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!

Golden baked au gratin potatoes in a rectangular baking dish with a scoop missing.

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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.

Freshly grated Gruyere cheese on a plate next to a box grater.

Ingredients

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.
The ingredients for au gratin potatoes.

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.
Thin potato slices on a wooden cutting board below a mandolin.

How to Make the Best Potato Gratin

Here’s how easy it is to make creamy Au Gratin Potatoes (or Gratin Dauphinois):

  1. 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.
  2. Slice the Potatoes –  Slice your peeled or unpeeled potatoes into rounds about ⅛” thick (see above).
  3. 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.
  4. Bake – Cover the potatoes with foil and bake at 350ºF for 1 hour then uncovered for 15-30 minutes until tender.
Photo collage showing the process for making au gratin potatoes.

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.

Common Questions

What is Gruyere?

Gruyere (pronounced “groo-yehr”) is a hard Swiss Alpine cheese made from cow’s milk. It’s smooth and great for melting.

Can I use a different cheese?

Medium or sharp cheddar cheese will work well here. You can also substitute with white cheddar or a blend of mozzarella and parmesan.

Can I add onion?

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.

Can I add fresh garlic?

Yes, you can saute freshly minced garlic in the butter for 30-60 seconds before adding the flour.

Can I omit the heavy cream?

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:

Au gratin potatoes on a white plate with a fork.

Make-Ahead

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.
Golden baked au gratin potatoes in a baking dish.

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.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe

4.99 from 181 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Golden baked au gratin potatoes in a rectangular baking dish.
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!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 servings

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition Per Serving

285kcal Calories25g Carbs11g Protein16g Fat10g Saturated Fat1g Polyunsaturated Fat4g Monounsaturated Fat0.2g Trans Fat50mg Cholesterol429mg Sodium591mg Potassium3g Fiber4g Sugar599IU Vitamin A22mg Vitamin C307mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
285
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
16
g
25
%
Saturated Fat
 
10
g
63
%
Trans Fat
 
0.2
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
50
mg
17
%
Sodium
 
429
mg
19
%
Potassium
 
591
mg
17
%
Carbohydrates
 
25
g
8
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Protein
 
11
g
22
%
Vitamin A
 
599
IU
12
%
Vitamin C
 
22
mg
27
%
Calcium
 
307
mg
31
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: au gratin potatoes, potato gratin, potato recipes
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 285

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Linda Luckett
    May 18, 2024

    Made this recipe for a dinner we hosted and it was fabulous! Definitely a keeper recipe!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 18, 2024

      I’m so happy to hear it was a hit, Linda! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Sandra Cleary
    April 27, 2024

    Made these for the first time tonight and they turned out perfectly. I added a little more salt , garlic powder and onion powder . Will definitely be making these again !

    Reply

  • Rita
    April 11, 2024

    I did these potatoes for Easter they were so delicious. My whole family loved them.you are fantastic. I have your book and I am lining up recipes now to make.you make me happy to cook again.love you. I will let you know what else I try next.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 11, 2024

      I’m so happy to hear that, I’m smiling big reading this comment. Thank you Rita!

      Reply

  • Deanna Kiriazes
    March 31, 2024

    Mouth watering new favorite to go with you holiday ham recipe Best Ever! Also Lemon roasted Asparagus is an all time favorite requested for Easter 🐣

    Reply

  • Lena
    March 31, 2024

    REALLY yummy! We especially enjoyed that it wasn’t too salty as we served it with a ham for Easter.

    Reply

  • Nicole G
    March 31, 2024

    My family (including young children) loved these so much that they have specifically requested them this year. In the oven now!

    Reply

  • Sandra
    March 31, 2024

    What adjustments do you recommend if using a convection oven?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 31, 2024

      Hi Sandra! I’ve never tested this in a convection oven to provide those instructions. They bake faster so you’ll need to experiment with the time/temp.

      Reply

  • Stephanie Hewett
    March 30, 2024

    Can I prep it the night before and then just bake in the morning?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 30, 2024

      Hi Stephanie! What I included in the make-ahead instructions are the best options for making this ahead. I would not recommend storing it without baking it. Potatoes can not only change color but the salt can draw liquid out and you risk turning the dish into a watery mess.

      Reply

  • Donna
    March 30, 2024

    I am making these for Easter Sunday dinner and prepping/measuring Saturday to speed up the process day of. It’s very handy to be able to increase the servings and have the ingredients adjusted. However it makes sense, especially because some ingredients are split (butter) to have the adjustments follow into the recipe instructions as well. Instead of constantly doing the math I finally had to go old school and print then write in the adjustments to the instructions. No point in auto upping if there’s no follow through. Just sayin.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 30, 2024

      Hi Donna! Thank you for the feedback. We are working on making improvements however that is not a feature available to us currently. We are aware of it and hopefully we can find a work around.

      Reply

  • Lynette
    March 30, 2024

    Thank you Natasha I have your book and I do love this recipe. I will be serving the recipe for Easter 2024. Your many other recipes are fabulous. I have been a banker for years and of course love receiving your recipes. Lynette

    Reply

  • James Gibson
    March 30, 2024

    1st time following you. Loved this recipe also liked the sharked. My 2 year old Granddaughter spots the shark so I watched it 4 times. LOL Thanks.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 30, 2024

      Hi James! That’s awesome. Thank you so much for trying me recipe.

      Reply

  • Cheri
    March 29, 2024

    Hi Natasha, can you use GF flour for the sauce? I have a 1-1 GF flour, but no regular flour.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 29, 2024

      Hi Cheri! I don’t have any experience with GF flour but based on what I’ve read, yes. One of my readers also reported using cornstarch in place of flour.

      Reply

  • Randall
    March 26, 2024

    The shark crossed the screen as you were putting the food processor away

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 26, 2024

      Great eye, Randall! Thank you for watching!

      Reply

  • Penni
    March 25, 2024

    Saw the shark right in front of the counter where you are working

    Reply

  • Tyler
    March 25, 2024

    Can I cut the potatoes and soak in water to remove starch a day ahead of making them?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 25, 2024

      Hi Tyler. That would be fine. Peeled potatoes can be submerged in water for 24hrs.

      Reply

  • Bruno
    March 24, 2024

    Can’t wait to try this. Looks delicious
    I saw sharky sail along your cutting board.

    Reply

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