Classic French Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin dauphinois recipe

The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 55 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
685 Calories
48g Fat
48g Carbs
18g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 685
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 48g 62%
Saturated Fat 29g 143%
Cholesterol 148mg 49%
Sodium 244mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 18%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 18g
Calcium 536mg 41%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A classic French Dauphinois is now enjoyed around the world, which is no surprise as it is utterly delicious. The combination of potatoes soaked with garlic-infused cream then slow-cooked to melting perfection is about as good as it gets when it comes to comfort food. 

The best potatoes to use for a gratin are floury baking potatoes. The softness of these potatoes means they will soak up all the lovely, creamy, garlicky creaminess. If for any reason you need to cut down a little, then replace the creme fraiche with milk but never use only milk. The dish needs the creaminess to make it taste as good as it does. You can always eat a little less. 


  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices)
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 2 garlic cloves (very lightly bruised to release the flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups crème fraiche (substitute sour cream)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • Optional: 2/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gratin dauphinois ingredients
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the potatoes, milk, and garlic to a gentle simmer.

    Bring potatoes and milk to boil
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  3. Continue simmering the potatoes for 15 minutes, until they just start to turn tender. Be very careful not to overcook them as they need to hold their shape for layering in the pan. 

    Simmer potatoes
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  5. Drain the milk from the pan and add the heavy cream, crème fraiche (or replace with the milk already used), salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the hot potatoes.

    Simmer potatoes
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  6. Heat the cream mixture to barely a simmer (a few bubbles are fine but no more) for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are very tender, but not falling apart.

    Heat the cream mixture
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu 
  7. Butter a large baking dish and carefully lift the potatoes into the dish and layer without breaking them up too much. 

    Butter potatoes
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  8. Cover with the cream from the pan.

    Milk over potatoes
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  9. Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese over the potatoes.

    Cheese over potatoes
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  10. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown on top and the cream soaked up. 

    Bake cheese
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  11. Serve with roast lamb, other meats, or even a big acidic salad. 

    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu


  • This is a great make-ahead side dish. Simply refrigerate it for up to 1 day before the final baking stage. To reheat, bring it up to room temperature, cover with foil, and put it into a very hot oven as above.

Alternative Way to Serve a Gratin Dauphinois

For a restaurant-style serving, leave the gratin to cool in the dish until cold then pop it into the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. When ready, use a tart cutter for individual portions and reheat by wrapping in foil and popping into a very hot oven.