Potatoes Au Gratin

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Potatoes Au Gratin are a dinnertime staple around here! Tender potato and onion slices smothered in a quick cheesy sauce and baked until golden.

Au Gratin Potatoes is a family favorite recipe in my home! This side comes together easily and creates a cheesy and creamy dish that is unbelievably yummy!

Potatoes Au Gratin in a casserole dish.

I love cheese! It is no secret that I can’t resist it! Even better when it’s smothering my fave potatoes!  This is the perfect dish to serve next to a perfectly cooked pork tenderloin or even with a delicious Easter Ham!

Potatoes Au Gratin satisfy my need for creamy, cheesy goodness and creates a side dish that your entire family will love! The recipe comes together very easily!

  • Thinly slice potatoes and onions (I use a simple inexpensive mandoline, it’s under $20 and saves tons of time).
  • Stack the potatoes in little piles and then stand them upright in your casserole dish (instead of laying them flat like a traditional gratin). This is easy to do and makes this potatoes au gratin beautiful! It adds both extra texture and flavor with the crispy edges on the potatoes (and who doesn’t love the crispy yummy cheesy bits)!!
  • A simple and silky homemade cheese sauce loaded with flavor smothers these potatoes.
  • Bake these Potatoes Au Gratin for about 90 minutes.

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.

Potatoes Au Gratin served out of the casserole dish.

I’ve tested countless varieties to figure out what is the best cheese for potatoes au gratin… and they are cheeses that have lots of flavor.  You’ll want to select varieties with a sharper flavor such as a sharp cheddar or gruyere (or swiss) or even sprinkle in some feta.  The gruyere cheese I use adds a rich flavor to the Au Gratin Potatoes that truly cannot be matched; if you can get it, I highly recommend that you do! If gruyere isn’t available a mild provolone or swiss can be substituted for a similar flavor!

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!

Au Gratin Potatoes assembled and cheese sauce being poured over it.

You may be wondering, What is the difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes? They’re both very similar containing potatoes (and often onions) baked until tender in a creamy sauce. Au Gratin is defined as covered with breadcrumbs or cheese where as according to the dictionary, scalloped refers to “bake with milk or a sauce”.  In the case of this recipe, the difference is the cheese within the sauce. Truthfully, I think the term scalloped potatoes is often still used if there is cheese within the dish!

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4.82 from 43 votes
Review Recipe

Au Gratin Potatoes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Potatoes are a dinnertime staple for good reason! They are versatile and there are so many ways to prepare them! Au Gratin Potatoes is a family favorite recipe in my home! This side comes together easily and creates a cheesy and creamy dish that is unbelievably yummy!


  • 2.5 lbs red potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

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  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Wash potatoes and slice into 1/8' thin slices. Slice onion as thin as possible.
  • Layer potatoes and onions in little stacks. Place stacks upright in a greased casserole dish.
  • Melt butter & flour in a sauce pan 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.

Recipe Notes

To reduce baking time, wrap casserole dish in plastic wrap before adding the cheese sauce and 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!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 268, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 205mg, Potassium: 774mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 475IU, Vitamin C: 13.2mg, Calcium: 278mg, Iron: 1.3mg
Keyword gratin potatoes, Potatoes Au Gratin

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Potatoes Au Gratin is easy to make and is one of my favorite side dishes. This cheesy potato casserole has layers of thin potatoes with a quick homemade cheese sauce and is baked until browned and bubbly! Pretty enough for guests, easy enough for any day of the week! #spendwithpennies #casserole #augratin #cheese #potato #sidedish #potatocasserole
Potatoes Au Gratin is easy to make and is one of my favorite side dishes. This cheesy potato casserole has layers of thin potatoes with a quick homemade cheese sauce and is baked until browned and bubbly! Pretty enough for guests, easy enough for any day of the week!#spendwithpennies #casserole #augratin #cheese #potato #sidedish #potatocasserole

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Fantastic. Had some red potatoes that needed to be used. Scrubbed them up and used the mandoline to slice. I made this decision late so I opted for the microwave short cut. It worked, but the sauce doesn’t ooze in between the potato slices as well (those starchy little bits try to rejoin). As it is quarantine time, I did not have lots of cheese options, I just used Colby Jack …. it was absolutely a hit, so pretty and delicious … next time I’ll do it with the proper cheeses, and bake for the full cooking time in the oven. Simple and amazing! Thanks.5 stars

  2. This would be perfect except I have to guess at the size of the size of the casserole dish. An important detail given the upright orientation of the potatoes and onion slices.4 stars

    1. We often use a dish between 1.5-2.5 QT’s but whatever size pan they fit in will work great Emery!

  3. Excellent recipe! These were a big hit at the potluck. I used an apple-wood smoked gruyere and added some minced garlic into the cheese sauce. I did end up making a bit more sauce than what’s called for here. The stacking method makes for an attractive casserole especially with a sprinkle of paprika and fresh parsley on top! I was told I have to bring the ‘fancy potatoes’ to every gathering now lol.

    P.S. I also used a mandolin to slice the potatoes and onion into thin medallions and it worked great!!5 stars

  4. Made this for Valentine’s Day but altered recipe slightly: more butter, sub shallot, add flat leaf parsley, double gruyere. The hardest thing is estimating salt as the butter and cheese determine how much you need. Delightfully simple guised in sophistication. Def a winner. Minus 1 star: solid dish but didn’t have a WOW factor.4 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that Cathy! We love the flavor of this recipe, but you can definitely alter it to your preferences.

  5. I made this for Christmas Dinner and the family loved it! So much that I’m making it with leftover Cubed ham added in tonight as a main dish. Thanks for an awesome recipe!5 stars

  6. If you double the recipe and put in larger casserole dish how much longer would you plan to bake it for? I have a large crowd coming for Christmas.

    1. I haven’t tried doubling this recipe so I can’t say for sure. As an option, you could make two pans and keep the cook time the same. If you do them in one pan, I would suggest to err on the side of extra time so they cook through. Once cooked you can keep them on warm for a while.

  7. Delicious! I’ve made this a couple times now. Followed the recipe but instead of pouring the cheese sauce over the potatoes I mixed it all together in a bowl to make sure all the potatoes had cheese sauce on them. I did not stack them so the weren’t as “pretty” but tasted oh so good!5 stars

  8. I made this for the family tonight and it was absolutely delicious!! I made it a meal using leftover spiral ham from Thanksgiving. Will surely make this dish again.5 stars

  9. This is a great recipe. My family loved, loved, loved it! Next time I will salt/pepper the potatoes a little before stacking them. Yum! Thank you.;

  10. This recipe for Au Gratin Potatoes is amazing! I’ve made them a few times now and they are a huge hit in my house! I love the sharp cheddar/Gruyere combo, and the onionS between each potato Really gives it all a great flavor! Thanks for the awesome recipe!5 stars

    1. If using red, yellow or white potatoes I don’t usually peel them (although you can if you prefer). If using russet or baking potatoes they should be peeled.

    1. I think it would work perfectly. If they’re kept in the fridge and cold, you might like to remove them from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking.

  11. Hi Holly,
    I would like to make this tonight. If I use the microwave method, do I have to cover it when I bake? Thanks

  12. Y’ALL. This was so good. SO good. I made it for my husband for Father’s Day and we both loved it so much. I did substitute the flour with cornstarch to make it gluten free and it worked just fine (I heated the milk and butter and then stirred in a cornstarch slurry made with 2 tbsp of cornstarch and a few tablespoons of milk. I let that thicken and then stirred in the cheese). Just a tip for anyone who might need it!
    Thank you so much for the recipe!5 stars

  13. I made these for Easter dinner and they we a hit! Very easy to follow the directions. These will be added to my saved recipes! Lori’s5 stars

  14. Thinking about doing this the night before, what would you change to the cooking process if this was coming from the fridge overnight instead of fresh?

    1. I haven’t tried making this recipe ahead yet, please let us know how it goes if you do try it. (It may take a bit longer to cook if it’s been refrigerated).

  15. This recipe is divine! I would recommend cooking covered for the full hour and 20 min and then broiling for 5-10 min right before serving. Helps the top crisp up very nicely.

    Thanks for the delish recipe!

  16. I made these tonight and they are wonderful. Perfect flavor, cheesy and tenderness. This recipe is relatively easy when using a mandolin. Thank you for sharing it. Will definitely make this again.

  17. Made this along with roasted brussel sprouts and a prime rib for an easy to make Christmas dinner. These potatoes were a huge hit! Everyone loved them. I substituted all sharp cheddar because somehow the gruyere didn’t make it home from the grocery store – still delicious.5 stars

  18. This looks so pretty and yummy! Can you tell me what size casserole dish you use for this? I see it says 8 servings so I think I’ll need to double it for my holiday dinner for 14 people…although maybe cooking in two smaller dishes would be better to get it cooked through than one large one.

    1. My dish was a round 10″ casserole dish (intended for quiche). Doing it in two pans is a good idea. If you double it and cook in one pan, it may need a little bit of extra time. I’d suggest planning to have it done early as it can sit warm for quite a while.

  19. So glad you gave microwave directions for speeding things up! I lost a lot of time doing first aid when I sliced my thumb on my mandoline! Dinner was late, but not by as much as it could have been… and it was delicious! Will make again (after I buy a kevlar kitchen glove).5 stars

  20. This is a great recipe. I’m making again for my Friendsgiving but thank goodness I practiced the dish a couple of weeks ago because I took too long to prep and my potatoes oxidized which turns them a dark graysish brown color. I totally didn’t know that was a thing! It still tasted good but the color was unappetizing. This time I will submerge my potatoes in cold water to keep them from turning color. :-)5 stars

  21. Hello,
    Is there any way to prep this ahead of time? I’ve made it in the past and family loves it, but I’m going to be out the day of our party. I’m wanting to prep it the night before. OR the morning of. Thank you5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried making this recipe ahead yet, please let us know how it goes if you do try it. (It may take a bit longer to cook if it’s been refrigerated).

    2. Hi Alexandria! Any luck on making it ahead? I am wanting to do the same and would love to know how yours turned out. Thank you!5 stars

  22. Hi Holly, what can I say, 10 stars! Went into a food coma after this. I used only Provolone, by mistake, turned out to be 2 cups I shredded and not 1, so went with that, and my was that delicious! I used my smaller baking dish, 5×7 as the Thai family is not keen on potatoes or cheese, but they devoured this. I greased the dish with butter, then smothered the top of the potatoes with the cheese sauce (which I will write as a separate recipe, it is that awesome). The potatoes cook and soak up butter from the bottom, cheese sauce soaks down from the top, absolutely perfect potatoes that are not swimming in sauce. Now since I used a smaller dish, I had sauce left over, so I steamed some cauliflower and tossed that into the cheese sauce, win win. 10 stars for the potatoes, and 10 stars for the cheese sauce :)5 stars

    1. Well that sounds divine Lee! Love cauliflower with cheese sauce! I’m so happy to hear that your family loved this dish.

  23. Hello, can you use preshredded bagged cheeses at the supermarket or does this require grating fresh cheese? Thank you! :o)

    1. Fresh cheese is always best, it melts better. Depending on the brand, some pre-shredded cheeses have additives so they don’t stick which can affect the consistency of the sauce.

  24. I have been eyeing this recipe for years, time to make it. I am going to make pork chops in a few days and I think this will work well as as a side (along with some green veggies). The cheese of choice I will use will be Monterey Jack & Provolone :) Will come back with a review in a few days :)

  25. I made these last night for a church gathering. I used an oval Corningware French white baker. The only deviation I made from the recipe was to use two 6 oz packages of a blend of Cheddar, Gruyere, and Asiago cheese I found at HEB that was $8 cheaper than the Gruyere alone. I also prefer white pepper when using cheese. Everyone loved it, thought it was so pretty, and wanted the recipe.
    Thank you, Holly!5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried making this recipe ahead yet, please let us know how it goes if you do try it. (It may take a bit longer to cook if it’s been refrigerated).

  26. I followed this recipe exactly, ising the suggested red potatoes, even painstakingly slicing thin and came out the oven picture perfect and tasting delicious! My family didn’t leave a morsel. Next time I’ll take a picture. My now go to side dish or potluck favorite.5 stars

    1. In this recipe, your cook time will vary depending on the size of your baking dish and the thickness of your potatoes. When your dish is lightly browned and your potatoes are cooked, it will be ready to serve!

  27. Thank you for the jump to recipe I wish everyone had it. I’m tying this today and will use the time saver microwave method. M

  28. These potatoes weredelish! Took to a party past Sunday, everyone loved . I used smoked gruyere,it was cheaper than regular. Nice taste . Thank you! Rating it a 55 stars

  29. I made these for Easter and I’m making them tonight. At Easter i followed the recipe exactly. Everyone loved them. Tonight, since my chicken is marinating with a cumin/chili mixture, I added some cayenne powder to the cheese sauce for a little zip! It’s baking now and I’m sure will be delicious in about an hour!

  30. I made this recipe, and i only had 2 cups of cheddar cheese. The mild curdled, but i didnt think i had enogh potatoes. I like my potatoes more on the ‘spicier’ side. So I added more garlic powder, onion powder, paprika on the top, and yes a little bit if nutmeg and more white pepper and black pepper. I did add more cheese later because my sauce was too thin, and we like our au gratin potatoes CHEESY CHEESY!!! I liked the idea of slicing the potatoes and placing them on the side. I actually didn’t slice them all of the way through and they opened up during cooking. I topped with a little paprika on top to pretty them up at then and I also think topping them with chives would be pretty like in the photo. A little ham crumbled up or bacon, would be good too.4 stars

  31. This dish looks delicious. We love potato gratin, and I’m trying to experiment with new recipes because we’re getting bored of the same old taste. The other thing is I’ve been slicing the potatoes a lot thicker. I will definitely try and slice them thinner to see the difference it makes. Oh, and leaving the skin on as well.

  32. This looks so good!! Luckily my Mom just gave me a big pack of potato, gotta try this! Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  33. this is in the oven as I type this… Only thing different I did was add some garlic and some crumbled bacon on top! Can’t wait to eat it! Going to go great with the Easter ham!

    1. It may need a little bit of extra time. I’d suggest planning to have it done early as it can sit warm for quite a while.


  35. Hi! I am going to make these for Easter dinner! Is it a creamy yellow cheese sauce? That’s what I am looking for, like the old-fashioned yellow cheese creamy potatoes in sauce! Also, can you use russet potatoes vs red potatoes for this? Thank you! Melanie

    1. Russet should work just fine in this recipe. If you use orange cheddar, the cheese will be slightly yellow. Enjoy, Melanie!

  36. Soooo not what I expected. Sounded so good bit the cheese sauce stayed on top of all the sliced potatoes and onions and was very heavy.  Next time I will introduce the cheese sauce a few layers at a time. Nice combo of flavors and textures. Add salt!!!!

    1. I completely agree. This is a cheese sauce on top of potatoes, not a creamy sauce that bathes the potatoes. 

  37. Looks like good ! I’ll try this recipe. However, “au gratin potatoes” means nothing. In french, we say “Gratin de pommes de terre”, which could be translated by “Gratin of potatoes” or “Potatoes’ gratin”.

  38. This is absolutely yummy and a smashing hit every time I make it! The only thing I would change is to use half and half or heavy whipping cream instead of the milk, it definitely enhances the flavor! I also top it with bacon bits and some parsley, it adds flavor…5 stars

  39. I love au gratin potatoes, but I’ve never been able to find a recipe online that sounded as good as my mom’s (too many have nutmeg or other strange things in them — she just used red bell peppers). This one isn’t the same, but it looks incredible. I’m going to make it later this week, and I’m definitely including a link to it in my Thanksgiving recipe roundup. Thanks in advance!!!!!

  40. When you say slice the onions as thin as possible . Do you mean in the baking pan rotate onion slices and potato slices?   I want to make your re ipie, but I am unclear of the placement of the onions. 


  41. Hi Holly,
    I do not know how to pin things from your website.
    I have my pinterst all set up with boards organized but don’t seem to know how from your site.
    Can you help me with this?

    Thank You!

    1. If you are on a desktop computer, you can click on any photo to pin. If you are on a mobile device such as a phone, you’ll need to gently double click an image to pin it. You can also find all of my recipes here to repin. I hope that helps!

  42. a clove of garlic minced and 1/2 tsp nutmeg make these au gratin the best fall and holiday potatoes for the season. perfect with ham…

  43. This looks amazing! And I just happen to have a block of gruyere that needs used up. Would this dish work with Russet potatoes, since that’s what I have on hand? Or do I need to buy red potatoes?

  44. This looks delicious! I have a big catering event next month and was going to make this for the side. It is a luncheon so everything needs to be done early. Do you think this could be prepped ahead of time and baked the next day? Or should I bake the first section of it the day before and then refrigerate it and cheese/bake it the last 20 to 30 minutes the day of?

  45. This is so yummy looking. Just a little tip, a lot of plastic wraps are not MW safe, better to use a glass lid, or improvise a cover that would be MW safe.

  46. gruyere cheese!! Delicious. This would turn any potato dish into the BEST. No one could hate gratin potatoes they are like a gift from the god. This definitely looks next level.

  47. This looks amazing!! One of my favorite dishes and surprisingly one that is so easy to mess up. Yours is perfect!!

  48. Music to my ears! Cheese is my livelihood! :) This looks and sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it!