A vegetable gratin without cream that’s bursting with flavor from fresh summer produce like squash, tomatoes, peppers, and onions.

A cast iron skillet filled with a crispy vegetable gratin without cream.

Is your summer produce overflowing? Do you have zucchini threatening to take over your yard? That’s what happens when you have a garden and lots of sunshine and rain and nice, warm temperatures.

A few weeks ago I had a smorgasbord of vegetables lying around: tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, onion, some asparagus and some peppers. I decided to throw it all together in a skillet and make this Vegetable Gratin.

It was lovely, light, and bursting with flavor from the fresh produce. We ate it with just a piece of crusty bread but you could easily have this as a side for some grilled meat or add a green salad and make it a meal.

There are so many ways to use fresh summer produce, but this vegetable gratin without cream is one of my favorites! You could also make a Southern Squash Casserole, or try this Gluten Free Zucchini Slice for a lighter option.

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  • Cast iron skillet – I make my vegetable gratin in a large cast iron skillet like this one, but of course you could use a regular baking dish. I prefer the heat from the skillet because it tends to add a little crispiness. And of course, I use my cast iron skillet for almost everything!

Ingredients

For this vegetable gratin recipe, you can mix and match whatever produce you have available. Throw in some minced jalapeno for a kick, or some fresh corn cut off the cob. There are so many possibilities!

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Zucchini
  • Summer squash
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Onion cut into pieces
  • Tomato sliced
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, basil, thyme, cilantro, dill
  • Parmesan cheese

How to make vegetable gratin

Step 1. Preheat oven to 375. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet on medium heat.

Step 2. Add garlic to the skillet and saute for 30 seconds, then add breadcrumbs and stir until lightly browned and toasted. Remove breadcrumbs and garlic to a plate and set aside.

Step 3. Cook chopped onion until translucent and starting to caramelize slightly.

Step 4. Gently toss remaining vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs, and starting at one edge of the skillet begin layering the vegetables in concentric circles, working from the outside in and overlapping each piece.

Step 5. Try to compact the vegetables so they all fit, but you’ll probably have some leftover. Drizzle a little olive oil over the vegetables then top with the parmesan cheese and the breadcrumbs.

Step 6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Serve your Vegetable Gratin immediately!

Notes: You can use different vegetables or more or less of this combination. This is really an anything-goes type of dish. 

Tips

  • Make-ahead – to make the vegetable gratin ahead, leave off the cheese and breadcrumbs and just roast the vegetables. Refrigerate until almost ready to serve. Bring to room temperature, then add the cheese and breadcrumbs and toast in the oven.
  • Storage – store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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5 from 2 votes

Vegetable Gratin

Vegetable gratin bursting with flavor from zucchini, summer squash, onion, peppers, and asparagus. It’s a simple way to enjoy your overflowing garden.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1-2 summer squash, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 4 stalks asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into pieces
  • 1 green pepper, cut into pieces
  • ½ onion, cut into pieces
  • 1 to mato, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs: parsley, thyme, cilantro, dill, basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  • Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds, then add breadcrumbs and stir until lightly browned and toasted. Remove breadcrumbs and garlic to a plate and set aside.
  • Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet and when heated, add onion. Cook onion on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until translucent and starting to caramelize.
  • Gently toss remaining vegetables with the last 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs, and starting at one edge of the skillet begin layering the vegetables in concentric circles, working from the outside in and overlapping each piece.
  • Try to compact the vegetables so they all fit, but you’ll probably have some leftover. Drizzle a little olive oil over the vegetables then top with the parmesan cheese and the breadcrumbs. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Notes

  • Make-ahead – to make the vegetable gratin ahead, leave off the cheese and breadcrumbs and just roast the vegetables. Refrigerate until almost ready to serve. Bring to room temperature, then add the cheese and breadcrumbs and toast in the oven.
  • Storage – store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servings, Calories: 407kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 15g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 1190mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g
Course: Meatless
Cuisine: American
Calories: 407
Keyword: summer vegetable gratin, vegetable gratin, vegetable gratin without cream
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!

Update Notes: This Summer Vegetable Gratin post was originally published July 13, 2015, and on April 15, 2020, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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