Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

I know, I know, au gratin potatoes aren’t the most authentic of Thanksgiving dishes since mashed taters usually take the starch center stage for this holiday. However, I have to say that I love a cheesy, creamy potato dish at Thanksgiving and since this one will be appearing at my Thanksgiving table (and probably Christmas, too!), I wanted to share it here.

This recipe takes all the delectable requirements of an au gratin potato dish and streamlines it into an easy, no-fuss process. The ingredients are simple and wholesome (in every caloric sense of the word, if you know what I mean) and the finished dish bakes up with perfectly cooked thinly sliced potatoes layered between creamy cheesy goodness and topped with a crunchy, browned crust.

I’ve tried a lot of au gratin potato dishes in my day and this is the one that makes me declare, “Bring on the potatoes, baby.”

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

One Year Ago: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two Years Ago: Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

Yield: Serves 6

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

Note: the key to this dish is the evenly sliced potatoes. It will be nearly impossible to accomplish this feat by hand, since the potatoes need to be sliced 1/8-inch thick. I don’t have a mandoline, which would work perfectly, however, a slicing disk on a food processor/shredder works great and in a pinch, I’ve used the slicing side of my box grater.


  • 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and adjust an oven rack to the middle position. In a large bowl, toss the cheeses and cornstarch together until evenly coated.
  2. In a large gratin dish (about a 2- to 3-quart dish), shingle half of the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes evenly with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with the remaining potatoes, shingling them neatly and evenly. Sprinkle another 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper evenly over the top.
  3. Combine the cream and the broth in a large measuring cup and pour the mixture over the potatoes. Top with the remaining cheese mixture and bake until golden brown and a fork inserted into the center slides in easily with little resistance, 75 to 85 minutes. Let the potatoes cool for 10 minutes. Serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Country April/May 2009

61 Responses to Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

  1. Julie says:

    I made these for the first time today, and they were fantastic! I loved the crusty brown cheese on top! That sounds weird, but it was so good. I had three big potatoes, and halved the recipe, using an 8×8 glass baking dish. After reading other comments about making it ahead, I washed the potatoes before- but not after- peeling them, and sprinkled lemon juice over them (I couldn’t taste it at all in the finished product). They weren’t brown at all. The tip about using the slicer on the side of the cheese grater was awesome! I used canned Parmesan cheese because that’s what I had on hand, but I kept the rest of the recipe the same. I assembled it at 11 am, kept it in the fridge for 1 1/2 hrs, then put it in the oven for two hours until it delayed start while we were at church. It was baked perfectly after 75 minutes. This is a keeper! Thanks Mel!

  2. Lindy says:

    Hey! I always get so confused with grated versus shredded Parmesan cheese. Are you referring to the powdery type grated or the shredded Parmesan?

  3. Sabina says:

    Has anyone tried adding garlic and or onion powder, if so how much did they use?

  4. Doni says:

    I have made these potatoes about 10 times now in the last 3 months – they go with everything and I get nothing but raves reviews when entertaining with them. This IS the recipe I will always use from now on. I would like to add that if you make 1 1/2 X the recipe (using 4 1/2 lbs of potatoes and adjusting cheeses and other ingredients accordingly) it fills a 9X13 pan nicely and cooks perfectly in the 75 minutes. A mandolin slicer makes perfect 1/8″ slices and it gets the job done pretty quickly. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mel's Kitchen Cafe Admin says:

      Doni – Mel doesn’t have access to internet right now so I’m helping her out with comments for the next few days. Thank you so much for letting us know your adjustments and how they worked out. Sounds delicious!

  5. Rachel says:

    I’m continplating making these in the slow cooker (on low) tomorrow for a potluck. Any thoughts on if it will work or not?

  6. Alicia says:

    I just made these for Easter dinner and they were a HUGE hit! Delicious! Thank you for another wonderful recipe.

  7. Nicole says:

    Hey Mel! I’m planning on making these and your Sweet Baked Ham for Easter dinner (thanks so much!!). I only have one oven. Do you have any tips/tricks/thoughts on how to make this go smoothly since they bake at different temps and times?
    Side note: I’m planning on doubling the potatoes, I’m not sure if that effects the baking time.
    Thanks again!!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Nicole – if it were me, I’d probably cook the potatoes for the allotted time (doubling shouldn’t greatly affect the time unless you are building them up double high instead of using a larger pan with more surface area – does that make sense?) and pop the ham in for about 20 minutes toward the end (versus the one hour the ham requires at 325). If possible, the ham would probably do better on an upper rack so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

  8. Kelly Mertz says:

    Would it be possible to substitute pasta for the potatoes in this recipe? I’m looking for a new baked Mac and cheese recipe.

  9. Amy Ramsay says:

    Merry Christmas, Mel! This dish made it even merrier. Even my daughter, who hates any potato that isn’t a French fry, gave it a thumb up. Thanks for being my go-to recipe site that gets my desire for culinary genius and my family’s need for for family-friendly.

  10. Joanne says:

    This recipe was delicious! Everyone enjoyed and it was creamy within and crispy on top. I had to add a little more of the heavy cream/ chicken stock….just a small additional mix of the two and it was PERFECT! Thank you for sharing!!!

  11. Lindy says:

    Are these still a favorite of yours? Have you ever doubled this recipe and put it in a 9×13?

    • Mel says:

      Lindy – yes, I love these potatoes! And the recipe doubles great for a 9X13-inch pan. The finished layers might be slightly more thick than in the 8X8-inch so just keep an eye on baking time (probably increase by a bit, I can’t remember exactly).

      • Lauren says:

        I was just hoping hopping on to read through the comments for an answer to this. Making them for a church potluck party tonight and definitely want to double it. Perfect! How important is it to have sharp cheddar? I only have mild on hand… I imagine it should be okay, just not as strong as if we used sharp.

  12. […] Mel’s Kitchen Café is a food blog that’s full of family-friendly recipes. Mel’s priority is to give her kids healthy food they’ll eat on a budget. Here, she gives you tips on getting a cheesy, creamy potato side dish. […]

  13. Diana says:

    I made this and it came out delish!!!! Can’t wait to make it again this year 🙂

  14. Tina says:

    Can I use an 8×8 2in deep or do you think that will be too thick?

  15. […] Au Gratin Potatoes Time: 20 minutes prep + 80 minutes to bake Yield: 6 servings Recipe adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe PRINT […]

  16. Jane says:

    I hope you don’t get tired of the rave reviews, but these potatoes are fabulous! Easy and straight-forward, it’s an all around great recipe. I have had no problems swapping out the cheeses when needed (gruyere and fontina this time – yummy!) and I have even held them for 3 hours in a warmer (!!!) and they still tasted great!

  17. Noelle says:

    Can you please suggest a brand and model number for a good mandolin that is reasonably priced? Please, no oxo good grips, as the handles are too humongous for my hands. Thank you.

  18. eloise says:

    Made these last night, and they were delish!!! will def make these agian.

  19. Rachel says:

    I’m the one who commented back on Nov. 13 about my own recipe separating in the oven. I tried yours tonight and it completely separated as well. It was totally unsalvagable, with the potatoes swimming in clear liquid and gross, curdled masses. I followed the recipe to a “T”. Help! What am I doing wrong? Last time I made mac & cheese the same thing happened. I don’t know how to keep the cheese from separating!

    • Mel says:

      Rachel – I’ve heard that cheese sauces can separate due to the cheese being melted at too high of a temperature (which is why in some cheesy bechamel sauces for mac and cheese the recipes state to add the cheese one handful at a time, stirring over low heat until melted, etc.). Since the method to the au gratin potatoes is different because it is all mixed in together, I’m really not sure why it separated on you. Perhaps next time you might try baking at a lower temperature. Maybe your oven bakes hotter than mine causing the separation?? Sorry it didn’t work out for you!

  20. Martha says:

    Hi Mel,
    These were the best potato’s, the boys loved them. Hope you had a great Mother’s Day!

  21. Kristi says:

    Mel! How would you feel about using half and half instead of the cream? I need a good way to use a lot of potatoes for tonight but I’m not going shopping till tomorrow. Help me : )

  22. Denise McEntee says:

    It actually didn’t turn out too bad! It definitely didn’t change colors. I’m sure it’s best straight from the oven, but this definitely ‘works’. We cooked it about 40-45 minutes, then planned an additional 20 mins the next day- but I think we had to do it longer- not sure if it was because we had so many other things in the oven. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  23. Denise McEntee says:

    Woops. I just put mine in the oven and decided to read the comments to see if I should not actually be making this ahead of time! Yikes! My plan was to bake it today (or most of the way) but wasn’t sure if that would mean they’d be dried out tomorrow. Oh well. I also made it in a 9×13 pan- so the tip on cooking it less is great! Well, we have lots of other foods planned if it doesn’t turn out. 🙁 Thanks everyone! Looks delicious anyway- maybe a late night snack tonight! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Denise – actually it may be ok if you bake it – mine turned an ugly gray color because I didn’t bake it immediately. I hope it turns out for you!

  24. Bridget says:

    I’m so glad i asked!!! Thank you much!

    PS – I work with Brian and I absolutely LOVE your site! It’s always my go to place for recipes. I’m making my first Thanksgiving dinner this year and I’m making your recipe with the brine, etc! So excited!!

    Have a great day!

  25. Bridget says:

    Do you think I can make these potatoes the day before Thanksgiving?


    • Mel says:

      Bridget – I’m actually glad you asked this question. Here’s the deal, a few months ago when I made these, I made them the morning before I wanted to bake them and stuck them in the refrigerator. When I pulled them out, I noticed the potatoes had oxidized a bit and had turned slightly pinkish but when I baked it, they literally turned completely gray. It was honest to goodness the ugliest thing that has ever come out of my oven! We ate them anyway and they tasted great but they looked terrible. So in answer to your question, unfortunately, this does not fare well being made ahead (although I have heard you can slice your potatoes and keep them submerged in cold water until you want to use them so you could possible get all the components assembled ahead of time and then compile it right before you bake it).

      • Jamie Griffith says:

        If you sprinkle just a little lemon juice on the top the potatoes will keep the color and not affect your recipe!!!!

        • Martha Honea says:

          Ladies, IMPORTANT–NEVER rinse your potatoes after peeling and slicing when making au gratin potatoes. In order for the cream mixture to stay creamy and not separate you cannot wash that layer of starch from the potatoes. Merely wash and scrub lightly your potato before peeling and start slicing!

  26. Debbie says:

    My family loved this recipe! We also did a 9×13 inch pan. We baked it for 60-65 minutes at 350 and it was perfect!

  27. grace says:

    three cheese magic, i say. i don’t think there’s any preparation of potatoes that i don’t like (although i draw the line at eating them raw…), but this is a favorite. gooey goodness, mel. 🙂

  28. Kira says:

    No need to experiment with a great recipe, if you think I need the cream- I will make a trip to get it! Thanks!

  29. Stacey says:

    THANK YOU so much for taking the time to write your blog! I have made so many of your amazing recipes and have LOVED everyone! That is not true of any other blog I use. These potatoes look really yummy and can’t wait to try them!

  30. [email protected] says:

    This was very good. I made it in a 9×13 it was too long and low. But this recipe is a keeper. Thank you for posting it.

    • Mel says:

      Kim – glad you liked the recipe and thanks for the tip on the 9X13 dish. The dish I make it in is a little smaller than the 9X13 dish so it helps give more layers to the potatoes. Again, thanks for checking in!

  31. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! For some reason, the last two times I tried to make au gratin potatoes using my recipe, the sauce separated in the oven and the meal was trashed. I’ve been looking for a simple recipe like this to replace my (clearly) defective one. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  32. alina says:

    There is nothing better in this world in my opinion than cheesy potato gratin – like heaven in a dish and definitely should have a place on the thanksgiving table!!

  33. StephenC says:

    Peter has his heart set on some Rachel Ray mish-mash for thanksgiving with potatoes and loads of other stuff. Personally I would prefer a gratin just like yours.

  34. Kim in MD says:

    I love au gratin potatoes, and your recipe looks delicious with different cheeses (I usually use gruyere) and the addition of chicken stock. Thanksgiving dinner at your house is sure going to be amazing with all of the fabulous recipes you have shared this week! I can’t wait to try this! Thanks, Melanie!

  35. I just got a mandoline for eggplants and zuchinni…now another use for it! I needed a rich and cheesy potato recipe 🙂

  36. Bruce The Low Carb King says:

    We have a mandolin, and it is available anytime you wish to use it.

  37. This dish looks slap-your-momma good. I just filed it away for date night! It looks like a real man-pleaser 🙂

  38. GiBee says:

    This looks delicious. I make one very similar to this recipe, but use different cheeses. I love the way the hot cheesy potatoes make your stomach feel full and warm.

  39. Kira says:

    These looks so good! I may include them in tonight’s dinner. Could I sub in sour cream or yogurt in place of the heavy cream? I just never have it on hand. And, your pictures have been gorgeous all week! Thanks.

    • Mel says:

      Kira – I don’t know as if sour cream or yogurt would be thin enough to coat the potatoes with the sauce like the cream does. Did you try it already? If you don’t want to use the heavy cream, I’d suggest maybe thinning down your sour cream or yogurt with milk but keep in mind that either of those might bake up weird (i.e. curdle??) in the oven. Let me know if you try it, you daring soul!

  40. Shawn says:

    Au Gratin Potatoes are my favorite way to have them! This looks divine! I think I need to find a good slicer so I can try to make it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *