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Ultimate Potato Bake (Potato au Gratin or Potato Dauphinoise)

 In Vegetarian

Ultimate Potato Bake - Potato Dauphinoise - Potato Au Gratin

For me, potato bake is the ultimate treat when it comes to carbs. I know most Atkins followers would sooner die than even look at this recipe but I don’t think there is anything more satisfying than soft potatoes enrobed in creamy, flavourful sauce, topped with mountains of salty cheese. Can you think of anything better? It’s also very hard to screw up Potato bake. But some people actually manage to. Using milk instead of cream, using no spices/flavourings. All of this leaves it quite bland and boring. You see, my reasoning is that I don’t make potato bake THAT often. Maybe once every 2 months…so when I do make it, I do it properly. I use cream, loads of cheese and I make sure it’s packed with flavour. Otherwise, you might as well serve baked potatoes with sour cream (another one of my favs!).

Ultimate Potato Bake - Potato Dauphinoise - Potato Au Gratin

I add a bit of oomph to my recipe by using Cream of Chicken soup powder. Once again, I’m sure many foodies would rather hang their heads in shame than admit to using soup powder but I just love the flavour it adds. And I don’t have to do too much. I love the simplicity of this and that it literally takes about 10 minutes to prepare (if you don’t cook the potatoes before hand). I slice my potatoes with my food processor on the thinnest setting so they are super thin and I don’t have to cook them before hand. If you want to cut down the time the potatoes will spend in the oven, just boil them for 10 minutes before hand, slice them and continue with the rest of the dish.

Ultimate Potato Bake - Potato Dauphinoise - Potato Au Gratin

Makes enough for 4-6 people

8 potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
250ml Cream
300ml Milk
1 packet Cream of Chicken soup powder (You could also use Brown onion)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp fresh Thyme
Salt & Black pepper to taste
2 cups grated cheese of your choice

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Grease an oven-proof dish well and start layering the sliced potatoes. Season each layer as you go.
  • Combine the cream, milk, soup powder, garlic, nutmeg and thyme and whisk well to en sure there are no lumps. Season lightly and gently pour over the potatoes. I then take some cling wrap and just push down on the potatoes to make sure the ‘sauce’ has distributed well. This is optional of course.
  • Top with the grated cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 1 – 1.5 hours (if the potatoes have been pre-boiled, cook for 45mins to 1hour) until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. Remove the foil and heat the grill of the oven. Place the potatoes back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes until the cheese is crisp and golden.

Variation :

  • Caramelise 2 onions with 2tsp of Balsamic vinegar. Layer half of the potatoes, then the onions, and then the other half. Bake as you would the plain potato bake.
  • Fry 250g chopped up bacon until crispy, do the same as with the onions and add half of the cheese ontop of the bacon then follow with the rest of the potatoes and bake.
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Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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Showing 25 comments
  • Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

    I wholeheartedly agree re: people trying to make it with milk instead of cream and wondering why it ain’t that nice!! Seriously, there are some things in life that should just be done right, and potato gratin is one of them. DON’T bother making this if you’re counting calories!!!

    • Alida Ryder

      I agree Nagi. Some things are meant to be a treat and shouldn’t be anything else. 😉

  • christle

    The nutmeg was an excellent touch! Loved it.

    • Ally_R

      I’m glad you liked it Christie!

  • Marida

    Hi! We had some friends over for a braai last night and I made this potato bake and it WAS A HUGE HIT! Instead of the thyme I used fresh rosemary from my garden. From now on I will be making this every time we have friends over. Love your blog! xxxx

  • Val

    Hi, this looks super yummy. Just one question, i cant really eat foods that are too rich. Anything i can use to subsitute the cream with?



  • Megan

    Made these tonight while the hubby grilled a steak and OMG they were so good!!! Definitely saving this recipe. My mom even asked me to make it for Easter Sunday lunch. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  • blogbytina!

    this looks better than dessert!

  • foodies at home

    Hey…I never hang my head for something that tastes good! And I think these would taste goooooood! 🙂

  • Tess

    Add some salami for a really rich one with brown onion soup and cream!

    • Ally_R

      Oooh the salami sounds super yum! Brown onion soup powder is a regular feature with my potato bake!

  • Jovana

    I use powdered soup too…. I make the most delicious tomato and onion bread… and my brown onion soup packet is an ABSOLUTE must.

    This looks sooooooooo good but can you believe it… I don’t like potato bake! *hides in shame*
    However this picture might just change my mind… 😀

    • Ally_R

      lol! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone that doesn’t like potato bake, but to each his own. 🙂

  • Jen

    A tin of asparagus salad cuts are also fantastic in a potato bake. People are often shocked when they discover there is tinned asaparagus in my potato bake and they all love it!

    • Ally_R

      That sounds amazing Jen! I’ll definitely try that the next time I make it!

  • Kiki

    My husband made it on saturday and it was AMAZING!!!!! Thanks Ally 🙂

  • Koek!

    Golly, that truly does look like the ultimate potato bake!

  • Ara

    Looks yummy, I agree don’t leave out the soup…

  • Semone

    You guys should try layer it with sweet corn….its amazing

  • bob

    Try leaving out the chicken soup. Just layer alternating between cheese and aromat. Add a bit of garlic too.

    • Ally_R

      Hi Bob. I promise you the soup powder is what makes this so delicious, so I’ll never leave it out hehehe. And you can’t do this without’s too yum! I’m not a big fan of Aromat though.

  • kitz

    I also layer the tatoes with either of the following – sliced mushrooms, green peppers, onions, bacon. or all of them….:-) always adds that extra bit of flavour.

    • Ally_R

      I also like adding onions! I don’t eat peppers so that’s out! hehe

  • polkadotcupcake

    What a lovely recipe for a classic favourite! It’s amazing how well a potato bake goes down at an otherwise fancy dinner party! And the thinly sliced potatoes must make it much more refined!

    • Ally_R

      That’s so true. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like potato bake. I think it’s the fact that it’s so comforting and still tastes so great! 🙂

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