Potatoes Au Gratin is such a decadent, delicious dish. Layers of creamy, cheesy potatoes topped with garlic herb butter and even more cheese. It's baked to crispy perfection and will quickly become a side staple. It's almost impossible to not love this dish!
A FEW INGREDIENT NOTES:
- I recommend russet potatoes. This is because they're a little starchier than other varieties which helps keep the creamy melty cheese from being too runny.
- My favorite cheese is a combination of gruyere and pecorino romano. The gruyere is a great melting cheese, and the pecorino adds a nice sharp and salty kick.
- The garlic herb butter is not traditionally used in potatoes au gratin recipes, however, I think adding it on the bottom and top layers adds delicious flavor.
KITCHEN EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:
- Cutting board
- Sharp chef's knife
- Mandoline (optional)
- Large bowl
- Casserole dish (9x13 is optimal)
- Small sauce pan
- Coarse cheese grater
- Measuring cups
HOW TO MAKE POTATOES AU GRATIN:
The best part about potatoes au gratin is that they're very hard to mess up! Just a few key steps and you'll have cheesy potatoes in no time.
- Step 1: Slice the potatoes. Using a sharp knife or mandoline, slice the peeled potatoes to ⅛" thin and put into a bowl of cold water. Doing so removes a bit of the starch and stops them from getting brown.
- Step 2: Make the garlic herb butter. Once you have the potatoes sliced, melt your butter on medium heat, and once melted add in the garlic, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
- Step 3: Assemble. In your casserole dish, pour half the garlic herb butter on the bottom and spread around. Start layering your potatoes and cheese - one single layer of potatoes, followed by about ¼ cup cheese. Repeat until you are at the top of your casserole dish. Finish by carefully pouring the heavy cream over top, then the rest of the garlic herb butter, and lastly the rest of the cheese.
- Step 4: Bake. Bake the potatoes au gratin at 350℉ covered with tinfoil for 40 minutes, and then uncovered for 25. To get the crispy top, finish by broiling for 5 minutes until golden brown.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POTATOES AU GRATIN AND SCALLOPED POTATOES:
While these two potato dishes share many similarities and are both very delicious, there's one key difference between the two – cheese! Potatoes au gratin have cheese sprinkled between the layers of potatoes and on top, whereas scalloped potatoes get their creaminess exclusively from heavy cream or milk.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH POTATOES AU GRATIN:
- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Sage Breadcrumbs
- Roasted Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
- Spinach, Pesto & Cheese Stuffed Shells
- Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
CAN YOU MAKE THIS DISH AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes! You can prepare potatoes au gratin the day before. Just cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. The potatoes may get a little brown on top, but shouldn't be noticeable after baking. I would not recommend making more than one day ahead of time.
Potatoes Au Gratin
- 2.5 lb russet potatoes about 6-7
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 6 oz gruyere cheese
- 1 cup pecorino romano cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- To serve: fresh chives
- Preheat your oven to 350℉.
- Peel and slice your potatoes to ⅛" thin (can either use a sharp knife or a mandoline). Set them in a large bowl of cold water while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
To prep the other ingredients:
- Melt the butter in a small pot on medium heat. Once melted, add in the garlic, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
- Grate the gruyere cheese and set aside in a bowl with the pecorino.
- Drain the potatoes and pat them dry.
- Take your 9x13 casserole dish, pour ½ the butter mixture in the bottom and spread around.
- Place one even layer of potatoes, followed by ¼ cup cheese mixture. Repeat until you are at the top of your dish.
- Carefully pour the heavy cream on top.
- Then pour the remaining butter mixture on top as well.
- To finish, top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake covered for 40 minutes, uncovered for 25 minutes, and broil for about 5 minutes until golden brown.