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French Potato Gratin

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Move over scalloped potatoes, this dreamy Pommes Dauphinois AKA French Potato Gratin is the king of potato casseroles! Kissed with thyme and topped with a nutty Gruyere cheese, this gratin is perfect for holidays, Sunday family dinners and more.

I’m usually lazy when it comes to adding potatoes to the menu. Baked or sliced and fried are my fall back methods. But some meals call for a more gourmet treat, like this Cheesy Potato Casserole

French Potato Gratin on a small white plate with a sprig of thyme

French Potato Gratin

Rich and creamy, flavored with garlic and a touch of thyme, Dorie Greenspan’s French Potato Gratin cannot be rivaled. Thinly sliced potatoes are bathed in cream and topped with a generous sprinkle of Gruyere cheese. It’s best in small quantities, even though you’ll want seconds and thirds!

French Potato Gratin in a casserole dish

Cheesy Potato Casserole from Around My French Table

I first shared this recipe in 2010 as part of my collaboration with Dorie Greenspan and her cookbook, Around My French Table. It was our 6th week of French Fridays with Dorie. The family was smitten and it became my go-to potato dish for holidays.

Tips for Making This Potato Gratin

This is a rich, satisfying potato dish that’s worthy of any holiday or dinner party! Here are a few tips for making it perfect every time.

  • PRO-Tip: Aim to cut all your potatoes the same thickness. Dorie, the cookbook author, suggests 1/8-inch thick. This ensures they’ll all be cooked and perfectly tender at the same time.
  • Use a mandoline or a benriner to make the slicing more consistent. Make sure to use a hand guard so you don’t cut yourself!
  • PRO-Tip: Place a sheet pan under the casserole dish when baking. Nothing worse than having to clean burnt on food from the bottom of your oven when a baking dish overflows! I like to line the baking dish with foil, too, for easy cleanup!
  • Use a knife to check the potatoes for doneness. Pierce a few different potatoes to see if your knife goes in easily. Any resistance and the dish needs more cooking time.
  • Let the dish rest for 10 minutes before serving to allow the steaming cheesy cream cool and thicken a bit.
  • You may not want to mention the amount of cream when you serve this to friends and family. This French Potato Gratin is definitely a special occasion dish. And an exquisite one at that. Just watch your portion sizes!
French Potato Gratin on a round white plate with a bamboo handled fork

More Potato Dishes You’ll Love:

If having potatoes at most special meals is a must at your house like at mine, check out my Cheesy Potato Galette,  Hasselback Potatoes with Parmesan and Thyme, this Easy Puffed Potato Casserole (don’t tell anyone, but I use Instant Potato Flakes in this!), and this Hasselback Potato Casserole. Plus, find more recipes to round out your meals in my Side Dish Recipes.

From my blogger friends, these have caught my eye: Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes from Spend with Pennies and Crispy Cheese and Bacon Potatoes from Barefeet in the Kitchen.

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French Potato Gratin

French Potato Gratin

A exquisite creamy potato casserole kissed with garlic, thyme and topped with Gruyere cheese!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 8 servings


  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (I use Yukon gold or russets)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Whole milk, if needed
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese


  1. Preheat to 350°. Generously butter 2 quart baking dish. Place pie dish on rimmed baking sheet. Combine cream and garlic in small saucepan and bring to simmer over low heat. Cover and remove from heat.
  2. Arrange ⅓ of potato rounds, slightly overlapping, in the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour ½ cup garlic cream over. Repeat layering 2 more times with remaining potato, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic cream. Pour remaining garlic cream over, then ¼ cup milk. Sprinkle cheese over the surface.
  3. Bake gratin until golden on top and potatoes are very tender when a sharp knife is inserted, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (cover with foil if the top starts browning too quickly). Let the potatoes rest 10 minutes before serving.
Lambeau sniffing in the vicinity of the potato gratin
Miss Lambeau’s nose is keenly aware of a delectable dish!
Circa 2010
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40 comments on “French Potato Gratin”

  1. Looks divine!!! Thanks for sharing.


  2. That image is just gorgeous, Liz.. I ‘d love a spoonful of it on my plate anytime!

  3. One of my favorite potato casserole dishes. You are right, it is very rich but perfect for the holidays when you are being indulgent.

  4. Oh my, these are scrumptious looking potatoes , just perfect for the upcoming holidays.

  5. Oh Lizzy – those potatoes look and sound SO delicious! Hitting the print button right now.

  6. I don’t often indulge in potatoes but a gratin is something I find difficult to turn down. This recipe looks wonderful and perfect for the coming holidays. My friend T is hosting thanksgiving dinner but ill make sure she lets me bake this gorgeous dish up.

  7. This is one of my favorite ways to cook potatoes, although I wouldn’t typically put cheese on top although I know some do. Looks great!

  8. Liz it just doesn’t get much better than this. One helping is more than enough, like you said, more than that even though tempting will totally stuff your belly. I’ve forgotten about her book that sits on my shelf. I’ll have to pull it out. My family and friends would love this. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t?

  9. omigosh soooo rich! This is definitely the best gratin I’ve ever seen <3

  10. When one sees the dark brown on top of gratin potatoes, you know it’s done right and is going to be utterly delicious! Happy Thanksgiving Liz!

  11. These would be delicious with our prime rib dinner!

  12. First of all, this is a truly amazing recipe. So simple, and yet so (so,so,so,so,so)delicious.
    Second, it’s perfect for a meatless meal.
    Third, it’s super versatile, as you can try it with a myriad different herbs/spices/cheeses!
    Gruyere is great, but of course -yes you guessed it- we’ll add graviera and it try it this way too:)
    Oh dear Liz, wish we could send you some good Naxos graviera….! A foodie like you would really appreciate the flavors and the buttery flavors.
    For the time being, we send our love:)
    Mirella and Panos

  13. This is my favorite side dish for holidays and parties! It’s a huge crowd pleaser. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  14. The gruyere in this is a must! Total decadence and so worth it!

  15. Gruyere and thyme make potatoes so dang good!!!

  16. This recipe is a keeper!

  17. I loved it! Such a gorgeous treat!!

  18. Great side to pot roast!

  19. Pingback: Spaghetti Western Chili Casserole Make Ahead Recipe

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