Best Parmesan Potato Gratin

This Parmesan potato gratin is a rich and creamy side dish made with potatoes, butter, cream, cheese, nutmeg, and thyme. Not only is it satisfyingly indulgent, but you can make it ahead of time, making it a godsend for entertaining or harried weeknights.

A partially covered Dutch oven filled with cooked Parmesan potato gratin.

This Parmesan potato gratin made us wonder if anyone else ever gets scalloped and au gratin confused? Scalloped potatoes contain milk or cream but no cheese and are usually sliced thicker. A potato gratin, or au gratin if you will, are similar but are usually sliced thinner and always contain cheese—classically Gruyère but nowadays any grate-able fromage will do. After trying this gratin, we sorta gloat about our gratin know-how. You can, too.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Best Parmesan Potato Gratin

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 25 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 8 to 10
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°). Coat a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish or a 3-quart Dutch oven with 1 tablespoon butter.

In a large bowl, stir together the cream, 3/4 cup Parmesan, salt, white pepper, thyme, and nutmeg.

Evenly slice the potatoes 1/8-inch thick and let them fall into the cream, stirring to coat the potatoes.

Tester tip: As you slice the potatoes, let them fall into the bowl of cream. The cream will keep the cut potatoes from turning brown. And don’t bother rinsing them in water as that will wash off the potato’s starch, which helps to thicken the cream and hold the gratin together.

Carefully layer the potato slices in the casserole dish, whether you overlap them like shingles on a roof or just dump them in and smash them down with the back of a spoon. Pour the remaining cream mixture in the bowl over the potatoes. The cream should come almost to the top layer of potatoes. Gently press on the potatoes with the back of a spoon to evenly layer them in the cream.

Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan over the potatoes. Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into small chunks and sprinkle it over the potatoes.

Bake the potato gratin, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown, about 75 minutes. If the top starts to turn brown before it’s done, loosely cover the gratin with foil.

Let the gratin rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. (If you want to make the gratin ahead of time, let it cool to room temperature and rest for up to a couple hours and then cover the dish with foil and place in a 275°F (135°C) oven for 40 to 45 minutes—or longer if you need to buy yourself a little time to get the rest of dinner on the table.) Originally published November 14, 2011.

Print RecipeBuy the Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This dish is not for the diet-conscious among us. That being said, it’s a simple yet classic potato dish that is well loved and remembered. The addition of fresh thyme adds a lovely earthy flavor to the heavy cream, which bakes into a wonderful, creamy sauce. The hint of nutmeg adds a warm note to the sauce that is absorbed by the potatoes, and the Parmesan adds salty notes.

This dish was devoured by my family, with everyone taking seconds and none left over. I would heartily recommend this dish and will make it again for special occasions, as it's a little rich for every day.

This Parmesan potato gratin was easy to put together and came out of the oven with a golden brown, crunchy top that was beautiful. When we served the potatoes, they were fork-tender, creamy, and rich. The flavor almost reminded me of an alfredo.

These would be just as good a main dish with added ham, pancetta, or bacon and would also be a welcome addition to any holiday table.

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