Potatoes au Gratin is a delicious side dish that complements so many entrees! Made with layers of thinly sliced potatoes and the best creamy cheese sauce, this classic recipe is sure to delight family and friends at any holiday gathering.

potatoes au gratin in a baking dish

Potatoes au Gratin

If we’re being honest with ourselves, everyone knows that the side dishes are the best part of holiday meals. These potatoes au gratin are no exception! These are an absolute must for Thanksgiving through New Years. The potatoes are thinly sliced lending to the perfect bite size and they are layered upon layered with a buttery, creamy, melty cheese sauce. Baked until bubbling and topped with fresh parsley, could it get any better than that?

Looking for more popular potato recipes? Check out my amazing Roasted Air Fryer Potatoes or Crockpot Mashed Potatoes to get your starchy side fix!

Are Scalloped Potatoes and Potatoes au Gratin The Same Thing?

Not quite, although the terms are occasionally used interchangeably. The recipes are similar however, scalloped potatoes are baked in milk or a cream based sauce. Au gratin potatoes are made practically the same way but with the addition of a cheese sauce as opposed to just cream. Some au gratin recipes will also top their final layer with breadcrumbs. Which you can absolutely add to this recipe for an added crispy top! But the biggest difference is the cheese. While I like to use cheddar and parmesan cheese, gruyere and swiss are great options too.

How To Make Potatoes au Gratin

  • Preheat. Set your oven to 400°F and prep a large casserole dish (or an oven safe skillet with high sides) with cooking spray. 
  • Peel and slice. Peel your potatoes and cut them into thin slices, ¼ of an inch thick.
  • Melt and whisk away. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Wisk in the flour and cook until the mixture begins to brown, usually about 2 minutes or so.
  • Stir. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Whisk in the heavy cream and cook for 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken. 
  • Add the cheese. Remove the heavy cream base from heat and stir in the cheddar and parmesan cheese. Stir until fully melted. 
  • Layer. Add ¼ of the potatoes to the casserole dish. Then pour ¼ of the cheese sauce over top. Continue with another layer of potatoes and cheese sauce until all the ingredients have been used. Be sure to end with a layer of sauce on top.
  • Cover and bake. Cover the casserole dish tightly with tin foil and bake for an hour. Remove the tin foil and bake an additional 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender and the cheese sauce is golden and bubbling. 
  • Rest and dig in. Let the Au Gratin potatoes rest for 15 minutes, serve with freshly chopped parsley as a garnish, and enjoy!
photo collage how to make potatoes au gratin

Storing Potatoes au Gratin

When storing leftovers, you’ll want to keep these potatoes au gratin in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until warmed through.

Ingredients Notes for Au Gratin Potatoes

  • Potatoes – I like to use russet potatoes for this recipe, but the more important aspect is making sure they are evenly sliced no matter the type. This way all the potatoes are cooked evenly and you don’t have to worry about thicker potatoes taking forever to cook while thinner slices are falling apart on you.
  • Butter – You can use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. If using unsalted you may want to add a dash more than what’s called for to taste.
  • Cheese – For the best texture and smoothest cheese sauce, try to use cheese freshly shredded from a block as opposed to pre shredded cheese. The pre-shredded variety just doesn’t melt and mix as nicely. 
au gratin potatoes on a spoon



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Potatoes au Gratin

Potatoes au Gratin is a delicious side dish that complements so many entrees! Made with layers of thinly sliced potatoes and the best creamy cheese sauce, this classic recipe is sure to delight family and friends at any holiday gathering.
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 1 hour 30 minutes
Total 2 hours
Servings 8


  • 4 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 Cloves Garlic finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Freshly Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 Pounds Russet potatoes peeled and thinly sliced (1/4-inch thick)


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a large, oven safe skillet or casserole dish and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan then whisk in the flour and cook until it starts to brown, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 30 seconds then whisk in the heavy cream and let it cook until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off then stir in the cheddar and parmesan cheeses until fully melted.
  • Layer ¼ of the potatoes in the pan then evenly pour ¼ of the gravy over top of the potatoes.
  • Continue layering everything in this way 3 more times to form 4 layers of potato and gravy each, ending with the gravy on top.
  • Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour then remove the foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly and the potatoes are fork tender and cooked through.
  • Let it rest for 15 minutes then serve with freshly minced parsley for garnish if desired.



NOTE:  It is important for best results to use freshly shredded off the block cheese for this recipe


Calories: 339kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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