This delicious Potatoes Au Gratin recipe is made with layers of thinly sliced potatoes and creamy cheese sauce, and is a luxurious, but simple, French classic.

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

A white casserole dish with baked Potatoes Au Gratin and a wooden spoon to serve them.

Why I love this side dish:

  • Feels fancy, but it’s Easy – Only 4 steps and 20 minutes of prep!
  • Pantry Ingredients – You only need potatoes, cheese, butter, flour, milk, cream, and spices!
  • Crowd Favorite – This side dish 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 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.

Side by side photos of russet potatoes, whole, on a cutting board and then peeled and sliced resting on the cutting board.

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.

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.

Four overhead process photos of how to make potatoes au gratin including a layer of thinly sliced potatoes in a baking dish, a wooden spoon pouring cheese sauce on top, a layer of cheddar cheese added and then the baked dish.

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.

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions:

To Make Ahead: Prepare up until baking. Cover with tinfoil and refrigerate overnight. Allow dish to come to room temperature before baking.

What to Serve with Au Gratin Potatoes:

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Recipe

A white casserole dish with baked Potatoes Au Gratin and a wooden spoon to serve them.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 20 mins
Add to Meal Plan

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. Tastes 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. Allow dish to come to room temperature before baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 11gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 447mgPotassium: 545mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 590IUVitamin C: 6.8mgCalcium: 194mgIron: 1.2mg

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*I originally shared this recipe December 2013. Updated December 2018 and November 2021.

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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. 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!

  2. 4 stars
    Baked in a 3 quart casserole at 400 degrees for one hour. Potatoes were no where near done. Had to microwave additional 10 minutes. My potatoes were sliced very thin too. Next time I will use a 13×9 pan

  3. 5 stars
    These Au Gratin are very very good. My son an I had these potatoes on a Sunday for dinner liked them. He said they was better than Better Crocker’s Au Gratin potatoes.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for my finicky family a couple of weeks ago and it was a hit with a grilled rib roast and cabbage. I forgot to take pictures 😢. I’m making this again soon😁😁

  5. 5 stars
    This is a keeper easy recipe! Changes I made were real onion vs dried. Sliced very thin and soften in the butter. 2tsp of salt and pepper and 4cloves of garlic cooked with onions . Used half cream and half 2% and it worked great! Only had sharp cheddar, but through some fresh Parmesan on top. Took twice as long to cook, but worth every minute!

  6. 5 stars
    This turned out so yummy! However, it did take longer to cook. 40 min with foil on, then 30 min with foil off. Delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    Big hit! Every bit was eaten. I mixed different cheeses making sure it was tangy. Delicious. Doubled the recipe.

  8. 5 stars
    Dearest Mrs. Lauren:

    I have been making AuGratin Potatoes for the last 15 years or so. With the Corona Virus regime I had run out of options for my daughter and I but I purchased an insane amount of Idaho Baking potatoes at Costco and had used about half of my stash in many side dishes, until via the blessings of Pinterest I saw your recipe and decided I would give all my love to make it happen.
    At the end, your recipe was fabulous. Taste was robust, creamy and lingering, thanks to your cheese recommendations.

    Thanks for sharing your family love with us. A a Latino my mom always taught us that love comes into a home easiest through the kitchen!

    Blessings to you, your family and your audience!
    Sincerely,
    Ricky rainbow

  9. 5 stars
    The sauce is perfection. Mixing the Gruyere and an extra sharp cheddar just makes it sing. I like using cream in dishes such as this one. Great recipe.

  10. So am I supposed to boil the potatoes before I bake them? Bc I followed the recipe exactly and they took an extra 45 min to cook. And now the cheese is burnt. I don’t understand.

    1. No, you don’t boil them beforehand, but they do need to be sliced very thinly so that they can cook through in time.

    2. I cooked mine in the microwave for 10 minutes before adding he sauce and baking because my sous chef (age 12) did not slice them thin.

  11. 5 stars
    Awsome Recipe! One of the best I have seen. TIP: Salt and pepper to the potatoes before you add them to the pan in a large bowl and let them sit 1/2 to 1 hr, what the salt does is draw the moisture out of the potatoes to allow it to soak up the sauce and the pepper ads alot of good flavor. You will see a lot of potato water on the bottom of the bowl just drain it out. Also added parmesan cheese to the top and sauce.

  12. im planning to make this for a party tomorrow..i was wondering if i baked it today for 30 min and cool cover in fridge and tomorrow i will uncover and bake the remaining 30 minutes..would that work..i think so but

    1. That would be fine, but allow it to come to room temperature out of the fridge before baking again (or increase the second bake time).

  13. 4 stars
    Great basic preparation of the recipe, as any good chef would do I tweaked it to my liking. Great post

  14. I made this ahead to bake the next day, but when I served this after it was baked the potatoes were discolored to gray. Tasted good but not at all appetizing looking. I threw out the leftovers.

    1. Hey Laura,
      I’m so sorry for your frustration!
      When potatoes are cut, the starch begins to oxidize and can, over time, result in the potatoes turning grey. This happens occasionally with vairous types of potatoes (and is sometimes exacerbated by aluminum). Here’s a great resource that may help prevent it next time!

  15. 5 stars
    Made these last night and was SHOCKED at how amazing they were! I added a little ham, but besides that I followed this recipe EXACTLY as written. It is not too heavy or rich (which is the main reason I loved it). It has just the right amount of creaminess and flavor! My husband couldn’t get enough of it! Will certainly make again. This recipe is A KEEPER!

  16. 5 stars
    I fixed this today (Easter 2019). I never have any cream on hand other than sour cream so mixed it with 2% milk and it worked well as a sub for the whipping cream. I added more seasonings — garlic, powder, paprika, and parsley flakes. Looked beautiful and tasted great!! All the family asked for the recipe. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  17. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I substituted some of the cheese: 1/3 Gruyere; 1/3 Cheddar, 1/3 American. In my file now for keeps!

  18. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe!
    I had no dried onions so I sliced onions super thin, since had my mandolin slicer out anyway!…and added some on top of middle layer of potatoes. I also put a few in the cheese sauce as I cooked it and they about disappeared ( as I had hoped) as they cooked down since I had cut them so tiny after sliced so thinly. I also added some panko breadcrumbs at the removing of foil for more crunchy texture then garnished with chives after out of oven. So yummy!!!

  19. There is a cup of whipping cream in the list of ingredients, but whipping cream is not mentioned in the instructions. Does it go in with the milk??

    1. I’ve never tried that so I really can’t say for sure….my only thought is that the greasy-ness of the pork would be sitting on the potatoes, which doesn’t sound very appetizing. Sorry I can’t be of more help here.

  20. 5 stars
    I made these for Easter dinner and they were SO good! I ended up making them again this weekend and added leftover ham to them. All of us loved them. Thanks so much for the recipe that will be staying with us for many future dinners 🙂