January 30, 2023

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Hasselback Potato Gratin (No-Peel, Make Ahead)

Just-baked hasselback potato gratin.

Last weekend, in an effort to make use of the many pounds of potatoes gathering on my counter, I made a recipe that had caught my eye about this time of year last fall: The New York Times Cheesy Hasselback Potato Gratin, a stunning assembly of cascading crispy-tipped, herb-flecked, cheese-encrusted potatoes.

I made the mistake of not reading the recipe before beginning, and halfway through grating the Gruyère, I realized the gratin would need to cook for 90 minutes.

I hadn’t even started on the potatoes, which required peeling and slicing, but I decided to push on anyway, taking some liberties with the instructions, namely one big time-saving step: I would skip peeling the potatoes.

Friends, it was a gamble, but guess what? It didn’t matter! The gratin was just as beautiful visually and tasted heavenly, the earthy flavors of thyme and nutty notes of the cheese permeating the whole dish from the crispy potato tips to their creamy interiors. I served it aside roasted striped bass, and the whole combination filled me with excitement for the many holiday dinners in the months ahead.

I made one other small change to the recipe: in place of 1 cup of the heavy cream, I used one cup of stock, which is what I do in this favorite Alice Waters potato gratin recipe.

With that in mind: I cannot imagine a Thanksgiving without Alice’s potato gratin on the table, which has been a staple for as long as I can remember. That said, isn’t it kind of fun to switch it up? I no doubt will make both to ensure no betrayal is committed.

PS: Thanksgiving Menu 2022

PPS: 25+ Thanksgiving Side Dishes

How to Make This Potato Gratin Ahead of Time + Gear

Planning Thanksgiving dinner is about managing logistics more than anything else, and being able to make things ahead of time is essential. Here are some tips as well as a few notes about gear.

  • To make this gratin ahead of time, follow the recipe removing it from the oven after it has baked for 60 minutes. Let it cool, cover it with foil, then chill. When ready to bake, bake it covered for 20 minutes, remove the foil, sprinkle with the reserved cheese, and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until the mixture is evenly golden and bubbling.
  • I would not recommend making this without a mandoline. This one works great and is very safe to use. This one also works great and, if you use the guard, is also safe.
  • I can’t recommend enough investing in a very large bowl. At Thanksgiving especially, I find myself using this all the time for making double batches of things, namely stuffing.

Hasselback Potato Gratin, Step by Step

Gather your ingredients: thyme, garlic, Gruyère, parmesan, chicken stock or vegetable stock, and heavy cream.

Ingredients to make potato gratin on a countertop.

You’ll also need 4 to 4.5 pounds of potatoes. Red potatoes work well here.

A sack of red potatoes.

Start by grating the Gruyère and parmesan. Combine them in a bowl, then …

Two piles of grated cheese on a board.

… set aside 2/3 cup of the mixture (bowl on the right).

Two bowls of grated cheese on a countertop.

In your largest bowl, stir together the cream, stock, chopped thyme, and minced garlic. I love using my microplane for garlic.

A microplane grater propped on a bowl topped with minced garlic.

Add the grated cheese and stir to combine.

A large bowl filled with heavy cream, grated cheese, thyme, and chicken stock.

Next, you’ll slice the potatoes as thinly as possible. As noted above, I don’t recommend making this recipe without a mandoline. This one works great and is very safe to use. This one also works great and, if you use the guard, is also safe. Add the potatoes to the bowl as you slice.

Sliced potatoes on a countertop aside a mandoline.

Season generously with salt and pepper, then toss to coat.

A large bowl filled with sliced potatoes.

I broke out the big bowl! If you have the storage space, this bowl is wonderful for these sorts of jobs.

A very large bowl filled with sliced potatoes and ingredients to make potato gratin.

Finally, the fun part: assembly! Transfer the potatoes by the handful to the gratin dish arranging them vertically. Pour the remaining liquid from the bowl into the baking dish.

Hasselback potato gratin ready for the oven.

Cover with foil; then bake for 30 minutes at 400ºF.

A 9x13-inch baking dish covered in foil.

Uncover; then return to the oven for another 30 minutes.

Hasselback potato gratin after 30 minutes in the oven.

Remove again and …

Hasselback potato gratin after 60 minutes in the oven.

… sprinkle with the reserved cheese. Return to the oven one last time for another 30 minutes.

Hasselback potato gratin after 60 minutes in the oven, covered with grated cheese.

Ta-da!

Just-baked hasselback potato gratin.

Isn’t she pretty?

Just-baked hasselback potato gratin.
Just-baked hasselback potato gratin.
Just-baked hasselback potato gratin on a plate.

Print

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Description

Adapted from Serious Eats & The New York Times

Notes:

  • I would not recommend making this without a mandoline. This one works great and is very safe to use. This one also works great and, if you use the guard, is also safe.
  • Plan ahead: this recipe takes a total of 90 minutes to bake + 30 minutes to prep.
  • To make it ahead and reheat, remove the gratin from the oven after it has baked for 60 minutes. Let it cool, cover with foil, then chill. When ready to bake, bake covered for 20 minutes, remove foil, sprinkle with the reserved cheese, and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until the mixture is evenly golden and bubbling.
  • I can’t recommend enough investing in a very large bowl. At Thanksgiving especially, I find myself using this all the time for making double batches of things, namely stuffing.
  • The original recipe calls for using 2 cups of heavy cream, but I find it just as tasty when made with 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of stock.
  • The original recipe also calls for peeled potatoes, but I don’t think peeling is necessary.

 


  • 3 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) grated Gruyère or comté cheese
  • 2 ounces (about 2/3 cups) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 to pounds red potatoes, unpeeled and sliced ⅛-inch thick on a mandoline slicer
  • softened butter for greasing

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Combine the cheeses in your largest bowl, see notes above. Transfer ⅓ of the cheese mixture (roughly 2/3 cup) to a separate bowl and set aside. Add the cream, stock, garlic, and thyme to the large bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper — I season with 1 tablespoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal brand), and I do not find it to be too salty but use less if you are worried. Honestly, I think it could use even more salt — it’s a lot of potatoes.
  3. Add potato slices and toss with your hands until every slice is coated with the cream mixture, making sure to separate any slices that are sticking together to get the cream mixture in between them.
  4. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with the softened butter. Pick up a handful of potatoes, then transfer them to the baking dish with their edges aligned vertically. Continue placing potatoes in the dish, until all the potatoes have been added. The potatoes should be tightly packed. If necessary, slice an additional potato, coat with the cream mixture, and add to the baking dish. Pour the excess cream/cheese mixture evenly over the potatoes.
  5. Cover the dish tightly with foil and transfer it to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the top is pale golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and return to oven. Bake until deep golden brown and crisp on top, about 30 minutes longer.
  6. Remove from oven, let rest for a few minutes, and serve.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: red potatoes, Gruyère, parmesan, gratin, hasselback