Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (2024)

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by Sandyon Apr 9, 2020 (updated Nov 23, 2020)

This potato gratin recipe is the perfect side dish for a weeknight or holiday gathering! Ina Gartin’s Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe is the best! WATCH THE VIDEO!

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (1)

For Easter Sunday, or any time of year, this Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe is a crowd pleaser!

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Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe

Enjoy a 9×13 pan of this scrumptious Ina Gartin’s Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe! It’s is cheesy, creamy, and delicious!

We love it with ham or Crusted Pepper Prime Rib, and it’s also delicious with any chicken recipe!

Actually, you can serve it with any meat on the side, with a fresh vegetable.

It’s a great potato dish for a holiday brunch!

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (2)

What is potato gratin?

Gratin is how you prepare an ingredient (potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, etc) that is is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg or butter.

Gratin is a French cuisine method, usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind.

We use a large baking pan, usually a 9×13 pan for this recipe!

You may also want to try my popular Cauliflower Bacon Gratin!

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (3)

Ingredients for Potatoes-Fennel Gratin

  • Fennel bulbs (you can usually buy 2 in a pack from Trader Joe’s)
  • Yellow onion
  • Good olive oil and usnsalted butter
  • Russet potatoes
  • Heavy cream andGruyère cheese (this cheese just makes this recipe!)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (4)

What does potato gratin go with?

There are so many dishes that you can serve potato gratin with, like Slow Cooker Short Ribs, Simple Chicken Parmigiana Recipe, and Pork Tenderloin.

We also love it for spring and summer with our Grilled Cornish Game Hens!

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (5)

How to make Potato-Fennel Gratin

I’m so glad I decided to make Ina Garten’s Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe. It’s truly different than the average Scalloped Potato Gratin recipe, and the mix of fennel and cheese is just fantastic!

Easy to make ahead, I like to make the day before so it’s ready to pop in the oven the day of the party!

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (6)

Start with gorgeousfennel bulbs.

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (7)

Chopped and sauted with onion.

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (8)

Sliced potatoes using thisamazing OXO mandoline.

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (9)

Baked to perfection!

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (10)

Make the gratin potatoes the day before

I often double the recipe and make 2 pans the day before a dinner party.

You can warm them in the oven before serving!

Get the Recipe:

Ina Garten’s Potato-Fennel Gratin

Recipe from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I doubled the recipe and decreased the cooking time to 1 hour; heating them up later before the party.

Prep Time: 25 minutes mins

Cook Time: 1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr 40 minutes mins

Yield: 10

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  • 2 small fennel bulbs
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, 4 large potatoes
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, 1/2 pound
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Butter the inside of a 10-by-15-by-2-inch (10-cup) baking dish.

  • Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise, making approximately 4 cups of sliced fennel. Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until tender.

  • Peel the potatoes, then thinly slice them by hand or with a mandoline. Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyère, salt, and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well.

  • Pour the potatoes into the baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyère and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.


Originally posted FEB 2015

Cuisine: American

Course: Side Dish

Author: Sandy / Reluctant Entertainer

Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (12)

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Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (17)

Hello and welcome to my home and table!

I’m Sandy—lover of food, family, cooking, THE BIG BOARD, travel, and bringing people together. Through great recipes and connection around the table, we become better, stronger, and more courageous people. Feasting on Life is real, and every time we do it, we grow a little more. Read more...

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Christmas Easter Holidays Recipes Side Dishes Vegetarian Videos

originally published on Apr 9, 2020 (last updated Nov 23, 2020)

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20 comments on “Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe”

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  1. LindaReply

    Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (18)
    I have made this a few times, always a hit. This time I made a couple of changes. I halved the recipe as there were only three of us and a generous mountain of meaty pork back ribs. I included the full 2 TBSP of cream for cheese topping and the full 1/2 cup of additional cheese for topping. It was perfect!
    (I also cut both the fennel and onion into inch slices as family mentioned the longer strips were too big…whatever works…the flavour is still there).

  2. Mary KielbReply

    Hi, I think you had said you can prepare it the night before and bake it the day of , can you let me k ow if that would be okay, I am doubling the recipe so it would be much easier

    • Sandy

      I usually make and bake the day or 2 before, then I reheat it in the oven the day of.

  3. MonicaReply

    This was excellent! I appreciate the short list of ingredients and even though I didn’t have gruyere (used cheddar/jack) and only one fennel it still tasted really good! Thank you for this recipe. I will definitely make this again.

  4. MarianReply

    Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (19)
    Can this recipe be frozen?

    • Sandy

      I would think that after it is made and cooled, you could freeze it!

  5. Vivian HnasonReply

    I have 2 au gratin dishes Each one holds 14 OZ. How long would each be in the oven with this recipe and at what temp??

  6. Barbara TricaricoReply

    Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (20)
    Thank you for mentioning my Ashland book! And I do know your cousin :) A very talented photographer!! This morning, my daughter-in-law across the country emailed me this recipe, since she was trying it, and we couldn’t help smiling at the coincidence at your mention.. I’m glad she found this, since I’ll now be sure and bookmark your wonderful blog!!

    • Sandy

      Such a small world. Love your book, and enjoy the recipe! xo

  7. SusanReply

    You mentioned that you made this a day before…I find that my potatoes sometimes turn brown if not cooked immediately. Did you cook it when you first made it and then re-heat? If so, would love to know the timing so it doesn’t dry out. Thanks in advance!

    • Sandy

      I’ve done it both ways, Susan. This recipe is a little browner on top anyway because of the fennel and onions, baked into the cheese. I’ve cooked it ahead, and cut squares (reheated) and served. But the best is to serve it hot out of the oven! :)

  8. Cindy FrankReply

    To die for!!

  9. sylvieReply

    Crispy outside, melty inside (it sounds like that), exactly the textures I love!

  10. bev @ bevcooksReply

    That is one SEXY gratin. Deeeeeuuuum.

  11. Brian @ A Thought For FoodReply

    That table setting is gorgeous, as is this gratin! I love adding fennel to dishes this time of year… especially ones that are on the heavier side to give it a little brightness. Gorgeous dish!

  12. Heidi SchuurmanReply

    That looks so yummy, and the table is gorgeous! I love the pop of red. Have fun!

  13. KirstinReply

    Oh yum! Just pinned that one! I don’t think I have ever made a gratin. I’ve made scalloped potatoes but pretty typical recipe. This looks so rich and yummy! And with salmon and everything else….my tummy is growling…winner winner chicken dinner

  14. Patricia @ Grab a PlateReply

    This dish looks amazing! I love fennel and I could probably eat an entire pan of this. Looks like a lovely party!

  15. AggieReply

    “keep me reasonably sweet”…
    I love this poem / prayer sandy!

    Your party sounds amazing!! I wish I could have a place to sit…enjoy those potatoes <3

  16. JulieDReply

    Looks awesome, Sandy!! :)

Potato-Fennel Gratin Recipe (2024)


What is the difference between au gratin and gratin? ›

A “gratin” is any dish that is topped with cheese or breadcrumbs mixed with butter, then heated in the oven or under the broiler until brown and crispy, according to The Food Lover's Companion. The term “au gratin” or “gratinée” just refers to anything prepared in that manner.

What is the one trick Michael Symon uses to make perfect scalloped potatoes? ›

Surprisingly, aluminum foil is his secret weapon. After beautifully shingling the potatoes (he's got a genius trick for doing this quickly, too) he covers the dish in foil before hitting the oven.

Why are my au gratin potatoes watery? ›

If you used a pre-prepped potato from the refrigerator section instead of slicing your own, they can have preservatives that make them a bit watery. If you stored your potatoes in water to prevent discoloring, be sure to drain them well and pat them dry before adding to your casserole.

Which is better scalloped potatoes or au gratin? ›

Scalloped potatoes also won't be as crispy in texture as au gratin. Both are golden brown and creamy, but if it's crispiness and crunchiness you're after, au gratin will probably be your best bet. Either one is sure to be a hit with your dinner guests, but it just depends on what sort of vibe you're going for!

What is a substitute for cream in gratin? ›

Fortunately, you can still make a delicious gratin dauphinoise without cream. Substitute fat-free or non-dairy milk, a small amount of light butter, and plenty of herbs and spices so you wind up with a tasty dish that you don't have to feel guilty about eating.

Can I slice potatoes for scalloped potatoes the day before? ›

If raw, once the potato is cut you can store in the refrigerator, covered with water for 12-24 hours. Be sure to keep submerged in water to prevent slices from turning gray or brown.

Why are my scalloped potatoes soupy? ›

Watery scalloped potatoes are not good, and is often caused by using the wrong type of potato. This recipe requires starchy potatoes, such as russets or Yukon golds, not waxy potatoes. Another cause is washing or holding the sliced potatoes in water (as outlined in the question above).

Why are my scalloped potatoes always hard? ›

Potatoes or rice can remain rock-hard after prolonged cooking. Starch will not swell if it is acidic. If you have a lot of sour cream in your scalloped potatoes or add something acidic, your potatoes may not soften. You can cook the potatoes with heavy cream or milk and then, after they soften, stir in sour cream.

Why do my scalloped potatoes taste bland? ›

Instead, to avoid those bland mouthfuls of potato, you need to instead season every layer. The added seasoning will become sandwiched in between the potato slices, ensuring every bite will be bursting with flavor. It might take a few extra minutes during preparation, but we promise it's a few extra minutes well spent.

What is the best choice scalloped potatoes? ›

The best potatoes to use for a homemade scalloped potato recipes like this one are baking/frying potatoes, either russet or Idaho. They have dry, light, and fluffy interiors that hold their shape when cooked. The starch in the potatoes helps to thicken the sauce while the casserole bakes.

Why did my au gratin potatoes turn GREY? ›

You're probably leaving the peeled potatoes exposed for too long before putting them in the pot. Once peeled, a potato, like an apple or banana, begins to turn color, as certain enzymes start to oxidize. So peel them into a bowl of cold water and leave them there until ready to cook.

What pan is best for au gratin potatoes? ›

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.

Can I slice potatoes ahead of time for gratin? ›

If you're here, you'll probably be glad to know that yes, you can peel and cut potatoes the day before you plan to serve them — and that it's super easy! All you have to do is submerge the bare potato pieces in water and refrigerate (more on that later).

Are scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes the same thing? ›

What is the difference between au gratin potatoes and scalloped potatoes? Au Gratin potatoes contain cheese, whereas Scalloped Potatoes do not. Scalloped potatoes typically contain cream but can also contain flavorful stock instead of dairy.

What's the difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes? ›

The difference comes down to cheese. Scalloped potato recipes are usually baked in a basic cream sauce until soft and tender, with no cheese topping. Potatoes au gratin are a bit more decadent. They are made with lots of cheese sprinkled in between the layers of potatoes and also on top of the casserole.

What makes a dish a gratin? ›

A gratin is a dish that is topped with cheese, or bread crumbs mixed with bits of butter, then heated in the oven or under the grill until brown and crisp. The terms au gratin or gratinée refer to any dish prepared in such a manner.

What does gratin literally mean? ›

The phrase au gratin literally means "by grating" in French, or "with a crust," from the verb gratter, "to scrape, scratch, or grate." Definitions of au gratin. adjective. cooked while covered with browned breadcrumbs (and sometimes cheese)


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