Delicious Potatoes Au Gratin (or for us normal folk Scalloped Potatoes!)

These potatoes make a fabulous and inexpensive side dish! Oh, and did I mention incredibly easy? I have been craving these potatoes ever since we arrived back to our home about two weeks ago. This and chocolate, although I always seem to crave chocolate, so….yeah.
Anyways, this will make a whole 9 x 13 pan full of delicious creamy potatoes that people will go crazy over. Maybe not everybody will go crazy, but I sure did. I just love my carbs. And just as a side note about the inexpensive part, I’m talking super inexpensive– potatoes, onions, flour, milk, butter: ingredients that seriously cost pennies! Love it when that happens. (and, yes I realize I live in Idaho which happens to be potato central where everyone practically gives potatoes away, but I promise they are cheap everywhere!) So, cook up some ham and make these for dinner because, oh baby, are they heaven.
Potatoes Au Gratin (ie Scalloped Potatoes)-YUM!
7 tablespoons butter, divided
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups skim milk (plus maybe 1/2 cup to keep your sauce from oven thickening, like mine did)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt (you may want more- I don’t like a lot of salt)
1 large onion, sliced
4-6 Idaho potatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On stovetop, preheat large skillet and large pot to medium heat. (Skillet is for cooking the onions, pot is for making the sauce) To skillet, add 3 tablespoons butter. To pot, add 4 tablespoons butter. Using melted butter from skillet, take a pastry brush and grease 9 x 13 glass dish generously. Place sliced onions into skillet and cook until soft and lightly browned (7-10 minutes). In pot, once butter is melted whisk in flour. Cook 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk to prevent lumps. Once milk is fully incorporated, add in seasonings. Continue mixing until sauce starts to thicken. Continue thickening until its the consistency of pancake batter. (That probably doesn’t help because pancake batters can be any sort of viscosity….hmm) Ok, you want it to be slightly thick because the sauce continues to thicken from the potato starches in the oven. If it gets overly thick, add in that extra milk I mentioned earlier. Kapish?
Now, for the potatoes. Peel those little suckers and then rinse them well! Slice into 1/8th of an inch slices or thinner if you can. The thinner you cut them the quicker they’ll cook. Just make sure they are all generally the same thickness. Now comes the fun part. Take about half the prepared sauce out of the pot and set aside. Toss all the potatoes and onions into the pot with the remaining sauce and stir to coat. More milk can be added if needed. Pour potatoes into prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Top with remaining reserved sauce. Cover with foil and bake 1-1 1/2 hours. Its really ok to cook the life out of these potatoes. They just get better and better. Serve with something yummy like ham! Then prepare to die and go to heaven!

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  1. These are great potatoes …can prep ahead and like you said, can be cooked and cooked and still taste great. My understanding is the difference between scalloped and au gratin potatoes is, with the au gratin you layer in cheese.

    • Didn’t know that! Thanks!

  2. Technically I think that gratin refers to “gratings” or some sort of crumbly topping, sprinkles of cheese or bread crumb-like item on the top of the dish. So technically I don’t think this would be au gratin because the sauce is mixed with the potatoes but nothing (other than more sauce is put on top.) We often due use the terms interchangeably and I certainly don’t think it matters but I can see running into a person who makes a deal of it!

  3. Hi … you need to revise your title because it’s misleading to those who may not know that Scalloped potatoes and au Gratin potatoes are different. Thanks.

    • Actually, they are scalloped potatoes. There are au gratin scalloped and regular scalloped. Au gratin is used because of the cheese. That’s all 🙂 just google it, you’ll find it 🙂 Oh and by the way Lauren, I LOVED your recipe!! You even made it fun to read! Thank you!!!

  4. I love this recipe! The narrative is fun and breezy, but the directions are clear and easily followed. I wish I knew if I could make it the day before and reheat it.

  5. This was so easy. I didn’t use onions I used dried onions and it smelled wonderful also tasted great.