This classic potatoes Dauphinoise is essentially just potatoes, cream, cheese, and a French lineage. As for the name potatoes Dauphinoise, it’s reputedly named for the region of France where this dish was said to originate—Dauphiné. We suspect people are quite happy there because we don’t think comfort food gets any more comfort-y than this.

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

There’s a whole bunch of reasons our recipe testers gobbled this up. They loved the rich flavor of the garlic cream sauce, and were delighted that it was so easy to prepare.

Notes on Ingredients

  • Heavy cream–This is critical to achieving a rich, creamy sauce. Don’t attempt to substitute milk here.
  • Potatoes–Use Yukon Gold or russet potatoes here, as they hold their shape best. Don’t substitute waxy potatoes. If you’re in a hurry, you can skip peeling the potatoes.
  • Parmesan cheese–You can substitute Gruyère cheese. Its nutty flavor pairs beautifully with the other ingredients.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven. Heat the oven to 350°F and prepare a baking dish.
  2. Simmer the cream. Combine the cream, garlic, thyme, and salt in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the cream. Strain and discard the garlic and thyme.
  3. Assemble the casserole and bake. Layer the potatoes and cream in the baking dish, then cover and bake until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Finish the potatoes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted. Let the potatoes rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.


What are Dauphinoise potatoes?

It is a French casserole made with sliced potatoes, heavy cream, and strongly flavored cheese, such as Gruyère, Parmesan, or Swiss cheese. It is similar to scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin.

Can I make these in advance?

This cheesy potato dish reheats beautifully, so you can prepare and bake these potatoes a day before serving, then cover and stash them in the fridge. When ready to serve, pop them into the oven and cook until heated through.

What should I serve with these potatoes?

Dauphinoise potatoes are a lovely classic Thanksgiving side dish, but our readers have found them equally welcome alongside grilled lamb chops and sweet and spicy roasted carrots.

Helpful Tips

  • To make a sweet potato and squash variation, swap 1 medium sweet potato and 1 small butternut squash for half of the potatoes.
  • Be sure to let your cooked potatoes rest for at least 10 minutes after removing them from the oven. This gives the sauce a chance to thicken up.
  • If your baking dish is very full, place it on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any drips that bubble over.
  • A mandoline is the best tool for even thinly sliced potatoes.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

More Great Creamy Potato Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Casserole dish with cooked sliced potatoes covered with cheese and sprinkled with thyme.

Potatoes Dauphinoise

5 / 4 votes
Potatoes Dauphinoise are potatoes, cream, cheese, and a French lineage. They’re like scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin but are even more fancy but without being fussy. We really don’t think comfort food gets any more comfort-y than this.
David Leite
Servings6 to 8 servings
Calories672 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 5 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife blade but not chopped
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8 inch thick)
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and butter a 9-by-13-inch or a 9-by-9-inch baking dish or similar-size casserole.
  • Place the cream in a pot with the garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, and salt and warm it over medium-high heat just until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pot, maybe 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, discarding the garlic and thyme.
  • Ladle a small amount of seasoned cream in the bottom of the baking dish. Add a layer of potatoes, overlapping them slightly and spreading them evenly. Sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg and some salt and fresh ground pepper. Spoon a layer of cream over top, and repeat with the remaining ingredients, alternating layers of potatoes, nutmeg, salt and pepper and seasoned cream. When finished, pour any excess cream over the top, shaking the casserole dish around to distribute the cream evenly.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes if using a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours if using a 9-by-9-inch square baking dish.
  • Remove the foil, top the potatoes with the cheese, and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly and a small knife slides easily into the center of the potatoes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.


  1. Sweet potato and squash variation–Substitute 1 medium sweet potato and 1 small butternut squash for half the potatoes.
  2. Make in advance–Assemble and bake up to 1 day before serving. When ready to serve, reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through.
  3. Storage–Leftovers will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  4. Avoid oven spills–If your baking pan is very full, place it on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any drips that bubble over.
Gatherings Cookbook

Adapted From


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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 672 kcalCarbohydrates: 47 gProtein: 13 gFat: 50 gSaturated Fat: 31 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 12 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 154 mgSodium: 723 mgPotassium: 1096 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 5 gVitamin A: 1970 IUVitamin C: 14 mgCalcium: 259 mgIron: 2 mg

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Julie Van Rosendaal | Jan Scott. Photo © 2014 Jan Scott. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This Dauphinoise potatoes recipe is delicious and easy to make. I love the flavor that the garlic-infused cream imparts to the potatoes during the long cooking time. I used the option of Gruyère instead of Parmesan, but I think it would be equally good either way.

While the cooking time is long, it’s almost all hands-off, so you can let the potatoes bubble away in the oven while you turn your attention to the other components of your meal. This dish also works well made ahead as it reheats beautifully.

This classic potatoes Dauphinoise recipe is time-consuming yet simple to prepare. From prep to table is about 2 1/2 hours, and it’s worth every minute of it. The actual hands-on time is about 25 minutes; the rest of the time is spent in the oven.

I simply washed and sliced my russets, without peeling. The heavy cream, nutmeg, and, thyme give this a hearty yet elegant flavor and texture that is certain to impress even the harshest critic.

This classic potatoes Dauphinoise recipe was definitely a crowd-pleaser. The dish was probably 8 ample servings at our house.

The baking time of 1 1/2 hours seemed like a lot, but it took that long for the potatoes to get done. After removing the foil and topping with Parmesan cheese, it took another 25 minutes to get golden and bubbly. I think the potatoes could’ve been baked in a 9-by-13-inch pan and it wouldn’t take as long to cook as the 9-inch square pan.

We loved the traditional garlic, thyme, and nutmeg flavors in the cream and the crusty cheese topping. I’ll try sweet potatoes or butternut squash next time. My tasters will be ready!

This potatoes Dauphinoise recipe was a hit with everyone. The potatoes are fork-tender and dripping in a creamy sauce that contains a hint of garlic and thyme. The greatness of this recipe is the ease with which it can be prepared.

It only took about 3 minutes for the cream to begin to bubble. While the sauce was slightly simmering for 10 minutes, I prepared the potatoes. I used the thick cut (1/4 inch) setting on my mandoline. Because the skin on Yukon Gold potatoes is so thin, I don’t think I’d peel them next time, as I think it would be beautifully rustic to have the potatoes with the skin intact.

I know this is a French dish, but this sure reminded all of us here of a “Potato Alfredo.” It could easily be its own satisfying, wintry meal. Next time, I would use a 9-by-13 inch dish instead of a 9-by-9-inch dish. It was a very tight squeeze fitting all the potatoes (5 layers) and sauce into the square dish.

Some sauce bubbled over onto the oven floor while baking. I’d check the potatoes for doneness after 1 hour if baked in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

I’ve had some problems the last few times I made scalloped potatoes with the cream, butter, and cheese taking on a curdled appearance. It tastes okay but just doesn’t look very appetizing. That said, don’t confuse this potatoes Dauphinoise with potatoes au gratin, where the cheese is incorporated into the cream mixture or layered into the potatoes. This is much better and all the flavors are subtle and layered throughout the dish.

I used Gruyère cheese, which I prefer to Parmesan in this instance for its creaminess and slightly nutty flavor without being overpowering or excessively salty. I didn’t need 2 hours cooking time. My potatoes were ready at the 60-minute mark and the cheese was browned and bubbly after about 20 minutes. I didn’t want it to burn so I took it out of the oven early. Keep an eye on it.

Also make sure your dish is deep enough so it doesn’t boil over and make a huge mess of your oven floor. You should let this dish rest, just like meat. If you dig into it too early, the cream will fill the empty space, and by the end, you will have potatoes with no creamy goodness. If this happens, just make sure you are first in line…

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve always used Gruyère for potatoes Dauphinoise, and I really loved the switch to Parmesan. I sprinkled some cheese over every layer and the flavor was delightful. Served with lamb chops and roasted carrots, it was a fabulous dinner.

    1. I always love Gruyere for my Dauphinoise, too, Dennis. Really happy to hear you like this as much as we do! Thanks for taking the time to let us know…