Potatoes Au Gratin is an easy cheesy favorite potato recipe! Thinly sliced potatoes and onions are smothered in a quick cheesy sauce and baked until golden.
Au Gratin Potatoes are a family favorite recipe and perfect for Sunday supper or as a make-ahead holiday side dish!
This Potatoes au Gratin recipe makes easy cheesy potatoes, similar to scalloped potatoes but loaded with rich cheesy flavor. They are the perfect holiday dish next to a baked ham or even Roast Beef Tenderloin or pork tenderloin!
Cheese for Potatoes au Gratin
What is the best cheese for potatoes au gratin? When making Gratin potatoes, choose cheeses that have lots of bold flavors. Our top choices are varieties with a sharper flavor such as sharp cheddar, parmesan, and/or Gruyere (or swiss).
Gruyere cheese adds a rich flavor to au gratin potatoes that truly cannot be matched; if you can get it, I highly recommend that you do! If Gruyere isn’t available use provolone or swiss for a similar flavor!
PRO TIP: For a smooth sauce and best results, shred your own cheese from a block. Pre-shredded cheeses will work but don’t melt as nicely.
The Best Kind of Potato to Use for Potatoes au Gratin
Just like when making scalloped potatoes, the best potatoes for gratin are red-skinned or Yukon gold potatoes. These two waxy potatoes can hold their shape well and because they’re thin-skinned, they do not require peeling (extra bonus!).
Scalloped potatoes vs Potatoes au Gratin
So what is the difference between the scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes? They’re both very similar containing potatoes (and often onions) baked in a creamy sauce. Au Gratin is defined as covered with breadcrumbs or cheese, scalloped refers to “bake with milk or a sauce”.
In the case of this recipe, the difference is the cheese. That being said, the term scalloped potatoes is still often still used if there is cheese within the dish!
How to make Potatoes Au Gratin
Potatoes Au Gratin has tender potatoes in a creamy, cheesy sauce for a dish that everyone loves.
1. Prepare potatoes and onions by thinly slicing. For even thin slices, I use an inexpensive mandoline. You can find them for under $20 it and saves a lot of time.
2. Make the cheese sauce per the recipe below with flour and butter. Add in a little bit of milk to make a white sauce and finally lots of cheese. If desired other additions such as garlic and fresh thyme or herbs can be added.
3. Assemble the gratin. Stack the potato slices and onions in little piles and then stand them on their sides in your casserole dish (instead of laying them flat like a traditional gratin). This is easy to do and makes this potatoes au gratin recipe really pretty!
It adds both extra flavor and texture with the crispy edges on the potatoes (and who doesn’t love the crispy yummy cheesy bits)!! Sprinkle a little bit of extra cheese on top if desired.
Bake these Potatoes Au Gratin for about 90 minutes and garnish with parsley.
Time Saving Tip
If you’re a little short on time, set the potatoes and onions in the dish as directed and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on full power for about 10 minutes (be careful, it will be hot when removing the plastic wrap). Add the cheese sauce and bake as directed below for about 45-55 minutes. Equally delicious… just a little bit quicker!
This dish can be made 24 hours in advance. Ensure the potatoes are completely covered in the sauce as any exposed bits of potatoes will discolor slightly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. You may need to add 10 minutes to the baking time.
While we most often eat these as a side, I sometimes make Potatoes Au Gratin with ham by including slices or diced leftover ham (from our favorite Crock Pot Ham) before baking.
More Classic Potato Dishes
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Potatoes Au Gratin
- 2 ½ pounds red potatoes
- 1 onion
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ½ cup gruyere cheese shredded
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Wash potatoes and slice into ⅛" thin slices. Slice onion as thin as possible.
- Layer potatoes and onions in little stacks. Place stacks upright in a greased casserole 2.5qt to 3qt dish.
- Melt butter & flour in a saucepan and cook 2-3 minutes. Add seasonings and milk. Whisk over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted.
- Spoon cheese sauce over potatoes. Cover with foil (sprayed with cooking spray) and bake 60 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake an additional 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned and potatoes are cooked. Cool 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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