There’s a reason Au Gratin Potatoes are always a great side dish. Tender potato slices in layers of creamy cheese sauce and roasted green chilies for a southwestern twist in this recipe! It’s irresistible comfort food.
This easy potatoes au gratin recipe is the comfort food side dish everyone loves. Layers of potatoes, two types of shredded cheese, tangy green chilies, red onion in a rich, creamy sauce.
The end result are cheesy potatoes with a delicious flavor that makes them impossible not to have a second (or third) helping. It’s a classic recipe change up that’s always a hit!
This cheesy, creamy au gratin potato recipe with a Southwestern twist is perfect for any holiday table. It’s great for Thanksgiving, Christmas, a perfect side dish for Easter ham or a great addition to any special occasion. It will become one of your favorite potato dishes!
Recipe Ingredient Notes
One great thing about this potato recipe is it doesn’t take many ingredient to make a creamy, luscious dish. The flavor is fantastic and the texture irresistible.
Russet Potatoes. You’ll use 2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick. We recommend using a mandoline slicer (more below). Choose firm, unblemished potatoes that are medium in size and similar to each other in diameter.
Heavy Cream. This is what gives the potato dish the creamy consistency. It’s the same as heavy whipping cream (unwhipped).
Roasted Green Chilies. This gives classic au gratin potatoes a tangy southwestern flavor. The green chilies can be canned or home roasted (instructions below). If you love Hatch chilies they would be great in this recipe. The roasted chilies should be mild or medium in heat unless you are sure everyone lives hot chilies. If using canned chilies use ‘diced’. If home roasted chop the chilies.
Mild Cheddar Cheese. Grate the cheese yourself versus using pre-grated cheese. The grated cheese available in the store includes an anti-caking agent to prevent it from sticking together which also doesn’t let it melt fully (it will melt in the shape of the shred not melt together). A sharper cheddar can also be used.
Monterey Jack Cheese. See the note above.
Red Onion. Some chopped red onion enhances the flavor of these cheesy au gratin potatoes!
Unsalted Butter. This adds more rich flavor. Start with cold butter; four tablespoons of butter. You’ll add a specific amount on each layer so when chopping it separate the amount per layer to make assembling the casserole dish easier.
Salt and Pepper. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper adds flavor.
How to Roast Chilies (optional
Home roasted chilies can be used too.
Anaheim chilies is the type of chilies to use if roasting them at home. They are widely available at most grocery stores.
Here is an easy way to roast the Anaheim Chilies:
- Place the Anaheim chilies on a rimmed baking sheet under a preheated broiler
- Using tongs, turn the chilies as soon as they turn black on the side facing the heat. Continue until the entire chile is blackened.
- Place the charred chilies in a plastic zipper top bag and seal. Alternatively place them in a metal or glass bowl and cover the top of the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
- Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- Remove chiles and rub the charred skin off (discard charred skin). NOTE: if skin is resistant to come off the chilies can be run under the faucet and rubbed off. Then pat dry with paper towels.
- Remove the stems and seeds. Chop chilies.
NOTE: Always rinse hands after working with chilies.
Best Way to Slice Potatoes for au Gratin Potatoes
Having uniformly thin potatoes makes a big difference both in the way the au Gratin Potato recipe cooks but also in creating a pleasing end texture.
Au Gratin Potatoes should be 1/8-inch to ¼-inch thick (at the most). With slices this thin, large sharp cooking knives are key. But even the best knife skills find this difficult.
We recommend using a guard over any ingredients when slicing on a mandoline slicer to protect your fingers from coming into contact with the slicing blade. This photo does not use one to show the mechanics of slicing potatoes.
Use a Mandoline Slicer
The best way to slice the potatoes is with a mandoline slicer.
A mandoline is a slicer that allows setting the desired thickness of what is being sliced. It slices very quickly and is easier than trying to hand slice the potatoes by hand.
PRO TIP: use a mandoline that has a guard. The guard goes over the food being sliced making it easy to push the item AND protecting your hands from the mandoline blade.
Mandolines are available at cooking stores, department stores, Asian grocery stores and ONLINE.
How to Make Green Chile Au Gratin Potatoes
Putting this potato recipe together is easy. All the ingredients are layered to create a creamy, cheesy end result!
For a detailed printable recipe refer to the recipe card at the end of the blog post.
STEP 1. Preparation
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 12-inch by 9-inch casserole or baking pan (photo 1).
In a small bowl combine the cheeses in a bowl (photo 2). Mix together.
STEP 2. Assemble layer 1
Layer 1: Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with a third of the raw potatoes (photo 3). You’ll have a single layer with some of the thin slices slightly overlapping layer with about half that amount placed on the other potatoes.
Drizzle with 1/2 cup of cream (photo 4). Top with: 1/4 cup of the chilies (photo 5) , 2/3 cup of the cheese (photo 6), ¼ cup of the onions (photo 7), 1 tablespoon of the butter (photo 8), 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/3 teaspoon pepper (photo 9).
STEP 3. Assemble layer 2
Layer 2: Repeat Layer 1.
STEP 4. Assemble layer 3
Layer 3: Repeat Layer 1 EXCEPT with the rest of the potatoes and no onions in this final layer and use 2 tablespoons of the diced butter on top of the potatoes (photo 10).
STEP 5. Bake and rest
Bake for 60-70 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to rest 15-20 minutes before serving.
Use a sharp cheddar cheese. Instead of mild cheddar cheese substitute sharp cheddar cheese for a stronger cheddar flavor.
Use only one type of cheese. Instead of a mix you can use only cheddar cheese or monterey jack cheese.
Make it a main course. Layer in some cooked chorizo or other ground meat to this au gratin potatoes recipe into a hearty main dish!
Use a different cheese. We paired the best cheese in this recipe with the green chilies but you can change it up too! Omit the tangy green chilies and use gruyere cheese instead for instance.
Sauteed onions. If you have some extra time you can use sautéed onions instead or the red onions.
How to store leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The creamy au gratin potatoes will need to be reheated in the oven or microwave. For best results in flavor serve at room temperature or hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both recipes use thinly sliced potatoes layered in a baking dish and cooked with a creamy sauce.
Au Gratin Potatoes (pronounced ‘oh grah-tin’) or Potatoes au Gratin, include grated cheese or a cheese sauce in the recipe. It can also have a browned bread crumbs crust on top too.
The main difference is that scalloped potatoes do not include cheese.
Because of the cream and cheese the potatoes will change in texture when frozen and thawed so freezing is not recommended.
The recipe is best when served just after it has been cooked so we don’t recommend assembling and cooking it ahead of time. You CAN construct the dish ahead and bake it later. You’ll notice the potatoes will oxidize they turn brown or gray (you can see this in photo 3 of the process photos). This won’t affect the flavor or texture of the potatoes and is totally safe to eat. Because this casserole dish is covered when cooked you won’t see any discoloration in the potatoes either.
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Green Chile Au Gratin Potatoes
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (plus extra for buttering pan) cut into very small pieces (refer to Notes below)
- 1 cup grated medium cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
- 2 pounds russet potatoes peeled sliced into 1/8-inch thick slices (mandoline slicer highly recommended)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup chopped roasted mild green chilies home roasted or canned (equivalent to 2 4-ounce cans of diced green chilies)
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 12-inch by 9-inch baking pan.
- Combine the cheeses in a bowl. Mix together.1 cup grated medium cheddar cheese, 1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
- Layer 1: Line the bottom of the pan with a third of the potatoes. You'll have a single slightly overlapping layer with about half that amount placed on the other potatoes.Drizzle with 1/2 cup of cream. Top with: 1/4 cup of the chilies , 2/3 cup of the cheese, ¼ cup of the onions, 1 tablespoon of the butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/3 teaspoon pepper.
- Layer 2: Repeat Layer 1.
- Layer 3: Repeat Layer 1 EXCEPT no onions in this final layer and use 2 tablespoons of the diced butter.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest 15-20 minutes before serving.
- If using canned green chilies you may have slightly more than 1/4 cup for the top layer. No problem, just use the rest.
- Canned diced chilies do not need to be drained before using.
Originally published: November 17, 2012