Au Gratin Potatoes

Au Gratin Potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes, covered in a creamy cheese sauce and then topped with more cheese and baked in the oven until they are soft with a crispy, cheesy crust! It’s the perfect side dish for a holiday meal or really any meal for that matter! 

Growing up, I loved it when my mom would fix cheesy potatoes (aka-Au Gratin Potatoes!)  We typically had them when we had a ham dinner, with buttery pull-apart rolls and roasted veggies! But we never had leftovers because everyone loved this cheesy potato casserole with its crispy cheesy crust! 

Au gratin potatoes on dish

Au Gratin vs Scalloped Potatoes

You may feel intimidated by the words, Au Gratin, but don’t be! In French, Au Gratin means “by grating” or “with a crust.” This potato recipe is au gratin because we top the thinly sliced potatoes with an extra layer of cheese before baking, giving it a delicious cheesy crust! 

Many people confuse au gratin potatoes with scalloped potatoes, and for awhile so did I! They both consist of thinly, round sliced potatoes, baked in a casserole dish. And both are extremely yummy!

The difference is that scalloped potatoes are traditionally cut thicker and covered in a cream sauce, infused with garlic and fresh herbs. And au gratin potatoes are thinner, covered in a cheese sauce and then topped with more cheese or bread crumbs before being baked.  

Thin sliced potatoes in baking dish

How to Make Au Gratin

When making Au Gratin Potatoes, I like to use russet or yukon gold potatoes, because they are higher in starch and therefore able to absorb more of the sauce and they hold their shape well! 

The key is to slice your potatoes thin enough to fully cook (no one likes a crunch potato!) but not to think that they fall apart and become mushy. I aim to cut my potatoes so they are ¼ inch thick.

I prefer to use my mandoline slicer to cut my potatoes. The mandoline slicer is nice because your slices are more consistent and it is faster! But if you don’t have one, don’t fret because you can also use your regular knife and cutting board! 

And finally, decide what type of cheese you want to use. Traditionally Au Gratin Potatoes use Gruyere cheese. It can be expensive and hard to find. If I can find it, I like to mix it with cheddar. However, most of the time I use a blend of cheddar and Colby jack! 

  Au gratin potato side dish picture

Storing + Tips

PREP: I love making these potatoes for Thanksgiving or Christmas and the best part is you can prep them the day before! Follow the instruction all the way up to the point of topping your potatoes with the final layer of shredded cheese! Then cover and refrigerate for up to a day. 

When you are ready to bake, let them sit on the counter for 20 minutes prior to baking! Don’t forget to top with the final layer of cheese!

STORING: Once baked, your Au Gratin Potatoes will stay good in an airtight container for 3-5 days in your refrigerator. You can also freeze them, just let them thaw in the refrigerator the day before you plan on eating them! 

REHEAT: To reheat you can nuke them real quick in the microwave or cover with foil and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Cheesy au gratin potatoes in baking dish

As you can see, there is no need to be intimidated by Au Gratin Potatoes! They are simple to make but bursting with flavor! Give them a try and let us know what you think. We have a feeling you’ll love them. 

For more potato recipes:

Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe

Au Gratin Potatoes Are Thinly Sliced Potatoes, Covered In A Creamy Cheese Sauce And Then Topped With More Cheese And Baked In The Oven Until They Are Soft With A Crispy, Cheesy Crust! It’s The Perfect Side Dish For A Holiday Meal Or Really Any Meal For That Matter! 
4.69 from 83 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 50 mins
Servings: 8
Calories: 430kcal
Author: LifeMadeSimpleTeam
Print Recipe


  • 6 medium russet potatoes, rinsed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. half & half
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 c. total grated cheddar and colby jack cheese mixture - divided in half
  • 1 tbsp. sliced chives (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lighty spray or butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Arrange potatoes by fanning them in three lines across the pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 additional minute.
  • Whisk in the flour, cook until lightly golden in color, then slowly pour in the half & half, whisking until all of the liquid has been incorporated. Whisk in salt and pepper. Add in ¾ cups of the cheese mixture and whisk until the cheese is melted into the sauce.
  • Pour mixture over the potatoes. Top with the remaining ¾ cup of the cheese mixture.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 15-30 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Top with fresh chives, if desired.


Nutrition Facts
Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. 5 stars
    I’m guilty of assuming au gratin and scalloped potatoes were the same thing until now! Thanks for sharing this. Lovely recipe but also so informative.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve always had a tough time getting the right texture when I make au gratin potatoes but these turned out perfectly! Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      This is the recipe guests will ask you for once they taste it! Honestly I made this with baked chicken for my family and ended up making grilled cheese for the kids so my husband and I could eat the whole pan ourselves.

  3. 5 stars
    Yum. Made these tonight to go with grilled pork chops. Used potatoes I had on hand which may not have equalled 6 medium potatoes. I used a somewhat smaller dish (maybe 7 x 11) and added the recipe of sauce. So good. Also, since I live 28 miles from a good store, I used heavy cream I had on hand instead of half and half. This recipe is certainly a keeper.

    1. That all sounds perfect! I am glad you substituted & that you liked it! Thank you so much!

  4. 5 stars
    This is an excellent recipe. I’ve made it twice, using the quicker microwave method both times. It lends itself well to seasoning with additional flavors.

  5. Dont know if 1 1/2 cups of cheddar and 1 1/2 of colby which is 3 cups of cheese total or a total of 1 1/2 cups total. The wording is confusing me.

    1. Sorry for the confusion! I will make sure and word that better in the recipe. The mixture of cheddar and colby jack cheese equals 1 1/2 cups total.

    1. Yes it does. Thanks so much for catching that! The 1 1/2 cups of cheese that the recipe calls for is divided so you mix in 3/4 cup of cheese at the end of step 3 and then top with the remaining 3/4 cup of cheese before baking it in the oven. I will make sure and change that in the instructions. Thank you!

      1. I noticed your response to a comment from Beth on Apr 1, 2021 thanking her for catching an error regarding when to use cheese in recipe. You said you would be sure to change in the instructions, but it’s now almost 1 1/2 yrs later and I see no changes. I think making that correction is important!

        1. Hi Lloyd, not sure why that didn’t get done then, but it is fixed now. Thanks for letting us know!

  6. I wish I had seen your April 2, 2021 reply to the cheese being added to the sauce then the cheese added to the top. I have put everything tonight to bake tomorrow. What should I do to incorporate the cheese sauce now.
    Thank you

    1. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to respond to this before you baked it. How did the potatoes turn out?

  7. 5 stars
    This is the best and the easiest au gratin potato recipe …my friends and family love it … They beg me to bring my potatoes on holidays …i really enjoy them with meatloaf …thank you for sharing your recipe …..

  8. Increased butter and flour to 3 tb., added bay leaf, 1 tsp fresh thyme and tb. Dried chives to infuse in milk butter mixture, then folded in cheese to sauce and spread on top to bake, covered, for one hour, uncovered 15 min more. Yum

  9. 5 stars
    Easy and yummy! Family loved it. No left overs 😄 This is definitely on my repeat list. (I’m a so-so cook, so I love a recipe that makes me look like I know what I’m doing) Win!

  10. 5 stars
    Best and easy recipe to make. This was my first-time making au-gratin from scratch and not out of a box. I will tell you it was a fabulous hit with my family. We never knew how great au-gratin potatoes were until I made these. This is my go-to each time making them in the future. I can’t say enough good things about this recipe.