Dissimilarity Between Au Gratin Potatoes and Scalloped Potatoes

We start to talk about potatoes when fall arrives and zucchini becomes the most popular side dish. Although there are many ways to prepare potatoes in many different ways, the two best recipes for potatoes seem very similar. They can even be considered the same. These are potatoes au gratin and scalloped potatoes.

They are super creamy and rich. They are however distinguished by a few factors.

These two potato casseroles are distinguished by one ingredient: cheese! Cheese! Scalloped potatoes can be made with thinly sliced potatoes. The cream can be infused with fresh herbs and garlic, or it may even contain a fragrant ingredient like garlic.

Instead, potatoes au-gratin have grated cheese sprinkled between each layer. This creates a richer and more delicious dish. Before it goes in the oven, breadcrumbs may be added to the dish. A slight difference in the way the potatoes have been sliced is also noticeable. Both casseroles cut the potatoes into rounds. However, the scalloped potatoes are usually cut thicker than those used in au gratin.

The confusion comes from the fact that classic definitions are often overlooked. There are many different recipes for scalloped potatoes (some of which you can find on our site). Many recipes call for cheese, breadcrumbs, and/or both. This would make them potatoes au-gratin. Whatever their name, we know they are comforting and that we will eat one.

Simple Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 5 cups thinly cut peeled potatoes (6 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • Additional pepper may be added if desired


Preheat oven to 350oF. Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir until well combined. Gradually stir in the milk. Bring to a boil. Allow simmering for 2 minutes. Stir until thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in cheese. Add the onion and potatoes.

Transfer to greased 2-qt. baking dish. Bake at 350°F for one hour. Remove the cover and bake for between 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Additional pepper can be added if you wish.

Potatoes And Gratin Tips

Why Did My Potato Au Grin Curdle?

High heat can affect the fat in dairy products and cause curdling. We thicken the milk using flour in this Au gratin potatoes recipe to prevent curdling. Starch can also work, so be sure to use a potato with high starch like a russet. This russet recipe can be used up if you still have russet potatoes.

How Can You Keep Potatoes Au Gratin From Becoming Watery?

When making au gratin, replace the milk with heavy whipping cream. It has a higher fat percentage and is more watery. Because russet potatoes contain less water and more starch than regular potatoes, they are perfect for aux gratin recipes.

What Goes Well Alongside Au Gratin Potatoes?

Lemon-thyme chicken can be made in a few minutes and is just as delicious. Want to feel like you’re having a steakhouse-style dinner? Have you ever thought of a grilled steak? Or any other steak recipe?