Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes is a classic French dish that features thinly sliced potatoes layered with a rich, creamy cheese sauce and baked to golden perfection. This comforting side dish is a staple at holiday dinners, special occasions, or any time you crave something warm, cheesy, and utterly delicious. The combination of tender potatoes, smooth sauce, and a crispy, cheesy top makes this dish irresistible. Whether you’re looking to impress guests or simply want to elevate your dinner, Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes is sure to be a hit.



Why You’ll Love Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

  • Rich and Cheesy: The creamy sauce and melted cheese create a decadent and flavorful dish.
  • Comforting: Perfect for cozy nights in, bringing warmth and satisfaction with every bite.
  • Versatile: Pairs well with a variety of main courses, from roasted meats to vegetarian options.
  • Customizable: Easily adaptable to include your favorite cheeses or add-ins like bacon, ham, or vegetables.

Ingredients Notes

  • Potatoes: Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes are ideal for their texture and ability to absorb the sauce.
  • Cheese: A combination of sharp cheddar for flavor and Gruyère for smooth melting is recommended, but you can use any cheese you prefer.
  • Sauce Base: Butter, flour, and milk create a classic béchamel sauce, which serves as the creamy foundation.
  • Seasonings: Nutmeg, salt, and pepper add depth and enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
  • Garlic: Adds a subtle aroma and taste to the sauce.

Recipe Steps

  1. Prep the Potatoes: Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. A mandoline slicer can help ensure even thickness.
  2. Make the Sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan, whisk in flour to create a roux, then gradually add milk, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in minced garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  3. Layer the Dish: In a greased baking dish, layer half the potato slices, pour half the sauce over the potatoes, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, sauce, and cheese.
  4. Bake: Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven until the potatoes are tender. Remove the foil and bake until the top is golden and bubbly.
  5. Rest and Serve: Let the dish sit for a few minutes before serving to allow the sauce to set slightly.

Storage and Reheating

  • Storage: Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Cover with foil and reheat in the oven until warmed through. You may add a splash of milk to help remoisten the potatoes.



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Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes


  • Potatoes: 4 large, peeled and thinly sliced (Russet or Yukon Gold work well)
  • Onion: 1 small, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Butter: 3 tablespoons
  • All-purpose flour: 3 tablespoons
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Milk: 2 cups (whole milk is best for creaminess)
  • Cheddar cheese: 1 1/2 cups, shredded (you can also use Gruyère for a more traditional flavor)
  • Parmesan cheese: 1/2 cup, grated (for the topping)


  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish or an equivalent.
  2. Layer the Potatoes and Onion:
    • Arrange a layer of potato slices at the bottom of the greased dish. If using onion, add a layer of thinly sliced onions on top of the potatoes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Repeat the layers until all the potatoes and onions are used.
  3. Make the Sauce:
    • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes to form a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring there are no lumps. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add Cheese:
    • Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
  5. Combine:
    • Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the layered potatoes and onions in the baking dish. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to gently spread the sauce, ensuring it seeps into the layers.
  6. Bake:
    • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, remove the foil, sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese and all of the Parmesan cheese over the top, and bake uncovered for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly, and the potatoes are tender.
  7. Rest and Serve:
    • Let the dish stand for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven to let the sauce set. This makes serving easier and allows flavors to meld.
  • Author: Maria

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