If you are like us, you like easy one-pot meals or in this case a one-pot potato dish. This is not one of those recipes where one would cook the sauce in a pot and then pour it in another and bake. This is a pour everything into the pan and bake recipe and exactly what all of us busy people need.
Today’s easy potato dish is one that we have always made, we call them perfect potatoes au gratin. And they consist of thinly sliced potatoes in a rich cheesy sauce and are seasoned and topped with additional cheese and chopped chives.
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Scalloped potatoes vs au gratin
I have never really thought about the difference between scalloped potatoes vs au gratin potatoes, but I’m told there is a difference. We were never really sure which name these potatoes fell under, we just knew they were very easy and so delicious.
But since then we have learned the real difference between potatoes au gratin and scalloped potatoes. Potatoes Au Gratin has a topping of sometimes breadcrumbs or cheese and then it’s browned. But scalloped potatoes do not have a topping, even though the top is browned.
We do not top our potato dish with breadcrumbs but like most cheese lovers, we do add extra cheese on top and then place the dish back into the oven to brown. So these potatoes by definition are a cross between scalloped potatoes vs au gratin.
But call them what you want, they are totally delicious.
The best cheese for au gratin potatoes:
The choices are sky-high for the best cheese for au gratin potatoes. Personally I love to keep it simple and use Monterey Jack, it’s inexpensive and shreds easily. But many of my Texas friends use what we call longhorn cheddar cheese which is a hard yellow cheese. But one of the most popular and absolute best cheese for au gratin potatoes is gruyere which is a hard yellow swiss cheese. It’s excellent for baking and has a distinctive but not overwhelming taste.
But the most important thing is to grate your own cheese, do not use that prepackaged already shredded cheese. This recipe just will not be the same if you do.
How to make perfect potatoes au gratin:
Start your perfect au gratin potatoes by buttering a 7 X11 inch baking dish and layer 1/2 of the potato slices in the buttered dish, overlapping like fallen dominos.
Add extra flavor by dotting the potato slices with butter on each layer. New studies show real butter is not bad for you and it makes your soul happy or it does mine. Or as Pioneer woman says, “It makes my skirt fly up”, I just love it when she says that.
These perfect potatoes au gratin makes the absolute best pan of creamy cheesy potatoes that we know you and your family will love.
If you enjoy these creamy cheesy potatoes then see these other potato recipes:
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Perfect Potatoes au gratin
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 7 X 11 baking dish
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk the cream, salt, and pepper until well blended
- Arrange half of the potato slices, edges overlapping, in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Salt, pepper, and dot with cut-up butter
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over the potatoes and pour 1/2 of the cream mixture over top.
- Repeat with the remaining potatoes, butter, 1/2 cup of cheese, and cream
- Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes
- Remove foil, bake for 15-25 minutes longer until potatoes are done and the top is beginning to brown.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and bake 5 minutes until cheese is just melted
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, sprinkle with fresh chives prior to serving.