The BEST recipe for Homemade Au Gratin Potatoes. This super cheesy recipe is honestly easy to make and a huge holiday table crowd pleaser! Thinly sliced potatoes get layered with cheddar cheese and a cream sauce then baked to perfection, the result heavenly melt in your mouth potatoes with a golden brown cheesy crust that no one can resist.
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Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes
Homemade Au Gratin Potatoes might be my favorite side dish EVER. Tender potatoes baked in cream and cheese, not to mention the crust of golden brown cheese on top?! Droolworthy!
Lucky for all of us making Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes at home isn’t difficult at all! Although this dish does take a while to bake the end result will impress all of your family and guests!
What is Potatoes Au Gratin?
I think that there can be a little confusion on the different potato dishes like what the difference is between Au Gratin Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes, and Funeral Potatoes? They are all different even though they are closely related all at the same time.
“Au Gratin” is French and it essentially refers to a crispy baked top, this top is often comprised of cheese and/or breadcrumbs. So basically Au Gratin Potatoes are a potato dish baked in a cheesy creamy sauce with a cheese crust.
Whereas Scalloped potatoes technically are made without cheese on top and usually covered with cracker or bread crumbs. And Funeral Potatoes, a largely regional dish are usually made with a cream soup and crushed potato chips.
All of this dishes are delicious but today lets concentrate on How to make Au Gratin Potatoes!
In my version I try to keep it as simple as possible. Some recipes will have you unnecessarily make a cheese sauce on the stovetop before adding it to your dish. Not me, everything bakes together for so long in the oven that you do not need to do that.
You will slice the potatoes. Make a super simple cream sauce (not on the stove), and shred cheese. You will then layer them and bake, it is really that simple, but let’s go into a little more detail…
How to make Homemade Au Gratin Potatoes
As far as special appliances to make this dish you don’t technically need a whole lot. You will make the potatoes in a 9×13 baking dish, and beside the usually kitchen utensils like measuring cups, grater, knife, and whisk a mandolin slicer can be handy for this recipe!
No mandolin slicer?? No fret you can definitely slice these potatoes by hand it just might take you a few extra minutes. (I actually prefer cutting them by hand because I detest cleaning my mandolin, its only 5 to 6 potatoes so not that many to slice.)
Ingredients for Au Gratin Potatoes
- Russet Potatoes: Two pounds worth which is about 5-6 medium potatoes. The potatoes will be peeled and sliced thin by hand or with a mandolin slicer, about 1/8 inch.
- Butter: Melted, you can use salted or unsalted in this dish.
- Heavy Cream: Heavy cream has to be what makes it so delicious right? The only thing special to not about the cream is you will want it room temperature to lukewarm, this is to prevent the butter from solidifying when mixed together. So it is as simple as warming the cream in the microwave 45-60 seconds.
- Garlic: Just a little minced garlic for the dish, but just enough to give it some aroma.
- Paprika & Onion Powder: Just like the garlic not a ton goes into this dish, just enough to give it a little something extra. Traditionally there aren’t a ton of spices in Au Gratin Potatoes but I think just a little gives it something extra.
- Cheddar Cheese: Shredded, by you not the store. There is a huge melting difference between freshly shredded cheese from a block and pre-shredded cheese from the store. The shredded cheese from the store comes covered in preservatives which while ‘keep it fresh’ slows down melting, and trust me when making Au Gratin Potatoes you want melty, so grab your grater and get shredding!
So now that you know what you need let’s get cooking!
- Preheat your oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- Peel cleaned potatoes. By hand with a sharp knife or with a mandolin thinly slice the potatoes, the thickness should be about 1/8 inch.
- Prep the cream sauce for the potatoes. Combine melted butter, cream, garlic, paprika, and onion powder together in a large measuring cup. Whisk together to combine.
- Now to prepare the dish layer 1/3 of the potatoes evenly across the bottom of the dish. Now layer 1 cup of the cheese over the potatoes, followed by 1/3 of the sauce over top of the cheese. Repeat those layers once more. You will make one more layer but the last one in a different order, the third and final layer will be the remainder of the potatoes, then sauce, and cheese last. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil.
- Transfer the dish to the oven and bake 60 minutes. Uncover and turn the oven temperature up to 425ºF. Cook 15 more minutes uncovered until the cheese makes a brown bubbly crust on top of the potatoes. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving.
Note that it is important to give it time to rest before serving. First off so that people don’t burn their mouths but also because it will give the dish time to thicken!
What to serve with Au Gratin Potatoes
Seeing that Au Gratin Potatoes are mostly known as a holiday side dish here are some other dishes that you can make part of your meal.
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, about 5-6 medium potatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature to lukewarm
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded*
- Preheat oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- Peel the cleaned potatoes. By hand with a sharp knife or with a mandolin thinly slice the potatoes, the thickness should be about 1/8 inch.
- Prep the sauce for the potatoes, combine melted butter, cream, garlic, paprika, and onion powder together in a large measuring cup. Whisk together to combine.
- To prepare the dish layer 1/3 of the potatoes evenly across the bottom of the dish. Now layer 1 cup of the cheese over the potatoes, followed by 1/3 of the sauce over top of the cheese. Repeat those layers once more. You will make one more layer but the last one in a different order, the third and final layer will be the remainder of the potatoes, sauce, and cheese last. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil.
- Transfer to the oven and bake 60 minutes. Uncover and turn the oven temperature up to 425ºF. Cook 15 more minutes uncovered until the cheese makes a brown bubbly crust on top of the potatoes. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving.
The heavy cream should be room temperature to lukewarm to avoid the melted butter hardening back up when mixed together. Simply microwave the cup of cream 45 to 60 seconds to achieve this. Now the melted butter and cream should incorporate together when whisked.
*For best results do NOT use pre-shredded cheddar. Buy a block of cheddar and shred it yourself. The pre-shredded cheddar comes coated in preservatives that prevent the cheese from melting. For the best version of this dish use freshly shredded cheese.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 346mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g
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Peace & Love
Lauren, The Schmidty Wife