Au Gratin Potatoes For Two
Plenty of garlic and Parmesan cheese in Au Gratin Potatoes For Two with layers of thinly sliced potatoes in a 1 quart casserole dish. Serve it as a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter side dish or as a home-cooked dinner with meat.
While making the shopping list for holiday dinners, there’s one conversation that always happens.
What kind of potatoes are we making this year? Most of the time it’s mashed potatoes for two, but sometimes it’s scalloped or au gratin.
I grew up making au gratin potatoes from a box because that’s how my parents made them. Bring milk to a boil, add box contents, cook.
It wasn’t until I bought a handheld mandoline I started making homemade au gratin potatoes because I could never slice the potatoes thinly (and consistently) enough with a knife.
Cooking for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving For Two, Christmas Dinner For Two, Easter For Two, means there is always potato involved.
And when you add garlic Parmesan, you know it’s going to be a winning side dish with Au Gratin Potatoes For Two.
It’s like a casserole of thinly sliced golden brown potatoes layered with plenty of cheesy goodness.
Since this is a recipes for two food blog, my au gratin potatoes for two is made in a small casserole dish and makes about 4 servings (2 helpings per person).
I mean, when was the last time you only ate 1 serving of garlic Parmesan potatoes?
However, if you want to make literally 2 servings, you can easily cut this recipe for au gratin potatoes for two in half and use a smaller casserole dish.
What’s the difference between scalloped and au gratin potatoes?
The main difference is au gratin has cheese while scalloped doesn’t, but most recipes, including my stove top scalloped potatoes, uses cheese.
Another difference is au gratin has breadcrumbs on top, but most au gratin recipes didn’t include breadcrumbs.
I’ve also seen recipes written as au gratin potatoes vs. potatoes au gratin.
In conclusion, the rest of the world doesn’t know the difference between scalloped and au gratin. They DO know anything with cheese and potatoes is a winner, no matter what you call it.
Ingredients For Au Gratin Potatoes For Two
To make this au gratin potatoes for two recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Butter: Used to grease your casserole dish so your potatoes are less likely to stick and burn
- Russet potatoes: Russets are the best potato for au gratin because of their higher starch level. Peeling is optional.
- Onion and garlic: Aromatics to make your au gratin extra flavorful
- Parmigiano Reggiano: Imported exclusively from Italy and made with only milk, salt, and rennet. Sometimes you’ll see domestic Parmesan made in the U.S., which usually contains additives.
- Thyme: Adds a touch of freshness. You can also use rosemary or leave it out altogether.
- Salt and pepper: Seasoning for your potatoes
- Heavy whipping cream Used to make the cheese sauce
Can I substitute heavy cream with milk for au gratin potatoes?
It’s important to use heavy cream instead of milk because the fat is needed for the cheese sauce to bake properly. Otherwise, the sauce would be too thin and not stick to the potatoes.
If you don’t use heavy cream often, you can buy a small pint so you don’t have any leftover (although leftover heavy cream makes excellent homemade whipped cream for small pumpkin pie).
How do you finely slice potatoes for au gratin?
The key to cooking garlic Parmesan au gratin potatoes is to thinly slice the potatoes evenly using a handheld mandolin.
I reviewed my mandoline for my salt and vinegar chips and BBQ chips so you can see it in action.
If you don’t own a mandoline, thinly slice your potatoes them carefully and evenly with a knife. Make sure they’re the same thickness so they cook evenly.
Can you slice potatoes ahead of time?
Because holiday dinners involve a lot of prep work, you can slice your au gratin potatoes up to 24 hours ahead of time.
After they’re sliced, store them in a bowl of cold water. This keeps them from oxidizing and turning brown. If you’re storing them for more than an hour, refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to cook, drain and rinse with cold water. Then let them dry completely before using.
How To Make Au Gratin Potatoes For Two
My Parmesan au gratin potatoes is baked in the oven rather than boiled on the stove top.
First, pick an oven-proof casserole dish. The baking dish in these photos is from the thrift store and says oven safe on the bottom.
It’s a 1 quart baking dish, so it makes roughly 4 servings. You can probably stretch it to 6 servings if you’re serving it for a big holiday meal like Thanksgiving.
When choosing your casserole dish or pan, make sure it has a wide surface area to make 3 layers. Au gratin potatoes cook better when spread over a wide surface area rather than stacking them thick.
If you stack them thick (say 5 layers instead of 3), the middle may be undercooked when the outside is ready.
Next, layer your potatoes, garlic, and cheese like you would with a lasagna. Once layered, pour your cream over top so it fills the gaps then top with more Parmesan.
Bake at 350F until soft and golden brown, about 60-90 minutes
Can I make au gratin potatoes the night before?
Because au gratin potatoes for two takes 60-90 minutes to bake, it’s not a quick dish to make.
To help save time, you can fully assemble your homemade au gratin potatoes up to 24 hours ahead of time.
Once you finish layering, cover tightly with plastic wrap (pressing the wrap directly on the potatoes to minimize discoloring) and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Let the dish sit at room temperature while the oven preheats. Since it’ll be cold going into the oven, you may need a longer baking time.
What To Serve With Au Gratin Potatoes
Parmesan au gratin potatoes is just one part of the meal. Here are some recipes that pair well with them:
Au Gratin Potatoes For Two
Plenty of garlic and Parmesan cheese in Au Gratin Potatoes For Two with layers of thinly sliced potatoes in a 1 quart casserole dish.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 + 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (roughly 4 large potatoes), peeled and thinly sliced (preferably with a mandoline for even, thin cuts)
- 1/2 cup diced yellow or white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/4 cups shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350F. Rub the butter in the bottom and up the sides of a 1-quart casserole dish.
- Layer some of the sliced potatoes in a single layer in the bottom of the dish, slightly overlapping.
- In a large bowl, mix together the onion, garlic, 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the mixture over the potato layer.
- Repeat the layering two more times, ending with a layer of potatoes.
- Pour the cream over the potatoes, filling in between the spaces. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Bake 60-90 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are soft.
- To help save time, you can fully assemble up to 24 hours ahead. After layering, cover with plastic wrap (pressing directly on the potatoes to minimize discoloring) and refrigerate. Let sit at room temperature while the oven preheats. Since it'll be cold, you may need more baking time.
- Liked this recipe? Check out my Stove Top Scalloped Potatoes.
- Planning your holiday menu? Check out Thanksgiving Dinner For Two, Easter Dinner For Two and Christmas Dinner For Two for recipe pairings.
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The only difference I can think of with the two is that maybe potatoes au gratin refers to the type of dish it’s baked in? But really, I have no idea what the difference is, just that I want a big helping of those!
Oh that is a possibility too! I have seen au gratin pans for sale.
Augratin potatoes have cheese in them. Scalloped potAtoes have a simple cream sauce.
lol I don’t care if their au gratin or scalloped they are delicious either way!!! This recipe looks like HEAVEN. I do adore all things Parm and garlic…and potatoes :P
4 Servings? Any changes to double this recipe? Thanks!
You can double the ingredients and either bake it in a larger casserole dish or bake it in two dishes. Baking time will probably be more towards 90 minutes if you have more layers.
Is this one you can make ahead? I like to try and cut down on the kitchen chaos.
Yes. Make it as directed (although depending on how soft your potatoes get, I may pull it at 60-75 minutes so it doesn’t turn into mush when reheating), let it cool, then wrap and refrigerate. When it’s time to serve, heat it back up in the oven.
Yes, you can ,make it ahead and reheat them.
I decided to surprise my wife by making dinner. I needed something to go with the main dish, and I saw this recipe. Let me tell you, it was great! What a hit. My picky adult son enjoyed it too.
Excellent! Glad these potatoes were a hit!
THESE ARE AMAZING! I have made them three times and doing it again tonight. I have made them ahead too but didn’t bake them. Just stuck them in the fridge until I was ready to bake and just added a touch more cream before popping them in the oven and they were perfect.
Glad to hear they can be made ahead of time! Thank you for the positive feedback
When do you add the thyme??
During Step 3
These do not need to be covered while baking?
Scalloped potatoes doesn’t contain cheese, au gratin potatoes do. Pretty much the only difference.
Thanks for the info!
From a Box?!?! Gak!!!!! Well this wonderful recipe certainly is a long long long way from that. I need one of those slicers. I forgot I needed it. Lol. Hey I am a HUGE potato fan— and not huge because I eat potatoes either. I think they get a bad rap. I find they really help me lose weight because they make me full and satisfied. Of course when they are prepared as you have done here, well maybe the calorie count is elevated just a teeny tiny bit, but so worth it. Yum!
Potatoes can definitely be healthy! It’s when you start adding cream, butter, cheese, etc. etc. that they get a bad rap. And of course I’m not helping with this recipe ;)
Can these be cooked at a different temp? Want to cook with a ham at 275 degrees if possible. Or if made ahead of time, how long would you say to reheat at 275?
I highly recommend sticking with 350F. Otherwise you’re going to end up with raw potatoes. You can certainly bake it ahead of time (or slightly under so the potatoes aren’t mush) and reheat until hot. I’d say probably 15-30 minutes? Start at 15 minutes and if it doesn’t feel hot enough, go another 15 minutes.
Another option – Make the au gratin ahead of time but bake it for 60 minutes instead of 90. While your ham is resting, bump the oven up to 350F and finish baking 30 minutes (bring it to room temperature first or you may need to add some extra time if it’s cold straight from the fridge).
This is the best comfort food! My family will love it with all that cheese.
Can’t go wrong with cheese!
We used to have those boxed potatoes too! The real thing is so much better!
Once you try this homemade recipe, you won’t go back!
This is the perfect holiday side dish! My family loves all types of potatoes!
Potatoes are the best, aren’t they?
Oh wow these look amazing! I can’t have dairy but I’ll have to make this recipe for my husband. He would love it!
Bummer on the dairy, but this recipe makes a smaller amount compared to most au gratin recipes, so your husband will be happy!
What a nice alternative to mashed potatoes for holiday meals. So cheesy good!
Perfect for potato lovers!
Can you put the ingredients together then freeze? If so, thaw and bring to room temp before cooking??
I haven’t tried it, but I don’t think you’d be happy with the results. Potatoes and dairy can be finicky when frozen. The cream might separate after thawing as well as the cheese becoming grainy. The potatoes’ texture may be too soggy. However, research shows you can bake the potatoes THEN freeze it. I haven’t personally done it myself, but you can read more here: http://howtofreezefood.com/2017/04/07/scalloped-potatoes/
These potatoes were the perfect side dish to our meatloaf. So tasty!
Glad they worked out for you!
Oh my gosh…I forgot about those boxed au gratin potatoes! I used to eat those too. LOL. These potatoes would be a welcome addition to any holiday table. Simply scrumptious! :)
Sometimes we forget about those things because they aren’t as good as homemade LOL Hope you give these a try!
Oh wow- that crispy cheese on top is enough to make me want this recipe on my list of things to make sooner than later!
Gotta love the crispy cheese!
That golden brown looks like perfection. Can’t wait to make these for my family!
Let me know what everyone thinks!
I have been looking for a good recipe to make ahead of our holiday gatherings. I always like to make sure the kitchen is cleaned up before people arrive.
I hear you! It’s no fun when you finally sit down to a nice family dinner then realize you still have to clean up afterwards.
Can you use gruyere and parmessan cheese? Also i have seen recipes baking at 325. Somthing about cream breaking.
Yes, I think gruyere would be a wonderful addition! As for the baking temperature, I’ve never had an issue with cream breaking at 350F. Make sure you’re using heavy cream because that fat is needed to keep it from breaking (not half and half or milk)
Yumm, yumm! I didn’t have enough potatoes, so I subbed in some thinly sliced butternut squash. And no parm here either, but I had some manchego and used that. It was all just wonderful. I live at high altitude, so I did cover mine for the first 30 minutes and then uncovered it to finish cooking and browning.
Loved the idea of using butternut squash! And thanks for the tip on high altitude baking.
Can I make it all up in the morning, put it in the fridge, and then cook it later in the day?
I haven’t personally tried it, but I’ve had readers tell me they’ve made it ahead of time. Cover in plastic wrap when you store it. You also might need more baking time since you’d be baking it cold from the fridge.
can i really fit 4 large russet potato slices along with everything else in a 1 quart casserole?
As long as it comes out to 1 1/2 pounds and not 4 giant potatoes weighing 2+ pounds, yes because that’s exactly what I did.
I made this last night for supper. This is good all so many levels. Enough for 2 people. I don’t want a lot of leftovers! I had a small serving left over and that works for me. We liked the garlic – not overpowering, enough to taste. I will make this again.
Thanks for the feedback, Susan! Glad this recipe worked for you.
Thank you for recipes for two. It’s just my husband and myself and I don’t have to waste anything. It’s enough for dinner and lunch the next day. This recipe looks really good. I’m going to be making it with my next Sunday dinner. I’m looking forward to see what you’re going to be sending me. Thanks again
Let me know how it turns out!