Potatoes Au Gratin

This is one of the best potato gratins I have ever made, and that’s saying something because I make a lot of potato gratins.  Potatoes au gratin are possibly one of the top 10 comfort foods in the world.  They are at the very least certainly one of the top 10 potato comfort foods in the world.

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

If you don’t need a gratin to serve 6, make this anyway because truly a plate of leftover gratin heated up in the microwave is one of those breakfasts worth getting up early for.  

What Does au Gratin Mean?

Au gratin is a French cooking term that refers to food that is sprinkled with breadcrumbs or cheese or both and then baked or broiled until browned.  For potatoes au gratin, the gratin part usually refers to cheese (scalloped potatoes are similar, but usually have no cheese), though occasionally breadcrumbs are added.  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.

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

What Kind of Cheese to Use in 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.

Best Potatoes for Potatoes au Gratin

Make sure to use russet potatoes here, which have a higher level of starch, which help make the sauce creamy.  They will get very tender, and fall apart a little bit as you scoop them up, but the layers will still remain distinct, and the will get very tender.

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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Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

How to Prevent Potatoes au Gratin from Getting Watery

Again the russet potato is key, with the higher level of starch which will thicken the sauce.  

Also, the use of higher fat cream instead of milk will help keep the sauce creamy and not watery.  And make sure to bake the gratin until the potatoes are cooked to tenderness, which not only gives the gratin a creamy texture, but also ensures the potatoes absorb most of the liquid.

How to Make Potato Gratin

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. Isn’t that a pretty mixture?

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

Thinly slice the potatoes, layering half of them in the prepared baking dish.

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

Sprinkle over half of the cheese.

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

Pour over half of the liquid mixture.  

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

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.

What to Serve with Potatoes au Gratin:

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

Other Comfort Food Potato Recipes:

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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.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

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

Directions

  • 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.

Nutrition Information

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

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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