Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes - Potatoes are sliced thin and cooked in a creamy cheese sauce.
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I've got a question for you. Is it weird to start a blog post with a question? Either way, here goes.
Do you know what the difference is between Au Grain Potatoes and Scalloped Potatoes?
I'll give you my answer at the bottom of this post, just before the recipe. I figure this way you have a minute or two to think about it.
Last week my local grocery store had a buy one, get one free deal on big bags of potatoes. I couldn't pass it up. The problem is now I have these enormous bags of potatoes and not really a ton of time to prepare them.
I have to admit, I usually save Au Gratin potatoes for holidays. They are so good and cheesy but they do take some time to get together. I don't really want to bake a side dish for an hour. I mean, I will, but not this week.
I started searching the internet to see if Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes were a real thing. I'm no expert on slow cookers (even though my slow cooker chicken parmesan pasta is blowing up on Pinterest), but I do come out with a winner every now and then.
I was able to find a few recipes that looked promising and I used those as a guide, although I switched up a few things.
I am pleased to report that the potatoes were cooked through and not tough but they also weren't mushy. I was crazy worried about mushy potatoes. I didn't have super high hopes for this recipe. I am embarrassed to admit, after we finished dinner, my husband and I both went back by the slow cooker and devoured a few more bites straight out of the cooker! Yup, they are THAT good!
Now that I know this recipe for Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes works so well, I will be preparing my holiday potatoes this way. I can't wait to have the oven freed up for an extra hour!
Oh, my gosh, I almost forgot, my answer to "what is the difference between au gratin and scalloped potatoes". My answer is, I have no freaking idea.
I have read a few answers and some say one is milk based and the other is cheese based. Some say it has to do with a breadcrumb topping. I just don't know. I grew up thinking they were they same! Sorry for the tease if you wanted a real answer!
Some extra tips for this recipe:
Using a mandolin will ensure evenly sliced potatoes.
Placing a dish towel over the top of slow cooker before place the lid on to remove excess moisture.
After pouring the cheese sauce over potatoes, use a spoon or spatula to help the cheese get down the sides of potatoes to reach the lower layers.
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Turn this Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes side dish into a main course by tossing in some cooked ham or chicken!
- 4 large potatoes thinly sliced
- 3 T butter
- 3 T flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black pepper freshly cracked
- 1 C milk
- 1 ½ C shredded cheese I used a combination of monterey jack and cheddar
- ½ C heavy cream
- Additional salt and pepper
- Non stick spray
Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray.
Place potato slices in slow cooker. Season well with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour to create a paste. Season with garlic powder and black pepper. Slowly whisk in milk. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth and starting to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted. Stir in heavy cream.
Pour cheese sauce mixture over potatoes.
Cover and cook on HIGH 3-4 hours.
Garnish with chopped chives just before serving.
Recipe adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron
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