Au Gratin Potatoes (Dauphinoise)

This is a great Make Ahead Dish for a Holiday or any time you're needing some rich and creamy, cheesy potatoes.  If making ahead of time just build it all completely and cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate.  When you're ready to bake it, take it out of the fridge and let get at least close to room temp for 45 mins to 1 hr and then Bake written in the recipe card below.  Enjoy!

  • Author: Katia
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 1hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American, French
  • Diet: Vegetarian



2 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, peeled & sliced into 1/8" thick slices (You can peel and hold them in water till you are ready to slice them.

2 cups shredded cheese (I use a mix of sharp cheddar cheese and a milder cheese like Monterey jack which my kids like)

Salt & Pepper to sprinkle or grind onto potato layers

Béchamel Cheese Sauce Ingredients

6 oz. gruyere cheese, shredded

3 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups milk (I prefer to use whole milk)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp salt (divided)

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Optional: 1 tsp hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Peel potatoes and hold them in a bowl of water.

Make your Béchamel Cheese Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir constantly so the garlic doesn't burn.
  2. Add in flour and continuously stirring cook for about 30 secs. 
  3. Whisk in milk and heavy cream gradually, keeping at a low simmer, about 1/2 cup at a time.  Slow down if you lose your simmer. 
  4. Add 1 tsp of sea salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper and hot sauce if you're adding it.
  5. Once sauce is thickened to about the consistency of heavy cream to buttermilk, turn burner down to low and whisk in your shredded gruyere cheese.
  6. Once fully melted, turn off burner and remove from heat.  Let sit while you start slicing and building the Au Gratin Potatoes.

Build your Au Gratin Dish

  1. Slice a few potatoes at a time or all if you can work fast and add them to your greased baking dish, in a "scalloped" fashion, overlapping about 1/3 of the way till you cover the bottom of the baking dish.
  2. Grind or sprinkle just a little salt and pepper to the potato layer.
  3. Spoon on a spread out about 1/3 of the béchamel sauce onto the potatoes
  4. Scatter about 1/3 of the shredded cheese atop the sauce and then make 2 more layers of potatoes, salt & pepper, sauce & cheese.
  5. Your top layer (the 3rd one will have the last of the scattered shredded cheese on top.
  6. Bake the Au Gratin for 1 hr at 375 F.  It should be nice and golden on top and bubbling.  You can test the tenderness with a sharp knife if you like before removing it from the oven.
  7. Let the potatoes sit for at least 10 minutes and then you can serve it by slicing it into squares.  



These Au Gratin Potatoes come out with a dense, yet light layered consistency that stays together nicely on a plate.  I like to serve it in squares or rectangles.  You can add a little chopped green onion, a scattering of fresh herbs or crumbled bacon on top.  

Keywords: potatoes, vegetarian, kid friendly, holiday, gratin, casserole, hot side dish

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