This Potatoes au Gratin with Gruyere uses both sweet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes for a show stopping side dish. This easy potato recipe uses just ten ingredients and is simple enough to make for a weeknight dinner but elegant enough for any holiday meal.
This recipe is from my cookbook Live Life Deliciously: Recipes for Busy Weeknights and Leisurely Weekends.
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, it has only ten ingredients!
I've turned a classic potato gratin recipe ON ITS SIDE! (literally!) Plus I use two types of potatoes here, sweet potatoes and Yukon Gold.
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 for a beginner cook to make 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 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.
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.
Listen, in all my days I've never eaten scalloped potatoes that didn't have cheese. I think most American scalloped potato recipes love a good cheese addition, so the definitions have been blurred.
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 potato slices are super thin.
The best spuds for a two potato gratin are sweet potatoes and Yukon Golds. Sweet potatoes make this dish so flavorful and even more beautiful. Plus, the different flavors make every bite of this gratin interesting.
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 this gratin, but sharp white cheddar works too.
How to Make Potatoes Gruyere au Gratin
If you think making a potato 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.
Pro Tip: When slicing regular Yukon Gold potatoes on a mandolin, you can do this up to a couple of hours in advance and hold the potatoes in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from discoloring. Just be sure to pat the slices very very dry before layering.
What to serve with Potatoes Au Gratin
Two potato gratin is best served immediately since the tops of the potatoes are crispy and the bottoms are tender. To store any leftovers, place the potatoes into an airtight container for in the fridge for up to four days.
Reheat the gratin in the microwave or a covered oven-safe dish in the oven for a few minutes until warmed through.
You can also freeze the cheesy potatoes in an airtight container for up to one month. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge overnight. Reheat as mentioned above.
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! Perfect slices.
You can make this recipe without one, but your slices will be uneven and it will take you FOREVER to cut all the slices.
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.
Scalloped potatoes don't use cheese, although often recipes do add cheese to them. Au gratin potatoes are sprinkle with cheese between each layer as well as on top.
Yes, fee free to use either! The recipe will still be delicious.
Be sure to pat the potatoes very dry after thinly slicing. If you placed your potatoes in water to prevent from discoloring, be sure to pat extra dry in this case.
Be sure to also let the gratin rest for 15 minutes after baking, after the gratin sits, it allows the excess water to be absorbed into the vegetables again and the sauce to thicken.
More easy potato recipes:
I absolutely love side dishes. Honestly, I think they're usually the best part of the meal. Try some of these other favorites:
- Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Sweet Potato Cubes with Cinnamon Meringue
- Shortcut Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Herbed Potato Flatbread
Let me know how it went!
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Potatoes Gruyere au Gratin
- 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
- Heat 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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Photography by Ty Mecham. Updated 10/23.