Potatoes, check; Cheese, check; Cream, check; Bacon, check; Green Onions, Check, now put it all together and you have created the most delicious, rich, creamy and heavenly 3 Cheese Gluten Free Au-Gratin Potatoes. This isn’t your mama’s au gratin potatoes, and it’s definitely not from a box! This is Gluten Free Mama’s version of Au-Gratin Potatoes and trust me, you won’t be disappointed. My family ate the entire dish in one sitting. You can make it as a side dish or since it has bacon, do what our family did, and just eat it as a main dish.
What are Au-Gratin Potatoes and how are they different from Scalloped Potatoes? Au-gratin and Scalloped potatoes are almost the same. They both start with potatoes. The difference is that Scalloped Potatoes are made with a cream sauce and Au-Gratin Potatoes are made with a cream sauce and topped with cheese and cooked until the cheese browns. Often Au-Gratins will also accompany a layer of bread crumbs. In Mama’s recipe we have chosen to use bacon and onions in place of a bread crumb crust. You will see many recipes that are missed named. I can’t tell you how many Scalloped Potato recipes that I have seen that use cheese as one of the star ingredients. They really are Au-Gratin Potatoes, not Scalloped. Just a little recipe clarification for you and some dinner trivia talk for you at the table.
To start of a good tasting Au-Gratin Potatoes, you need to start with Yukon Gold Potatoes. Yes, you can use russet potatoes. Just keep in mind that they may take longer to cook, and they don’t hold their shape as good as the gold potatoes. If you choose to use Russet potatoes be sure to adjust your cooking times to reflect that they may take longer to bake so that they come out about the same time as the rest of your dinner. Yukon Gold potatoes work great because they are naturally soft, they bake up quicker than russets and they hold their shape better in baking. You don’t need to peel the potato. Just wash it very well. 5- 6 medium to large potatoes will do. If your potatoes are on the smaller size, just slice enough to cut a good layer across your pan for the bottom and then enough for a second layer.
After your potato is washed well. Cut the potato in half, lay the flat side down on your cutting board and then make thin slices, between ⅛ and ¼ inch thickness. I usually cut mine closer to ¼ inch thickness. Here is my little trick. I give these potatoes a jump start in baking by microwaving them for about 5-6 minutes to soften up. I place sliced potatoes evenly in a microwave safe baking dish or on a glass pie plate. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Toss and flip and then repeat for another 3 minutes.
The next step. Cheese! Regular Au-Gratin Potatoes will use Cheddar Cheese or Mozzarella Cheese, cheddar being the most popular and they use about 1 1/2 cups shredded. I like to step it up and make gourmet Au-Gratin Potatoes and in order to do that you want to use gourmet cheeses. You can essentially use any good melting cheese. In my opinion one of them should be Gruyere cheese. Gruyere is a very common cheese used in a variety of Au-Gratin dishes and it offers supreme flavor. If you cannot afford 3 gourmet cheeses at least invest in some Gruyere and then just mix it with some good quality Swiss or Cheddar. If you can, make it just as I have made it using a mixture of Gruyere, Gouda, and Jarlsburg. Trust me when you take your first bite of this delicious dish your taste buds and heart will sing. You want to yield 2 ¼ cups shredded cheese. Dairy free folks….I am sorry, this recipe isn’t for you. However, we have many recipes you can enjoy and I will try to get some good potato dishes up soon that are dairy free.
Next you will need to make a sauce. Super easy to make, but you will need to have cream. If you don’t have cream, you can use half and half and if you don’t have half and half you can use milk. Just remember if you use milk, then it won’t be as rich as the recipe is intended, your call. Measure out the cream in a liquid measuring cup, then pour in melted butter. Then slowly pour in your flour, mixing well with a whisk to combine. Then add your seasonings.
Then we top with cooked bacon and green onions and bake. Simple as that! I recommend that you fry your bacon in a pan versus microwaving. Microwaving bacon tends to dry out the bacon and its not as good when it’s dried out and then baked on top of that.
What kind of pan do I use? You can use any baking dish of your choice. A casserole dish, a metal or glass rectangular cake pan, a ceramic baking dish, or any dish with at least 2 inch sides.
- 5-6 Medium to Large Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut ⅛-¼ inch thick
- 6-8 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled into ½-1 inch pieces
- 4-5 green onions, sliced including green parts
- ¾ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- ¾ cup shredded Jarlsburg cheese
- ¾ cup shredded Gouda cheese
- 1 ½ cups cream (or half & half or milk)
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 3 Tbsp.
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- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme or ½ tsp. dried
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook bacon and set aside to cool. Crumble into ½ -1 inch pieces. Slice Green onions with greens and set aside.
- Shred the cheeses and then toss together in a bowl so they get mixed in evenly.
- Slice potatoes. Place in microwave dish. Microwave for 3 minutes. Toss and flip, then microwave for 3 more minutes.
- Make sauce. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out cream and add melted butter. Add flour and using a whisk, mix well. Then add, salt, pepper, and thyme. Mix well.
- Layer one half of potatoes in a large baking dish. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on each of the potatoes. Pour half of cream mixture evenly over top of potatoes. Spread half of cheese over potatoes. Repeat, making sure that the second layer of potatoes also gets lightly salted.
- Evenly top with the green onions and crumbled bacon.
- Cover with foil, making a tent out of the foil so it doesn’t touch the cheese. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Remove foil last 20 minutes to allow cheese to brown up. Using a fork test the potatoes for tenderness. If desired, taste test one to see if the tenderness is as desired. Bake longer as needed.
- Serve Hot!
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