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.


  • 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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Baked Potatoes Au Gratin, with some of it being lifted with a spoon.
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 20 minutes
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  • 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)


  • 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. 


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.


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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About The Author

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.

4.97 from 273 votes (243 ratings without comment)

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  1. Love these so much, they’ve become a Christmas tradition, the dish I’m always asked to bring to dinner. That day is so hectic, so I save time by slicing the potatoes the day before and keeping in a pot of cold water overnight in the fridge, but wondering if I can also make the sauce the day before so all I have to do on Christmas Day is assemble and bake. Will the cheese sauce stay pourable, do you think?

  2. 5 stars
    Merci Lauren. I used your recipe again last night after searching through a myriad of recipes. It went well with my pork roast and everyone enjoyed it. Happy holidays and keep posting!

  3. 5 stars
    Multiple times Ive reached for this totally awesome recipe. It is absolutely delicious! Since its getting chilly here in Ohio it seemed to be the perfect day to make it.

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious and a favorite. Today I added my own outdoor twist. Replaced flour with 4 tbls of corn starch, used a foil pan, cut fresh applewood and smoked on the grill for about 4 hours with the honey bbq ribs. Thanks for a great recipe. God bless.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and as usual your recipe didn’t disappoint. Will probably skip buying boxed au gratin potatoes from here on out. The only thing I did differently was right at the end I turned on the broiler for a couple of minutes and browned the cheese edges of dish

    1. If you can put it in the oven with the roast, I’d do that over microwaving OR bake this first and reheat in the microwave or while the roast is resting.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

    1. I was so excited to make this for our Christmas day feast. I made two casseroles and had them sit overnight in the fridge to bake on Christmas. I was very disappointed to see that many potatoes had turned gray -very unappetizing to me! I think they tasted ok, though, but not what I anticipated!
      I understand this is a problem with potatoes due to their “starch” content and they need to be covered tightly so air doesn’t get to them?
      I won’t be making these again 🙁

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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😁😁

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 5 stars
    Big hit! Every bit was eaten. I mixed different cheeses making sure it was tangy. Delicious. Doubled the recipe.

  19. 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!
    Ricky rainbow

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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).

  24. 4 stars
    Great basic preparation of the recipe, as any good chef would do I tweaked it to my liking. Great post

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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!!!

  30. 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.

  31. 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 🙂