The Pioneer Woman's Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe: Is This the Perfect Potato Recipe? by Donna John

The Pioneer Woman's Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe: Is This the Perfect Potato Recipe?

Because my father-in-law, a retired executive chef, is getting up in age, members of the family have been asked to make certain dishes for the holidays and family get-togethers that he usually cooks. This year for Christmas, I was asked to make the potatoes au gratin. The pressure was on! I reached out to my sister-in-law to get some inside information (she's made them a few times). She said her go-to recipe is based on The Pioneer Woman's cheesy au gratin potatoes. So that is what I went with.

Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) calls these "perfect au gratin potatoes." I've got to say that they are pretty close. Russet potatoes are sliced then layered and covered with a sauce made with heavy cream, milk, flour and garlic. The potatoes are topped with sharp cheddar cheese after baking in the oven for about 50 minutes. The result are rich, cheesy, delicious au gratin potatoes perfect for any occasion.

Because I was feeding a large family, I doubled this potato recipe. The baking time does increase to about 1 1/2 hours. My sister-in-law mixes some cheese into the sauce so it's more layered throughout. She also adds more cheese than called for, which is always a good thing.

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 4 russet potatoes, scrubbed, sliced and cut into fourths 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Smear the softened butter all over a casserole baking dish.
  2. Combine the cream, milk, flour, garlic, salt and black pepper (be generous!).
  3. Put one-third of the potatoes into the baking dish. Pour one-third of the cream over the top.
  4. Repeat layers two more times.
  5. Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven for about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake about 20 more minutes or until potatoes are golden brown. Add the grated cheese to the top and bake about 5 more minutes.

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Elisa Schmitz
I didn't know that about your father-in-law. Hugs! I'm trying this tasty recipe! #yum

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