This Gruyere potatoes au gratin is simple enough to make for a weeknight dinner but elegant enough for any holiday meal. Sweet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, cheese, and lots of herbs come together to make a delicious side dish.
This recipe is from the cookbook Live Life Deliciously: Recipes for Busy Weeknights and Leisurely Weekends.
Easy, Cheesy au Gratin Potatoes
Does making a potato gratin intimidate you? Well, it shouldn't! This dish looks so impressive but is actually SO simple to put together.
I've turned everything you know about potato gratin ON ITS SIDE!
Instead of layering the potatoes and cheese flat in a casserole dish, I've turned the thin slices of potato on their side and nestled them into the baking pan. It's easy enough and takes zero extra time!
When you bring this dish to your next social gathering, your friends and family will think that you spent all day on this Gruyere potatoes au gratin.
Potatoes au Gratin vs. Scalloped Potatoes
I'm going to be honest, I've never met a potato baked in cream and cheese I didn't like, so what you want to call it is up to you! However, technically there is a difference between scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin.
The main differentiator between scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin is cheese. Potatoes au gratin uses grated cheese, usually a Gruyere or cheddar. Scalloped potatoes are cooked in only heavy cream or milk.
Listen, in all my days I've never eaten scalloped potatoes that didn't have cheese. I think the American set loves a good cheese addition, so the lines have been blurred. Again, I'm not complaining.
More differences technically include the fact that scalloped potato slices tend to be thicker than au gratin. In my cheesy au gratin potatoes, that is definitely the case; my slices are super thin.
Au gratin means: covered with bread crumbs or grated cheese and browned (like you would under a broiler). The French prefix "au" is often left off as a dish then becomes referred to as A Gratin.
A thought on the origin of the name scalloped potatoes is that it came from an older English word, “collops”, meaning, among other things, slices of meat. It is also closely related to the French word, escalope.
Ingredients in Gruyere Potatoes au Gratin
The best potatoes for gratin are sweet potatoes and Yukon Golds. Sweet potatoes make this dish so flavorful and even more beautiful. I LOVE the way the alternating colors look. Plus, the different flavors make every bite of this gratin interesting.
Besides the two types of potatoes, you're also going to need a variety of dried herbs and spices — garlic, parsley, thyme, sage, and rosemary — as well as a little whole milk and chicken broth.
To add some flavor, add ½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion and a nutty cheese like Gruyere. I prefer using Gruyere to make potatoes au gratin, but sharp white cheddar works too.
How to Make Gruyere Potatoes au Gratin
If you think making a savory and sweet potato gratin is difficult, think again! This is such an easy recipe, but the slicing and assembling of the potatoes does require some patience.
- Peel both kinds of potatoes, and cut into very thin slices.
- In a large bowl, gently toss potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, cheese, and onion.
- Working with a small handful of potatoes at a time, gently line up coated slices in a 2-quart baking dish.
- Pour milk and broth over potatoes.
- Cover pan with foil and seal around edges.
- Bake 50 minutes and remove foil. Continue to bake until potatoes are tender and top is golden.
Can Fresh Herbs Be Used Instead?
Yes! This recipe is a great way to use the fresh herbs you have leftover from a holiday meal or the last bits after a week of cooking.
I use fresh herbs in the spring and summer when they are plentiful and cheap. I’ll use my spice cupboard in the winter months. Use double the amount of fresh as you would dry.
What to Serve with Potatoes Au Gratin
Tips for the Best Potatoes au Gratin
To make this quick and easy potato gratin recipe even faster, use a mandoline to thinly slice the potatoes. If you don't have a mandoline, consider getting one. This Stainless Steel Mandoline on Amazon is a great one.
With a mandoline, you don't have to fiddle with a big knife and a little potato. All you have to do is run it across the blade and voila! Perfectly sliced potatoes.
You can make this recipe without one, but your slices will be uneven and it will take you FOREVER to cut all the slices.
More Easy Potato Side Dishes:
I absolutely love side dishes. Honestly, I think they're usually the best part of the meal. Especially if they're carb-loaded and full of flavor!
I have so many delicious potato side dish recipes on my blog to choose from.
- Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Sweet Potato Cubes with Cinnamon Meringue
- Shortcut Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Herbed Potato Flatbread
Cheese And Herb Potato Gratin Recipe
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 6 small Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 8 ounces Gruyère or sharp white cheddar grated (2 cups)
- ½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion chopped
- ½ cup whole milk or half-and-half
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel potatoes, and, using a mandolin or vegetable slicer, cut into very thin slices. In a large bowl, gently toss potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, cheese, and onion, until everything is evenly mixed. Be careful not to break the thin potato slices.
- Working with a small handful of potatoes at a time, gently line up coated slices in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 2-quart baking dish. Pour milk and broth over potatoes. Cover pan with foil and seal around edges.
- Bake 50 minutes and remove foil. Continue to bake until potatoes are tender and top is golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. You can test the potatoes with a knife to see if they are tender throughout. Cool slightly and serve hot.
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Photography by Ty Mecham.