Gratin Dauphinois (Potatoes au Gratin)

Gratin Dauphinois is one of my favorite French recipes to make during the holidays. It’s the perfect potato side dish that pairs so well with chicken, pork, turkey, beef, or lamb.

You’ll love how the tender potatoes mingle with silky cream sauce and gooey gruyere cheese to create a sensational potato side dish that will be the talk of the table. It takes minimal ingredients to put together and can also be made a day ahead!

Gratin Dauphinois pairs beautifully with my Creamy Chicken Florentine Recipe!

a vertical image of a gratin dish filled with potatoes au gratin

Step-By-Step Video Demo of Gratin Dauphinois

What to Serve with Potatoes au Gratin?

Using a Mandoline

  • The best way to slice potatoes thinly for this recipe is with a mandoline. I personally really like the OXO Mandoline because it’s so sturdy and has some nice safety features too.
  • You can always use a knife if you don’t have a mandoline, but for even baking and layering, a mandoline is a great investment. You can also use it for my Potatoes Anna Recipe or my Vegetable Tian recipe too! 
  • Be sure to cut the potato in half before placing it in the safety guard, this will create a flat side for the mandoline blade to slice.
  • This helps to create a sturdier potato moving across the blade, which is a bit safer than a wobbly potato!

slicing a potato in half

Setting the Mandoline

Place the tip of the potato in the safety guard and then set the thickness. I like to use a setting of 1/16″ for this recipe. I find this creates the best thickness.

a collage of images showing slicing the potatoes in a madeleine

Set Up The Layering Station

Slicing the potatoes is the most tedious part of this recipe, but after they are all cut the rest goes pretty quickly. It’s best to have all the components set out “at-the-ready” so that the layering goes quickly too. 

cheese, cream mixture and garlic spread out on a cutting board
Components for layering the gratin dauphinoise

The Layering

  • In a greased 9 x 13 gratin pan, place the first batch of potatoes in a single layer. 
  • Then add a sprinkle of Gruyere cheese and a bit of the garlic
  • Then add another layer of potatoes, add the cheese, the garlic
  • Continue along this pattern of layering until all the potatoes, and garlic have been used up.
  • You should have about 1/2 cup of cheese left. 

one layer of sliced potatoes in the bottom of a gratin dish

Adding the Milk and Cream Mixture

  • At first, it will look like a lot of liquid for the number of potatoes
  • But the potatoes will absorb the milk/cream mixture while in the oven, as it bakes into the potatoes
  • Pour the mixture all over the potatoes, getting into all the nooks and crannies
  • Once all the mixture has been poured, level the dish by shaking it gently so that the mixture is evenly distributed

pouring milk and cream mixture on top of a potato casserole

Adding the Remaining Cheese

Add the remaining cheese on top. It will need at least 1/2 cup of cheese on top, to create that beautiful cheesy finish on top. Feel free to add more if you like up to 1 cup if desired. 

a person adding cheese to the top of a gratin dish

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • You can bake the gratin the day before and then allow to cool completely before refrigerating.
  • Cover with foil and then place it in the fridge.
  • To reheat, bake covered for 30 mins in a 375 oven, remove foil, and bake for another 10-15 mins more.
  • Alternatively, you can also freeze this casserole and then reheat it, covered at 375F for 40-50 mins. Then uncovered for 15 minutes.

Tight shot of baked cheese on top of potato casserole

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A gratin dish filled with potatoes au gratin

Gratin Dauphinois (Potatoes au Gratin)

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Gratin Dauphinois or (Potatoes au Gratin) is a classic French potato dish that combines silky bechamel sauce with garlic and gooey Gruyere cheese for a sublime potato side dish any time of the year.

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 1 ½ cup (350ml) heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cup (350ml) milk
  • 2 tsp (10ml) salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 ¾ cup (420ml) grated Gruyere cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat 325F (162C).
  2. Combine the milk and heavy cream in a large Pyrex pitcher.  Add salt and pepper, stir and set aside.
  3. Grease a 14” (35cm) gratin pan and set it aside.
  4. Mince garlic with a garlic press and place in a small bowl.
  5. Grate Cheese and place in a small bowl.
  6. Peel potatoes and slice 1/16 of an inch thick. Either with a Mandolin or with a knife.
  7. Place one single layer of potatoes in the gratin pan, add ¼ cup of the cheese and sprinkle 1/8 tsp of the garlic, repeat this process, layering potatoes, cheese and garlic until all 4 potatoes have been used.
  8. Slowly pour the cream and milk mixture on top of the layered potatoes making sure it is well distributed in all the nooks and crannies.
  9. Top potatoes with the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Bake uncovered for 1 hour 30 mins until a knife slides easily into potatoes and they are soft and tender.  If the cheese starts to brown too quickly cover with foil for the remaining duration of cooking time.


Notes

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • You can bake the gratin the day before and then allow to cool completely before refrigerating.
  • Cover with foil and then place it in the fridge.
  • To reheat, bake covered for 30 mins in a 375 oven, remove foil, and bake for another 10-15 mins more.
  • Alternatively, you can also freeze this casserole and then reheat it, covered at 375F for 40-50 mins. Then uncovered for 15 minutes.


Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 191mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 11g
Brownie cake scooped into a mug with ice cream

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14 Comments

  1. Beth,

    Aluminum foil should never touch food. Cover with “unbleached” parchment paper then cover with foil. Thanks Beth for all the delicious recipes and your trips to France. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  2. Could not wait to make this and it was indeed delicious BUT the cream/milk mixture broke leaving rather unappetizing white clotted cheese and milk throughout. When it says “béchamel sauce” in the descriptive, does it make itself in the pan? What have I done wrong as I’d like to serve this at our family dinner. Thanks!

    1. Oh Peg I’m so sorry! It’s my fault. It’s not technically a bechamel sauce, I was confusing it with a similar recipe I have for Zucchini Gratin that does use a bechamel sauce. I’ll fix that in the description ASAP. But a true bechamel sauce would fix this problem, which could be caused by too much moisture in the potatoes leaking into the sauce, or the cheese not being evenly distributed in each layer. But no worries, you can stabilize the mixture by using a bechamel, and just follow the recipe in the Zucchini Gratin recipe, since that will give you the right quantity, and proceed as directed with the layer of the cheese and garlic. Hope that helps and keep me posted!