Yesterday we did salad. Today we do CARBS + CHEESE.

Cheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I mean, of course.

Totally logical, right?! Yes, totally.

Like I said yesterday this week seems to unintentionally be shaping up as a Christmas Eve Dinner menu. So far we’ve had a standing rib roast, winter salad…and cookies for dessert…today we have the hearty and tomorrow…

Hmm, I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Okay, well I obviously know what tomorrow will bring, but all I’m going to say is that it’s going to be soooo GOOD. And super fun, cause ummm, there’s another new video with Asher reviving her role as a mini Mr. Clause (she played Mrs. Claus for the Crate and Barrel shoot too). Cutest thing ever!

Cheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestCheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

When it comes to the food I make when there are tons of people to feed, the flavors typically need to be pretty basic. A lot of people generally means some super picky people (cough, cough, my brothers – cough, cough, mom) and while I want to please everyone, the issue I have of feeling the need to please everyone… and all at once, can interfere with my creativity.

SIDE NOTE: It kills me when I get comments on a recipe that someone just did not like a recipe. Or that they don’t eat say, blue cheese. I mean, in my head I know it is IMPOSSIBLE to please all the people and all the time – and with one recipe, but it still kills me inside knowing some of you are not into it.

These potatoes? I swear, they please all the people without being boring. Well almost all the people, not vegans because of the cheese, but I don’t personally know any vegans. Not that I am opposed or anything, but you guys know I like to cook with a lot of cheese. Potatoes + cheese = the family’s favorite combo. Clearly these need to be on our Christmas Eve Dinner menu.

OH and does anyone else like Christmas Eve just a little more than Christmas Day? Christmas Eve is my favorite. So much anticipation and excitement for what’s to come. I always try to make our Christmas Eve extra special. Although, I think I pretty much end up cooking the entire day, but it’s still the best, and EVERYONE loves sitting down to a delicious meal.

But ahh, mom’s Death by Chocolate is the highlight without a doubt. That is HER thing, she kills it.

Cheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Anyway, back to these cheesy potato au gratins, these were my first attempt at a potato au gratin…I made the recipe FOUR flippin times… and in four days. We ate A LOT of potatoes last week. Like a lot. In fact, we are still eating them. Potatoes for weeks.

Good news is that we really like potatoes and cheese over here, so none of the trays went to waste. Cool!!

Why did I make the recipe four times you ask? Photos. Photos. Photos. Every time. It’s always the photos.

The recipe turned out delicious the first time, but oh man the photos were just plain ugly and I knew I’d never post them. So I tried again… and again and again. It took awhile but I am finally, semi-OK with the photos and honestly, SO very glad to be done with the recipe. The photo portion of it at least.

The only reason I did not just scrap the recipe entirely is because these potatoes are DELICIOUS. Like so good and I really wanted to tell you guys all about them. So I stuck it out, but man, be warned, this is really not a very photogenic food. Just sayin.

OKAY while the photos where hard for me, the recipe was not. These are EASY. You’re literally just tossing thinly sliced potatoes with cheesy cream sauce, adding a buttery Ritz cracker crumb topping and baking until the potatoes reach a tender and golden perfection. You can even prepare everything in advance, making them the perfect holiday dish – yes!

Cheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

OH and can we talk about the cheeses in these potatoes for a second?!? Gruyère and buttery BRIE… serious delish here! I know they are a bit decadent, but hey, it’s the holidays, everything should be just a little decadent, you know? You do, you do.

Favorite part??? These potatoes have a buttery Ritz cracker topping. I will never show it in person, cause in person I am WAY too serious, but secretly inside I am ten years old and still love Ritz crackers (especially snowflake Ritz crackers). And salty buttery Ritz and on my potatoes? WOW is really all I can come up with!

Cheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
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5 from 3 votes
The Recipe

Cheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs.

By halfbakedharvest

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheese, potato, potato au gratin, ritz crackers

Gruyère and buttery BRIE... serious delish here!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 380 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic mashed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups heavy cream or whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup gruyere cheese shredded
  • 4 ounces brie rind removed + diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 4 pounds russet potatoes cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 1 1/2 cups Ritz crackers or other buttery crackers crushed
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, cook the butter and garlic until the garlic is fragrant and caramelized. Add the flour and whisk until combined. Slowly pour in the cream and cook until the cream is warm. Remove from the heat, stir in 3/4 of the Gruyere. Next add the brie, sage, cayenne and a pinch of salt + pepper. Stir until all the cheese has melted and the sauce smooth. If needed, place back over low heat until the cheese is fully melted. Remove the garlic cloves.
  3. Butter a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Pour the cream sauce into a large bowl with the potato slices. Mix gently to coat the potatoes. Season the mix with a little bit of salt and pepper. Mix to gently incorporate. Spoon a little bit of the cream sauce into the bottom of the casserole dish. Then spoon the potatoes in. Try to get the potatoes in one even layer for even cooking. Pour any remaining cream at the bottom of the bowl over the top the potatoes. Top with the remaining Gruyere cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, but pull back one corner for the steam to escape. Bake for 1 hour.
  4. In a bowl, mix together the crackers and 2 tablespoons butter. After 1 hour of cooking, remove the foil and sprinkle the cracker mixture over the potatoes. Continue baking for 30-35 minutes or until the crackers are golden. Serve hot with fresh herbs if desired!!
Cheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Rambling over. Now we eat all these cheesy potatoes with buttery, golden Ritz. YUMMERS.

Cheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest