gratin (pronounced "oh-GRAH-tan") refers to a dish that is baked with a topping of seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese. The au gratin topping should be golden brown, which can be achieved by baking or by placing the dish under a broiler (source:here).

So,basically any meat or veggies are sautéed and then baked under a silky creamy cheesy crust, grilled a bit. Au Gratins are generally cheese heavy and therefore laden with fat. However, we made clever substitutions with both the white sauce and used lesser cheese but loved it nevertheless

Baking Marathon Day 2 : Veg Au Gratin
Recipe type : Vegetable Bakes, Cuisine : French adaptation
Spice level : Medium. Serves : 4
Prep time: 30 mins | Bake time : 30 mins (varies from oven to oven)

What you need:

Vegetables (your choice):
  • Squash / yellow pumpkin / Kaddu – 100 gms
  • Potato – 1 large
  • Baby corn – 4 to 5
  • Carrots – 1 large
  • Cauliflower – 10 florets (large)
  • String beans (French beans) – a handful

Macaroni / or any other pasta – 50 gms (optional)

For the white sauce:
  • Wholewheat flour – 3 TBSP
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Salt and pepper  - to taste 

Olive oil – 3 tsp
Grated cheese – 1 cup


The amount of butter in the white sauce, combined with any APF (maida) used will give out a softer buttery sheen on top. Also I did not use any butter or maida and used very little cheese for topping. You can adjust cheese , butter quantities as per your liking.

Phase 1 : Veggies & pasta Prep : Blanch the veggies (except pumpkin and potato) for 5- 8 mins in salted water, drain. Thinly slice the pumpkin using a mandolin (without skin) and place it on a greased tava- let it brown on both sides a bit. Cool. Similarly peel and place slices of potato for 8 – 10 mins (flipping them intermittently) till they slightly cook and brown at the edges. Cool. Also cook the pasta (or macaroni) as per packet instructions and drain.

Phase 2 : White sauce : In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil and roast wholewheat flour for 4- 5mins till nice aroma wafts out. To this add milk and quickly whisk on a low flame till no lumps are formed. Let it simmer for 2 mins, add salt and pepper and half the cheese. Add the cooked pasta, blanched veggies and let it cook for 3-4 mins till a nice gravy is formed.

Phase 3 : Assembling and baking :  Preheat oven to 175 Deg C. Grease a bake dish, line with potato and pumpkin slices (reserving a few for topping), add a dash of spice (salt, pepper, red chilli flakes etc) and add the white sauce (with veggies) gravy onto it. Top with remaining potato and pumpkin slices, finish with grated cheese and bake covered (if oven is too hot) for 20-25 mins (oven times may vary). Broil for last 3 mins to get a crunchy / crispy golden top.

Serve hot with any salad or bread or just as a main course.


  1. Though it is low fat, looks creamy and cheesy. Who can resist this low fat version. Nice recipe.

  2. What a surprise! I too have done an Au-Gratin, that too 'Low-fat' version. Yours looks so nice, rich and inviting!

  3. Am in love with this low fat version, can completely my lunch happily with this gratin.

  4. This is my favorite too but now a days little scared to make because of fat included in this.... now I can try this thanks for the recipe...

  5. Wow.. This looks stunning.. So loving it...so cheesy and so kid friendly

  6. Perfect meal i would say, veggies and pasta looks tempting!!!!

  7. Definitely a healthier option when compared to the cheese laden one. Looks so inviting..

  8. always knew that you will give us the required low cal versions , was so looking out for it....this one looks very well done and like the whole wheat floru idea...

  9. The veggies and pasta are pre-cooked on stove too and them browned in the oven. Nice. Family stamp of approval makes it even better.

  10. I have never used kaddu in such a dish but the gratin looks creamy and delicious.

  11. This is an easy meal to prepare and a whole load of veggies can be sneaked into it. low fat really doesnt take away any of the dish's charm :-)

  12. Goodness of all the veggies and low fat too. Looks yumm

  13. Its in my to do list,your version sounds interesting and low fat version is the highlight..It looks creamy and cheesey..

  14. Love these baked veggies with cheese. yummy

  15. Wow, that veg au gratin looks so temptingly delicious. Love the cheesey topping -- yumm, yumm!!

  16. Lower fat, but just as good! That last picture with the au gratin served on the plate looks very tempting

  17. Kalyani, the low cal tag is the most tempting one. The first picture just grabs all the attention!

  18. What a wonderful platter!! looks very cheese and creamy..Going to make it soon!! yumm

  19. The dish looks very inviting!

  20. I have never made it though its in my list for a long long time! ?Now the loe cal version is surely tempting me to try this version.Great dish Kalyani...

  21. I have always wanted to make this, but never got around it. Now I have your recipe with the bonus low calorie label :) Looks very delicious!

  22. I am planning this for one of the oncoming posts of mine. Your low cal version sounds tempting.

  23. A yummy and delicious one pot meal.

  24. Kal you are tempting me to go off and make this delicious au gratin. Low fat or more fat this is one yummy dish I plan to make soon.


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