Kartoffelgratin, or German Scalloped Potatoes, is a mouthwatering dish that delivers creamy and cheesy potatoes in every serving! No gloopy, droopy mess — just comfort in every bite!
Oh! In case you noticed — yep, ‘kartoffel‘ means potato in German. 🙂
As for kartoffelgratin, its typically referred to by various names:
- German scalloped potatoes
- German potato gratin
- German potato casserole
- German cheesy potatoes
Regardless of what you call it, one thing is sure.
Kartoffelgratin is the simplest (and tastiest) way to make scalloped potatoes.
Why? Because you don’t need to mix flour and milk at all.
You only need to use heavy cream to cook the potatoes — not so much that it bogs down and overwhelms the entire dish.
Sprigs of thyme and grated cheese wrap everything into a warm, delicious dish you won’t stop eating.
You can serve kartoffelgratin as a side dish, but to be honest, I always end up eating it on itself — at least two servings of this ultimate comfort food. 😉
FOR MORE TRADITIONAL GERMAN RECIPES, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS!
- Potatoes – while you can use any potato for kartoffelgratin, the floury ones are the best type for preparing scalloped potatoes with heavy cream.
- Lemon – you only need the peel and, depending on the size of the lemon, not the entire peel.
- Butter – you only need a small amount for brushing the baking dish.
- Cream – I use heavy cream (also known as double cream) for this German potato gratin recipe.
- Garlic – one clove and keep it whole.
- Cheese – I use Emmental for this kartoffelgratin recipe.
- Seasoning and herbs – salt, pepper, nutmeg, and thyme are excellent for this baked potato dish.
Start preparing your kartoffelgratin by heating the oven to 200°C (375°F).
Combine cream, lemon peel, thyme, garlic, salt, ground black pepper, and nutmeg in a small saucepan.
Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Set aside for at least ten minutes.
Slice your potatoes thinly, about the 8th of an inch.
Butter your baking dish generously.
Arrange the thinly sliced potatoes on the baking dish.
Remove the thyme, lemon peel, and garlic from the heated heavy cream.
Strain the cream.
Pour the cream into the arranged potato slices.
Top your German potato gratin with grated cheese.
Place the dish in the middle of the oven for forty to forty-five minutes or until the top has turned golden.
Set aside for at least fifteen minutes to cool.
Slice and serve your kartoffelgratin!
- Make sure you taste the cream while waiting for it to boil. Adjust the seasoning if you feel it’s not balanced enough.
Remember that this is the only seasoning you’ll have for your kartoffelgratin other than the cheese.
- If you can slice the potatoes thinly with a sharp kitchen knife, please do so.
A slicer is not necessary for preparing German scallloped potatoes.
- Do not arrange the potatoes up to the top of the baking dish. Leave enough space because the cream and the cheese will bubble on the sides while baking.
- If you are going to increase this recipe, bear in mind that you also must adjust the cooking time, especially if the layer of potato slices is thicker — you need to bake it for at least an hour.
- Do not hesitate to cover the top of your kartoffelgratin with aluminum foil if you think it’s getting too dark too soon.
- Light cream. You can use half milk and half cream for a lighter kartoffelgratin sauce.
- Dried herbs. If you only have dried thyme, you can also use that as an alternative; a quarter of a teaspoon should suffice.
- Other cheese. Gruyere is an excellent alternative to Emmental — essentially, any type of Alpine cheese will be great for this German scalloped potatoes recipe.
Can I freeze kartoffelgratin?
Just wait for your German scalloped potatoes to cool down, wrap it tightly, and place it in a container for extended storage in the freezer.
How do I reheat these German scalloped potatoes?
It must be as close as possible to room temperature before being placed in the oven for reheating.
So, if it’s frozen, move it to the refrigerator the night before to start thawing.
It looks absolutely delicious, right? Try making kartoffelgratin one of these nights, and let me know how it goes!
OR GET MORE IDEAS FROM THIS LIST OF SIDE DISHES FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
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Kartoffelgratin Recipe (German Scalloped Potatoes)
- Oval Baking Dish (9-inch)
- 1/2 + 1/3 cup cream
- 1 small lemon peel
- 2 to 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 kg potatoes (about 1 pound)
- 1 tbsp butter, softened (for greasing)
- 1/2 cup cheese, grated
- pinch nutmeg
- salt and pepper, to season
- Preheat oven to 200°C (375°F).
- Using a small saucepan, combine cream, lemon peel, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, then set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- Slice your potatoes thinly (about 1/8 of an inch).
- Prepare your baking dish by generously greasing it with butter.
- Arrange the sliced potatoes on the baking dish.
- Remove the thyme, lemon peel, and garlic from the cream, and strain it.
- Pour the cream into the potato slices.
- Top your kartoffelgratin with grated cheese.
- Place it in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top has turned golden.
- Set aside for at least 15 minutes to cool.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy your kartoffelgratin!
- Cook’s Tip #1: If you can slice the potatoes thinly with a sharp kitchen knife, please do so. No need to use a slicer when preparing kartoffelgratin.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Do not forget to taste the cream while waiting for it to boil. Adjust the seasoning if you feel it’s not balanced enough. Remember that besides the cheese on top, this is the only seasoning you’ll have for your German scalloped potatoes.
- Cook’s Tip #3: If you are going to increase this kartoffelgratin recipe, remember that you also must adjust the cooking time, especially if the layer of potatoes is thicker — you need to bake it for at least an hour.
- Cook’s Tip #4: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil if you think the top of your German scalloped potatoes is getting too dark.