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

I’m usually lazy when it comes to adding potatoes to the menu. Baked or sliced and fried are my fallback 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.

Why You Must Make

  • It’s rich and creamy, flavored with garlic and a touch of thyme.
  • Dorie Greenspan created this au gratin potatoes recipe, which guarantees deliciousness!
  • 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!

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Heavy Cream – 36% butterfat. Don’t think about the calories. as this is what makes this potato gratin so fabulous!
  • Garlic Cloves – Peel and mince (or use a garlic press)
  • Potatoes – Peeled, cut into ⅛-inch-thick rounds (I use Yukon gold or russets)
  • Fresh Thyme – Chopped or minced. You may use ½ teaspoon dried thyme, but fresh is nice for special occasions.
  • Whole Milk – Optional, if you need more liquid in the dish (you’ll want some liquid to peek out between the potatoes, but not cover them).
  • Gruyère Cheese – Grated

French Potato Gratin in a casserole dish

Recipe Tips 

This is a rich, satisfying cheesy potato casserole that is 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 to the same thickness. Dorie, the cookbook author, suggests ⅛-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 handguard so you don’t cut yourself!
  • PRO-Tip: Place a sheet pan under the casserole dish when baking. Nothing is 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 to 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 a special occasion dish. And an exquisite one at that. Just watch your portion sizes!
  • You can add sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli or spinach, or even bits of ham to this pommes dauphinois.
French Potato Gratin on a round white plate with a bamboo handled fork.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Gratin?

A gratin, gratinée or all gratinata is any dish topped with cheese or buttery bread crumbs. It is usually baked in a shallow “gratin” dish that provides more surface area so there is plenty of crispy topping.

What’s the Best Cheese for a Potatoes Gratin Recipe?

Nutty, slightly sweet Swiss Gruyere is best. But you can also substitute another Swiss cheese like Emmental, or even domestic Swiss cheese in a pinch. White Cheddar could also be used if there’s no Swiss cheese available.

What Are the Best Potatoes for a Gratin?

Waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes are preferred as they hold their shape well and don’t absorb as much liquid as a russet potato.

Can You Make Potatoes Gratin Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can assemble your gratin in the morning as long as you wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. If the potatoes get exposed to air, they will oxidize and turn an unsightly gray color. They will taste fine, but not look their best. Make sure to bring them out of the fridge about a half hour before you want to bake them to take some of the chill off. They may need an extended baking time.

How Long Can You Keep Leftover Potato Casserole?

Your gratin will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if covered well with plastic wrap. According to Dorie, the leftovers will lose some of its creaminess.

Some sources say potato casseroles can freeze well for up to 3 months if covered first with plastic, then with foil. Potatoes, though, can get watery when defrosted. And cheese sauces are known to separate after freezing and defrosting. It’s worth a try, but don’t count on your leftover potato casserole to be as good as new after defrosting.

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French potato gratin featured image

French Potato Gratin Recipe

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

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


  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ¼ pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into ⅛-inch-thick rounds (I use Yukon gold or russets)
  • 1 ½ 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.
  2. Combine cream and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cover and remove from heat.
  3. Arrange ⅓ of potato rounds, slightly overlapping, in the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour ½ cup garlic cream over. Repeat layering 2 more times with remaining potato, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic cream.
  5. Pour the remaining garlic cream over, then ¼ cup milk. Sprinkle cheese over the surface.
  6. 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).
  7. Let the potatoes rest 10 minutes before serving.


Recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 201mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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Lambeau sniffing in the vicinity of the potato gratin
Miss Lambeau’s nose is keenly aware of a delectable dish!