Potato and Leek Gratin #SundaySupper

by Anne Papina on March 24, 2013

Potato and Leek Gratin

Spring, Daylight Savings Time, Easter–they bring rejuvenation, new beginnings, and an opportunity to bask in the warmth of longer days. We’re not very religious around here, but our family does observe all the major Christian holidays. With Easter being the most important, at least to the devout, we use this holiday to bring family and friends together in celebration. This week for #SundaySupper we’re helping you fine tune your Easter and Passover menus with dozens of recipes suitable for either holiday table (see below). Me? I’m preparing a Potato and Leek Gratin. Potatoes, leeks, cheese–how can you go wrong?

When considering traditional Easter (and Passover) fare, lamb is customary and carries special meaning for both holidays, while ham is rooted in U.S. customs. A decadent side of potatoes au gratin pairs well with both, whether you’re dining on a classic roast leg of lamb or a salty-sweet glazed ham. The thinly sliced potatoes and leeks are simmered in milk and herbs, then layered with Gruyere cheese in a gratin dish, and baked until golden and bubbly. Creamy, cheesy, potato deliciousness.

What is au gratin anyway? The term originates in France and dates back to the 16th century, referring to that part of a cooked dish which stuck to the pot or pan and had to be scraped (gratté) off so as not to be wasted. Nowadays, au gratin has come to describe a technique of creating a crisply baked top, usually with cheese. However, you can achieve the same effect without cheese, such as with gratin dauphinois, which is correctly made with sliced potatoes baked in cream and no added topping. This dish, adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, is dauphinois kicked up a notch.

The recipe can be prepped and assembled in advance, then pop it in the oven during the last hour of cooking your meal.

Potato and Leek Gratin

Wash and peel the potatoes, slicing about 1/4 inch thick.  Then wash, trim and thinly slice the leeks, as well as the garlic.

Potato and Leek Gratin

Add the potatoes, leeks and garlic to a large pot, along with the milk, bay leaf, thyme, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are mostly done but still firm. Remove the bay leaf, then drain, reserving the milk.

Potato and Leek Gratin

While the potatoes are simmering, grate the cheese. It’s easy work if you have one of those Zyliss numbers. By the way, feel free to sub in Emmental or Swiss instead of the Gruyere.

Potato and Leek Gratin

Before piling stuff in, you’ll need to rub the dish down with garlic then grease it with butter. This should have been a gratin dish, but since I don’t have one, I’m using my trusty Corningware Oval 2 Quart Casserole. Start with a layer of the potato/leek/garlic mixture on the bottom, sprinkle that with a little pepper and nutmeg, then top with a handful of cheese. Repeat this until all the potatoes and cheese are used up, saving some cheese for the top. Pour the reserved milk over this until it comes up to the top layer of potatoes.

Potato and Leek Gratin

Bake until golden and bubbly.

Potato and Leek Gratin


5.0 from 3 reviews

Potato and Leek Gratin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Thinly sliced potatoes and leeks are simmered in milk and herbs, layered with Gruyere cheese in a gratin dish, and then baked until golden and bubbly making a perfect Potato and Leek Gratin.
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: French
Serves: 6
  • 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 leeks, washed, trimmed, and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • Pepper
  • Grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a 9×12 inch gratin dish by rubbing with garlic and greasing with butter.
  2. In a large pot, add the potatoes, milk, bay leaf, thyme, sliced garlic, leeks, and salt. Gradually bring to a boil, and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender (but not falling apart). Remove the bay leaf, and drain, reserving the milk.
  3. On the bottom of the gratin dish, arrange a layer of the potato/leek/garlic mixture, sprinkle with a little pepper and nutmeg, then cover with a handful of the cheese. Repeat layers until all the potatoes and cheese have been used (ending with the cheese on top).
  4. Add the milk so that it reaches the top layer (about 1½ cups), then dot the butter over the top.
  5. Bake for an hour or until golden and bubbly.


Let’s see what the others have cooked up for us!


Breakfast, Breads, and Buns

Appetizers and Sides

Main Dishes




Wine Pairing Recommendations for #SundaySupper Religious Feasts from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, March 24 to talk all about Easter and Passover recipes! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Note: I earn a modest commission from any purchases made through the Amazon.com links on this page.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb March 24, 2013 at 3:11 am

hehe I enjoyed the little historical explanation of the name gratin. I thought it to be much older though. Anyway, leek and potato gratin sounds like food marriage to me! Great combination and a dish that I personally make a lot too.


Renee March 24, 2013 at 4:35 am

Time for me to pull out my trust 2-quart oval Corningware French White dish too! What a great gratin for Easter and would be perfect to go with ham.
Renee recently posted..Coconut Cupcakes for #Easter #SundaySupperMy Profile


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers March 24, 2013 at 6:02 am

Yum! I love potatoes and leeks together but never thought of it as gratin. Great idea!
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Coconut and M&M’s Cookies #SundaySupperMy Profile


Jen @JuanitasCocina March 24, 2013 at 6:24 am

I loooove leeks! I can’t wait to try your gratin! YUM!
Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted..Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting ~ Easter + Passover #SundaySupper!My Profile


Shannon @VillageGirlBlog March 24, 2013 at 6:28 am

You have convinced me to add Leeks to my dish this Easter! Looks amazing. Yum!
Shannon @VillageGirlBlog recently posted..Not So Deviled Eggs for a #SundaySupper EasterMy Profile


Sherron@SimplyGourmet March 24, 2013 at 7:06 am

Your gratin recipe looks wonderful and adding the leeks–oh la la! I love it!
Sherron@SimplyGourmet recently posted..286. French Gratin Potatoes #SundaySupperMy Profile


Cindys Recipes and Writings March 24, 2013 at 7:21 am

Leeks and potatoes go so good together!


Kayle (The Cooking Actress) March 24, 2013 at 7:54 am

I love leeks and these potatoes au gratin look SO flavorful and just….incredible. So delicious.


Sarah March 24, 2013 at 8:31 am

This screams “mom” to me – she loves all things leek / potato!
Sarah recently posted..Exotic Walnut Cookies for an Easter #SundaySupperMy Profile


Bea March 24, 2013 at 8:33 am

Ohhhh – my all my favorite things. Potatoes, leaks, in cheesy decadence…Yum!!!
Bea recently posted..Spinach Spaetzle {Spinatspaetzle} for #SundaySupperMy Profile


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen March 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

This is as good as a potato side dish gets! The addition of leeks is wonderful, and that golden bubbly topping is just the way it should be!
Paula @ Vintage Kitchen recently posted..Orange, Raisin and Almond Couscous #SundaySupperMy Profile


Liz March 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

Your addition of leeks sounds amazing! Perfect holiday dish!!!
Liz recently posted..Easter Egg Cookies…#SundaySupperMy Profile


Diana @GourmetDrizzles March 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

If I could pick one ingredient that I’m completely in love with now… it’s leeks!! I love the addition in this cheesy gratin. Heavenly looking!


Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite March 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

I already love gratins but the addition of leeks has just made this a must try for me


Jennie @themessybakerblog March 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Oh my, this gratin looks amazing! Yum!


Family Foodie March 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I have been thinking of making lamb for Easter Dinner …. I have not made it before. These potatoes look fabulous! I adore cooking with leeks, such a wonderful flavor.


Katy March 24, 2013 at 2:01 pm

That is the ultimate comfort food – it looks delicious!
Katy recently posted..Easter Simnel Cake for #SundaySupperMy Profile


Katie March 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Ooh, the top of your gratin is so perfectly browned…it looks glorious!
Katie recently posted..Painted Sugar Cookies for #SundaySupperMy Profile


Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere March 25, 2013 at 7:04 am

Last summer I discovered how awesome leeks are. I can’t wait to try out this dish!
Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere recently posted..French Potato SaladMy Profile


Rachel @ Bakerita November 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm

This looks fabulous! I love potatoes, leeks, and gratins, so I can’t imagine this being bad at all. Pinned!


Anne Papina November 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thanks! Potatoes and cheese always make a great combination! I especially love serving this with ham.


Laurie January 21, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Excellent, flavorful recipe with just the right balance of potatoes, leeks and herbs. I only had 1% milk on hand, which made it a little runny but it will firm up in the fridge. Delicious!


Anne Papina January 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm

So glad to hear you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know!


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