This Easy Creamy Cheesy Potato Bake is true to its name – easy and creamy and cheesy! Made with cubes of potato which are cooked with the sauce so there’s no need to par boil the potatoes or make the sauce separately. Plus, it’s a whole lot faster to chop potatoes than slice them thinly – and you get more sauce in every bite!
Easy Creamy Cheesy Potato Bake. How’s that for a tongue twister, eh? ? Try saying that 3 times real fast (even harder, after a couple of glasses of wine). I keep getting myself confused, and I’ve probably gotten it wrong a few times in this post even though I’ve gone back to check several times!
When you think of potato bakes, you probably think of sliced potatoes. Otherwise known as Potato Gratin, Potato Dauphinoise and Scalloped Potatoes to those in the States. And here’s my recipe (well, Julia Child’s!) for Potato Dauphinoise, if that’s what you’re after. But hear me out on this chunky style before you go running off!
Not only is this easier and faster to put together – i.e. no need to thinly slice mounds of potato then layer them in the baking dish – with this “chunky style” creamy potato bake, you get soft pieces of potato bathed in creamy cheesy sauce. Whereas with potato gratin, the sliced potatoes tends to be packed more closely together so there’s less creamy cheesy goodness with every bite. Some might even say it’s packed too densely for their taste (gasp!).
I wasn’t actually planning to share this recipe. A couple of weeks ago, I had an Easter Taste Testing Lunch at my place, primarily to get feedback on the Salmon Gravlax that I shared last week (resounding success! Almost unanimously Top Pick of the Day). I called upon a group of my mother’s golfing friends who are always willing and able taste testers. Ahhh the luxury of retirement. A leisurely game of golf then a 3 course lunch!
I enjoy these Taste Testing sessions because they bring both years of years of experience and complete honesty to the table. No one holds back providing very constructive feedback, as well as useful suggestions. Suffice to say a number of recipes have never made this blog because of the feedback from this group of Taste Testers! ?
Anyway, I made this Easy Creamy Cheesy Potato Bake (well, my mother did, under my instruction) because I had so many other things to prepare, I wanted to put something together quickly. And it was a topic of hot discussion that it was an afterthought-side-dish that I really didn’t think was that special but everyone loved it! So I had to share it!
I’m not going to lie to you. This ain’t the healthiest recipe on this blog. It’s basically made up of all things that are the first to go when trying to be “healthy” – potatoes, cream and cheese.
And that, my friends, is why it is so darn good. OK, so it’s not the sort of thing I’d make on for a usual midweek meal. But weekends and feasting occasions? Heck yes! Especially when I want to steal the show. ? – Nagi x
- 1.25 - 1.5 kg/ 2.5 - 3lb potatoes (any, other than waxy potatoes, see Note 1)
- 2/3 cup / 160 ml milk (full or low fat)
- 3/4 cup / 185 ml thickened cream (heavy cream)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise, preferably whole egg (or 1/4 cup cream) (Note 2)
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 200 g / 2 cups shredded cheese, for mixing (Note 3)
- 100 g / 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or sub with another cheese, Note 3)
Preheat oven to 180C/350F (all types).
Peel and cut the potatoes into 1 3/4 cm / 2/3" cubes. Place in a large bowl.
Add all remaining ingredients except mozzarella. Mix.
Pour into a 3 litre / quart baking dish (mine is 22cm / 9" square x 6 cm / 2.3" high).
Cover with foil. Bake 60 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Remove foil, sprinkle over mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden.
Rest for 5 - 10 minutes before serving, garnished with extra theme leaves if desired.
1. This recipe will work great with any potato other than the really waxy ones used for potato salads (usually red potatoes). I just use the dirt brushed Sebago potatoes which are the most common ones here in Australia and are a great all rounder. US: Russet and Yukon Gold will both be great.
Waxy potatoes aren't great for this recipe because they retain their shape and firmness too well. You want the potatoes to go soft and breakdown inside so it mingles with that creamy sauce when you bite into it!
2. I like using a touch of mayo in this because it adds a bit of extra flavour. Mayo haters can skip it and use a bit more cream, but I'd add a bit of seasonings as well eg. 1/4 tsp each mustard powder and onion and/or garlic powder.
3. Cheese - this really can be made with any cheese that melts well (i.e. not feta, goats cheese). I choose to mix through a flavoured cheese, like Gruyere (my absolute favourite, but a bit expensive), Monterey Jack, Colby, cheddar, tasty cheese (very common and good value everyday cheese here in Australia, tastes a bit like like Colby). Then I top it with mozzarella because I like how it browns so nicely without leaving pools of oil.
4. When you pull it out of the oven after the covered bake time, you'll notice that the liquid looks split. That's just the reality of cream when it's cooked for a long period of time like this. But by the end of the baking time and after it is rested, the sauce is reduced so that you can't really see it anyway. The same thing happens when you make a classic French Potato Dauphinoise, it can't be avoided. It does not affect taste or texture when you eat it. It's just the way things are! 🙂
5. REHEATING: Reheats really well, probably even better than scalloped potatoes / potato gratin because it's saucier. Allow to cool, then refrigerate covered. Because it's quite dense, it takes a while to reheat in the oven so I recommend microwaving (also keeps it more moist). About 10 minutes on medium should do the trick.
6. Nutrition assumes 10 servings.
Easy Creamy Cheesy Potato Bake recipe video! Maybe have a napkin handy? ?
Easy Creamy Cheesy Potato Bake nutrition (10 servings).
LIFE OF DOZER
Snap photo of dish, then swing camera 30 cm / 1 foot to the left and photograph Dozer. Efficiency of motion. ??