You're going to love the smoky flavor that the Gouda cheese adds to this Smoked Gouda Potatoes Au Gratin! This is an easy side dish recipe that pairs so well with a holiday Easter ham, prime rib and a roasted turkey for Christmas.
Garnish with fresh chives or parsley and Parmesan for a truly special holiday potato recipe, full of flavor to enjoy at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Gouda au gratin potatoes for the holidays
This is one of those side dishes that pairs so well with so many holiday main courses. Gouda potatoes au gratin recipe is so good it has become part of our holiday tables as much as Campbell's green bean casserole and Paula Deen sweet potato casserole are.
We typically enjoy mashed potatoes as a side dish on our holiday table. Sometimes someone would bring roasted potatoes as another delicious side dish. We watched a celebrity show years ago on how they make a holiday dinner and they featured these gouda au gratin potatoes.
They looked so amazing as we love potato dishes with melted cheese already. The guests kept commenting on how much they loved the au gratin potatoes and we were intrigued to try them.
Well, we were actually amazed at just how good this amazing gouda cheese side dish recipe was!! We made them three times in a row and my husband who loves roasted potatoes said it was the best cheesy potato dish he had ever tried better than scalloped potatoes.
So much so that as well as mashed potatoes, this recipe often has so many votes that two separate potato side dishes have to be made for our holiday tables throughout the year!
What is the difference between scalloped and au gratin potatoes?
Scalloped potatoes will use more of a creamy sauce made from milk or cream with butter and seasonings like garlic and can sometimes use cheese in the recipe.
Au gratin potatoes use cheese as the main flavor ingredient and the term "au gratin" in French means 'with crust', as in the delicious cheesy crust on top of the dish when baked. Au gratin potatoes do not usually have as creamy of a sauce.
The perfect side dish, this au gratin recipe is made with smoked gouda cheese, creamy havarti cheese and cheddar cheese. Making this cheesy au gratin potatoes one of the ultimate melted cheese cozy comfort foods for any occasion.
In fact you should probably just plan ahead to make a double-batch! You're going to want leftovers!
If you're looking for another side dish for Thanksgiving, be sure to try out my corn casserole or easy crack green bean recipe.
Why you'll love this potatoes au gratin recipe
- Easy best potato side dish for the holidays
- Ultimate cheesy comfort food
- Most flavourful potato side dish for any occasion
- Make ahead option for the holidays
Ingredients for cheesy potatoes au gratin recipe
- Russet potatoes - provide the ideal texture for this potato recipe and are the best potatoes! You could also substitute Yukon Gold potatoes.
- Smoked Gouda cheese - a little goes a long way in added the delicious smokey flavor in this easy potato side dish recipe.
- Havarti cheese - is smooth and creamy and combines beautifully with the other two cheeses.
- Cheddar cheese - use mild or medium cheddar cheese.
- Half and half cream - heavy cream is a must in this recipe. You can substitute the half and half with another heavy cream.
- Fresh parsley (garnish) - optional, or you could sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Salt & Black Pepper - follow recipe, then adjust when serving.
Best cheese for au gratin potatoes
- Cheddar Cheese - mild if you do not like a sharp cheddar
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Gouda Cheese - use smoked gouda for a smoky flavor
- Gruyere Cheese
- Swiss Cheese
- Monterey Jack Cheese - for a spicier version
- Havarti Cheese - creamy cheese
See also my best cheese for melting.
Step by Step instructions for making easy potatoes au gratin
You can find a full recipe card and instructions at the bottom of this page.
Start by greasing an 8x8-inch casserole dish with butter. Alternatively, you can spray the baking dish with cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Use a sharp knife or mandolin slicer to and peel the russet potatoes, rinse and slice potatoes into ⅛" thick slices. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together half and half cream, salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine 1 and ¼ cups of the cheddar cheese, all of the havarti cheese and all of the smoked Gouda cheese.
Layer a third of the potato slices on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with one-third of the cheese mixture, then pour one-third of the heavy cream mixture over top.
Repeat for two more layers in the same manner.
Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Cheddar cheese on top.
Bake in 350°F oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender when pierced.
Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.
How to serve simple potatoes au gratin
Unlike baked potatoes that are served with sour cream, these potatoes are delicious on their own or with a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese. (optional)
Garnish with fresh parsley or chives.
You could also substitute Gruyere cheese for one of the cheeses as well as sharp cheddar cheese or regular Gouda cheese.
Variations for best potatoes au gratin
For a delicious variation, substitute russet potatoes for sweet potatoes, to make a sweet potatoes au gratin! We have made them both ways many times and they turn out amazing.
Add in ½ teaspoon garlic powder when mixing the cream for a garlic potatoes au gratin flavor.
Add in 4 to 6 cooked chopped slices of bacon to make this a smoked gouda and bacon potatoes au gratin which can also be referred to as loaded au gratin potatoes.
You can also make cheddar potatoes au gratin by only using 2 ½ to 3 cups of cheddar cheese in for this recipe.
Gluten free potatoes au gratin for those who enjoy it.
Potatoes au gratin vegan link for those who need it.
Can I make ahead potatoes au gratin?
Yes you can! You can make this holiday side dish up to 3 days ahead and store in the fridge to save time for best results. Follow the reheat instructions below.
How to reheat au gratin potatoes
Reheating instructions: Bring to room temperature, then reheat in a 375°F oven, covered in foil for 20 to 25 minutes.
Microwave - cover loosely with paper towelling and reheat over medium heat for three minute increments, checking every few minutes.
Storing and freezing instructions for homemade potatoes au gratin
How best to store au gratin potatoes?
Au gratin potatoes are best stored in an airtight container to last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Reheat instructions above.
Best option for make ahead au gratin potatoes to save time during the busy holiday season.
Can you freeze potatoes au gratin?
Baked and cooled leftover au gratin potatoes can be wrapped tightly in foil and using a freezer-safe container, freeze for up to 2 months.
Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes until hot all the way through.
We do not recommend using the freezing option to make ahead au gratin potatoes as they can sometimes come out mushy. Only freeze leftover au gratin potatoes.