Perfect Potatoes au Gratin

5 from 8 votes

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Pioneer Womans Potatoes au Gratin are creamy, cheesy and done in less than an hour. Plus, they are made using whole potatoes – no peeling needed!

top view of a pan of au gratin potatoes
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These potatoes au gratin are very literally perfect: starchy, cheesy, and laden with potato goodness. I love when recipes are not only delicious but easy to boot. You don’t even have to peel the potatoes!

These potatoes make the perfect side for any grilled meat and are one of my favorite dishes to take to potlucks and family dinners. It’s a recipe that you need in your archive. And if eating gluten-free is an issue for you or a family member, I have instructions on how to make this dish gluten-free in the notes.

close up view of a serving of au gratin potatoes

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Comfort Food Classic: It’s warm, cheesy, and satisfying, perfect for cozy dinners on cold nights or any other time you need some cheesy goodness.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: These potatoes are always a hit at family gatherings, potlucks, and holiday dinners.
  • Versatile Side Dish: Potatoes au gratin pair go with just about anything so you can add them to all kinds of meals.


  • Butter
  • Potatoes: about 2 pounds total
  • Heavy Cream
  • Milk: whole or 2%
  • Flour
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities 

two small plates of au gratin potatoes with forks

How to Make Perfect Potatoes au Gratin

Step #1. Preheat the oven and butter an 8×8 baking dish. Set aside.

Step #3. Whisk the cream, milk, flour, garlic, salt, and pepper together. Pour over the potatoes.

Step #2. Scrub the potatoes then slice them and then quarter the slices. Place them in the bottom of the baking dish.

Step #4. Cover and bake the potatoes. After 40 minutes, remove foil. Bake 10 minutes then sprinkle with cheese. Bake 3-5 more minutes then serve.

What does au Gratin mean?

The phrase au Gratin refers to a dish that has a crusty top of some sort. It usually consists of cheese, eggs and sometimes bread crumbs.

What is the difference between potatoes au gratin and scalloped potatoes?

The difference is in the cheese. Scalloped potatoes are baked in a simple cream sauce. Potatoes au Gratin are a more decadent and cheesy concoction. 

Can I make gluten free au Gratin potatoes?

Yes! To make this recipe gluten-free, switch out the 2 tablespoons of flour with 1 tablespoon of corn starch.

What are the best potatoes to use for au Gratin Potatoes?

Russet potatoes are recommended for this recipe because of their starch content. They hold together well and cook up into nice soft pieces that stay together. That being said, I have used all kinds of potatoes and it still turns out and tastes great each time.

a pan of au gratin potatoes with some already served

Expert Tips

  • Use a mandolin or food processor to quickly and evenly slice the potatoes. You can even quarter them lengthwise beforehand then they will be ready to go into the baking dish as soon as they are sliced.
  • Grating your own cheese is always a great idea. Pre-shredded cheese is sprinkled with something to keep it from sticking which can keep it from being it’s meltiest.
  • Using all heavy cream instead of milk and heavy cream with be a richer sauce.
spoonful of potatoes au gratin with the words "perfect potatoes au gratin" written at the top

What to Serve with Perfect Potatoes au Gratin

More Potato Recipes to Consider

top view of a baking dish filled with potatoes au gratin and a serving spoon
5 from 8 votes

Perfect Potatoes au Gratin

This easy Potatoes au Gratin recipe is made using whole potatoes (no peeling needed), cream, butter, and cheese and are done in less than an hour.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 8


  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 large baking potatoes or 8 smaller potatoes, about 2 pounds total
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk, whole or 2%
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
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  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Grease the bottom and sides of a baking dish with the softened butter.
  • Wash and scrub the potatoes clean but don’t worry about peeling them. Slice the potatoes into thick slices (somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick), then stack the slices and cut them into 4 pieces. Put all of the potato pieces in the bottom of the baking dish.
  • In a small bowl whisk the cream, milk, flour, garlic, salt, and pepper together. Pour the mixture over the potatoes.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the cheese to the hot dish and bake for another 3-5 minutes until the cheese is all melted. Serve hot.


  • To make this recipe gluten-free, switch out the 2 tablespoons of flour with 1 tablespoon of corn starch.
  • Use a mandolin or food processor to quickly and easily slice the potatoes.
  • Heavy cream in place of the milk will give you a richer, creamier sauce. 
  • Keep any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge.


Serving: 1 of 8 servings, Calories: 394kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 435mg, Potassium: 859mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 913IU, Vitamin C: 37mg, Calcium: 173mg, Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Connie Rosario says:

    5 stars
    Alas, I didn’t have cream, so I made the sauce with a can of cream of mushroom, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 cup carnation. I have a lot of shredded colby jack so can’t wait.

    1. Melissa says:

      Ohhhhhh friend, that sounds so good! I’m making this tonight too!

  2. JKappy says:

    I’m making this now. It’s been in the oven at 400 for an hour and the potatoes are still hard. Only PW recipe I’ve ever made that’s failed me. It’ll probably taste good, but it’s going to take twice as long to get done as I’d planned for.

    1. Melissa says:

      Hmmmm… something is off. Normally a medium potato takes an hour to cook when it whole (like a baked potato) so your oven must be off or you loaded up the pan to full…

  3. Donnetta says:

    I made this dish so yummy. Can you make this ahead and freeze it?

  4. Bo says:

    Can you make this up the day before and keep it in the fridge and just pop it in the oven when you are ready to cook?

    1. Melissa says:

      Yep, that’ll work just great! Just be sure to add about 5 minutes extra in the cooking time to account for starting with cold tators!

  5. C says:

    What size pan?

    1. Melissa says:

      It’s a 2 quart baking dish, so a 9×13 and a 9×9 inch both work fine for this.

  6. Linda Berglund says:

    When you say baking dish about what size are you thinking? 9×13″ 8-9″ square? It looks delish…but I would like to start out right. Thank you! Linda

    1. Melissa says:

      You can do a 9×13 inch baking dish or a 9×9 inch pan, both will fit this recipe just fine.