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Gratin Dauphinois is a simple but deeply savory and satisfying dish. Seasoned potato slices bubble away until they nearly melt in a thick, ultra creamy sauce. It’s the kind of decadent dish that’s worth a splurge on holidays and special occasions.

serving Gratin Dauphinois with a large spoon

With this easy recipe, you’ll only need 7 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper), 20 minutes of active time, and a baking dish. No sauce making or stovetop required.

Ingredients You Need to Make Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin Dauphinois Ingredients on a white marble board
  • Russet Potatoes: Choose firm, heavy-for-their-size russet potatoes without sprouts or green spots. Their high starch content is ideal for creating a creamy texture in the gratin.
  • Butter: Be sure it’s well-chilled for easier handling when greasing the baking dish.
  • Garlic: Just one, large clove for rubbing the baking dish. Look for plump cloves with a papery skin that’s intact, indicating freshness, for the most robust flavor.
  • Heavy Cream: Opt for heavy cream with a high fat content for a richer, more indulgent gratin. Avoid creams with stabilizers or added ingredients.
  • Whole Milk: Fresh whole milk adds to the creaminess of the gratin. Make sure it’s as fresh as possible for the best flavor.
  • Cheese: Gruyère or a similar-aged, good melting cheese (like Comte, a French Swiss-style cheese) is ideal. The cheese should be firm and have a nutty, savory flavor.
  • Chives: Fresh chives should be bright green and tender, not wilted or yellowing, for the garnish. They add a mild onion flavor and a pop of color to the dish.

A Worthy Indulgence

There are plenty of wonderful, lighter potato dishes, some with skins intact, a few of my favorites are: Fondant Potatoes, Lyonnaise Potatoes, Mashed Red Potatoes and Skillet Potatoes. But this dish is worth the indulgence. And if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, it tastes even better heated up the next day.

Gratin Dauphinois served pictured from overhead

Dauphinois vs. Lyonnaise

Dauphinois Potatoes, using the gratin technique, get their name from the Dauphiné region in southeast France, where this traditional gratin dish was first made. Some confuse these with Lyonnaise Potatoes, but the dishes are distinct. While Dauphinois, meaning “from Dauphiné,” potatoes are a French side dish of thinly sliced raw potatoes layered with cream, milk, and sometimes Gruyère cheese, and baked. Lyonnaise—named after Lyon—potatoes are also a French dish of layered potatoes, but they are pan-fried in butter with onions and parsley. Each has its own unique preparation and flavor profile that reflects its regional origin.

A Note on Slicing Potatoes

You want your potato slices to be uniformly thin (~1/8-inch thick). A sharp knife will work, but if you have a mandoline, this is a great time to use it. A ~1/8-inch (3mm) food processor slicing disc is also a great option if you have one.

sliced potatoes and mandoline

Recipe Tips

  • Layering: As you layer the potatoes and cream mixture, take a moment to smooth out each layer. This small step helps to remove air pockets and helps to distribute the the cream mixture evenly.
  • Baking Dish: Double check the size of your baking dish (it should be a 1 1/2-quart dish for this recipe). Too large and your gratin will be thin and overcooked, too small and it may not cook through properly.
  • Oven Watch: Keep an eye on your gratin in the last 20 minutes of baking. If it’s browning too quickly, a loose tent of aluminum foil can prevent burning while still allowing the heat to circulate.
  • Resting Time: Allow the gratin to rest for 10-15 minutes after baking. This cooling period lets the dish set, making it easier to serve while still enjoying it warm.
Gratin Dauphinois served in a white casserole dish

Pair With

How to Make Gratin Dauphinois

First, preheat the oven to 350˚F and butter a 1 1/2-quart baking dish (or casserole dish or gratin dish). Rub sides and bottom of dish with cut side of a halved clove of garlic. in a glass measuring pitcher, whisk together heavy cream (double cream), and milk. Add one layer of potato slices to bottom of baking dish and season with salt and pepper; top with 1/3 of cream mixture. Repeat layers twice, finishing with cream mixture.

Finally, bake 70 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown with some crispy edges. Top with cheese if desired and bake 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Gratin Dauphinois ready to serve

Gratin Dauphinois (Potato Gratin)

5 from 10 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Calories: 390
Servings: 6 people
Creamy and decadent, melt in your mouth potatoes that are perfect for holidays and special occasions! Inspired by Nigel Nigel Slater's, "A Creamy Unctuous Potato Dish," from his book Appetite.

Ingredients  

  • 1 large garlic clove halved
  • butter for greasing the baking dish
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes or other starchy potato, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds (see recipe note #1)
  • kosher salt 2 teaspoons or more
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces shredded gruyere cheese optional (or more, see recipe note #3)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives for garnish, optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • With cut sides of garlic clove, firmly rub the bottom and sides of a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Then generously coat bottom and sides with butter.
  • In a pitcher, whisk together cream and milk. (A 4-cup glass measuring pitcher works great for this.)
  • Layer 1/3 of potato slices into prepared baking dish. Season generously with salt and pepper and pour over 1/3 of the cream mixture. Repeat with 2 remaining layers, finishing with cream mixture that should just cover the potatoes.
  • Bake 70 minutes, until bubbly on the edges and golden brown on top (see recipe note #2). Sprinkle with cheese if using and bake 10 minutes more. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with chives and serve.

Notes

  1. A mandoline or food processor slicing disc makes quick work of this.
  2. To protect against spills, place the baking dish on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet before placing in the oven. If gratin is getting too brown, cover lightly with foil.
  3. You can skip the cheese in this gratin. Or, if you prefer a cheesy gratin, add an additional 4 ounces, for 6 ounces total. Sprinkle the first 2 layers of raw, seasoned potato slices with 2 ounces each before baking. Then add the final 2 ounces to melt during the last 10 minutes of baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 736mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1103IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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52 Comments

  1. Isabelle says:

    Can we do it on individual portion, like in ramequins? Will IT chance cooking Time?

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi Isabelle! I’m sure you could make an individual version of this dish, but I haven’t tested a recipe for it. I imagine that the baking time would be significantly shorter.

  2. Karen says:

    Can you reheat this dish, as it will vie with the turkey in the oven? If so for how long? I plan to make it, bake it, and bring it to a dinner elsewhere. Many thanks! I love this dish, as I lived in France for 7 years. I want to show it off to my friends to best advantage!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi Karen! Yes, absolutely. Since you’re planning to reheat, reserve some of the cream mixture to drizzle over the top after you take it out of the oven (~1/2 cup, so that it has some moisture to soak up while it reheats). Be sure to remove the gratin from the refrigerator about 1 hour ahead. Then reheat, covered with foil, in an oven preheated to 350˚F for 20 to 30 minutes. Have a wonderful time and I hope your friends will be impressed!

  3. Sherry says:

    I can’t wait to try this! Looks delish! I found this recipe because I was looking for Champagne Vinegarette, and you suggested this recipe. Is this to say that you could add the dressing to the potatoes?

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi Sherry! No, not to add to this recipe, just that Champagne Vinaigrette on a simple green salad is a great pairing for these rich potatoes.

  4. Mel or Minnie says:

    5 stars
    Thank you! Comes out perfect. Bubbly and cheesy. But the cream the milk and Gruyère are a gift for working everyday. No worries about your slice in your potato. Thin. Thick. Just follow the directions. I made scalloped potatoes in Maine since I was 15 years old…63 years old today. When I found your recipe I couldn’t believe that I could make such a regal gift to me first and then my family. Cream. Milk. Cheese and potatoes. A holiday dish to knock your family out of their socks. Readers make it this week. True bliss♥️

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      aww…thank you so much for your kind comment, I so appreciate it!

  5. Nicole Rivet says:

    Can you make it the day before you serve it. Will it still be good?

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Yes, absolutely! To me it tastes even better the next day.