Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes are an easy, impressive Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish that we make every year. Thinly sliced potatoes are tossed in a rich and velvety cheese sauce and baked until bubbly and golden. Every bite is delicious!
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If you love Scalloped Potatoes, you’re going to love this leveled-up recipe for the creamiest Au Gratin Potatoes made with lots of melted cheese.
Au Gratin Potatoes Video
Watch Natasha make these creamy and cheesy au gratin potatoes. These potatoes are so luxurious, yet so easy to make! Here’s why you’ll love them, too:
- Gruyere Cheese – Gruyere cheese brings sophisticated flavor to this super-simple potato recipe. If you’ve never tried Gruyere before, you’re in for a treat.
- Easy Technique – Tossing thinly sliced potatoes with the cream sauce before adding them to the casserole dish allows each potato to be coated with sauce, for the tastiest gratin potatoes.
- Perfect for the Holidays – Cheesy potatoes au gratin are great to make ahead for a delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.
Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe
This Au Gratin Potatoes recipe is a showstopping potato side dish that we make every year for the festive season. Just like our Creamy Mashed Potatoes, this potato casserole is absolutely holiday-worthy, but simple to prepare, especially with our quick method for thinly slicing the potatoes (more on this later).
Serve up this delicious Potato Gratin for your next holiday dinner. We guarantee that everyone will be impressed.
What’s the Difference Between Scalloped and Gratin Potatoes?
The two are very similar and often used interchangeably, but technically scalloped potatoes are made from sliced potatoes baked in a simple mixture of milk and heavy cream. Meanwhile, “au gratin” (also called Gratin Dauphinois) is a French cooking technique that involves baking the potatoes in cream along with decadent layers of grated cheese.
The secret to making the perfect au gratin potatoes is in this recipe’s simple yet flavorful ingredients. Below is an overview of what you’ll need, with the full details available in the recipe card.
- Butter and Flour – You’ll whisk together melted butter and flour to form a roux, which is the base for the cream sauce. I prefer to cook with unsalted butter, as it gives me more control over the saltiness of the recipe.
- Milk and Heavy Whipping Cream – Using milk and heavy cream makes the cheesy sauce rich and creamy without becoming too heavy.
- Seasoning – We season the cream sauce with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Gruyere Cheese – Freshly grated is best. If you don’t have Gruyere, use grated cheddar cheese instead.
- Potatoes – We love using Yukon gold potatoes for this au gratin recipe, but other starchy potatoes, like russets, will also work. You can peel the potatoes, or leave them unpeeled, it’s up to you.
Pro Tip: We found that Costco had the best pricing on Gruyere, but it’s available in the cheese section of most grocery stores. I’ll buy Gruyere by the block and then shred it with the large holes of my box grater.
How to Thinly Slice Potatoes
Below are our tried-and-true methods to achieve perfect, thinly sliced potatoes for this recipe:
- Knife – We love our santoku for slicing potatoes. It has handy grooves that keep the potatoes from sticking to the knife.
- Food Processor – The food processor is our favorite method for thinly sliced potatoes. It’s definitely the fastest and most efficient. We use Level 1 on our Cuisinart model which has an adjustable blade.
- Mandolin Slicer – We recommend using the food holder that comes with a mandolin, as well as a safety glove to protect your fingers as those blades can be sharp! Begin by slicing off one end of the potato to create a flat surface for the holder to grab onto, and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when slicing.
How to Make the Best Potato Gratin
Here’s how easy it is to make creamy Au Gratin Potatoes (or Gratin Dauphinois):
- Make the Cheese Sauce – Whisk butter and flour in a large pot or dutch oven until golden. Whisk in the milk and cream, then season to taste and continue to stir until the sauce has thickened. Once the pot is off the heat, stir in about half of the shredded Gruyere.
- Slice the Potatoes – Slice your peeled or unpeeled potatoes into rounds about ⅛” thick (see above).
- Combine – Toss the potato slices in cheese sauce until well coated, then transfer the potatoes to a buttered casserole dish. Cover everything in a generous layer of the remaining grated cheese.
- Bake – Cover the potatoes with foil and bake at 350ºF for 1 hour then uncovered for 15-30 minutes until tender.
Pro Tip: For even more browning on top of your au gratin potatoes, set the oven to broil for the final minute or two. Make sure to keep a close eye, as you don’t want them to burn.
Gruyere (pronounced “groo-yehr”) is a hard Swiss Alpine cheese made from cow’s milk. It’s smooth and great for melting.
Medium or sharp cheddar cheese will work well here. You can also substitute with white cheddar or a blend of mozzarella and parmesan.
We found adding ground onion powder makes the cooking easier and imparts the right amount of onion flavor. However, you can add sautéed onions if you’d prefer.
Yes, you can saute freshly minced garlic in the butter for 30-60 seconds before adding the flour.
The heavy cream can be substituted with half-and-half or even more milk if you’d prefer a lighter sauce.
What to Serve with Potato Gratin?
We love to serve these au gratin potatoes with a sprinkle of fresh chives, as a satisfying Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish or with family meals throughout the colder months. Here are some ideas to build your menu:
This cheese-filled potato bake is perfect to make ahead, and easy to store for delicious leftovers.
- To Refrigerate: Once the baked casserole has cooled, cover and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days.
- Freezing: Baked and cooled gratin potatoes can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw the potatoes in the fridge before reheating.
- To Reheat: Reheat baked au gratin potatoes in the oven covered in foil, at 350ºF for about 20 minutes or so, until hot throughout.
Hearty homemade Au Gratin Potatoes are the best comfort food. We’re sure that you’re going to love making these this holiday season, and all winter long!
More Potato Recipes
If you love this au gratin recipe, below are more must-have potato recipes.
Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Easy Au Gratin Potatoes, or Gratin Dauphinois, is a comforting side dish made with thinly sliced potatoes tossed in a rich and velvety cheese sauce, then baked until golden. Every bite is delicious!
Cost to Make:
au gratin potatoes, potato gratin, potato recipes
Dinner, Side Dish
Servings: 12 servings
Preheat oven to 350 ̊F. Use 1 Tbsp butter to grease a 3 quart (9×13) casserole dish.
In a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, melt 4 Tbsp butter. Add flour whisk for 2 minutes to cook off the flour taste. Gradually pour in the milk then the cream while whisking. Add salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder then continue whisking until sauce has thickened. Add more seasonings to taste. Remove from heat and stir in half of the shredded cheese until melted.
Peel potatoes if desired and thinly slice to 1/8” thick (a food processor makes this quick and easy). Add potatoes to the cheese sauce and stir to coat then spread the potatoes evenly in the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining grated cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15-30 minutes or until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. You can broil for 1-2 minutes at the end if more browning is desired but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Rest for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with chives and freshly cracked black pepper if desired.
Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Vitamin A 599IU12%
Vitamin C 22mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.