Homemade Potatoes Au Gratin includes layers of thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy cheese sauce. It’s luxurious, but easy to make, and a French classic.

Looking for more easy side dishes? Try my Sweet Potato Casserole, Broccoli Casserole, or Stuffing!

Hot and cheesy Potatoes Au Gratin, with some of it being lifted on a spoon.

Why I love this side dish:

  • Feels fancy, but it’s Easy – Only 4 steps and 20 minutes of prep! They feel more elegant than say, mashed potatoes, and they’re easy enough for anyone to make.
  • Pantry Ingredients – You only need potatoes, cheese, butter, flour, milk, cream, and spices!
  • Crowd Favorite – This cheesy potatoes au gratin recipe is definitely seen as “special” and whenever I make it, everyone can’t get enough!

What is the difference between Scalloped Potatoes and Au Gratin potatoes?

Scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin are often confused, and for good reason since they are very similar.  The most common difference is that scalloped potatoes are cooked in cream and au gratin potatoes are baked with cheese.  These easy Au Gratin Potatoes are covered with a cheese sauce and shredded cheese on top and baked in the oven.

How to make Potatoes Au Gratin:

Slice russet potatoes into very thin slices (even thinner than ¼ inch thick). You can peel the potatoes or leave the potato skin on. A mandolin can help speed up the process.

A mandolin slicer with a pile of sliced potatoes to make Potatoes Au Gratin.

Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth and cook for a minute or two. Slowly stir in milk, garlic, dried onions, salt, and pepper and cook on low until boiling. Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheese.

A four image collage showing how to make the cheese sauce for Potatoes Au Gratin.

Assemble by placing half of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan and pour half of the sauce over them.  Add second layer of potatoes, then remaining sauce, and sprinkle remaining shredded cheese on top.

Two images showing how to assemble Potatoes Au Gratin: first layering the potato slices, then pouring on the cheese sauce.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through and cheese is bubbly. Serve with baked ham, a salad, and homemade rolls.

Bubbly and cheesy Potatoes Au Gratin fresh out of the oven.

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions:

To Make Ahead: Prepare up until baking. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.

To Store: Keep leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. Heat in the oven or microwave and enjoy within 3-5 days.

Variations:

  • Crock Pot Au Gratin Potatoes: Spray the bottom of the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Layer the potatoes and cheese in the instant pot the same way you would in a casserole dish. Apply lid and slow cook on high for 3 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
  • Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin: Add 1 ½ cups chopped ham on top of the potatoes, before adding cheese sauce.

What to Serve with Au Gratin Potatoes:

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Recipe

Baked Potatoes Au Gratin, with some of it being lifted with a spoon.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 20 mins
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Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 6 medium russet potatoes
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 3 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese ,or Gruyere, or half of each)

Instructions
 

  • Peel the potatoes if you’d like. Slice the potatoes into very thin 1/8” slices.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour until smooth. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Slowly stir in the milk, cream, minced garlic, dried onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
  • Reduce heat and stir in 2 cups of shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Taste sauce and add additional salt, pepper, garlic or onion flakes, if desired.
  • Place half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased 9×13 inch casserole dish. Pour half of the cheese sauce over potatoes.
  • Layer the remaining potatoes on top. Spoon the remaining cheese sauce over the potatoes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. 
  • Remove foil and continue baking, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked, cheese is browned, and sauce is bubbly. 

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare up until baking. Cover with tinfoil and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.
Crock Pot Au Gratin Potatoes: Spray the bottom of the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Layer the potatoes and cheese in the instant pot the same way you would in a casserole dish. Apply lid and slow cook on high for 3 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin: Add 1 ½ cups chopped ham on top of the potatoes, before adding cheese sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 12gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 448mgPotassium: 562mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 346IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 205mgIron: 1mg

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*I originally shared this recipe December 2013. Updated December 2018, November 2021 and September 2022, with new photos and tips.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Delicious recipe I halved it because its only my husband and I and it was so good. The only thing that can make it better is gruyere cheese which I will most definitely do next time.

  2. 5 stars
    Very delicious, we tweaked the recipe a bit and threw it on the smoker for smoked potato au gratin and it turned out wonderful

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious. I only made half the recipe for three people. I made it the night before and cooked halfway without cheese on top. Some of the potatoes turned black and looked gross but I finished cooking and we ate it anyway.

    I also used some sautéed onions because I didn’t have onion flakes.

    I will make again but cook it all of the way and just reheat the next day.

  4. 5 stars
    Had these with ham for Christmas dinner. They were delicious! First time I had ever made potatoes au gratin. This recipe does not disappoint! Thick & rich & creamy! Yum!!

  5. Made these for Christmas Eve dinner with ham and they were delicious and easy to make. I had to increase the cooking time a bit though.

  6. I only had couple cups of sharp cheese so I added a cup of Philadelphia cream chz onion dip and 1/2 cup of cheese whiz and 1 package of onion soup mix. Amazing Creamy flavor. Baked on 350 for 1 hr.

  7. 5 stars
    First time making potatoes au gratin and it definitely won’t be the last. I tried this on a whim and it was the first thing gone. Literally, my family basically licked the pan clean. Delicious!

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