Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes

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Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes are pure comfort food and these are the BEST! Thinly sliced potatoes in an ultra-cheesy cream sauce are slow-cooked to tender perfection. Save that precious oven space during the holidays or prepare these in the summer while keeping the oven off and the heat out of the kitchen — the slow cooker is a lifesaver for either scenario!

Or if you’ve got extra room in the oven, give our original Au Gratin Potatoes a try!

Overhead image of the Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes

Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes  Recipe

Potatoes au gratin have always been a favorite in my home, but now they can be made in the slow cooker! Not only is this great news for summertime (tasty potatoes without heating up the kitchen with the oven), but it’s also a great option for the holidays.

When you’re preparing a few dishes for a big holiday meal, oven space is a precious commodity. Save that space for Roasted Vegetables, Sweet Potato Casserole, or Cornbread Dressing, and let the slow cooker work its magic on the potatoes!


Au gratin is a French phrase meaning sprinkled with breadcrumbs, grated cheese, or both, and browned. Most often, vegetables are prepared au gratin.

Process shots-- images of the butter, seasonings, and flour being whisked together

A quick overview of preparing these potatoes:

How To Make Au Gratin Potatoes In The Crockpot

  1. Prep potatoes. See “quick tip” box below.
  2. Prep cream sauce. We start with a roux (butter plus flour) and gradually add in some milk. Once the sauce is nice and thick, we mix in some sour cream and Cheddar cheese, and voila–the perfect sauce! Toss the potatoes in the cream sauce until well coated.
  3. Slow cook. Spread the saucy potatoes in the slow cooker and let ’em cook! These Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes cook best on high heat — unfortunately, they don’t work out so well being cooked on low.


The potatoes require a bit of time to prepare, but if you’ve got willing kiddos to help (or a great music playlist to listen to), the prep will fly by.

Set the Mandoline slicer at 1/8th-inch thickness and be impressed how quickly you’ll have the potatoes needed for this recipe.

Process shots of Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes-- images of the milk, sour cream, and cheese being melted together

Our Favorite Potatoes To Use

Yukon gold (also called gold, Yukon, or yellow potatoes) is our potato of choice in this Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes  Recipe.

Yukon gold potatoes are small to medium-sized potatoes with light yellow flesh, delicate skin, an irresistible creamy texture, and are ever so slightly sweet. They’re the perfect contrast to the deeply savory sauce.


This Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes recipe is best with gold potatoes, but the next best option is to use Russet potatoes.

Up-close overhead image of the dish in the pot

Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes Need Sharp Cheddar!

Sharp cheddar — or even extra-sharp– is a must for the cheese sauce. Sharp (and extra-sharp) indicates a more aged cheese that delivers a much more robust flavor. 

Grate your own cheese! Already-grated packaged cheese will give the sauce a powdery texture and won’t melt as nicely. (Pre-grated cheeses have a coating to keep shreds from clumping in the bag. This means it also keeps the cheese from melting nicely in recipes like this.)

Also, while we’re talking about dairy, whole milk and full-fat sour cream are our two favorite options. Not only will these two options deliver the richest and most flavorful potatoes, but they also ensure the sauce won’t break (separate and curdle) in the slow cooker. (Lower-fat dairy products are more prone to breaking the sauce.)

Overhead image of the Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes ready to be enjoyed

The Secret To Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes

So here’s our secret to get these potatoes tender in the middle and crisp at the edges:

Top the crockpot with a few layers of paper towels! 

The paper towels absorb loads of liquid (steam) which allows the potatoes to crisp up nicely. If you’re around and think about it, change out the paper towels halfway through the cooking time. If you forget about it, don’t sweat it.

After the potatoes are cooked through, leave the lid off for a bit while keeping the heat on. This helps get the tops of the potatoes slightly crisper. These potatoes won’t be as crisp as oven-baked au gratin potatoes, but they still turn out pretty great–especially considering they’re made in a slow cooker!


Crock-Pot® is the registered trademark for a slow cooker made by Newell Brands. We refer to it generically, though, and any slow cooker that meets the basic size requirements will work just fine in our recipes. We respect the Crock-Pot brand and the accompanying trademark.

Up-close image of the dish ready to be enjoyed

What To Serve With Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes:

More potato recipes:

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Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes

4.86 from 34 votes
Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes are pure comfort food and these are the BEST! Thinly sliced potatoes in an ultra-cheesy cream sauce are slow cooked to tender perfection. Save that precious oven space during the holidays or prepare these in the summer while keeping the oven off and the heat out of the kitchen -- the slow cooker is a lifesaver for either scenario!
Print Recipe

Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes

4.86 from 34 votes
Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes are pure comfort food and these are the BEST! Thinly sliced potatoes in an ultra-cheesy cream sauce are slow cooked to tender perfection. Save that precious oven space during the holidays or prepare these in the summer while keeping the oven off and the heat out of the kitchen -- the slow cooker is a lifesaver for either scenario!
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes, crockpot potatoes au gratin
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 as a side
Chelsea Lords
Calories 429kcal
Cost $7.53


  • 6 quart slow cooker


  • 5 cups gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (Note 1)
  • Seasoned salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon each: garlic powder and onion powder
  • ¼ cup white, all-purpose flour
  • cups milk (we recommend whole--Note 2)
  • ½ cup sour cream (we recommend full-fat--Note 3)
  • cups Cheddar cheese sharp or extra-sharp (Note 4)
  • Optional: Fresh parsley or chives, for topping


  • PREP SLOW COOKER: Use a crockpot liner or VERY generously spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray. I used a 6-quart slow cooker for the recipe. Smaller cookers may not be able to cook the potatoes evenly. If you use a smaller pan, you will have to halve this recipe.
  • PREP POTATOES: Wash and peel the potatoes. Thinly slice potatoes about ⅛-inch thick. (I like to use a mandolin slicer for speed and accuracy.) Measure the potatoes -- you should have 5 packed cups.
  • CHEESE SAUCE: In a large nonstick pot, melt butter over low heat. Once melted, add garlic powder, onion powder plus salt and pepper to taste (I add 1¼ tsp salt + ¼ tsp pepper). Sauté 1 minute or until fragrant. Sprinkle in flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute until smooth (don't let it brown). Very gradually pour in 1 cup milk while whisking constantly. Once completely smooth, increase heat to medium-high and gradually add in the remaining ½ of milk. Stir occasionally until mixture comes to a boil.
  • SAUCE, CONT.: Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes or until mixture is nicely thickened (See Note 5). Remove pot from heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream until smooth. Stir in Cheddar cheese, mixing gently until melted and smooth. Add in the sliced potatoes and stir to coat.
  • SLOW COOK: Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and press in an even layer with the back of a spoon. Place 3 paper towels on top of the crockpot (this will absorb lots of moisture and keep the potatoes crispier) and then place on the lid. Cook on high (low heat doesn't work for this recipe) for 2½ to 4½ hours, depending on the heat of your slow cooker. Slow cookers cook at different temperatures; mine takes just under 3 hours -- check occasionally to avoid burning the edges or over-cooking the potatoes so they are mushy. (If you think of it, halfway through the cooking time, change out the paper towels for fresh ones. If not, don't stress it.)
  • ENJOY: Once the potatoes are tender and cooked through, remove the lid and gently stir the potatoes. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives and any additional salt/pepper as needed. Continue to cook without the lid for 15-20 minutes to get a bit crisper on top if desired. Enjoy promptly.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Potatoes: Yukon gold (also called gold, Yukon, or yellow potatoes) are our hands-down favorite potato to use. Russet potatoes will also work. Peel potatoes, rinse in cool water and then use a Mandoline slicer set at 1/8th-inch thickness to cut the potatoes and measure to get 5 packed full cups. 
Note 2: Milk: We like whole milk best; it delivers the richest end result. 2% and 1% will work, but we do not recommend skim milk or plant-based milk alternatives.
Note 3: Sour cream: We recommend full-fat sour cream so the sauce doesn't break (which it sometimes does with low-fat sour cream).
Note 4: Cheese: Avoid the pre-shredded cheeses as it will make this dish greasy. (Most pre-shredded cheeses have a wax/powder coating.) Make sure to use sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar to ensure plenty of flavor!
Note 5: Thickness check: The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Lift up the spoon and immediately trace a line across the back of the spoon with your fingertip. If the line retains a clear track, the sauce is thick enough. If not, the sauce needs to be cooked a bit longer.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 980mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 738IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 321mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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Recipe Rating


  1. This is the perfect side dish for every occasion! I’m thinking this should make an appearance on my family’s Thanksgiving table this year. So much yum!

    1. Can I put this together the night before and leave in the refrigerator and then cook the following day?

    1. I haven’t tried doubling it, but I’m not sure how well that would work in evenly cooking the potatoes. Sorry to not be of more help!

      1. 5 stars
        I made this recipe a few months ago for a church event and doubled it. It was delicious! It took about 5 hours instead of 3 so it took longer but they turned out great. I am making it again.
        Thanks for sharing!!

        1. 5 stars
          I want to try this for our Easter dinner and was wondering about doubling the recipe. Thanks for your input here!

    2. I am cooking now. Probably too much flour as it did not become like dough. However I plan on putting in bakeware toward the end; so I can brown in the oven and serve in a better dish rather than crockpot. Practicing a couple times. Have you ever finished in a bqking / serving dish?

    1. I’m sorry, I haven’t used red potatoes in this recipe and can’t say for sure how they would turn out.

  2. This is an awesome recipe! I stumbled across your website and who would have thought I’d find such a good recipe! I’ll have to make this again for my friends and family

  3. I’m wanting to make a gluten free version of this, do you think using heavy whipping cream instead of flour would work? Any other tips? Thanks!

    1. Actually I don’t think it will unfortunately. I think the heavy whipping cream might curdle in the slow cooker. 🙁

    2. 5 stars
      I made this gluten free by using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-1 Baking Flour for the flour ingredient. I also substituted the milk with Lactaid whole milk. It turned out fantastic. My husband said it was better than the one I made with standard ingredients. Thank you so much for this great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Stumbled upon this recipe, it looks delicious so I’m trying it today as part of Easter dinner, I doubled the recipe as I am feeding 12, I tasted the cheese sauce before adding it to the crock pot … yumm

  5. 5 stars
    Made this last night (early) for our Easter meal. Definitely use lots of salt and pepper for seasoning. She’s right. I used a small, two-person crockpot, filled it to the brim with potatoes, and they taste great. Had to cook longer, but I kept checking with a fork for tenderness. When making the cheese sauce, I added extra garlic for flavoring. Definitely need to switch out the paper towels 1/2 way through. Will reheat this morning and then take the lid off for crisping. Was always hesitant to make scalloped potatoes, but can’t beat how they cook themselves! Thank you for the great recipe.

    1. So happy to hear this recipe was enjoyed and worked out well for you! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I made these for Easter dinner and they were delicious! Perfect and so easy – I love that they were cooking away in the crockpot and I didn’t have to worry about them while I was working on the rest of the meal. I didn’t quite double the recipe – maybe 1 1/2ed it and it still turned out perfectly. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That is so great to hear!! I’m so happy these were so well enjoyed for Easter 🙂 Thank you for the comment!

  7. I’m making this today. It just started cooking.

    To crisp and brown the top, I’m thinking of taking my crock pot out and placing the inside under the broiler for a few minutes.

    Has anyone, you know, done this?

    1. I think that sounds like a fantastic idea! I haven’t had any readers report doing it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work 🙂

  8. I just turned the crock pot on a few minutes ago. Can’t wait to try them with our barbecued pork chops tonight.
    I have made chicken and dumplings in the crock pot and at the end when I put the biscuits on top I do put it in the oven. I am going to try putting the potatoes in the oven today to brown them a little.

  9. I’m sorry for the silly question but when you say put the paper towel under the lid does this mean the paper towel ends will be slightly hanging outside of the pot and draped across the pot not touching the potatoes? I’m trying to visualize this. How many pieces of paper towels are you using, a nice stack?

    1. Yes! Hanging outside of the pot at the very top (not touching the potatoes). I use a pretty good stack — 5 or 6 🙂 Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks for clairifying. I’d suggest putting this note in the body of the recipe. I just happened on it going through the comments after I had it cooking in the crockpot.

  10. I’ve never used a crackpot bag/liner thing. Thinking of using one. Do you think that would meet up this recipe? Like getting it crisp at the end?

    1. 5 stars
      Th is recipe works beautifully with a plastic liner. I won’t use my crockpot without one anymore because it’s so much easier to clean up.

  11. 5 stars
    Made this for Christmas Brunch this morning. It was delicious and beautiful. Made a perfect crust on the edges. Will double next time as it went fast!! Thanks for this delicious and easy recipe.

  12. Made this yesterday for Christmas and it was outstanding! I doubled the recipe, used full-fat sour cream and it cooked perfect in about 5 hours on high. Nobody could get enough…Definitely a keeper! Thank you for the recipe!

  13. Have you ever added beef to this recipe? I’m looking for a dinner-in-a-pot idea for my 2 young kids and I think they’d love this. I have some browned hamburger I might add in the layers to see how it turns out. Sounds like a great dish…can’t wait to try it tonight!

  14. Could put ham in with the potatoes. We buy the ends and pieces that are vacuum packed. They are chunks and stay moist in the potato & green bean recipe we use. Ham & escalloped potatoes was always a favorite of mine

  15. Can you make this ahead? I am trying to figure out something I can cook, then transport to the family dinner some six hours away…. I worry it would all get soggy. Is it possible to (par-cook) ? Looking forward to trying this tonight!

    1. Yes 🙂 Id do 350 degrees F in a 2 quart baking dish. Cover and bake 1 hour, uncover, bake 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Enjoy 🙂

  16. Looks like a great recipe! I am going to try it this week in smaller proportions, since it’s just the 2 of us. How much cheese do you think is needed by weight?

  17. When I did everything on the stove according to directions the mixture was brown. Is this normal?? If not, what happened? I started on med-high and quickly turned it to medium ,because it was too high.

    1. No, that’s not normal. What pot were you using? If it wasn’t very thick, the heat may have been too high

  18. 4 stars
    I made this yesterday. It is good, but I gave it a 4 instead of 5 because the sauce is too thick to go down into the potatoes fully. Most of the potatoes come out tasting buttery, but not cheesy. I had to chop it up and stir it to spread the cheese throughout. Once I did that, I would compare it to what you get from a box mix by saying that this recipe gives a lot more potato flavor, but not as much soft/liquid cheesy sauce all over. I used mild cheddar blocks (Kraft) and the cheese flavor was not as strong as I expected. If I make it again, I will use less flour, more milk, and sharp cheddar instead of mild. That said, it is good, and the recipe yields a lot of food. I’m glad I made it, and I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure it’s something I’ll start making regularly. Thanks for posting the recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Two suggestions: Layer in about half the potatoes and pour in about half the sauce, then repeat. Or even break it into thirds. Also, shake the crockpot from side to side to encourage the sauce to filter down through the layers. Try my first suggestion before decreasing the amount of flour because I think the sauce may become too watery.

  19. 5 stars
    I made this for Thanksgiving dinner and my family raved about it. It was the first dish finished and they’ve been begging for more ever since.

      1. 5 stars
        It’s been nearly 2 years since I found this recipe and it’s a regular “special” in my home. I’m making it again tonight but in the oven, your sauce is the only one we use for cheese anymore.

  20. When I put it together, which took me about 40 minutes, I thought “There’s not enough cheese sauce.” When it was done it was perfect and amazing! I’m so glad it worked out for our Christmas dinner to go with prime rib.

  21. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe several times, and we love it. I use gruyère instead of cheddar, but otherwise leave it as is. It’s great comfort food. The sour cream adds a great touch of deliciousness.

    Just a note: instead of spraying my slow cooker, I use the plastic liners that Reynolds makes. They work really well, and there’s almost no cleanup necessary afterwards.

  22. 5 stars
    My guests RAVED about these potatoes!!! Truly wonderful, the best that I’ve ever made, Thank You SO much Carolyn

  23. 5 stars
    These potatoes are SO yummy! They are easy to put together and make an excellent side to a grilled steak or any other grilled meat. Since they are cooked in the slow cooker instead of the oven, that means you don’t have to heat up your kitchen during the summer. These cooked evenly, and perfectly in my slow cooker. LOVE THEM!

  24. Please offer email format for sharing recipes. I don’t do much on social media and don’t want to print out everything as I am trying to cut back on paper use. Thanks!

  25. Could I make the cheese sauce ahead of time. I’m thinking of making these on a camping trip and assembling the ingredients in the crockpot 2 days into the trip.

    1. I’m not entirely sure without testing it personally, but I think that would work fine; you’ll likely need to thin the sauce a little bit!

  26. Making this tomorrow for Sunday School Christmas luncheon. When you say “seasoned salt” do you mean like a Lowery’s? Not just regular Morton salt?

  27. 5 stars
    I used this as my starting point and it was awesome with my changes (and I’m sure it would be delicious as written too!) For the sauce I increased the milk to 1.75-2 cups milk, the garlic and onion powder to 1 tsp each and the cheese to 2 cups (due to added ingredients.) I mixed in 1 and a 1/2 chopped sautéed onions into the sauce. I increased the potatoes to approx 5.5 cups and added approx 3 cups of cubed ham. I layered about half the potatoes in the bottom, sprinkled seasoned salt and pepper (not a lot due to the salt in the ham), added 1/2 the ham and then spread about 1/3 the sauce. Then repeated for a second layer of potatoes, seasoned salt and ham and then spread the rest if the sauce on top. It took approx 3.5 hours on high covered and then 30 minutes uncovered on high. I used a crock pot liner for easy clean up (I swear by those things!) Absolutely scrumptious!!! I served it with steamed broccoli and it was a perfect meal. Thank you!

  28. It is cooking but I used Weber Garlic and Parmesan seasoning and kosher salt instead of the seasoned salt and the garlic powder in the sauce. It tastes delicious in the sauce. Anxious to try the entire dish in a couple of hours.

  29. 5 stars
    I made it. My family loved it. So easy to make. I added a whole chopped onion instead of onion powder. Turned out great

  30. 5 stars
    I came across your recipe while doing a search for crockpot potatoes for Easter dinner. I had my doubts when I saw how thick the sauce was when I put it into the crockpot, but I decided to follow your directions exactly. So glad I did because the potatoes are PERFECT!

  31. 5 stars
    Thank you for a great recipe and notes, and the responses to questions. Helps guide a lot of things to success! This is assembled and in the crockpot and I cannot wait to try it ! Assembly went exactly as you described – thank you. Originally I was going with a different recipe and then saw some troubling reviews/input. So glad I now found your recipe. Since I had already purchased the ingredients for the former I did do some swapping. Used heavy cream plus a touch of fontina cheese instead of sour cream. Tasty going into crockpot-we shall see the end result in a bit ! Thank you 🙏

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