Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes
These Au Gratin potatoes are creamy, rich, and totally addicting.
As a kid, Au Gratin potatoes were my version of side dish heaven. Despite how much I loved them, in my 28 years, until recently, I had never attempted to make them. I grew up with a simpler version that called for cream of mushroom soup and a lot less cheese.
We recently had company for Sunday lunch, and I decided it was the perfect excuse to make Au Gratin potatoes to go with a ham. When looking up recipes, I realized it wasn't going to be easy to coordinate the cook times/temperatures of the potatoes and the ham. To make things simpler, I decided to make the potatoes in the crockpot. This resulted in me combining a few different recipes to make my own version. While it does take quite a bit longer to prepare Au Gratin potatoes in a slow cooker, it's nice that you can just make them and forget about them for a few hours.
I made this recipe in a 4-quart crockpot and served it to 7 adults and 2 kids. We all indulged, and there were still leftovers! :) Oh, and the picture totally does not do them justice, if I do say so myself. I was in a bit of a hurry to get lunch on the table. Better picture next time. ;)
Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups milk
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Dash of nutmeg
- 3 lbs of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices (I used russet potatoes)
- 1 cup mild cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
- Green onions, diced
- Start by peeling and cutting your potatoes - this is the most labor-intensive part of the process. If you're worried about the potatoes turning brown while making your cheese sauce, put them in cold water until you're ready to assemble.
- Saute diced onion in 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat until tender. Set aside.
- Whisk together milk, garlic, pepper, thyme, and nutmeg in a large measuring cup.
- In a medium saucepan, melt 3 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Mix in flour and salt, whisk constantly for one minute.
- Slowly pour in the milk mixture (to the flour/butter roux) and stir over medium heat until the mixture has thickened.
- Stir in the onions and then add the cheese (all at once) and continue stirring until melted - about one minute. Keep in mind, the feta may not incorporate like the cheddar - that is fine, it will melt in the crockpot. Taste and if needed, add more salt and pepper.
- Arrange one layer of potatoes in the bottom of the crockpot, cover with 1/2 of the cheese sauce. (I like to arrange the potatoes on edge, in rings - like Hassleback potatoes - instead of flat.)
- Arrange a second layer of potatoes and cover with the remaining cheese sauce.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours (until potatoes are fork-tender).
- If you have a crockpot insert that is oven-safe, once the potatoes are done, put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top layer of cheese.
If you like, top with green onions or chives, and serve.
I think it is safe to say that most people love anything that combines cheese and potatoes. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!