Onion Potato Gratin

Onion potato gratin with sliced Yukon Gold potatoes, baked with onions, with heavy cream and Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses.

  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de provence, or dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (packed) grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 oz)
  • 8 Tbsp (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 oz)
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half (half cream, half milk)


Preheat oven to 400°F (unless preparing in advance).

1 Boil the potatoes: Boil the potatoes for 4 minutes in salted water. Drain and set aside.

2 Sauté the onions, sprinkle with salt and herbs: Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are softened, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle them with salt and the herbes de provence. Turn off the heat and set aside.

3 Layer potatoes, cheeses, onions, nutmeg in baking dish, pour over with half and half: Spread half of the sliced potatoes over the bottom of an 11x7-inch baking dish (Pyrex works well). Sprinkle well with salt and white pepper.

Sprinkle with about a third of the Gruyure and Parmesan cheeses. Top with the onions, the nutmeg and another 1/3 of the cheeses.

Layer the remaining sliced potatoes on top of the cheeses.

Pour the half and half over everything. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the remaining one-third of the cheeses over everything. (At this point you can make a day ahead, just cover and refrigerate until time to cook.)

4 Bake: Bake uncovered in 400°F oven until cream thickens and everything is nicely browned, about 25-30 minutes.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • CB

    Great recipe! Used emmantaler because I couldn’t get gruyere. Added a bit of garlic powder in the layers along with the thyme. Can’t wait to make this for company – very impressive.

  • Carole

    I made these for a Xmas party- although I love the idea of the pre-boil to shorten the cook time, i just didn’t feel there was a lot of flavor. I made the recipe exactly as indicated except for substituting thyme. The potatoes were cooked perfect! Not sure what I would add.

    • Elise

      Potatoes desperately need salt, so if at any time you think a potato dish is lacking in flavor, just add more salt.

  • rebecca aherne

    Can this be made the day ahead of time?

    You can make it up through step 3, 8 hours ahead of time. You might be even able to push that and do it even more ahead of time. ~Elise

  • Florence

    This recipe sounds very close to what the French have: Tartiflette Savoyarde.
    Only that calls for bacon bits and “reblochon”, a specific type of French cheese, cut in halves the long way, and you just lay the two circles on top of the rest before putting it in the oven… Yum YUM!!! But I suppose that French cheese may be hard to find in the States.

  • Giorgia

    @ Anna
    I tried a couple of times a similar recipe without boiling potatoes and result has been a disaster! Potatoes need water to become tender and this does not work in the oven as there is no water in the recipe. To be honest, I do not know the types of potatoes this recipe calls for, so it might work fort his specific type. However, if you use “normal” potatoes, I strongly advise you to boil them first.

  • Philip

    Regarding the last post about boiling the potato before baking: I make a potato & goat cheese gratin that is very similar to this and I don’t parboil them. It works just fine although you have to cook the gratin about an hour and fifteen minutes to get the potatoes done (assuming you’re using yukons; russets seem to cook quicker). I have wondered if not parboiling allows the potato to take on more of the sauce and allows the starch to also thicken the sauce more? I am actually going to try this dish tonight and will parboil so I’ll comment back with what I find. All other things being equal parboiling could be a great time saver.

  • Anna

    Is it possible to slice the potatoes very thin, with a mandolin for example, and go directly into the oven and avoid the pre boiling?

    Good question. I don’t know the answer. If you try it, please let us know how it works out for you. ~Elise

  • Kathy

    I tripled this recipe (except the onions) and made twelve servings. The potatoes were incredible and everyone went back for more. Did not have to broil, browned up nicely in the oven. Definitely a winner, my sister-in-law said it will have to replace her “cheesy potatoes” she serves on Christmas Eve.

  • Amy Wohl

    This is a very lovely version that is a kind of cross-over between the onion-less Pommes Gratin Dauphinois and the onion-scented (but no dairy products) Pommes Boulangere, often served with a lamb roast. We make both.

    But our own version is yet another compromise. We cook the potatoes in milk (2% or whole milk works fine) until just tender and layer in a buttered pan with grated Gruyere and about 3-4 tablespoons of butter. You may decide whether to use the milk the potatoes were cooked in or some half-and-half to pour into the pan (you will need about 2 cups, enough to come barely half way up the potatoes). We bake them in a 350 oven for about 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and puffed.