Potatoes Dauphinoise

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If there ever was a dish that is transcendent in its simplicity, it’s this one.

This is truly a melt-in-your-mouth showstopper of a dish.  Perfect for that epic holiday meal served alongside our Slow-Cooker Spiral Ham! And the preparation is not difficult at all!

A large oval baking dish with handles filled with potatoes dauphinoise.

How To Make Potatoes Dauphinoise

Leave it to the French to take a few modest ingredients and turn them into a dish for the ages.

These are very similar to scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin, but there are few important tips to follow to make them perfectly French.


Layering the Flavor Profile

As you can imagine, this dish is all about the amazing layers and layers of flavor.

We don’t allow a single layer to go without adding some flavor, and that starts with the base.

EXPERT TIP: We use our cast-iron baking dish that’s approximately 10″ x 12″, but you can certainly go with a 9″13″ dish. First, softened butter is liberally applied to the bottom of the dish.  Next, cut a garlic clove in half and rub the cut side all over the butter. It’s subtle, but adds a hint of flavor to the dish.

A hand pressing a halved clove of garlic in the bottom of a buttered oval baking dish.

Now, it’s time to create the incredible cream sauce.

We go with 2 cups of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole milk.

Toss in a few sprigs of fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and 2 cloves of garlic either pressed through a garlic press or finely minced.

Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for a few minutes.  Strain and set aside. 

A person squeezing garlic out of a garlic press into a pan filled with cream and herbs.

Choosing the Right Potato

We strongly recommend going with large gold potatoes for the dish. They cook wonderfully and become buttery soft after baking with the cream sauce. If you can’t get gold potatoes, then go with Russet or white.

You’ll need 3 lbs of peeled potatoes. We use our mandolin to slice them to about 1/8-inch in thickness.

EXPERT TIP: Make a single layer of potatoes in the bottom of the prepared dish. Give the layer a nice sprinkle of salt and a slightly less amount of black pepper. Add just enough of the prepared cream sauce to barely cover the potatoes. Repeat this process. You want just enough cream so that when you press on the potatoes, the cream peeks around the edges. Just eyeball this, you may have a few extra unused potatoes, or, you may have a little extra cream.

A person slicing a gold potato on a mandolin and then sprinkling salt over the layered potatoes in a dish and then ladling cream over them.

Gruyere is the perfect cheese for the topping. Rich and melts beautifully.

And as it bakes, the cheese turns into a beautiful crust or gratin.

EXPERT TIP: Gruyere can usually be found in the specialty (or gourmet) cheese section in most well-stocked supermarkets, often near the deli area. You most likely won’t find it shredded, rather in blocks. We just cut away the rind and then toss the block in our food processor and process until just crumbled. Sweet cheese is a perfectly fine substitute if you can’t find Gruyere.

A person sprinkling shredded Gruyere cheese over layers of potatoes in cream all in a oval baking dish.

When To Serve Potatoes Dauphinoise

This is truly a special dish and is really wonderful for special-occasion meals during the holidays.

However, the ingredients aren’t terribly pricey, and the preparation isn’t too involved, so it makes an incredible side dish for dinner parties or dinner for two any time of the week.

EXPERT TIP: The dish can be prepared up to 24 hours before baking. Cover with foil and place in the fridge. Allow an extra 15 minutes of baking if chilled. Remember to check after about 35 to 45 minutes. Usually, at this time, you’ll need to cover with foil so it won’t brown too much on top.

A dark baking dish filled with layers of potatoes dauphinoise with a square piece missing.

There are few dishes that are as universally loved as this dish.

Every time we serve this to guests, it gets raves and the recipe is always requested.

And the leftovers (if there are any) are equally as scrumptious.

A slice of potatoes dauphinoise being raised up on a spatula.

When you need a special dish for a special occasion, look no further.

This dish will warm you up and just make you smile. Slow-cooked potatoes, cream, cheese with a little garlic, and herbs.

That’s just good.

A square serving of potatoes dauphinoise on a white plate garnished with chopped parsley.

Ready to make the best Potatoes Dauphinoise this side of Paris? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A square serving of potatoes dauphinoise on a white plate garnished with chopped parsley.

Potatoes Dauphinoise

This Potatoes Dauphinoise recipe is a keeper. So simple, yet so elegant, rich, and perfectly balanced. It is just an amazing combination of flavor and texture. Can be made a day ahead up to the baking. If refrigerated, add another 15 minutes to the bake time.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Authentic dauphinoise recipe, French gratin potatoes, how to make potatoes dauphinoise
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 355kcal


  • 9"x13" baking dish (or similar size)


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 clove garlic cut in half
  • 3 lbs potatoes Yukon gold, peeled and thinly sliced. If using a mandolin, cut to 1/8” thickness.
  • 8 oz gruyere cheese grated
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Flat-leaf parsley chopped, for garnish on top


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Take a large, heavy-bottomed dish or an ovenproof gratin dish, and grease it well with the butter, then rub the ½ sliced garlic on the bottom and sides. Discard the garlic.
  • Put the cream, milk, and a pinch of salt and pepper and sprigs of thyme in a saucepan. Using a garlic press, press 1 clove of garlic into the sauce (or mince finely, and add to the sauce).
  • Bring gently to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, then strain into a bowl, and discard the thyme and garlic. Set aside briefly.
  • Layer the potato slices in the dish, slightly overlapping each other, seasoning each layer with the salt and pepper. Once one layer is added, ladle enough of the strained cream sauce to coat the potatoes. Repeat with the process until out of potatoes.
  • Add a little more cream, if necessary. The cream should just barely be peaking around the edges of the potatoes when you press down on them (resist the temptation to add too much cream!). You may have extra potato slices, or you may have a little extra cream.
  • Sprinkle the cheese on the top of the last layer.
  • Bake for 45 minutes and then check them, you'll most likely need to cover them with a piece of foil to keep them from browning anymore. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until a sharp knife easily pierces the potatoes with absolutely no resistance.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.



Yukon gold potatoes are best, however, russets can be used in a pinch.  
Be sure to add a sprinkling of salt and a little bit of pepper to each layer of the potatoes.  About 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper per layer.  
There should be just enough cream to come close to submerging the potatoes, but not completely.  It's okay, and preferable, that most of the top potatoes aren't covered by the cream. 
Be sure to check after 30 to 45 minutes, and cover with foil once nicely browned.  Typically, it takes about 50 to 60 minutes total cooking time to get the potatoes super tender.  If they are extremely thin slices, it will take less time.  Once a knife can be inserted all the way through the potatoes to the bottom of the dish with absolutely no resistance, then the dish is ready to come out of the oven.
The dish can be prepared up to 24 hours before baking.  Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to bake. Uncover and bake for an extra 10 to 15 minutes, if cold.
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  The dish freezes okay, but the cream may break down somewhat once thawed and reheated. 


Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1237IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 362mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in March 2016, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe, new tips and photography, and a fabulous new video in April 2021!


  • I have made this several times since discovering the recipe here. You can’t go wrong with this potato side dish. It’s out of this world delicious!! Especially if you are having company, they will rave about it. And then after it’s gone, you’ll crave it! 😉

    • Hi Marsha! Woo hoo!! We couldn’t agree more! We make it every Easter and the family just can’t get enough of it! So happy you make it and have great success with it, too! Thank you so so much for sharing!! xoxoxo Kris & Wesley

  • Weird question – is there any way to introduce buttermilk into this recipe without destroying it? Maybe there isn’t. I like the tang of buttermilk.

  • Honestly, this looks like a meal unto itself! I can envision this as a main dish with sauteed spinach on the side. Gruyere is my FAVORITE cheese. Thinking about making this for Christmas dinner since I will be solo with no one to complain about the lack of meat!

    • Hi Nancy! This is truly one our all-time favorite potato dishes. It really is divine and would be perfect with a side of sautéed spinach! We’ve never tried it with buttermilk, but it should bake just fine. Maybe half cream and half buttermilk? Sounds wonderful! We’re sorry you’ll be solo for Christmas but please know we appreciate you so much and wish the very best holiday season and new year for you!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • So, was thinking about making this to go with your Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce. The issue – I only have one oven. What do you think about cooking these most of the way until browned, take them out, cook the tenderloin and while it rests, finish cooking these. Think that would work? Thanks from this novice cook!

    • That will work perfectly. These potatoes re-heat beautifully. Cook them all the way, and then cover with foil. While the tenderloin is resting, quickly place the covered potatoes back in the oven, crank the heat to 425. Tent the beef. And you’ll be great! This makes a lot…I think you’ll be good for 10. All sounds SCRUMPTIOUS!!!! Please let us know how it all turns out! And let us know if you have any other questions! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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