Creamy Ham And Potatoes Au Gratin Recipe

When planning a meal, oftentimes the star of the show gets all the attention, and the side dishes are an afterthought. Why not change things up with this creamy ham and potatoes au gratin recipe, making the side dish just as exciting as its accompaniment?

Created by Tasting Table's Jennine Rye, this recipe takes the classic concept of a creamy potato gratin and adds a simple yet flavorful spin with bits of ham throughout, giving the dish a smoky and deeply savory finish. In addition, buttery sauteed onions are added to the gratin layers, and the dish is completed with a topping of grated Gruyère cheese for a perfect golden finish.

Gratin, like many deliciously rich and creamy foods, is a French invention, and while this term is most often used to describe a potato-based dish, a gratin can really include just about any ingredients you can imagine. As long as the sauce is creamy and the top is crispy, you've got yourself a gratin. Wonderfully comforting and filling, this potato delight is well worth the extra effort to add a little more flair and flavor to your dinner table.

Gather the ingredients for this creamy ham and potatoes au gratin recipe

To begin this creamy ham and potatoes au gratin recipe, first you will need to gather the ingredients. You will want butter, an onion, garlic, potatoes, cream, milk, Dijon mustard, smoked ham, Gruyère cheese, and salt and pepper.

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Begin cooking the onions and garlic

Add butter, sliced onions, and garlic to a frying pan and place over medium heat.

Step 3: Saute until softened

Saute for 5 minutes or until onions and garlic are soft. Set aside.

Step 4: Peel and slice the potatoes

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.

Step 5: Whisk together the cream base

In a bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, mustard, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Step 6: Assemble the gratin

Layer ¼ of the potatoes into the base of a medium-sized baking dish. Next, alternate layers of onions, diced ham, and more potato slices, finishing off with a final layer of potatoes and any remaining ham sprinkled on top.

Step 7: Add the cream

Pour cream mixture over the top.

Step 8: Top with cheese

Top with grated Gruyère.

Step 9: Cover with foil

Cover with foil and bake for 1 ½ hours.

Step 10: Remove the foil and finish baking

In the last 20 minutes of cooking, remove the foil and continue to bake until golden and crisp.

Step 11: Serve the gratin

Serve hot.

What ingredient substitutions can I make in this ham and potatoes au gratin recipe?

Several simple adaptions can be made to this dish depending on your personal preferences or dietary requirements. To make this ham and potatoes au gratin recipe vegetarian, simply remove the ham from the recipe or replace it with a vegetarian smoked ham substitute. This dish is naturally gluten-free, and it can be made dairy-free too with a few simple substitutions. The butter can be swapped for margarine or vegetable oil, the cream can be swapped for a lactose-free variety, and the milk can similarly be substituted for a lactose-free variety or some unsweetened almond milk. Finally, the cheese can be changed for a lactose-free version, or omitted entirely. Instead, why not try topping the gratin with fresh breadcrumbs, which also create the signature crunchy topping of a gratin?

For flavor variations, this gratin is delicious when made with sweet potato or even butternut squash in addition to the potatoes. Fresh sage lends a lovely herbal note to the dish when these ingredients are included. And instead of smoked ham, bacon lardons can add lovely flavor to the gratin, while swapping out the Gruyère cheese for Gouda, cheddar, or Parmesan can create a deliciously different finish to this recipe.

What pairs well with ham and potatoes au gratin?

While this creamy ham and potatoes au gratin recipe is absolutely delicious on its own and can be served up by itself, it doesn't make for a particularly nutritionally balanced meal option. For that reason, we recommend serving this dish alongside other foods.

The simplest accompaniments to serve alongside this gratin are steamed fresh veggies, such as broccoli, peas, beans, kale, or cabbage. These add freshness as a well as a pop of color to the plate, breaking up the rich creaminess of the gratin by adding lighter ingredients into the mix. To make things even more of a meal, why not serve this gratin as a side dish along with a protein? The creamy and cheesy flavors of the gratin pair particularly well with roast chicken, pork, turkey, or steaks. Finally, if you are looking for a wine pairing for this dish, we recommend going for a chilled, medium-bodied white wine.

Creamy Ham And Potatoes Au Gratin Recipe
5 from 51 ratings
Everyone loves crispy, creamy potatoes au gratin, and this version kicks the classic up a notch with smoky ham and sweet sauteed onions.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
1.58
hours
Servings
6
servings
ham and potatoes au gratin with greens
Total time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces thick-cut smoked ham, diced
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Add butter, sliced onions, and garlic to a frying pan and place over medium heat.
  3. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions and garlic are soft. Set aside.
  4. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, mustard, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Layer ¼ of the potatoes into the base of a medium-sized baking dish. Next, alternate layers of onions, diced ham, and more potato slices, finishing off with a final layer of potatoes and any remaining ham sprinkled on top.
  7. Pour cream mixture over the top.
  8. Top with grated Gruyère.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 1 ½ hours.
  10. In the last 20 minutes of cooking, remove the foil and continue to bake until golden and crisp.
  11. Serve hot.
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