Classic Kiwi Potato Gratin: A Creamy Comfort Food Recipe

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Potato gratin is a timeless dish that transcends borders. This New Zealand-inspired recipe features a delightful combination of creamy béchamel sauce, thinly sliced potatoes, and a touch of nutmeg for an extra layer of warmth. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, perfect for a side dish at family dinners, potlucks, or even a cozy night in.


Potato gratin - Farro Fresh New Zealand
Potato gratin – Farro Fresh New Zealand

1 kg potatoes (about 4-5 medium potatoes), peeled and thinly sliced (around 3mm thick)

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh thyme sprigs (optional, for garnish)

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a baking dish (approximately 20×30 cm).

    2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.

    3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

    4. Arrange half of the sliced potatoes in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Top with half of the onion mixture. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and onion mixture.

    5. Pour the creamy sauce evenly over the potatoes, ensuring all slices are well coated. Gently press down with a spatula to ensure the potatoes are submerged in the sauce.

    6. Sprinkle the top with additional Parmesan cheese. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.

    7. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown and bubbly.

    8. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs (optional) and enjoy!

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    Serving size: 1/6 of the recipe (approximately 330g)

    Calories: 450

  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated Fat: 20g
  • Cholesterol: 80mg
  • Sodium: 400mg
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 10g

  • Note: These nutrition facts are estimates only and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    Potato gratin is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with various proteins. It’s a fantastic way to showcase the humble potato and transform it into a rich and comforting side dish. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, this New Zealand-inspired potato gratin recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use different types of potatoes?

    Absolutely! You can use any variety of potatoes you prefer. However, russet potatoes are a popular choice for gratin due to their high starch content, which helps create a creamy and luxurious texture.

    2. Do I have to use heavy cream?

    For a lighter version, you can substitute the heavy cream with low-fat milk or a combination of milk and vegetable broth. However, using full-fat cream creates the richest and most decadent flavor.

    3. Can I add other ingredients to this recipe?

    Yes, you can definitely customize this recipe to your liking! Here are some ideas:

    Thinly sliced ham or bacon

  • Chopped fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme
  • Grated Gruyere cheese for a stronger flavor

  • 4. How can I tell if my potato gratin is done?

    The potatoes should be fork-tender, and the top should be golden brown and bubbly. You can insert a knife into the center of the dish; it should come out clean with minimal resistance.

    5. Can I make potato gratin ahead of time?

    Yes, you can assemble the potato gratin up to a day in advance. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to bake, preheat the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.