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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.