RECIPES | Classic Potato Gratin with Thyme

Classic Potato Gratin with Thyme

Potato gratin was one of the first dishes I cooked for my family as a child. Here’s my updated and simplified version.


  • Add ½ up finely chopped herbs like parsley or chives or a little oregano or marjoram
  • Add 2 slices diced bacon
  • Add minced garlic
  • Use half potatoes and half celery root or combine with turnips or kohlrabi for a lovely variation
  • You can easily scale this up or down. Just be sure to add liquid to about 3/4 up the side of the potatoes/vegetables

Serves 4-6


  • 2 ½ lb firm fleshed potatoes like yukon gold, scrubbed and thinly sliced into rounds (blade on box grater works well. I never bother peeling them but if the skin is particularly rough or thick do so)
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan, aged Asiago, sharp cheddar, emmental or gruyere
  • 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons salt (I prefer the larger amount but tend to like things well seasoned)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or dried thyme (about 5 sprigs worth if using fresh)
  • About 2 – 2 ½ cups liquid: all whole milk, part milk, part cream, part half & half, part veg or chicken stock, but be sure it’s at least ½ milk or half & half, not just stock.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put the potatoes in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper and herbs together. Sprinkle over the potatoes and toss well.
  3. Spread mixture in a 9 x 13 or similarly sized baking dish, pat down a bit with a spatula. Pour liquid over potato mixture. The liquid should come about ¾ way up the potatoes. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top and bake until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 50 - 70 minutes. If the top is browning quickly cover with foil. Cooking time will depend on how thinly you sliced your potatoes. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot or warm.