Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyère & Garlic

Scalloped Potato Flan features thinly sliced potatoes layered with garlic and Gruyère cheese, drenched in cream, then baked, overturned, and sliced for an elegant presentation that's perfect for special occasions and holiday dinners!

Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyère and Garlic with Text Overlay


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Well, we're midway through December and my Christmas to-do list is still a mile long. (Please tell me I'm not alone. I'm not alone. Right?) But one thing that I have checked off my list is deciding on our Christmas dinner menu, and today I'm going to share with you the starring side dish.

These aren't your ordinary scalloped potatoes, folks. No sirree. Paper thin potatoes are layered with minced garlic and flavorful Gruyère cheese before being doused with a cream-laden custard.

Aerial View of all Ingredients

The dish is then baked until golden and bubbly.

Close-Up of Scalloped Potato Flan in Baking Dish Golden and Bubbly

But the real magic happens when your otherwise ordinary-looking scalloped potatoes are overturned (hence, the "flan" portion of the title) and sliced before serving.

Aerial View on White Square Platter Garnished with Fresh Thyme

Truly, how beautiful would this potato dish look on your holiday table? It's perfect for any special occasion, or it has the ability to elevate an everyday dinner from ordinary to extraordinary. Though it takes a bit of time to bake, there is nothing complicated or difficult about this recipe. The ingredients are simple and the preparation is straightforward, but the presentation and flavor will earn this dish a spot in your favorite recipe file. It's been in mine for a number of years now, and each time I fix it, we all marvel at how tasty it is.


And now for a few pointers. First off, this recipe is particularly amazing when the potatoes are sliced as thinly as possible. That takes forever with a knife and it's difficult to get the potatoes uniformly thin (at least for me), so I find a mandoline slicer to be invaluable when making this dish.

The mandoline I have is not fancy. It's handheld and it only set me back about $15. But that was money well spent because with it, I can slice 3 pounds of potatoes paper-thin in just a few minutes. It is extremely sharp, so it requires careful handling, but it's a pretty handy tool when you require thin slices. (I also use mine often when slicing apples for dessert recipes or cucumbers for salads.)

Shown with Serving Removed Showcasing Layers of Potatoes and Oozing Cream and Cheese

This recipe was created to be baked in an 8- by 8-inch dish, and if you use exactly 3 pounds of potatoes, the ingredients will go all the way to the top of your dish but should not overflow. However, it might not be a bad idea to put a sheet pan under your baking dish, just in case there's any overflow.

Close-Up of Serving Piece Showcasing Thin Layers of Potato

Lining your dish with parchment paper ensures that your potatoes will come out like a true flan once overturned, so I wouldn't recommend skipping it.

Aerial View

If you're feeling adventurous, feel free to sprinkle some fresh chopped herbs in between the potato layers (thyme would be delicious!), or even some crispy, crumbled bacon. Yum.

Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyère and Garlic Served on Square Plate

I think these potatoes would be lovely alongside just about any holiday dinner entree, from beef tenderloin to clove-studded ham to crown roast of lamb to Christmas goose! Whatever it accompanies, just beware that this scalloped potato flan might very well overshadow the main course and become the star of the show.

Luckily, it's so darn delicious that nobody will even mind.

Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyère and Garlic Bite on Silver Fork

Make this one soon,'ll be happy you did! 😉

More Holiday Sides

Scalloped Potato Flan slice on plate with fresh thyme.

Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyère and Garlic

Scalloped Potato Flan features thinly sliced potatoes layered with garlic and Gruyère cheese, drenched in cream, then baked, overturned, and sliced for an elegant presentation that's perfect for special occasions and holiday dinners!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Resting Time:: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Calories: 267kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt OR sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Prepare an 8- by 8- by 2-inch baking dish by greasing it with butter and lining it with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in cream, kosher salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • Lay the potatoes in overlapping rows until the bottom of the dish is completely covered. Sprinkle with a little bit of minced garlic and a handful of grated cheese. Repeat layers about halfway up the side of the dish. Pour half of the cream mixture over the potatoes, alternately lifting up the layers with a fork and then pressing down to ensure that the cream gets in between all of the layers. Repeat layering potatoes, garlic, and cheese until it's all used up and you reach the top of the dish. Pour the rest of the cream mixture over the potatoes, once again lifting and pressing on the potato layers to make sure that there are not dry spots.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 ½ hours. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown and potatoes in the center of the dish are tender when pierced with a small knife.
  • Remove the flan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes before placing a platter over the top of the dish. Carefully overturn the flan onto the platter and slice into serving-sized portions. Serve warm.


  • I cut the parchment paper to the width of the dish and then lay it so that it covers the bottom and goes up two sides. I make sure that the other two unlined sides are generously greased with butter, and I run a knife along their edges after the potatoes come out of the oven and again before overturning the dish, just to make sure there's no sticking where the parchment paper is missing.
  • If you use more than 3 pounds of potatoes, all of the ingredients will not fit in an 8- by 8-inch dish. If you use a larger dish, you may have to adjust the cooking time accordingly if your layer of potatoes ends up being thicker or thinner than usual.
  • Garlic is a prominent flavor in this dish, so feel free to use less, if you prefer a milder garlic flavor.
  • This recipe has never overflowed for me, but it does go all the way to the top, so use a baking sheet under your dish in the oven if you're concerned about potential spills.
  • You may slice this flan into wedges or squares. If you want to make this dish ahead of time, individual portions may be reheated in a 400°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
***EDITED 4/12/14 to change Kosher salt to regular salt or sea salt (to reduce any confusion in trying to convert amounts) and to reduce overall amount of salt used (since everyone's tastes vary and you can always add more salt to the final dish but it's impossible to take it away).


Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 526mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 683IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 4mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Adapted from a recipe that I wrote down about 10 years ago after finding it online. I am almost positive that it came from the Epicurious site, but I have searched for the original recipe to no avail.

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  1. I made this recipe about a month ago. I did prepare it the day before and it was delicious. I am in the process of preparing it again for New Years Eve. It works just great prepared a day ahead & refrigerated. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. Happy New Year, Samantha.

  2. Any time I have made or eaten a potato gratin, no matter how much liquid or how long I bake them, the potatoes seem tough or under cooked. Somehow they never are tender. Does this potato flan have a tender and creamy consistency? Thank you.

    1. Hi Sonia! Yes, this potato dish does end up tender and creamy. But the key is slicing the potatoes very thinly and cooking it long enough! It sounds like your potato gratins in the past may have needed to cook longer, or maybe they required more liquid? At any rate, I hope this recipe is a success for you if you decide to try it! 🙂

  3. Absolutlely delish! VERY decadent and rich. I served it on New Year's Eve with a rare roast beef; the creamy potatoes were a perfect side. I took the liberty of adding minced fresh chives and thyme between the layers. I also went wild and lowered the cooking temp to 350 degrees whilst my roast was cooking, so added a bit more cooking time to the potatoes. A 'smashing' success, and thank you much for sharing!,

    1. I'm so happy to hear that these potatoes were a success, Terri! I agree that it's a very rich, special occasion-type dish, but perfect for New Year's Eve. 🙂 Your addition of chives and thyme sounds wonderful...I think I'll add some fresh herbs as well the next time I make this! Thanks for coming back to let me know that this was a hit, and I hope your 2015 is off to a fantastic start!

  4. Can this be made the day before, stored in the fridge, then baked the day of?
    I have a Christmas Eve dinner with one side of the family and a Christmas Day dinner with the other side. I would love to make this for both, but save time by making it all Christmas Eve morning! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Sarah! That's a great question. I haven't tried it myself with this particular recipe, but I have made other variations of scalloped potatoes ahead of time and then baked them before serving. So I see no reason why that wouldn't work just fine with this recipe! I would recommend taking the dish out of the refrigerator and letting it come to room temperature for awhile before baking it, though, since the potatoes will be chilled. Otherwise they might require a tad more baking time. Good luck, I hope everyone enjoys this dish, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  5. I stumbled upon this site while I was looking for a crock pot ham recipe. Wow- this is a treasure of recipes! I am going to share it with all my friends looking for new recipes and I can't wait to try most of them :-).
    Keep up the good works Samantha!

    1. You are too sweet, Simone...thank you for your kind comment and for sharing the site with your friends. I hope you find a lot of recipes to try and that you enjoy them all! 🙂 Have a great week!

    2. I also stumbled across this recipe looking for a slow cooker ham recipe for Easter and this looks like a perfect side dish

  6. Can this dish be assembled early in the day and then baked just before serving?

    I made this as a trial run for a dinner party and it was gorgeous. I'm cutting back on the garlic and adding some finely chopped sautéed onion. Very showy and delicious recipe. Thanks

    1. Hi Karen! I'm so glad that you were pleased with how this turned out for your trial run...I hope that everyone loves it at your dinner party! I haven't personally tried assembling it early in the day and then baking before serving, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work? I would probably suggest taking it out of the refrigerator and allowing it to come to room temperature before baking. But I think it you're assembling it and baking it within the same day, it should be just fine. If it wouldn't be too much trouble, please come back and let us know how it works out. Enjoy! 🙂

      1. Ive made your recipe twice and it is terrific. I was hoping to see if anyone made the dish a day earlier and reheated the whole thing rather than a slice to see how it turned out. Im too chicken to try it myself because if it didnt work out well then we'd have a beautiful tenderloin, green, bread and just okay potatoes...

        1. Amy, I am in the process of cooking these potatoes for the third time. Once again doing them ahead. I took them out of the fridge next day to get to room temp then put them back in the oven 350* for about 30 mins. Works great!

  7. I made a trial run of this dish yesterday (recipe found along with a beef tenderloin recipe here: and it was delicious. My dad requested it for our Easter dinner. My notes:
    -Trying to cut down on salt in our food and this was very salty, even with the kosher salt, so I'll be using less, maybe 1 tsp.
    -Only had 2 T of garlic, and that was enough to make it very garlicky.
    -Used a knife to slice my potatoes so they weren't as beautifully thin as yours; I'll have to drag out my mandoline next time. That also might account for all the pepper sinking to the bottom, larger gaps between potatoes!
    -Used a 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 3 dish (are you supposed to measure across the top or bottom edges?), or 2.75 quarts, and it worked perfectly, no worries about spilling.
    Thanks for this recipe. Your presentation is beautiful!

    1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful and thorough comment, Julie! I'm glad you enjoyed this and I appreciate you sharing your adaptations. I've been thinking about the use of Kosher salt since reading your comment, and I'm afraid that some people might try to substitute it equally not realizing that regular salt is more concentrated. So I went ahead and changed the recipe to call for regular or sea salt instead of Kosher. I also reduced the called-for amount of salt in general because I'd rather have it slightly undersalted than can always add more but it's impossible to take it away! So thank you for your input!

      I did originally note that garlic is a predominant flavor in this recipe, and while my family loves garlic, I've noticed that the intensity of the garlic in this recipe does increase over time, so leftovers become even more garlicky. I'm glad 2 tablespoons was the right amount for you! As far as the dish size, I believe you're supposed to measure across the top from inside edge to inside edge, and depth is measured going straight down with a ruler (as opposed to laying the ruler along an angled side).

      I hope these potatoes are a lovely addition to your Easter dinner! Thanks again for taking the time to share your results. Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  8. Wow this looks so delicious! I pinned it and might just make it for Christmas dinner if I can. Mine never turns out as good as yours though 🙂

    1. I bet that yours will turn out just perfect, Shamene! If it makes you feel any better, my cakes will never be as pretty as yours... 😉 Hope you enjoy this one, whether you make it on Christmas or another day!

  9. Oh, this looks like a dish I would truly enjoy!! It looks simply delicious!! I am going to have to try this!!! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you, Dorothy! I have the same problem. I always end up eating more of these potatoes than anything else on my plate! And then I have more for dessert. And more for breakfast the next day...

    1. I agree, Maria...I love the way the thin layers of potato look when you cut into it. It's definitely a fun twist on scalloped potatoes!

  10. Samantha, this looks absolutely divine! And, gorgeous.... and just down right scrumptious! Love this creative way to use potatoes. (=

    1. Thank you so much, Gloria! It's definitely one of my fall-back, recipes-to-impress! Hope you enjoy it if you end up trying it. 🙂

  11. This is 100% being added to our dinner menu, we're going to have a great upcoming meal! Thanks in advance!

  12. Samantha, whoa, this looks FANTASTIC! What a beautiful dish and this is my kind of side! Amazing photos! Pinning! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Cindy! This dish does make for a very pretty presentation, but honestly? It's deceptively easy to make. 🙂 Thanks so much for the sweet comment and the pin!