Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin

These scalloped potatoes can be made ahead and then baked last-minute. You can use Gruyere or Parmesan. A perfect and easy side for busy holiday dinners! 

Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin Today my sister and I took our kids to a children’s museum. Just before you enter they have these big outdoor xylophones for the kids to play with. We were all playing some tunes, and after a minute I look over and see this post about waist-high that has a wooden casing around it. I thought, “ooh, percussion!” And proceeded to tap and knock and whistle at it for a good 30 seconds before I realized that it really was just a post. Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin Um, for real Karen? Good thing I was stealthy about it, or a crowd might have started to gather. “Let’s watch the idiot investigate the pole.” It reminded me of the time when I was at Ikea and couldn’t find the elevator call button. No, not the elevator, I was standing right next to that, but really just the button. There was an arrow pointing to an empty space on the button panel, so I assumed it was like some new-fangled European sensor thing. I’m like rubbing my fingers on it, trying to tap it, and eventually asked some other customers how to work this crazy Swedish button thing. Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au GratinSo the lady of course reaches down and pushes the button. It was like 3 inches from where my hand was. And then I had to ride the elevator with them while they surreptitiously positioned themselves between myself and their children, just in case the Crazy Lady tried to bust a move. (Here’s the elevator-button-diagram-for-idiots I drew. Have a look. It will help you feel good about yourself.) Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin This happened to me again just last Saturday. I was driving across Texas to get from my best friend’s house to my sister’s house (If I’m going to fly all the way to Texas, I’m going to see both of them, dangit, even if it means spending 7 hours crossing one sixteenth of the state. Texas is so freaking huge.) Anyway, my phone is about to die, so I go to plug it in, but I can’t find the outlet thing in my rental car. I’m pulled over on the side of the road, literally in the middle of nowhere with zero service, so I can’t even call Eric to make him help me find the outlet in the rental car that he has never before seen. (I guarantee you he would find it.) Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin I’m on my own and I’m kinda getting desperate; if my phone dies I have no GPS, no phone, and most importantly no way to finish the book I was listening to (The Fault in Our Stars. Have you read it?? Love. NO SPOILERS I HAVEN’T FINISHED!!) I probably pushed and pulled and massaged every square inch of that dashboard, hoping that some secret panel containing the outlet I needed would magically pop out. I even started driving again so that I could clear my head and think of where to push next. (I did find it eventually, when my phone was down to 6%. It was in the backseat. I know, what?) Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin I feel like these potatoes pretty much scream, Hellooooooo Easter! I know, I know, it’s a little early to be posting Easter recipes. I should be working on dying everything green for St. Patrick’s Day, but I just couldn’t help myself. We made these for Christmas dinner this year and it was fabuloso. Everyone was talking about them. I didn’t even make it to Valentine’s Day before I made them again. I feel like all I really need to say about this recipe is that it is potatoes boiled in cream, then baked. Yes, straight up cream. No wussy water added, no butter, just heavy cream in all it’s creamy glory. And then some delicious spices and cheese of course. It is classic, simple, no fuss. Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin I love this recipe because it’s soooooo easy. If you have a food processor or mandoline, then it takes 15 minutes to throw together. If you don’t, then I would still say it’s easy, just a bit more time-consuming because you have to slice the potatoes by hand. I really love the flavor the gruyère adds, but if you’re not into that, fresh Parmesan is a great substitute. It goes great with MEAT. Ham, steak, chicken, take your pick. It would be pretty amazing with this Raspberry Chipotle Glazed Ham that I posted a million years ago. 

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Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin

Yield: Serves 8


  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded Gruyère cheese
  • fresh basil, to garnish


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Wash and scrub your potatoes. Fix the slicer blade onto your food processor. Feed the potatoes in 1 or 2 at a time until they are all sliced. If you don't have a food processor, just use a very sharp knife to slice them into 1/8 inch slices. (A mandoline works great too.)
  2. In a large pot add the sliced potatoes, cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and minced garlic. Set the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally until the cream boils. (Stir gently so that you don't break up the potatoes.)
  3. Pour the mixture into a 2.5 or 3 quart baking dish. Shake it around to settle the potatoes, then sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
  4. Bake in the oven at 400 F for about 40 minutes, or until they are extremely fork-tender. You will know it is done when the cream is thickened and the top is dark brown. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so don't worry if you think it looks overly-liquidy.
  5. Let the potatoes stand for about 15 minutes before serving with fresh chopped basil.


You can replace one cup of the heavy cream with whole milk.

If you don't have Gruyere, fresh Parmesan works great too.

This is a great make-ahead recipe, so it's perfect for holidays when you are super busy. Just do everything the same except don't add the cheese. When you are ready to bake, sprinkle on the cheese and bake about 15-20 minutes longer than normal, or until the top is dark brown.
 Source: lightly adapted from Fine Cooking Gruyere-Crisped Potatoes Au GratinSlicing the potatoes in a food processor seriously takes about 2 minutes. Gruyere-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin Gruyere-Crisped Potatoes Au GratinThis is about how thin you want them. Gruyere-Crisped Potatoes Au GratinDon’t skip the nutmeg. It adds a great twist without being overwhelming. Gruyere-Crisped Potatoes Au GratinPour it in, Gruyere-Crisped Potatoes Au GratinShake it out, Gruyere-Crisped Potatoes Au GratinAnd cover with cheese. Mmm.





  1. says

    Ha! I’ve had my food processor for two years. I use it a couple times a week. And yet about half the time I change the blade and have to call my husband in to put the thing back together because the pieces just don’t fit. He’s way too nice to laugh at me. Luckily.
    Ali Burtt recently posted…Vintage cowboy boots, resoledMy Profile

    • says

      HA! I love this. I’m not even kidding, my mother-in-law and I were making this batch that I photographed for this post together, and the two of us spent AT LEAST 5 minutes trying to figure out how to get all the attachments on the right way. And yes, we’ve both used food processors for years. So glad I’m not the only one Ali! I’m about to go check out your boots…

  2. Sarah says

    These are going on my Easter menu NOW. I should cook more vegetables in straight cream. And it’s definitely not too early for Easter – I asked Hyrum what he wanted to be when he grew up this morning and he said “An Easter giver who holds a bowl of candy and gives it to people.” Sweet gig.

  3. says

    Haha, all your foibles had me cracking up! I’m picturing you banging away on a fence post looking block of wood like crazy, and everyone is too polite to tell you it’s not an instrument. And being in other cars is so confusing! I am driving a different car this week while mine is being worked on, and I’m going thru the starbucks drivethru and I CANNOT find the window roll down button! It was hilarious. It was in the middle of the console by the drive shaft thingy, not on the side of the door. Weird.

    These potatoes look amazing. Oh how I love potatoes au gratin. So creamy and delicious.
    Natalie @ Tastes Lovely recently posted…Five Things for FridayMy Profile

      • says

        You are going to love these Natalie! I am seriously dying thinking about you sweating at the Starbucks drive thru and imagining yourself having to open your car door to get your latte. And even then you would probably be too close to the window to get out so you would have to snake your hand out the crack of the door. Hahaha!! I’m glad you found the right button :)

  4. says

    Oh you crack me up!!! And I feel your pain, I do questionable stuff like that all the time. Yesterday, at the grocery store I was looking for a specific brand of turkey italian sausage, searched high and low, and was positive they stopped carrying it. I went to the butcher, annoyingly asked where all the turkey italian sausage was, he walked me over to the exact spot I was in before and pointed at the bazillion packages of turkey italian sausage. Wow. I pretty much felt like the dumbest person alive.

    It would be nice to make myself feel better with this pool of deliciousness. Cheesy gratins are like my crack!

    • says

      HAHA! This ALWAYS happens to me! I always break down and ask someone and they point directly in front of me and say, it’s right there. You’re not an idiot Nicole. At least as long as I’m not one :)

  5. says

    Oh my gosh these potatoes!! So creamy and cheesy and ugh they sound amazing!! haha
    At my old job no one (and I mean no one) could find the elevator button (there was a second set of doors and it was on the other side of wall) but it used to always make me smile – because I would also be the person that wouldn’t see it even if it was right in front of me!
    Ashley recently posted…Healthier Carrot Cake CookiesMy Profile

  6. says

    I love doing scalloped potatoes like this! I recently made a similar dish but I used different cheese and didn’t cook in the cream first. I did do a cheese sauce though and used that to bake the potatoes with. In any case, this dish is one of my faves – a real indulgent, heavenly dish to eat. Yours looks absolutely beautiful and delicious! :)

  7. says

    You crazy genius. These potatoes look like MAGIC! Also, if you happened to be at the children’s museum in Houston with your sister, you were totally like 1 mile from my apartment!! That is probably a far out chance, but it IS in Texas…anyhoo you are just hilarious. Loved that IKEA story…I am also definitely finding-things-challenged sometimes so I can totally relate!
    Erika recently posted…Dumpling Dip with BaosMy Profile

    • says

      Erika, we were actually at a museum in Dallas, but HEY we were both in TEXAS, so that’s like practically neighbor-ness!! :) I don’t even think it was technically a children’s museum. Some science museum. And now you are finding out that sometimes I don’t check up on random details on the stories I tell…we were at a museum with children, therefor it’s a children’s museum. haha!

    • says

      Thanks Peter! Isn’t gruyere the best? I can’t believe I only discovered it a few years ago. I blame my upbringing. What can I say, my parents were pretty much neglectful. What does shelter and education mean when there’s no gruyere?

  8. says

    I’m making this Sunday for our Easter. I’ve made a variation of this a million times as Daupinois Potatoes and have a bundle of herbs/aromatics (rosemary and thyme and onion chunks) that I put together in the milk and remove once the milk and potatoes are done. Really adds a nice herbal aroma to the dish. Another tip is to alternate layers of the cheese and potatoes. Can be kept in the fridge overnight if needed and brought to room temp with a topping of cheese before baking. Cheers!

    • says

      OOH! I like that herb bundle idea Aletta! Kind of like an herb bag you use to make wassail, right? Great idea. Thanks for all the tips, I’m going to try that next time. And thanks so much for stopping to comment!

  9. Barb says

    I made a recipe almost exactly like this for Easter. It never thickened up. I forgot to heat the heavy cream first, would that be the reason. I was wondering if the cream should of had flour added for thickening. Was a total waste of expensive ingredients, any advice is appreciated.

    • says

      Barb, that’s really strange! I’m sorry you wasted all those ingredients, that’s the worst. I have no idea why it didn’t work. You could try adding flour to the cream, but I probably wouldn’t add too much. Let me know if you try my recipe and it doesn’t work. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  10. kathy d says

    Hi – want to make this for a dinner party – can I really make everything the night before and then add the cheese and bake? I don’t want the potatoes to turn color on me – my guest wont mind but I will.

    • says

      Hi Kathy! As long as the potatoes are covered in liquid they will not brown. My mother-in-law makes this recipe a lot, and she has baked them beforehand and then just warmed them up in the oven when she needs to serve, so that’s another option. I hope it turns out great!

      • kathy d says

        It did turn out great! I ended up preparing this dish about 5 hours before company. I made sure all the potatoes were covered with cream sauce and refrigerated. No color turn on the potatoes. I was serving this with a tenderloin and everyone raved about it. So easy and perfect side dish I’ll be making this again, Thank you.


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