Loaded Potatoes Au Gratin

November 18, 2019 by Nicole Collins

Ok, folks. We’re officially in “eat your face off” season!

Hide your scales for the next month and a half, or so.

Truth be told, in true Libra fashion, I usually fall on both sides of the health-o-meter this time of year. I struggle with the seasonal changes, so I usually make sure I eat super healthy for the most part during the colder months. Lighter, brighter foods equal sun and fun in my mind, so I usually try to stay away from the super heavy stuff.

On the other hand though, I certainly don’t turn my nose up at all the holiday pastries and candies and all out comfort food that surface this time of year. And, I can tell you that I’m not just eating salads on Thanksgiving.

Libras = balance!

For the next couple posts, we’re going to have some Thanksgiving themed recipes to help us kick off the season of eating. Some will be new fun ideas to switch up your routine for Thanksgiving dinner. Some will be ideas to help you use up those leftovers. ALL will be delicious! Today’s recipe falls much farther on the comfort food side of the scale, though.

First up, we’re making Loaded Potatoes Au Gratin!

I love potatoes in basically every form, but Potatoes Au Gratin are something I grew up eating. Now at my house, we ate the taters from the box, but grown up Yummy Muffin makes hers from scratch!

And adds lots of bacon, garlic, cheese, and sour cream!

Let’s talk potato. Yukon golds are easily my favorite potato. They’re buttery and creamy and they hold their shape really well when cooked. They’re not overly starchy, so they don’t turn to fluffy mush when they cook. We need to slice our potatoes to the perfect thickness so that they hold their shape but so that they don’t take 10,000 years to cook. A mandoline slicer is the best tool to use.

Now, I did something really dumb and used baby Yukon golds. Don’t make the same mistake as me, folks! The casserole tastes perfectly delicious no matter what size the potatoes are since they’re still sliced to the same thickness. But, they take forever to peel and slice when they’re the little potatoes. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Especially when you’re trying to get Thanksgiving dinner on the table.

After we layer our potatoes in our casserole dish, we’re going to pour a creamy, cheesey sauce on top made with a little flour, milk, lots of garlic, and freshly shredded cheddar cheese. Then, we top it with bacon, repeat the layers, add more cheese, and throw it in the oven to get ooey, gooey, bubbly, and golden.

After our casserole comes out of the oven, we finish it off the way you’d finish off any loaded potato…with scallions and sour cream! The gooey cheese, sharp garlic, creamy potatoes, and cool toppings are heaven in your mouth when you get them all in one bite. And, what a fun way to think beyond the mashed potato and change up your potato routine!

Alright everyone, next up is a dessert that doubles as brekkie. Don’t you love when that happens!

Til then…let’s eat!

Loaded Potatoes Au Gratin

Serves: 6 Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs (4 cups) yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tbsp flour

  • 1 ½ cups milk (I used 1%)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided

  • sliced green onion and sour cream, for serving

  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a 1.5-2qt casserole dish with cooking spray.

  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour, stir to combine, and cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk, and add salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add 1 cup cheddar. Whisk until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

  3. Layer ½ of the potatoes to cover the bottom of the casserole dish, slightly overlapping potatoes. Top with half of the cheese sauce, and spread to evenly cover the potatoes. Top cheese sauce with 6 slices of crumbled bacon. Repeat for a second layer with potatoes and cheese sauce. Top with remaining ½ cup cheddar. Lightly cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 mins. Remove foil, and bake uncovered for an additional 30 mins.

  4. After removing from the oven, top with remaining two slices of crumbled bacon, green onions, and sour dream, if desired. Serve!

Recipe notes:

*The best way to cut a consistent thickness of potatoes is to use a mandoline slicer.

*You may think it's strange that we're not directly seasoning the potatoes, but there's enough salt in the cheese sauce to perfectly flavor the potato slices!

*To layer the potatoes in the dish, work on one row at a time, making sure you're slightly overlapping the potatoes. Then, when you move on to the next row, you'll slightly overlap those to the previous row you just made. See pic in the post for layering suggestion.

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