When you’re looking to impress your guests Homemade Au Gratin Potatoes are a sure bet! Layers of potatoes covered in cream, Romano cheese, garlic and thyme are melt in your mouth delicious. Perfect for the holidays or when you’re just craving the best comfort food!
Homemade Au Gratin Potatoes look like you spent a lot of time on them when in reality they’re very easy to put together. The potatoes are sliced on a mandolin then layered into a dish and covered with the sauce and cheese. After that, you bake the Au Gratin Potatoes then slice and eat!
The sauce is a super simple cold sauce of ingredients just whisked together. It includes heavy cream, minced garlic, fresh thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg. This will be your new favorite dish to make!
This recipe was taught to me by a good friend while working at a butcher shop. It’s a recipe that’s stuck with me ever since, I remember it by heart.
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What is the difference between Au Gratin Potatoes and Scalloped Potatoes?
Au Gratin Potatoes and Scalloped Potatoes are very similar. Both are thinly sliced potatoes layered in a casserole dish and baked. Both potato dishes are extremely delicious.
The main difference between the two potato dishes is the cheese. Typically Scalloped Potatoes are made in a cream sauce without cheese. Au Gratin Potatoes are typically made with cheese in between each layer of potato.
Au Gratin Potatoes have many variations, especially in the type of cheese that’s used. This particular recipe I use Romano cheese. Southern Living Mag goes into a bit more detail if you’re interested!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Russet Potatoes – These potatoes bake up beautifully
- Heavy Cream – This gives the Au Gratin Potatoes their richness
- Garlic – Fresh garlic is the best with potatoes
- Fresh Thyme – I prefer fresh but if you only have dried thyme that will work as well, just use 1/3 of the amount
- Kosher Salt – What are potatoes without salt?
- Black Pepper – I love to use course ground pepper
- Nutmeg – When you have a cream sauce, nutmeg is a must
- Romano Cheese – If you can’t find Romano cheese you can use grated Parmesan
Equipment you’ll need
- Mandolin – You’ll need a mandolin to thinly slice your potatoes
- Casserole Dish – Any baking or casserole dish will work for this. I love using this ceramic dish. This dish cleans up so easily it’s like magic every time I go to wash it!
- Oven – You’ll need the oven to bake the Au Gratin Potatoes
Tips for the best Homemade Au Gratin Potatoes
- The potatoes need to be very thin to bake in the amount of time in the ingredients. You don’t need them to be paper thin but like 1 step up from that
- Don’t peel your potatoes until you’re ready to slice and assemble. They’ll start to turn brown on you
- I slice as I go. I slice 2 potatoes at a time then layer and build. Once those are all layered in the dish I slice 2 more. This also helps you not end up with brown potatoes
- The cream sauce should taste VERY salty. Don’t be alarmed. Potatoes take a lot of salt
- These can be baked up to 3 days ahead!! Woohoo! They reheat very nicely in the oven or the microwave
- Make sure to cover the potatoes with foil when reheating in the oven. They will already have a beautiful brown color on top, you don’t want to burn them
- You should probably just make 2 pans because you’re going to wish you had more when they’re gone
How to make Homemade Au Gratin Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel and mince your garlic. Pick and rough chop your fresh thyme then whisk together the cream, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Spray a baking dish with non stick cooking spray then peel your potatoes. Add a small amount of the cream sauce to the bottom of the pan.
Thinly slice 2 potatoes at a time then layer the slices into the dish all facing the same direction. Drizzle a little of the cream mix over the top and sprinkle a light layer of Romano cheese. The next layer of potatoes layer in the opposite direction then drizzle with a bit of cream sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Repeat these steps until all the potatoes are layered in. At 2-3 different times during the layering press down on the potatoes and let cream come to the top.
Once all potatoes are layered in, press down one last time to cover the top in cream and sprinkle more cheese over the top. Bake for 40 minutes uncovered then 15 – 20 minutes covered. Serve potatoes hot.
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Homemade Au Gratin Potatoes
- Casserole Dish
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme picked and rough chopped
- 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
Potatoes and Cheese
- 3 lb russet potatoes peeled and thinly sliced on mandolin
- 3 oz Romano cheese grated
Make the Cream Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and spray a 10×7 baking dish with non stick cooking spray
- Whisk together the heavy cream, minced garlic, chopped thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Make sure to whisk well until salt is dissolved
Building the Au Gratin Potatoes
- Pour a small amount of the cream sauce into the bottom of the pan and spread around
- Peel all the potatoes and slice 2 at a time. Make one layer of potatoes all facing the same direction and just slightly over lapping each other across the bottom of the pan
- Spoon a little (2-3 tbsp) of the cream sauce over the top of that layer of potatoes and sprinkle with Romano cheese
- Repeat until all potatoes are used, alternating the directions of the potatoes in each layer
- Press the potatoes down 2-3 different times during the building process to bring the cream to the top
- After placing the final layer of potatoes and cream press down to make sure the potatoes are under the cream. Sprinkle with a good amount of Romano over the top
- Bake for 40 minutes uncovered until you have a nice brown top then cover and continue baking another 15-20 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!