Ham & Au Gratin Potato Casserole
Create this delicious ham and au gratin casserole for dinner tonight. Layering the ingredients and allowing them to bake to golden perfection results in a mouthwatering dish that is both comforting and satisfying. The savory flavor of the ham, combined with the rich and indulgent sauce, creates a harmony of tastes that will have your taste buds dancing with joy. Whether it’s a special occasion or a simple family dinner, this casserole is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone asking for seconds.
What you need for this casserole: Yukon Gold Potatoes, White Onion, Butter, Flour, Milk, Heavy Cream, Shredded Cheese, Ham, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Italian Seasoning, Salt, Pepper, Saucepan, Whisk, Knife, Casserole Dish.
Ham & Au Gratin Potato Casserole
2lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small White Onion, diced
4 tablespoons Butter
¼ cup Flour or Wondra
3 cups Milk
3 cups Shredded Cheese
½ cup Heavy Cream
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 teaspoons Paprika
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
Salt, to taste
3 cups Ham, diced
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Soak thinly sliced potatoes in a bowl of water for 30 minutes.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour to the skillet and stir well to combine with the butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. 4. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking continuously. Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the shredded cheese, heavy cream, garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Stir well to combine and let the sauce simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Drain potatoes from water. Layer half of the sliced potatoes in the greased baking dish, followed by half of the diced ham and diced onions. Pour half of the sauce over the layers.
- Repeat the layering process with the remaining potatoes, ham, onions, and sauce. 8. Top with 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown and bubbly.
- Once the casserole is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Tips and FAQ’s
Can I use pre-packaged shredded cheese instead of shredding it myself? Yes, you can use pre packaged shredded cheese if you prefer. However, freshly shredded cheese tends to melt more smoothly and evenly.
Can I substitute the ham with another meat? Certainly! If you prefer, you can substitute the ham with cooked bacon, cooked chicken, or even cooked sausage. Just make sure to adjust the flavors accordingly.
Can I make this casserole in advance? Yes, you can prepare the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. When ready to bake, simply remove it from the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature for about 15-20 minutes, and then bake as directed in the recipe.
Can I freeze the casserole? Yes, you can freeze the casserole before baking. Prepare the casserole as instructed, but instead of baking, cover it tightly with foil and place it in the freezer. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed in the recipe.
Slice the potatoes evenly: To ensure even cooking, try to slice the potatoes into uniform thickness. Using a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife can help achieve consistent slices.
Grate the cheese yourself: Freshly shredded cheese tends to melt better and create a creamier texture. It’s worth taking the extra time to grate the cheese yourself rather than using pre packaged shredded cheese.
Season each layer: To infuse flavor throughout the casserole, season each layer with a sprinkle of salt and pepper or other herbs and spices of your choice. This ensures that every bite is well seasoned.
Let the casserole rest before serving: Once the casserole is baked, allow it to rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and makes it easier to cut and serve.
Adjust the seasonings to taste: Taste the sauce before layering it into the casserole and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. You can add more garlic powder, thyme, or any other seasonings to suit your taste buds.