Layered with butter, cream, three cheeses and garlic before being baked until golden and bubbling, potatoes au gratin is the perfect side dish.
Whether you call this recipe potato gratin, au gratin potatoes, scalloped potatoes or plain old potato bake, it’s a classic all over the world for a reason. Potatoes layered with cheese and garlic before being drowned in cream before baked until golden brown and bubbling is ALWAYS a good idea.
My favorite version of this recipe is always simple. Cheese, potatoes, garlic and a little infusion of flavor by way of herbs. Thyme, sage and rosemary are all excellent choices. If you want to keep it classic French, thyme is the way to go though. Three cheeses might sound like overkill but by using Parmesan, Raclette and Gruyere, you get the best of all worlds. Intense flavor from the Parmesan, meltiness from the Raclette and that delicious nuttiness Gruyere offers. This recipe is the perfect side dish all year round but it’s especially good around Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s delicious, feeds a crowd and will be a guaranteed hit with your guests.
Full potatoes au gratin recipe can be found in the recipe card.
- Potatoes. Use starchy potatoes like Russet potatoes, Maris Piper, King Edward, etc. The same potatoes you would use for mashing or roasting will work well. Waxy potatoes like Yukon Golds also work but I prefer the softer texture of a starchy potato.
- Cheese. I used a combination of Gruyere cheese, Raclette and Parmesan. Other cheeses that will work well are Fontina, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Jack cheese or Swiss cheese.
- Cream. Heavy cream or whipping cream.
- Fresh thyme. Sage also works well.
- Salt and pepper.
How to make Au Gratin Potatoes
- Slice the potatoes: Using a potato peeler, peel the potatoes then slice thinly with a sharp knife or mandolin. Melt butter and grease a baking dish or casserole dish. Layer the potato slices in the prepared dish with the two thirds of the grated cheese. Season every layer with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of garlic and thyme.
- Cream mixture: Combine cornflour (cornstarch), milk, heavy or whipping cream, salt and pepper and whisk well. Pour over the assembled potatoes.
- Bake: Cover the dish with foil and place in a preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes until the potatoes are tender or until a knife can easily be inserted. Once baked, remove the foil, top with the remaining cheese and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Freezing and making ahead:
- Freezing: I wouldn’t recommend freezing as the texture of both the potatoes and the sauce can change however if needed, bake the gratin in a foil container as directed then cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic and foil then freeze for up to 3 months. Remove all wrapping then bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour from frozen until hot throughout.
- Make ahead: The potato gratin can be assembled and kept covered with foil for up to 4 hours before being baked. Baked gratin will last for up to 5 days in the fridge covered tightly with plastic wrap.
What to serve with Potatoes au gratin
- Easy Grilled steak
- Lemon herb roast chicken
- Slow roasted Greek lamb
- Rosemary-crusted beef fillet
- My gran’s turkey with bread stuffing
Potato side dish recipes
- Mini Hasselback potatoes
- Crispy salt and pepper smashed potatoes
- Twice baked potatoes
- Easy spicy garlic baked potato wedges
- Rosemary potato bread
3 cheese potatoes au gratin
- 1 tbsp butter
- 8 large potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
- 100 g (3.5oz) Gruyere grated
- 100 g (3.5oz) Raclette grated
- 50 g (1.5.oz) Parmesan finely grated
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy / whipping cream
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Butter a large casserole dish then add a layer of sliced potatoes.
- Combine all the cheeses then reserve ? for the topping.
- Season the potatoes with salt, pepper and thyme. Add a few tablespoons of cheese. Repeat until all the potatoes and cheese have been used.
- Combine the milk, cornflour/cornstarch, cream, salt and pepper and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. Press down to allow the cream to cover the potatoes.
- Cover the dish with foil then place in the oven.
- Allow to bake for 45 minutes until a knife can easily be inserted. Remove the foil, top with the remaining cheese and place back in the oven.
- Allow to bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes then serve.
I assume the garlic goes in when the grated cheese and potatoes are being layered. Or does it go in with the milk and cream mixture?
I usually grate it into the milk so it infuses the milk before pouring over the potatoes.
Do you add the sliced garlic with each layer of potatoes?
Yes, I LOVE garlic. But you can definitely use less if you aren’t so keen.
Thanks, kept thinking I missed where it said to use garlic. No need to cut back on garlic with this! I may saute chopped onion to mix in with the potatoes as well.