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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

Cheesy Potato Au Gratin with Buttery Ritz Cracker Crumbs.

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

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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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

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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Comments

    1. Hey Shelley,
      Sure, that would work well for you! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    This is my new go-to recipe for gratin. What a dish!!! I could eat this every week. We skipped the crackers because honestly I was lazy lol, and it was still phenomenal. But next time I’ll throw them in for that crunchy goodness. Note: I did add a bit more cream to make sure it was saucy enough (vs. too dry and thus not easy to coat the potatoes etc.) So make sure you gauge for yourself whether the sauce is “saucy” enough.

    1. Hey Charlotte,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am glad you enjoyed! Happy New Year! xTieghan

    1. Hey Morgan,
      Yes, Yukon gold potatoes would work well here. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Eliza,
      You can follow this recipe up until baking, cover and keep in the fridge, and then pop in the oven when you are ready to bake. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Tieghan, first, let me say I made these a few weeks ago and they were so AMAZING that they will be a staple on our holiday tables. Making them again now for Thanksgiving. Your ears should burn nearly every few days as we make so many of your recipes, which are all delicious. So, “it’s a Tieghan” is a common phrase in our house with our 5 kids, to explain why, yeah, of course it is Delish! We adore you and feel like we know you. Have a blessed holiday season. Also, if you make this ahead, do you stop after assembly? Or cook to end (minus topping) and just reheat (if the latter, what temp and how long)?

    1. Hey Samantha!
      Thank you so much for your kind message and trying so many recipes! I would make this up until baking and then place in the fridge covered. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

    1. Hey Hayley,
      I haven’t tested this recipe in the crockpot! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. Just wondering if this recipe can be assembled, then froze and then baked at a later date?
    Would the cheese/dairy separate?

    1. Hey Chelsea,
      That would be totally fine to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Of course! That works great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  4. Hello! Can you please explain “mashed garlic”? I’m a bit confused about how it’s supposed to be whisked but then ultimately removed from the pot. Thank you! Excited to make this for Thanksgiving!

    1. HI! So sorry, that is a typo. it is meant to say smashed garlic. Just lightly give the cloves of garlic a smash, add to the sauce, then remove when directed. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Yes, you can assemble the day before, but i do recommend pre-baking for the first 30 minutes or so, then finish baking the day of. The potatoes will brown a bit if you do not cook them right away. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  5. I’m planning to make these for easter! If you prepare it in advance, do bake right away and then reheat or could they be prepared the night before and baked the next day after being refrigerated?

    1. HI! I recommend pre-baking, chilling and then warming in the oven before serving. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  6. Do you hold any workshops or private classes for food photography? I am amazed by the beauty of your photos! Please let me know.

  7. i baked this on Saturday — delish!! thnx for the inspiration to COOK again – i posted a pic on instagram and tagged it

      1. Last night I used the sauce recipe but subbed radiatore & shells for the potatoes – it was by far my best batch of baked mac & cheese ever – thank you!!

  8. I have been following your post for some time but this is my first time to make a comment. I have tried several of your recipes and they have been wonderful. I love your creative imagination with food and flavors! I made this for Christmas yesterday and it was delicious! I have even been able to get my parents (who I take care of) to eat some things and like them, they probably would never have eaten before. Thank you for expanding my food adventures and giving my a lot of fuel for my love of cooking! Merry Christmas!

  9. This looks absolutely delicious! I am going to make for Christmas, but was wondering if I could prep the day before. Could this be prepped and assembled the day before?

  10. Oh Tieghan, I can’t believe you re-shot 4 times for the photos but I totally get the challenge of cheesy potatoes. I actually just made potatoes au gratin myself on Sunday and hated the photos!!!!! Yellow colour is hard for me. I am still going to post, sometimes there is just no choice!! Yours are pure gorgeousness! Absolutely love the flavour combination here.
    *From one potato lover to another. 😉

  11. This is absolutely making my Christmas dinner menu. I can’t get over your creativity, gorgeous photos or brilliant recipes! Your blog has quickly become my favorite, thank you!! Happy Holidays!

  12. I’m having a Christmas dinner party next weekend and I think these would be an amazing side to go with the beef tenderloin! So can I make it the day before and bake it the day if the party? Didn’t know if the potatoes would get soggy overnight?
    Thanks Teighan!

    1. Hey Cassie! Yes, that works great! This is perfect for prepping in advance. Hope you love the recipe! Happy Holidays! 🙂

  13. Now wouldn’t these potatoes combine awesomely with the salad from yesterday for an amazing vegetarian meal? Mmmmm…. And I’m not even a vegetarian 🙂

  14. This looks and sounds so gooood. I really want to make this but I don’t think my budget is up for me making anything this year for Christmas besides a batch of cookies and a pumpkin loaf for my mom and maybe banana bread for my dad (as presents). It’s definitely on the to make list though.

  15. Okay, survey question here, because my sibs have different opinions and I am curious to see what you think: do the snowflake Ritz taste any different than regular Ritz? High-level question I know, and I totally think it warrants a side-by-side taste-testing. In a very grown-up way of course. ? Because this is a serious question. ?

    1. LOL!! I literally go to my brothers, don’t the Snowflake Ritz taste so much better?!? I really have no idea, but a blind taste test sounds like the perfect thing to do once my family all gets here for Christmas! I will let you know the results! Happy Holidays! 🙂

  16. OH… this looks so beautiful & yummy !!
    I know my g’kids would eat this…all that cheese and with the Ritz–which is their favorite cracker as a bonus, I can’t miss with this dish !

  17. I’m kinda lovin this Ritz Cracker topping idea!!! I could eat this all day long!! Beautiful!

  18. Love your recipes, they always look delish and taste even better! I make Au gratin potatoes a lot, and one trick I always use is to add a little beef broth/stock (Campbell’s is fine for this) before I pop them in the oven. The broth and gruyere are amazing together and it gives it a savory depth that really ups the ante.

    1. Hey Jen! It really depends on the size of your potatoes, but I think I used around 12 medium-small potatoes. Hope you love the recipe! Happy Holidays! 🙂

  19. Can I just tell you, I think the photos turned out brilliantly! I mean – it made me click on the recipe and go check it out – so there. 🙂 Also, I happen to LOVE a good au gratin potato – so I will definitely be trying this. Thanks!!

  20. Love this!! Buttery Ritz crackers are the perfect topping for so many dishes. And your photos turned out beautiful! Au gratin potatoes are not easy to photograph. I attempted it about 2 weeks ago and I don’t think I’m going to try it again anytime soon… Love your commitment to getting the shots! Definitely inspiring 🙂

  21. I just brushed my teeth and still have toothpaste taste in my mouth and I STILL want this gorgeous pan!!! I love that topping!

  22. Looks awesome as always Tieghan! I have no idea how you find the time to churn out new recipes every day! Your shots always manage to have that “rustic” look, very cool. Hey, I sent you an email last week…take a peek if you get a chance. 🙂 Cheers, Greg

  23. Ah yes, this one would owrk pretty well on my table every single day, not just Xmas Eve… but then I would be rolling my way out of the house instead of walking… better keep this one for those once a year treats – that would me seem to kind of happen every two months!!
    http://bloglairdutemps.blogspot.pt

    1. Ditto on the sage leaves. Ditto on the carbs and cheese, everyman’s love language. Glad you used Ritz crackers on top. Sometimes, I just feel like food blogs are too, um “stuffy?” is that the right word?!? to use real ingredients that real people use. This looks like a winner to me.

  24. wow, that sounds intense with all those re-shoots; at least they’re so tasty it’s okay having a bunch of it around! i can see how it might be tough, because the colors are so similar + hot cheese is fickle, but the final shots came out great and i want to dive in right now! (which to me is the whole goal of food photography). also, love that you put brie in these! as if potato au gratin wasn’t great enough (: