Classic French Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin dauphinois recipe

The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 55 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
685 Calories
48g Fat
48g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8 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.)

Dauphinois (sometimes called dauphinoise) is named after the Dauphiné region of France and is a dish enjoyed around the world. 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. This dauphinois is topped with Gruyere cheese and baked, making it a gratin dauphinois and extra delicious.

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 don't skip the heavy cream. The dish needs the creaminess to make it taste as good as it does and it's worth the calories.

Serve with a green salad with fresh lemon dressing and main dishes like roasted chicken, pork, or ham for a feast.

Ingredients

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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

    Potatoes and milk in a saucepan
    The Spruce / 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. 

    Simmering potatoes in milk
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  5. Drain the milk from the pan and add the heavy cream, crème fraiche or sour cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the hot potatoes.

    Heavy cream and spices added to potatoes
    The Spruce / 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.

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

    Cooked potatoes and cream layered in a baking dish
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  8. Cover with the cream from the pan.

    Potatoes in baking dish covered in cream mixture
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  9. Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese over the potatoes (if using).

    Shredded cheese over potatoes in baking dish
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  10. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown on top and the cream has soaked into the potatoes. 

    Baked gratin dauphinois
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  11. Serve with your favorite main dish. Enjoy!

    gratin dauphinois being served on a plate
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

Tips

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

What Is The Difference Between a Gratin and Scalloped Potatoes?

A potatoes gratin is a dish of sliced, cooked potatoes with a creamy sauce and a topping of cheese, breadcrumbs, or both. Scalloped potatoes typically include cheese in the potato mixture, either layered or melted into the sauce, in addition to being topped with cheese. Cheddar cheese is popular in scalloped potatoes, while a gratin may use Gruyere or Parmesan.