Gratin Dauphinois: Traditional Recipe

Gratin Dauphinois is a classic French dish that is both delicious and comforting. This traditional recipe has been passed down through generations, making it a staple in many French households. In this article, we will explore the history of Gratin Dauphinois and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to make this delectable dish at home.

History of Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin Dauphinois, also known as Pommes de Terre Dauphinoise, originated in the Dauphiné region of southeastern France. The dish is believed to have been created in the 18th century and has since become a beloved classic in French cuisine. Traditionally, Gratin Dauphinois is made with layers of thinly sliced potatoes, cream, and garlic, baked to perfection until golden and bubbly.

Gratin Dauphinois has a rich history that dates back centuries. It was originally created in the Dauphiné region of France, known for its culinary traditions. The dish was a favorite among French royalty and has stood the test of time as a beloved comfort food. The combination of creamy potatoes, garlic, and cheese has made Gratin Dauphinois a classic dish that continues to be enjoyed by many around the world.

The name Dauphinois refers to the Dauphiné region where the dish originated. The word gratin comes from the French word for crust or scraping, which perfectly describes the golden-brown topping that forms on the dish as it bakes. This dish has evolved over the years, with variations that include different cheeses, herbs, and seasonings, but the core ingredients of potatoes, cream, and garlic remain the same.

The simplicity of Gratin Dauphinois is what makes it so appealing. With just a few basic ingredients, you can create a dish that is rich, creamy, and full of flavor. Whether served as a side dish or a main course, Gratin Dauphinois is sure to be a hit at any gathering.

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To make Gratin Dauphinois, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of Gruyère cheese, grated
  • Fresh thyme for garnish

When selecting potatoes for Gratin Dauphinois, it is important to choose Yukon Gold potatoes for their creamy texture and buttery flavor. These potatoes hold their shape well when sliced thinly and baked with the cream mixture, resulting in a decadent dish that is sure to impress.

Heavy cream is a key ingredient in Gratin Dauphinois, adding richness and creaminess to the dish. When combined with minced garlic, the cream infuses the potatoes with flavor as they bake. Be sure to season the cream mixture with salt and pepper to taste, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

Gruyère cheese is traditionally used in Gratin Dauphinois for its nutty flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. When sprinkled on top of the potatoes before baking, the cheese forms a golden brown crust that adds a delicious contrast to the creamy interior. Fresh thyme is the perfect finishing touch, adding a pop of color and herbaceous flavor to the dish.


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Peel and thinly slice the Yukon Gold potatoes using a mandoline slicer.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream and minced garlic over medium heat until it simmers.
  4. Season the cream mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Layer the sliced potatoes in a greased baking dish, alternating with the cream mixture.
  6. Sprinkle the grated Gruyère cheese on top of the potatoes.
  7. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  9. Garnish with fresh thyme before serving.
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Achieving the perfect Gratin Dauphinois requires attention to detail and precision. Preparing the potatoes by slicing them thinly and evenly ensures that they cook evenly and absorb the creamy garlic-infused cream. Layering the potatoes with the cream mixture and cheese creates a deliciously rich and decadent dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Baking the Gratin Dauphinois covered with foil allows the potatoes to cook through and absorb the flavors of the cream and garlic. Removing the foil towards the end of the baking time allows the top to brown and become crispy, adding texture and visual appeal to the dish. Garnishing with fresh thyme before serving adds a burst of freshness and aroma that complements the creamy potatoes perfectly.

Tips for Success:

  • Use Yukon Gold potatoes for their creamy texture and flavor.
  • Be sure to slice the potatoes thinly and evenly for even cooking.
  • Let the Gratin Dauphinois rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Experiment with different cheeses, such as Emmental or Comté, for a unique twist on this classic dish.

When making Gratin Dauphinois, it is important to use Yukon Gold potatoes for their creamy texture and rich flavor. Slicing the potatoes thinly and evenly ensures that they cook through evenly and absorb the flavors of the cream and garlic. Allowing the dish to rest before serving allows the flavors to meld together, creating a harmonious blend of creamy potatoes, garlic, and cheese.

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Experimenting with different cheeses such as Emmental or Comté can add a unique twist to the traditional recipe. These cheeses offer distinct flavors and textures that can elevate the dish and create a new experience for your taste buds. Don’t be afraid to get creative and customize the dish to suit your preferences and taste preferences.


Gratin Dauphinois is a timeless dish that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you are hosting a dinner party or simply craving a comforting meal, this traditional recipe is sure to impress. Try making Gratin Dauphinois at home and savor the rich flavors of French cuisine. Bon appétit!


1. What is Gratin Dauphinois?

Gratin Dauphinois is a classic French dish made with layers of thinly sliced potatoes, cream, garlic, and cheese, baked until golden and bubbly.

2. Where did Gratin Dauphinois originate?

Gratin Dauphinois originated in the Dauphiné region of southeastern France in the 18th century.

3. What are the key ingredients needed to make Gratin Dauphinois?

The key ingredients needed are Yukon Gold potatoes, heavy cream, garlic, salt, pepper, Gruyère cheese, and fresh thyme.

4. What are some tips for success when making Gratin Dauphinois?

Some tips for success include using Yukon Gold potatoes, slicing them thinly and evenly, letting the dish rest before serving, and experimenting with different cheeses for a unique twist.

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