Recipes/ Seasonal Recipes/ Side Dishes

Classic Potatoes au Gratin


We’re in Texas this week and I’m super excited to meet some of you tonight in Austin at BookPeople! Oh Austin….how I love you. We love it so much, actually, that we are getting married here in June. I can’t wait. Along with all the Thanksgiving festivities this week, Adam and I are also going on a rather massive wedding venue hunt. We have about six appointments so far and hopefully picking one of them as our dream wedding spot. Eeek! So many new and exciting things…I still have the we-just-got-engaged-and-I-can’t-stop-smiling look on my face. I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon.

I could gush for days on everything engagement but I’m going to hold off for just a moment. Because…what I have to say is important and that is: Potatoes au Gratin is the secret weapon of any great Thanksgiving meal. Oh yes it is.

I mean, it’s technically macaroni and cheese….but made with potatoes. What’s not to love? It’s the best. And it’s a classic that everyone loves.

In this classic dish, paper thin slices of potatoes are smothered in a cheesy white sauce, topped with *more* cheese and breadcrumbs and baked. Well, they are in mine any way. I love the extra crunch that the breadcrumb topping gives.

It’s so good that I can’t even stand it. I like to use a blend of swiss and gruyere cheese, but feel free to use cheddar if you wish. Whatever you do, don’t skimp. No one likes cheese skimpers.

Also, this dish can be assembled and baked a day ahead of time! Just store in the fridge and then reheat in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes until hot when you’re ready to serve.

Peace, love, potatoes & cheese. Amen.

Classic Potatoes au Gratin

serves 4-6

Print this Recipe


2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes (about 4 potatoes)

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup + 1/2 cup swiss & gruyere cheese blend, divided

1 tsp salt

pinch of white pepper

pinch of nutmeg

1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and thinly slice your potatoes. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and whisk constantly until mixture (roux) turns the color of peanut butter. Be careful not to burn this!

Once you have peanut butter colored roux, slowly stream in the milk, whisking while youΒ  pour. Keep whisking until mixture is smooth and thick — about five minutes.

Add the cup of cheese and mix so cheese melts. Add the salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Finally, add the thinly sliced potatoes and toss so all potatoes are coated in the sauce.

Pour potato mixture into a greased 9″ casserole dish OR 2 quart oven-safe pot. Cover with either tin foil or pot lid and bake for 1 hour.

While potatoes are baking, mix the remaining half cup of cheese and breadcrumbs together in a small bowl. When the timer goes off, remove the lid and sprinkle this over the potatoes evenly. Bake uncovered for an additional 35-40 minutes until potatoes are tender and top is golden.


1.5 hours


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  • Emily @ Life on Food
    November 19, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Oh have fun in Austin. I hear it is the best; I really want to visit soon. Mac and Cheese with potatoes is the best way ever to describe potatoes au gratin. Love it!

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    November 19, 2012 at 3:50 am

    I love the description that it’s like mac and cheese with potatoes, so right!

  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated
    November 19, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Ahh have so much fun looking at venues!! It’s such a special time … enjoy every moment! Keep us updated with the planning! πŸ™‚

  • Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    November 19, 2012 at 5:20 am

    I was actually telling my mom yesterday I wanted to make an au gratin.. You came to the rescue!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    November 19, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Ah, I would be all over this if my boyfriend wasn’t already making a fennel gratin for Thanksgiving. Two gratins can’t both shine as well with a fellow gratin competition, no?

  • KPH in LH
    November 19, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Congrats on your engagement! My friend’s daughter got married in Austin last March at It was beautiful, a very nice facility. Hope it’s on your list …

  • The Domestic Fringe
    November 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

    These look yummy!

  • Erica @ Coffee & Quinoa
    November 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I’m getting so excited for Thanksgiving with all these awesome recipes! Have a great time in Austin!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    November 19, 2012 at 8:53 am

    These are so lovely, and perfect for the season!

  • Julia {The Roasted Root}
    November 19, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I love that you use grueyere cheese for your potatoes au gratin – this makes the dish so decadent and delightful! I know your recipe will be on a ton of tables for Thanksgiving this year! πŸ™‚

  • Addy@ Six-Kick Switch
    November 19, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Well I’ll be danged, a Texan wedding! I think it’s going to be great!

  • Dominique
    November 19, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Austin loves you too Jenna! Can’t wait to see you tonight at BookPeople. You’re book brings a great big smile to my face!

  • Pam
    November 19, 2012 at 10:35 am

    My husband loves potatoes au gratin, I will be saving this for a weekend dinner. I already have my Thanksgiving menu planned out which includes your Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce – I cannot wait to make this :)!
    Have a wonderful time in Austin and enjoy your wedding venue search, exciting times my dear! And keep that engagement can’t stop smiling face, love is a beautiful thing!!

  • Ruth Crumplar
    November 19, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Welcome to Austin Jenna! Have a great time here! I’m so sad to miss your book signing tonight but I hope it goes well!

  • Linda | The Urban Mrs
    November 19, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I love Swiss cheese so much and this recipe is definitely awesome. Hope you ahve fun time in Austin.

  • Alicia @NeverEverBeenSkinny
    November 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I was looking for a potato recipe for this Thursday…and I think I have found it! So delicious looking, can’t wait to try it!

  • Justeen
    November 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I’m not sure I’ve ever had potatoes au gratin before, but this recipe looks deliciously wonderful.

    You sound so happy πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch}
    November 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Oh hot damn!

  • Kristen
    November 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I love Austin! Hope you have a great trip. My friend is getting married at the Winfield Inn outside of Austin (in Kyle) next year and it is gorgeous- she also loves working with their wedding coordinators (very responsive, friendly and offering great advice/contacts). If you need another venue option you should check it out: The best part of visiting this venue? Visiting the Texas Pie Company right afterwards…they have mini pies with Blue Bell ice cream mmmm soooo good. I need to plan another Austin trip asap πŸ™‚

  • Tiffany
    November 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Vista West Ranch in Dripping Springs is a great venue! My fiance and I were going to get married there, but then changed it to a destination wedding in Mexico since I was accepted into an accelerated nursing school program. Have fun venue shopping and enjoy your stay in Austin!

  • meredith
    November 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Welcome to Austin. I wish I would have known you were speaking at BP tonight, would have loved to come support ya. You probably have so many people giving you wedding ideas but here are a few of my favs. Mercury Hall, Laguna Gloria, Lady Bird Wildflower Center. Good luck wedding planning and have a great Thanksgiving in Austin!

  • Alison
    November 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Jenna!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and absolutely love it (especially the book reviews). I’ve never commented before, though, but I knew I had to when I saw this post! I also just got engaged and we are also looking to have our wedding in Austin next December. We lived there once a few years ago just for the summer and absolutely fell in love with it. I would LOVE to hear about any venues that you research or hear about in the Austin area! Any chance you could either blog about the venues you visit or e-mail me (just a list would be amazing!)? We’re planning ours from Boston and it’s so hard to sift through all of the possibilities without getting to actually see them in person (as I’m sure it is from CA too!).

  • jenna k
    November 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    man. you had me at “potatoes au gratin,” but you REALLY me at “technically macaroni and cheese….but made with potatoes.” best way to describe potatoes au gratin that’s ever been thought of. yummmm.

  • Jessica
    November 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Hooray – congrats on picking Austin for the wedding – love that city! You are so right – these are technically just mac and cheese with potatoes – yum!

  • Caroline L.
    November 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I think this just might be my favorite thing ever….

    Congrats on finding a wedding location/city! Austin’s amazing… you can’t go wrong! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica
    November 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I got married at grace united Methodist off congress but we had our reception at the Texas women’s federation mansion off San Gabriel. It’s a beautiful place, and you can choose your own vendors and supply your own alcohol (which saves a ton of money!)

    So sad I’m missing your book signing tonight! :/

    • jessica
      November 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      After i wrote my comment and was way bummed that I missed the signing, I decided I MIGHT be able to make it if I jumped in the car right that minute. So glad I did. With only two other people left in line to meet you, I made it! Yea! Can’t wait to read the book!!!

      Sorry if I seemed so frantic. I literally ran up those stairs.. Haha

      Hope you enjoy your time in Austin. πŸ™‚

      I promise I’m not usually that frantic, Jess

  • alyssa - life a la wife
    November 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    It’s a problem that I pin of your recipes!

  • meagan
    November 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I’ll add another venue to the list (like you need more choices, right?! Haha ;)). It’s The Inn at Wild Rose Hall on Fitzhugh Road off of Highway 290. It was a really lovely venue, and the best part is that you can stay overnight, which is really helpful if you’re going to be DIY-ing a lot of your wedding.

    Also nice is the fact that it’s right in the middle of the Hill Country AVA, near Dripping Springs and has easy access to south Austin.

    Hope you have fun this week! I was sad to have to miss your event at Book People!

    • meagan
      November 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Actually, I misstated some information. It doesn’t look like you can spend the night there anymore according to the website. We got married there four years ago, so, things have changed! Still, a lovely venue and really nice premises. Very low-key.

  • Life's a Bowl
    November 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Have a blast in Austin! I’ve heard it’s a fabulously fun city πŸ™‚

    P.S. I bought your book yesterday and haven’t put it down… Wonderful read!!!

  • Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog
    November 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Enjoy Austin! I’ve heard great things – hope to make it there someday soon. The potatoes look delicious; I love the bread crumb topping. It’s always good to have a little crunch with your cheese. πŸ™‚

  • LouLou
    November 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I’m sure this venue is already on your list but I thought I would mention it …. I got married at Chapel Dulcinea just outside of Austin last month and it was the most amazing outdoors venue, special, private, very Texas …. My mum and aunt flew in from Ireland (where I am from) to join us and they just loved it …. After the ceremony we went to Duchman family wineries (which is very close) and then came back into Austin that night for dinner in our favorite Austin restaurant …. It was just perfect πŸ™‚ (and very relaxed!!)

  • Chantelle @ A Tale of Two Pretties
    November 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Those potatoes look simply amazing! I think I’m going to have to try them out on Thanksgiving! And congrats on your engagement–so exciting πŸ™‚

  • Carrie @ The Cook's Palette
    November 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    So much yum in that recipe! My mom already has some potatoes on the menu, but I may have to make these as well. It is Thanksgiving, after all! Have fun in Texas!

  • April
    November 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    That’s where I want to have my dream wedding! πŸ™‚

  • JuLee
    November 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    You know . . . lots of people select Fredericksburg as a wedding venue. Lots of gorgeous venues and b&b’s for guests and wedding party. We get people from all over who have no family here but come here for their wedding. At least, come over some time and spend the day with us! πŸ™‚

  • Last Thing Thursdays
    November 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

    […] followed Jenna’s recipe and it was a smashing success. And they tasted just as good for lunch the following […]

  • KatieTX
    November 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    My wedding photographer is from Austin. He is super awesome. If you don’t already have a photographer in mind, check him out: πŸ™‚ I love Austin!

  • Kat
    August 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Made this recipe and it was really great. It was also the first time I’d ever been able to get a white sauce to thicken! Thanks Jenna!

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