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Published March 21, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Learn how to make this delicious classic recipe for potatoes au gratin cooked with creamy gruyere cheese and breadcrumbs for the perfect get-together side dish.
If you’re a potato side dish fan, then you are going to love my Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes or my Scalloped Potatoes Recipe.
Potatoes Au Gratin
Potatoes au gratin is a fantastic classic French recipe that consists of layers of thinly sliced peeled potatoes, milk, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs. Au gratin is a French word that literally translates to English as “to grate.” Obviously, this would most likely reference cheese, which would then be added to the potatoes and baked to form a crust on top.
When au gratin is applied to cooking, it means finished or sprinkled with breadcrumbs or grated cheese, or both, and then it is browned in the oven. In this instance, potatoes au gratin would have a layer of breadcrumbs and cheese on top that are then browned.
If you see an au gratin potatoes recipe online that does not have breadcrumbs on top. Then it is most likely not an accurate representation of potatoes au gratin.
Ingredients You’ll Need
The traditional ingredients for a potatoes au gratin recipe are potatoes, milk, butter, flour, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and cheese. Here is my take on each of these ingredients.
- Milk/Cream – I believe heavy whipping cream provides full-fat, full-flavor options for potatoes au gratin and is the best ingredient. If using milk, you need to go through the process of making a roux and thickening the milk a bit to make a bechamel sauce before adding in the gruyere cheese to make a mornay sauce and mixing it with the sliced potatoes.
- Cheese – There are a few options you can use when using cheese. For cheaper alternative cheeses, try using Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, or even Mozzarella cheese. For more expensive full-flavored cheeses, use Gruyere or Comté.
- Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs are incredibly traditional in potatoes au gratin, and you can use panko breadcrumbs, or any simple breadcrumb will do.
- Potatoes – Use russet potatoes for this recipe.
How to Make Potatoes Au Gratin
Peel and slice russet potatoes until they are between 1/8” and ¼” thick. You can also feel free to use Yukon potatoes as well. I like to use a mandolin but feel free to use a sharp chef’s knife.
Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with the cream, shredded gruyere cheese, finely minced garlic, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg until thoroughly combined. Mix everything in a bowl to ensure the potatoes are seasoned and coated by tasting some of the cream after it is mixed in.
Transfer the potato mixture to a deep 13×9 casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray and even it out to make it flat.
Cover in foil and bake it in the oven for 90 minutes at 400°.
Remove the pan from the oven and take the foil off and discard it.
Evenly sprinkle on breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese over top, completely covering the cooked potatoes.
Drizzle on melted butter to help slightly brown the breadcrumb and cheese topping.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. The outside edges of the pan should be bubbling. Let the potatoes au gratin cool at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Can I Make Them the Night Before?
You can absolutely make au gratin potatoes the night before serving them.
- Assemble everything and then bake them in the oven for 60 minutes.
- Remove the au gratin potatoes from the oven and immediately top off with breadcrumbs, cheese, and melted butter.
- Cool the au gratin potatoes in the refrigerator overnight until about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve them.
- Take the potatoes out of the refrigerator and let them stand at room temperature for about one hour before placing the pan back in the oven uncovered at 375° for 45-50 minutes or until hot in the center and cooked throughout.
Make-Ahead and Storage.
Make-Ahead: These are best eaten right away. However, you can make them 1 day ahead of time by following my instructions above.
How to Store: I like to store these in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 4 days. I also cover and freeze them for up to 2 months. Simply thaw them for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating them.
How to Reheat: To reheat them, add your desired portion to a pan, cover with foil, and bake in the oven at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until hot. In addition, you can simply add them to the microwave and heat them until hot.
CHEF NOTES + TIPS
- Feel free to use Yukon Gold or Red Bliss potatoes for this recipe.
- You can substitute half and half for the heavy cream.
- These potatoes au gratin are meant to feed many people, so feel free to cut the recipe in half.
- If you do not have a deep 13×9 casserole dish, please use two standard-size 13×9 dishes.
More Side Dish Recipes
- Cauliflower Au Gratin
- Sweet Potato Au Gratin
- Oven Roasted Root Vegetables
- Creamy Polenta Recipe
- Garlic Parmesan Potatoes
Potatoes Au Gratin Recipe
- 5 pounds peeled and thinly sliced russet potatoes, ¼” to 1/8” thick
- 1- quart heavy whipping cream
- 4-6 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1- pound shredded gruyere cheese
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 stick melted unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- coarse sea salt and white pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Combine the sliced potatoes, cream, garlic, gruyere cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. Ensure the potatoes are seasoned and coated by tasting some of the cream after mixing it.
- transfer the mixture to a deep 13×9 casserole pan sprayed with non-stick spray and flatten out with a spoon to make it level.
- Cover in foil and bake in the oven at 400° for 80 to 90 minutes.
- Remove the foil and evenly sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and cheese, completely coating the sliced potatoes.
- Drizzle on the melted butter and place back in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked throughout.
- Let cool at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Best potato au gratin recipe I’ve ever made – or had! What a hit it was for my family, who are typically not happy when I try something different! They devoured these creamy, tasty potatoes. Thank you chef Billy. Keep ‘em coming!
Excellent recipe! My 15 yr old granddaughter made this, including using the mandolin.
Thanks for all the tips!
Your recipes inspire me and taste amazing. Thank you for generously sharing your skills and your talents, I had a Gourmet dinner club last week. I made your homemade Pork Sausage and then made the peppers and onions with the Polenta. Amazing!!! Thank you over and over again. You are the best teacher and your videos are delightful.
Appreciate the kind words!
I made your potatoes au gratin for Easter and they were a hit. Everybody loved them. Use gruyere cheese and parmesan. Thank you for the recipe chef
I put my trust into this recipe and made it for Easter Sunday as a side to the ham. It was a hit and we loved it! Bonus was that I discover a new love for Gruyere cheese. Yum!
Gruyere is so good!!
Absolutely delicious! Supervised this recipe with my 15 yr old granddaughter and she made the entire dish herself! Easy but soooo tasty!
Made these for Thanksgiving last year and they were the hit of the meal!
Had special request to make them for Easter This year and again a huge success!
Love love love this one!!!
Simple, easy and simply amazing 🥰
Thanks for giving it a shot!!
I made this for Easter, and we all loved it! I loved the parmesan addition. Just delicious.
This recipe will be used Easter. I’m sure my Grandson and great grand children will love it!
Hi Billy you’ve done it again thank you love all your recipes X
Question – If the potatoes are prepped the day before, but not baked until the day of serving, wont the potatoes turn black? Any adverse effects to prepping ahead of time?
Keep them in water as described.
I have made this Potato dish of yours often. It’s easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and my Family loves Potato’s to death anyway. I have served it with chicken, meatloaf, fish, and it is always a hit. I use so many of your recipes when I cook. I love all the flavors I get when preparing your meat recipes. Thank you Chef Billy,
Thanks for giving it a shot!!
I made this recipe today for the first time. A very easy dish to prepare. I did it the night before, following the instructions and it turned out perfectly. A delicious potato dish
That’s awesome. thanks for giving it a shot!!
Oh My! If my family had it way… I would make this recipe every week! Obviously that would not be acceptable without a 24-hour gym membership! Great recipe though, I often make it with ham and use it as a main course! Gret recipe! Thanks Chef Billy!
This recipe is so delicious! It comes together quite well and it is so creamy, and great cheese combinations! My daughter always asks me to make her this with some baked chicken and broccoli and cheese. So delicious!!!
My go to potato recipe!
I like that you put all the ingredients in a bowl. Also, I have sliced them with a cheese grater, they came out too thin and disgustingly starchy, I like how you slice them thicker with the Mandoline, or with a knife. That is the way to go.
We made these potatoes with the French Onion Soup recipe. They were amazing. Better than any other Au Gratin Potato recipe I’ve ever tried. So creamy and cheesy and delicious. We have been making your recipes for the past year. Almost every dinner we make at home is a Billy recipe. And whenever I make them, I always say to my family “Sound good, let’s cook!” And they all laugh and we have the best time. Thank you for all your good food and inspiration!!
This potato au gratin recipe has become a staple when we’re entertaining and want to serve a potato recipe with dinner. I usually end up printing a copy because our guests request it. It is outstanding.
How do you make this dish, for two people only? We have got to try it.
divide the recipe by 10.
Almost identical to the recipe I make only parboil the potatoes in the cream with the seasonings then layer with the gruyere cheese…..
These are so good! They are definitely making an appearance for Thanksgiving
I love potatoes au gratin! My mom used to make them all the time growing up. Not quite as good as these but still pretty awesome. Let’s be honest I am in love with potatoes in general. haha Thanks for sharing!
These are way bettter than mashed potatoes! I love this recipe so much!
Mmm, these look so creamy! I cannot wait to make them for my family!
I am so into these potatoes. Totally making them again for Thanksgiving!