Healthy Au Gratin Potatoes | Perfect Holiday Side!

This healthy Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes recipe is a clean-eating, savory, and easy upgrade to an old classic. Bake this savory side as a gluten-free accompaniment to your main protein.  Perfect as a holiday side, too!

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes | Make your own homemade Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes!  This potatoes au gratin recipe is an easy, healthy, and flavorful upgrade to an old classic. | A Sweet Pea Chef

Okay, friends, let me be the first to introduce you to these next-level au gratin potatoes right here. I wanted to go all out with this au gratin potatoes recipe by adding additional yummy flavors to the cheesy potato goodness. I brought in the big guns: onion, bacon, and mushrooms

Yup.  And it was goooood.

What Are Au Gratin Potatoes?

Okay, so if you’re wondering what the difference between au gratin and scalloped potatoes are and, thus what are au gratin potatoes, hopefully, this helps explain it for you.  PS: You’re not alone!

Here are the three main differences between au gratin and scalloped potatoes:

  1. What’s on top of the dish. A gratin (coming from the French word for “grated”) usually has a topping of breadcrumbs or cheese (like in this recipe), which gets golden brown as it finishes its cooking. A scalloped dish does not have a grated topping. The surface pf scalloped potatoes may still brown, but it is the sauce itself that is browned, not the gratin.
  2. The Cheese!  Most of the time, “Au gratin indicates cheese is either on top or within the sauce.  Scalloped, however, does not have cheese.  
  3. Are they scalloped? The term, scalloped, refers to the shape of the potatoes on top that tend to curl up around the edge when cooked forming the shape of a scallop shell.

The before image of the washed potatoes next to a casserole dish filled with sliced potatoes that are ready to bake for the cheesy au gratin potatoes.

Image of some of the ingredients needed to make the cheesy au gratin potatoes, including russet potatoes, yellow onion, and cremini mushrooms.

CAN I MAKE AU GRATIN POTATOES GLUTEN-FREE?

This recipe for Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes is already gluten-free. But, if you are new to the world of cooking without gluten, you should know to check your cheese before purchasing to make sure that there is no added wheat starch or modified food starch made from wheat. 

Other things to look out for are the addition of barley or rye to the cheese making process. As long as you keep an eye out for those additions, you’ll be fine! Enjoy the yummy flavor of cheddar cheese used in my recipe, or try variations, like Gruyere.

HOW CAN I MAKE HEALTHY AU GRATIN POTATOES VEGAN?

It’s simple to make this healthy au gratin potato recipe into a vegan dish. Make this wholesome dish super creamy and vegan-friendly by using cauliflower cheese sauce instead of actual cheese. You’ll be adding fiber, vitamin C, and powerful antioxidants to your already nutritional dish!

Of course, there are lots of vegan cheeses out there, too. Explore tastes like cheddar, ricotta, mozzarella, gouda, and more any time you need to transform a cheese-related dish into vegan fare. If you are looking to make a dairy-free version of this savory side, use your vegan cheese option in this case as well.

You can also sub out the bacon for additional mushrooms to make this au gratin potatoes recipe vegan.

Skillet filled with diced yellow onion and diced cremini mushrooms, ready to be cooked and then added to the potatoes to make the cheesy au gratin potatoes.

IS BACON CLEAN-EATING?

Yes, indeed, bacon can be classified as a clean-eating ingredient as long as there are no nitrates (look for celery salt as the preserving agent, for example) and no added sugar. Many pork producers are in-the-know and have begun to make their products gluten-free, without added nitrates, and without MSG.

Of course, eating bacon in moderation is always a wise choice when striving for a healthy lifestyle!

HEALTHY INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS FOR CHEESY AU GRATIN POTATOES

There are easy ingredient substitutes for Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes. I know sometimes there is a need to replace an item because of a health concern or a specific diet. Here is how to do it:

  • Gluten-free: Double check the cheese you buy to verify that there are no wheat additives. As for the bacon, make sure there is no malt used in processing.
  • Vegan/Non-dairy: Substitute vegan cheese or make a cauliflower “cheese” sauce.  Replace bacon with addiitonal mushrooms.
  • Keto: Replace the potatoes with cauliflower for a low-carb, fiber-rich option.
  • Paleo: Replace the cheese with coconut cream and almond milk.

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes - Mmm Cheese Sauce

Can You Make Ahead Au Gratin Potatoes?

This potatoes au gratin recipe can easily be made ahead of time and then reheated when ready.  As long as the potatoes are mostly submerged in the cheesy, creamy gooey goodness, you will likely not have any issue of the potatoes turning brown or grey. 
To prepare the make ahead au gratin potatoes, just cover the cooked dish with plastic wrap.  You can also press down the plastic wrap to directly touch the potatoes to remove as much air as possible.  Then, when ready to reheat, place in the oven as in the directions to heat through.

HOW DO I REHEAT CHEESY AU GRATIN POTATOES?

In the unlikely event you have any portions of this delicious baked classic left over, you can go ahead and store right in the same dish. Just be careful to wrap these healthy au gratin potatoes well with saran or foil until you reheat. To warm them up, place in a 350 degree oven, covered with foil. Check it in 20 minutes. If you want to freeze the leftovers, do so in an airtight dish and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating in the oven.

One serving of the cheesy au gratin potatoes on a plate with the casserole dish in the background. You can see the sliced cooked russet potatoes, chunks of mushrooms, and the cheesy sauce.

What To Eat With Au Gratin Potatoes

Here’s a list of my favorite recipes to eat with au gratin potatoes:

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes - Baked

LOOKING FOR MORE HEALTHY POTATO SIDES?

If you are wondering about healthy potato sides for your next special occasion (or for a weeknight dinner!), look no further. These easy clean-eating dishes are oh, so savory and sure to please every taste:

This tasty side also makes a great side dish for a Christmas ham so keep them in mind during the holidays!

5 from 1 vote
Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes Square Recipe Preview Image
Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 5 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

Make your own homemade Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes! This potatoes au gratin recipe is an easy, healthy, and flavorful upgrade to an old classic.

Categories: Baking, Side Dish
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: cheesy au gratin potatoes, healthy au gratin potatoes, potatoes au gratin healthy
Servings: 8
Calories: 221 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
Ingredients
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, sliced between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick
  • 8 cremini mushrooms, fienly diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 strips nitrate-free bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup PLUS 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place potato slices in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 6 minutes. This will save significant time baking, as it will start to cook the potatoes. If you're wanting to line the potato slices into a neat domino format (as pictured above), do this before heating in the microwave. Lining them up makes for a better presentation, but is not necessary.
  3. Over medium-high heat, cook bacon for 3-5 minutes, or until it begins to sweat.
  4. Add onion and mushrooms and cook until tender. 

  5. Add garlic and cook for one additional minute. Then, remove from heat.

  6. In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Mix in the chickpea flour, garlic powder, and sea salt, stirring constantly. Cook for one minute.

  7. Add the almond milk and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring very frequently, until mixture has thickened.(To get even thicker, can add 1 tsp. arrowroot starch, though this is not necessary).

  8. Add in 3/4 cups of the cheddar cheese, and stir until melted. 

  9. Combine the onion-mushroom-bacon mixture with the cheese sauce.
  10. If you lined the potato slices like dominos, just pour the cheesy onion contents over the potatoes and then giggle the baking dish some to get it to settle in the crevices. If you'd prefer to just combine it all together and not worry about the slices being in an orderly fashion, just gently toss to combine, making sure to coat the potatoes as evenly as possible, and then pour into the baking dish.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top.

  12. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 40-50 minutes, until potatoes are completely tender. Remove aluminum foil and bake, uncovered, for an additional 10-15 minutes until top is golden brown.
Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 5.1g26%
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 485.5mg20%
Carbohydrates 19.1g6%
Fiber 2.1g8%
Sugar 1.3g1%
Protein 8.1g16%
Vitamin A 800IU16%
Vitamin C 7.4mg9%
Calcium 280mg28%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

14 thoughts on “Healthy Au Gratin Potatoes | Perfect Holiday Side!

  1. Hello! I would love to try making these for Christmas but am worried my one oven will not allow for it time wise… Could these be made in a slow cooker? Or do you think they would hold up well being made beforehand as reheated? I’d love your opinion!

    1. I’ve never tried to make this recipe in a slow cooker before so I’m not sure. I think reheating would be fine, but I’d recommend reheating in the oven if you have the space to keep the same texture. If not, the microwaved version will still be tasty 🙂

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