Learn how to make a creamy, cheesy potato side dish with our easy recipe for Potatoes Au Gratin with Ham. Sliced potatoes layered with a simple cream sauce, cheese, and ham makes the perfect creamy side fit for anytime of year!
Potatoes au Gratin are the ultimate warm, cheesy, starchy comfort food. Typically served near the Fall holiday season, this potato dish is versatile enough for Easter dinner or your next potluck. Serve these cheesy potatoes as a hearty accompaniment to some Beef Tips with Gravy, Mississippi Pot Roast, or French Onion Beef Casserole.
How To Make Potatoes Au Gratin
- In a small saucepan, add the heavy cream, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper. Turn to low heat and let the butter melt. Do not bring it to a point where the cream begins to bubble or it will thicken too quickly. Once melted, set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 11x7-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add both shredded cheeses. Mix with tongs or a rubber spatula to combine them together evenly.
- To the greased baking dish, add ⅓ of the sliced potatoes to the bottom in an even layer. Then, add ⅓ of the cream mixture on top followed by ¾ cup of the mixed cheese. Then, layer half of the ham and sprinkle a ½ teaspoon of thyme on top. Repeat this step for the second and third layers, but do not add cheese or thyme to the top layer.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with foil, then bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until the potatoes are fork-tender and cooked through. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Cool for 10 minutes to set before serving.
Potatoes au Gratin Tips
- Use a sharp knife or a mandolin to make sure the potatoes are roughly the same thickness.
- For the freshest taste and best texture, use cheese shredded off the block in this potatoes au gratin recipe.
- The amount of potatoes used can vary anywhere from 3-4 large potatoes to 10-12 small potatoes. The best way to ensure you're using the correct amount is to weigh the potatoes on a kitchen scale.
- Change up the herbs: We love using the taste of fresh thyme in this dish, but feel free to use any herb you enjoy such as rosemary, sage, or parsley. You can also mix and match the herbs to your desired taste.
- Bump up the veggies: To add more color and fresh taste, try adding some cooked peas or broccoli to the ham layer.
- Change up the cheese: The mix of mozzarella and gruyere is a match made in cheesy heaven. But, you can use any cheese you enjoy including cheddar, swiss, gouda, pepper jack, or even parmesan cheese.
Storing and Freezing
Storing: Store leftover potatoes au gratin in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezing: To freeze any leftovers, simply wrap the cooled casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil for up to 3 months. Let it defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded off the block
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded off the block (may also use cheddar)
- 2 ½ pounds gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (*See note.)
- 1 cup cooked ham, diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme sprig, optional
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the heavy cream, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. Heat just until the butter melts. Don’t let the cream begin to bubble; otherwise, it will thicken.1 ½ cups heavy cream2 tablespoons unsalted butter3 to 4 garlic clovesSalt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease an 11x7-inch baking dish. Mix both cheeses together in a bowl.1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese1 cup Gruyere cheese
- Layer ⅓ of the sliced potatoes into the baking dish, followed by ⅓ of the cream mixture. Sprinkle ¾ cup of the cheese (mixture of both), ½ cup of diced ham, and ½ teaspoon of thyme over the potatoes and cream. Repeat for the second and third layer, but don’t add any cheese or thyme to the third layer.2 ½ pounds gold potatoes1 cup cooked ham1 teaspoon fresh thyme sprig
- Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 1 hour or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through. After an hour, uncover, add the remaining cheese, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and browned.
- Allow the potatoes to set for 10 minutes before serving.
- See post tips and storage options.