Is there really anything more satisfying or delicious than Potato Gratin? This is where it’s at when it comes to truly luxurious, delicious comfort food. I always make this recipe whenever I’m entertaining; I am not afraid to admit that I am a one-trick pony. The truth is, other sides just can’t compete with thinly sliced potatoes in a rich, creamy, garlicky sauce and a crispy, cheesy topping.

Potato Gratin

Potato Gratin is a classic and I prepare it with a little twist by laying the potatoes vertically. It not only looks impressive but I love the balance between the soft, tender potatoes on the bottom and the crunchiness up top. It feeds a crowd, everyone loves it and it is the ultimate make-ahead potato side dish! It is so gratifying having a big tray of this ready and plonking it in the oven when you need it! In saying that though, I never only make one tray; I always make two, because the demand from my family and friends is real!

Potato Gratin

Can you make Potato Gratin ahead of time?

Cook Potato Gratin as per the recipe, cover with foil and refrigerate up to 48 hours before your event. Cover and reheat in a 200°C/400°F (180°C fan) oven for 45 minutes or until warmed.

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Potato Gratin

Potato Gratin

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1.5 kg (3 lb) potatoes, any variety, peeled and thinly sliced (see note 1)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups (480 ml) thickened/heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp garlic, freshly minced
  • 2 tsp salt flakes
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked 
  • 1 cup (120 g) cheddar cheese, shredded (I used tasty cheese, see note 2)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F (180°C fan).
  2. In a medium-sized baking dish (see note 3), arrange the potatoes vertically.
  3. Combine the butter, thickened cream, garlic, salt and chicken stock powder in a jug, and mix well to combine. You may find that the butter solidifies a little bit in the cream which is fine. Pour the mixture directly over the potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves, followed by the cheese.
  5. Cover with baking paper (to stop the cheese sticking), followed by the foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 mins or until the potatoes are cooked and the potato is pierced with a fork easily.
  6. Remove the foil and grill/broil for 15 minutes or until golden (keep an eye on it during the grilling process as it happens quickly!). 
  7. Use a spoon to scoop and serve. 

Notes

Note 1 – Most recipes will tell you that starchy potatoes are best and they are great – they do a great job at absorbing the sauce and becoming soft and tender. But my philosophy is whichever potatoes are the best value are best. I usually buy what is on special. I have made this potato gratin with waxy potatoes many times and it is equally delicious. The biggest difference is that the texture of the potatoes is a little more slippery, which is no biggie for me. To prepare the potatoes, they need to be sliced as thinly as possible (aim for 3 mm or 1/8″ thick). You can use a sharp knife, a mandolin slicer or a food processor (I’ve made this recipe with all of these methods throughout the years and I now use this food processor). 

 

Note 2 – Any melting cheese will do, like tasty, Colby or cheddar. Or if you are feeling extra fancy and indulgent, Gruyère cheese is the Rolls Royce of cheeses for this recipe; it’s flavour-packed and melts beautifully. Whichever cheese you choose, it is best to grate your own. Many of the shredded varieties at the supermarket include anti-caking agents which stop it from melting smoothly. 

 

Note 3 – My round baking dish is 25 cm or 10″ in diameter; you could use a rectangular or oval dish approximately 36 x 20 cm or 14 x 8″. 

 

MAKE AHEAD 

Potato Gratin is one of the easiest potato sides to make ahead! Cook it as per the recipe, cover with baking paper (to stop the cheese sticking), followed by foil and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours. To reheat, keep it covered and heat it in a 200°C/400°F (180°C fan) oven for 45 minutes or until warmed through. 

 

LEFTOVERS

Potato Gratin leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days (provided it has been made fresh). The oils from the cream may separate once reheated, but the taste will be equally delicious! 

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Category: side dish, potato
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: French