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This is one of the best potato gratins I have ever made, and that’s saying something because I make a lot of them. I think potatoes au gratin are possibly one of the top 10 comfort foods in the world. Tender potatoes enveloped in a creamy, cheesy sauce — you’ll be making these week after week. If you’ve ever made potato gratin from a package, you will be blown away by how much better this homemade version is!

This comforting side is perfect alongside other warm and cozy dishes, like Beef Tenderloin Roast or Roast Chicken. It’s also very welcome on a holiday table. For a vegetarian crowd, pair it with some other vegetable dishes like Simple Sautéed Broccoli, Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or Roasted Carrots with Spinach Parsley Pesto and a salad like a Green Salad with Pears and Pomegranate Seeds, and you’re good to go!

Some people also add breadcrumbs to this dish. If you wanted to give this casserole a final sprinkle of breadcrumbs after removing the foil halfway through the baking, you could definitely do that for additional texture and even more browning.

Woman holding a spatula of Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes.

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes: Tender slices of potatoes layered with a creamy sauce with generous amount of cheddar…this is one of the greatest potato comfort food recipes of all time.

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Ingredients

Potatoes, cheese, mustard, and other ingredients on marble.
  • Chicken or vegetable broth – This flavorful liquid is absorbed into the potatoes while they bake in the oven. Make sure to bake the gratin until the potatoes absorb most of the liquid and become fork-tender.
  • Heavy cream – Using higher-fat cream instead of milk will help prevent the sauce from becoming watery.
  • Dijon mustard – The spicy bite of this mustard helps balance the creaminess of the dish.
  • Dried thyme – Adds a subtle herby flavor.
  • Russet potatoes – The high starch level in this particular potato helps make the sauce ultra-creamy.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – Any type of cheddar that fits your budget will work here, from pre-shredded to fancy aged cheddar.

How to Make Potatoes au Gratin

  1. Mix the liquids: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the broth, cream, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper. (Isn’t that a pretty mixture?)
Speckled broth and cream mixture in a blue bowl.
  1. Slice the potatoes: Thinly slice the potatoes. Layer half of them in the prepared baking dish.
  2. Add cheese: Sprinkle half of the cheese over the potatoes.
Slicing potato with mandolin and topping with cheese.
  1. Pour: Pour half of the liquid mixture into the dish.
  2. Repeat: Repeat steps 2 to 4 with the rest of the potatoes, cheese, and liquid.
Adding cream and sliced potatoes to baking dish.
  1. Bake and serve: Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 45 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender (a knife slides in very easily) and the top is browned and crispy. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Woman holding dish of Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes.

FAQs

Which cheese should I use for Potatoes au Gratin?

Sometimes potato gratins are made with Gruyere or other alpine-style cheeses, but here we are leaning hard into sharp, flavorful nutty cheddar. You can use any cheddar that fits your budget, from pre-shredded bagged cheddar to some fine aged hand-grated block cheddar. You’ll really taste the cheese, so if you have a few extra bucks to throw into a dish, this would be a good place to do that.

Which type of potato is best for Potatoes au Gratin?

Make sure to use russet potatoes here, which have a higher level of starch, which help make the sauce creamy, not watery. They will get very tender and fall apart a little bit as you scoop them up, but the layers will still remain distinct.

What is the difference between Potatoes au Gratin and Scalloped Potatoes?

The difference is in the ingredients. Traditionally, Potatoes au Gratin contains cheese, while Scalloped Potatoes have a cream-based sauce. Both are delicious!

Make-Ahead and Storage

  • You can make the gratin and bake it up to 2 days ahead of time and then reheat it in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes until warmed through. Heat it covered with foil for about 10 minutes, then remove the foil for the rest of the reheating time.
  • If you don’t need a gratin to serve 6, make this anyway! It might sound strange, but a plate of leftover gratin heated up in the microwave is one of those breakfasts worth getting up early for. It can also last through the week, making weeknight dinners quick and easy to throw together.

What to Serve With Potatoes au Gratin

Standing Rib Roast

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Simple Lemon-Garlic Roasted Turkey Breast

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes on white plate.

More Comforting Potato Recipes

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Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes
resting time: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 8 People
Tender slices of potatoes layered with a creamy sauce with generous amount of cheddar…this is one of the greatest potato comfort food recipes of all time.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds russet potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) grated sharp cheddar

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter a 1 ½ quart baking dish or a 9×9 inch baking pan, or spray with nonstick spray.
  • In a medium bowl or a liquid measuring cup, combine the chicken broth, cream, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper. Layer half the potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle over half of the cheese and pour over half of the liquid mixture. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes, cheese, and liquid.
  • Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 45 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender (a knife slides in easily) and the top is browned and crispy. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • You can make the gratin and bake it up to 2 days ahead of time and then reheat it in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes until warmed through. Heat it covered with foil for about 10 minutes, then remove the foil for the rest of the reheating time.
  • If you don’t need a gratin to serve 6, make this anyway! It might sound strange, but a plate of leftover gratin heated up in the microwave is one of those breakfasts worth getting up early for. It can also last through the week, making weeknight dinners quick and easy to throw together.

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 644mg, Potassium: 657mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 729IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 247mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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