Potatoes au Gratin

Rich and creamy, this Potatoes au Gratin recipe is a decadent side dish that goes with every meal. This French classic is made with layers of finely sliced potatoes, cream, and cheese. What’s not to like about that?! It is perfect for the holidays or a Sunday family dinner. 

More Casserole Recipes to Try: Zucchini Casserole RecipeCauliflower Casserole Recipe and Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole.

closeup of potatoes au gratin in a casserole

You will love this cozy and indulgent potato side dish. This Casserole recipe is practically the definition of comforting. Creamy on the inside with crisped bits along the edges of the casserole dish, these potatoes au gratin are made with unprocessed ingredients. The whole family will love this recipe and there isn’t a can of creamed anything in sight.

This side dish is perfect for any meal, I love serving it with my Garlic Butter Turkey Breast Recipe and Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken. For a more complete holiday dinner, I like to make my Healthier Green Bean Casserole Recipe and Brussels Sprouts Casserole Recipe as well.

What is Potatoes au Gratin?

Potatoes au gratin is a rich and creamy potato dish with thin slices of potatoes covered in cheese. The term “au gratin” means to cover with bread crumbs or grated cheese and browned. It’s quite similar to scalloped potatoes but scalloped potatoes do not have any cheese.

How to Make Potatoes au Gratin

Ingredients

  • Heavy cream — I like using heavy cream but you can also use half-half cream to cut down on the richness.
  • Garlic — I recommend using fresh garlic cloves instead of garlic powder.
  • Butter — I use unsalted butter since there’s already salt and pepper added to the dish.
  • Salt and pepper — to taste
  • Starchy potatoes — peeled and sliced about 1/8” thick so they add cook evenly.
  • Mozzarella — fresh mozzarella is a must for these cheesy potatoes.
  • Thyme — fresh thymes add a nice touch.

Instructions

Prepare the equipment

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Grease a casserole dish with butter or olive oil.

Add everything to the casserole dish

  • In a medium glass bowl add heavy cream, garlic, butter, salt, and black pepper. Mix all well until combined. Set aside.
  • Place sliced potatoes in three rows in the casserole dish.
  • Pour the cream butter sauce evenly over the potatoes.
  • Sprinkle more salt and pepper on top.

Bake the potatoes au gratin

  • Cover the dish with foil to prevent the top from burning, place it in the oven, and bake for about 50 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the foil, top with mozzarella cheese, and return to the oven again.
  • Bake for 20 minutes more minutes or until potatoes are done, nice and golden brown on top.
  • Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh thyme.

What are the best potatoes for au gratin potatoes?

You want a starchy and sturdy potato that holds its shape well after baking. The starchy potatoes will help thicken the dish as it bakes. Yukon gold or russet potatoes are great for potatoes au gratin. Skip rinsing or soaking the potatoes in cold water, as doing so will rinse away the starches that help thicken the sauce.

Do you peel the potatoes first?

If you are using russet potatoes, you should peel the potatoes as the skin is thicker. If you are using a thin-skinned potato like Yukon golds, you can keep the skin on.

Can I make this ahead of time?

You sure can! You can store this in the fridge baked or unbaked a few days ahead of time. If baked, you can reheat the potatoes in the oven. If unbaked, you can bake it as directed but with a few additional minutes as the dish will be cold. Avoid using ceramic if you are making it ahead of time as you don’t want to risk it cracking from the temperature change from the fridge to the oven. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat them in the oven as well.

What other cheese can I use?

Other cheeses that would work great are melty cheeses such as cheddar, fontina, havarti, swiss, colby, colby-jack, gruyere, or gouda cheese.

What other herbs can I use?

Instead of thyme, you can try rosemary, marjoram, savory, or oregano.

How do I slice the potatoes?

I like using a mandoline to slice my potatoes evenly for potatoes au gratin as it’s quick and easy. If using a mandoline, be sure to use to guard to protect your fingers. If you do not have one, slice them as evenly as you can with a knife. It will take much longer to get even layers, but it works!

More side dishes to try

Potatoes Au Gratin

3.34 from 9 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream - you can use half-half cream too.
  • 3 garlic cloves - minced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter - melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lb starchy potatoes - peeled and sliced about 1/8” thick
  • 2 cups mozzarella - shredded
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves - chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven at 350F. Grease with butter or olive oil a rectangular baking dish (9 x 13).
  • In a medium glass bowl add heavy cream, garlic, butter, salt and black pepper. Mix all well until combined. Set aside.
  • Place sliced potatoes in three tight slanted rows as you can see in the photos and make sure the potato slices are slightly slanted. Pour the cream butter sauce evenly over the potatoes. Sprinkle more salt and pepper on top.
  • Cover them with foil, place it in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the foil, top with mozzarella cheese and return to the oven again. Bake for 20 minutes more minutes or until potatoes are done, nice and golden brown on top.
  • Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh thyme. Enjoy!

Video

If you make this recipe, follow @primaverakitchen on Instagram, snap a photo and hashtag it #primaverakitchen. I'd love to see what you're making!

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titled photo collage (and shown): Potatoes au gratin