Homemade Potatoes Au Gratin includes layers of thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy cheese sauce. It’s luxurious, but easy to make, and a French classic.
Why I love this side dish:
- Feels fancy, but it’s Easy – Only 4 steps and 20 minutes of prep! They feel more elegant than say, mashed potatoes, and they’re easy enough for anyone to make.
- Pantry Ingredients – You only need potatoes, cheese, butter, flour, milk, cream, and spices!
- Crowd Favorite – This cheesy potatoes au gratin recipe is definitely seen as “special” and whenever I make it, everyone can’t get enough!
What is the difference between Scalloped Potatoes and Au Gratin potatoes?
Scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin are often confused, and for good reason since they are very similar. The most common difference is that scalloped potatoes are cooked in cream and au gratin potatoes are baked with cheese. These easy Au Gratin Potatoes are covered with a cheese sauce and shredded cheese on top and baked in the oven.
How to make Potatoes Au Gratin:
Slice russet potatoes into very thin slices (even thinner than ¼ inch thick). You can peel the potatoes or leave the potato skin on. A mandolin can help speed up the process.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth and cook for a minute or two. Slowly stir in milk, garlic, dried onions, salt, and pepper and cook on low until boiling. Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheese.
Assemble by placing half of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan and pour half of the sauce over them. Add second layer of potatoes, then remaining sauce, and sprinkle remaining shredded cheese on top.
Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through and cheese is bubbly. Serve with baked ham, a salad, and homemade rolls.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions:
To Make Ahead: Prepare up until baking. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.
To Store: Keep leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. Heat in the oven or microwave and enjoy within 3-5 days.
- Crock Pot Au Gratin Potatoes: Spray the bottom of the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Layer the potatoes and cheese in the instant pot the same way you would in a casserole dish. Apply lid and slow cook on high for 3 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
- Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin: Add 1 ½ cups chopped ham on top of the potatoes, before adding cheese sauce.
What to Serve with Au Gratin Potatoes:
- Thanksgiving Turkey
- Easy, No Fuss Prime Rib
- Baked Ham
- Rack of Lamb
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Flank Steak
- Ham Asparagus Rolls
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Potatoes Au Gratin
- Mandolin optional
- 6 medium russet potatoes
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- 3 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese ,or Gruyere, or half of each)
- Peel the potatoes if you’d like. Slice the potatoes into very thin 1/8” slices.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour until smooth. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Slowly stir in the milk, cream, minced garlic, dried onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
- Reduce heat and stir in 2 cups of shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Taste sauce and add additional salt, pepper, garlic or onion flakes, if desired.
- Place half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased 9×13 inch casserole dish. Pour half of the cheese sauce over potatoes.
- Layer the remaining potatoes on top. Spoon the remaining cheese sauce over the potatoes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue baking, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked, cheese is browned, and sauce is bubbly.
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*I originally shared this recipe December 2013. Updated December 2018, November 2021 and September 2022, with new photos and tips.
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