Cheesy Cast Iron Skillet Potatoes (Au Gratin)

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Jump to RecipeCheesy au gratin potatoes in a cast iron skillet

This is one of my all time favorite potato recipes. I love cooking these potatoes in a cast-iron skillet because it gives the potatoes a nice crispy edge and it makes the perfect amount of potatoes. This family favorite is very loved and made with fairly simple ingredients.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Potatoes: This recipe uses russet potatoes as the base. I like this type of potato because they are easy to find and work perfect for getting crispy potatoes. You could also use yukon golds, but maybe buy 5-6 of them since they are a little smaller than russet potatoes. I wouldn’t try to use red potatoes or new potatoes. They are tougher and since they are so small, they are a pain to get into thin slices.

Garlic: This recipe calls for 3 garlic cloves. Feel free to add more or less based on preference. If you don’t have garlic, you can substitute 1/2 tsp of garlic powder for the cloves.

Fresh Thyme: I love using fresh herbs when roasting potatoes. It gives the dish more flavor and aroma. It also just brightens up the dish. If you don’t have fresh thyme you can use sage or fresh rosemary or substitute it for 1/2 tsp of dried thyme.

Cheese: This recipe calls for a mix of gruyere and parmesan cheese. You can swap it out for other cheeses such as cheddar or fontina.

Shallot: Before adding the potatoes to the pan, cook a shallot in the cast iron. This is not a necessary step but I think it adds a great flavor and a crust to the bottom of the potatoes.

Butter: At the beginning, I use 1 tbsp of butter to cook the shallots in. You could also substitute this for any vegetable oil or something with a high smoke point.

A piece of cheesy potatoes.

What type of cast iron to use for skillet potatoes

Having a cast iron is a great tool to have in your kitchen. For this recipe, you can use any type of cast iron skillet. I prefer cast iron over a nonstick skillet for this recipe, because it gets the edges really crispy and it works great on the stove top and in the oven. Try to stick to one that is around 9 to 12-inches. I use the Lodge cast iron, I think that is the best option for quality and price, but there are so many different options.

How to slice potatoes for au gratin skillet potatoes

I use a mandoline at the thickest setting. This is a great way to get constant sized slices. You can also just use a knife and cut as thin as you can. I would say if your potato slices are anywhere between 1/8 - 1/4 of an inch is good.

What to serve with au gratin potatoes

Cheesy potatoes are classically know as a side holiday side dish. I feel like the only time I’ve have cheesy potatoes growing up was around a big event, but these potatoes should be had year round because they are the perfect side dish! I think you can serve them with your favorite fish or meat dish, but I would also serve them next to a large salad or some roasted veggies. Here are a few recipes I would serve these potatoes along side.

Do you have to peel potatoes for au gratin potatoes?

No, you do not have to peel the potatoes. Since the slices are so thin you don’t notice the tough edges of the potato. I actually kind of like the look of the potato skins on the slices. If you really don’t like them or the texture, then you can peel them before slicing them into thin pieces.

Cast iron skillet potatoes with a piece cut out of it.

Best cheese for au gratin potatoes

In this recipe, I use a mix of gruyere and parmesan. Gruyere is a Swiss cheese with a nutty, sweet flavor and melts well, making it a great choice for au gratin potatoes. And the parmesan brings a sharp, salty flavor. If you don’t have access or don’t like these cheeses, here are a few other options that would work well.

  • Cheddar cheese: This is a classic choice and adds a rich, tangy flavor to the dish. I would use a sharp cheddar or white cheddar.
  • Fontina cheese: This mild, buttery cheese is another good option for au gratin potatoes, as it melts easily and has a pleasant, nutty flavor. I would use this in place of the gruyere.
  • Mozzarella cheese: This mild, creamy cheese is not traditional for au gratin potatoes, but it can be a good choice if you want a milder flavor and a more gooey texture.

How to store for later

You can keep it whole or cut it into smaller pieces and place in an airtight container. To reheat for later, use the microwave or place in the oven or hot cast iron to get it crispy again.


To me, these are the perfect skillet potatoes. You don't need any toppings because there is so much flavor in the sauce. If you really want to add toppings you could add extra fresh herbs, sliced green onions, or a dollop of sour cream.

Let me know what your favorite potato recipes are!

Cheesy Cast Iron Skillet Potatoes (Au Gratin)

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  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup (2 oz) grated Gruyere
  • 1 /2 cup (1 oz) grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 small shallot, diced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cream, garlic, thyme, 3/4 cup of gruyere (save 1/4 cup for topping), all of the parmesan, salt and pepper.
  3. Thinly slice the potatoes using a mandoline slicer or knife. If you aren't ready to add them to the pan right away, place the potato slices in a bowl of cold water to keep them from browning.
  4. In a cast iron pan, add the butter and shallots and fry on medium-low heat for 3 minutes until the shallots have softened and slightly caramelized.
  5. Arrange the sliced potatoes in a spiral pattern on top of the cooked shallots. I start with a single layer around the edge and then another layer closer to the center. Be carful as the hot skillet may still be too hot to touch.
  6. Pour the cream mixture over top of the potatoes.
  7. Cover the cast iron pan tightly with a piece of aluminum foil or a lid if you have one. Place the cast iron pan into the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, take off the foil, top with remaining 1/4 cup gruyere, and bake another 30 minutes or until cheese is nice and golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and serve warm.


Looking for a lighter version of au gratin potatoes? Try these vegan creamy au grain potatoes.

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