If it isn’t plain to see the way to my heart is simple: potatoes and cheese. This recipe truly brings on all the feelings of comfort and happiness. Easy cheesy potatoes Au Gratin is a classic side dish. A recipe able to hold its own at any family meal, holiday gathering, potluck or dinner party! Guaranteed to have everyone coming back for seconds and thirds.
It is easy to pair this potatoes Au Gratin with all the classic holiday favorites. You cannot go wrong with double layers of tender potatoes, sautéed onions smothered in a savory cream sauce, then topped with fresh Swiss and parmesan cheeses. This is potato perfection is potatoes elevated beautifully. I love that this dish is perfect for serving at Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving; but also simple enough to prepare for your every day Tuesday night family meal.
Au Gratin vs Scalloped
So, what exactly is the difference between Au Gratin potatoes and Scalloped potatoes? With being so similar the two names often are used interchangeably for this dish. They are however two different ways to prepare potatoes.
A true Au Gratin potato dish calls for layers of grated cheeses, thicker sliced potato rounds and is creamy and served with more sauce typically. Scalloped potatoes on the other hand are sliced thinner and layered between heavy cream and herbs.
Both equally yummy, it just comes down to what flavors you are looking to hone in on. Today we are excited to share one of our holiday favorites, Easy Cheesy potatoes Au Gratin!
Even and Uniformed
When collecting ingredients for this dish we suggest sticking with a Yukon or Russet potato. Either are known for best holding their shape when baked. An advantage to the Yukon potato is that it does have a more tender skin which means no peeling needed and more time saved!
Now when it comes to slicing your potatoes you have a few options. You can either slice them yourself. The best way slice a potato is after peeling cut a flat edge on one side so it doesn’t get away from you while slicing. Next, flat side down, continue to cut round slices at your desired thickness level.
The quickest ways to achieve even slices would be to use a tool like a hand-held slicer or mandoline. If you don’t have a mandoline but are looking to add one to your arsenal of kitchen tools grab our favorite HERE.
Whichever method you choose it is important to remember that having even, uniformed slices will help guarantee an even cook for each potato slice. Having an even cook means that every bite is tender perfection.
Make it Your Own
Now that we have all our bases covered let’s talk about making this dish your own! And let’s be honest, this is the fun part. There are so many ways to take this simple dish and spruce it up so you never get tired of bringing this recipe to the table, over and over again.
One of the more popular and well-known enhancements would be adding cubed ham. Chunks of salty and savory ham add a nice flavor profile. Plus, with the added ham you could easily turn this side dish into a main dish!
Another fun way to breathe life into a casserole classic is turning it into a Loaded Au Gratin potato bar. You can have all your favorite potato toppings available for a personal customizing experience. Green onion, bacon, breadcrumbs, broccoli and sour cream to name a few, I mean really … the options are endless.
Pro Chef – Mom Hacks
Now that we have the flavors locked in let’s discuss, are you someone who enjoys casserole dishes with a crispier or more ooey-gooey-melty finish?
If you, like me, prefer a crispier finish turn your oven to broil the last 3-4 minutes of cook time. Nothing is better than the contrast of crispy edges and cheesy tender potatoes on the inside.
Another reason to love easy cheesy potatoes Au Gratin is that the recipe can be prepared ahead of time! Get everything layered in the dish beforehand and when it is time to eat, pull out the casserole and pop in the oven to cook.
If you have any leftovers you’d like to keep they should be good in the fridge for 3-4 days. When re-heating, the potatoes may break down a bit but they will taste just as delicious.
Double and Freeze
Maybe you want to double the recipe and save a casserole dish for later. Not a problem! I would suggest preparing as normal except when there is 8-10 minutes of cook time left, pull the dish from the oven. Allow the dish to cool entirely and then store in the freezer.
Reheating from Frozen
When ready to serve pull out, reheat and allow your potatoes to finish cooking till tender. Just barely undercooking the potatoes during the first cook will help prevent them from breaking down too much in the second cook/reheat.
- 1 teaspoon butter, softened
- 1/2 large diced onion
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 6 medium potatoes
- 1 cup shredded Swiss
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- In a pan saute garlic and onion with the butter on medium heat.
- Once onions are translucent combine cream, milk, salt, and pepper in the pan. Bring to a slow boil. When you see bubbles forming around the sides go ahead and remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- While the mixture is cooling thinly slice the potatoes so that they are roughly ⅛ inch thick and place potatoes on a paper towel to pat dry.
- Layer the bottom of your greased baking dish with half of the potatoes in a single layer.
- Pour half of the sauce mixture over the potatoes and sprinkle half of the cheeses over the top.
- Repeat all layers using remaining ingredients.
- Place dish in oven and bake uncovered for 55-65 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- There are a lot of great ways to step up the flavor profile in this dish by adding cubed ham and make it a stand alone meal.
- Looking for something fun?! Turn this classic casserole into a Loaded Au Gratin potato bar by serving alongside all your favorite baked potato toppings. A lot of topping suggestions above in the Make It Your Own section.
- Great recipe to prepare ahead and cook when ready to enjoy, which makes this the BEST recipe for the holidays!
- Double the recipe and freeze for later. Find suggestions for freezing above in the Thinking Ahead section.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 360mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g
As mentioned these potatoes are the perfect side dish for all those upcoming holiday meals. If looking for other recipes both traditional and non-traditional, consider giving our holiday favorites a try!