There is not a soul alive that can resist the cheesy, bubbly amazingness of potatoes au gratin. Every single time I think, “Oh, I’ll just grab a little spoonful of them”, I go back time and time again for seconds and thirds until I’m basically licking the baking dish. Because of this, I’ve dabbled in making “lightened up” versions of potatoes au gratin, (which essentially just swaps out a lower-fat milk for heavy cream) but let’s be serious here, even the “lightened up” versions are calorie bombs. And I’ve made my peace with that. This recipe is, for lack of a better term, “lightened up”, but I can’t, in good faith, officially call it that.
But I digress.
This weekend Taylor and I were having our now-traditional Fri-YAY night dinner of grilled filet, potatoes, and veggies, when I decided to twist up our go-to potatoes au gratin recipe. My garden is now fully booming with fresh herbs, so I couldn’t resist getting out there and snipping bits of everything in sight: thyme, basil, chives- you name it! I stirred the fresh herbs into the potato slices, and then decided to fully commit to the herbed potatoes au gratin thing and top it with some jarred pesto I had hiding in my pantry. We also topped the filets with the rest of the pesto and it was HEAVEN.
It was springy, fresh, and an absolutely delicious spin on everyone’s favorite potato side dish. Highly recommend the herbed potatoes au gratin train the next time you make them, and hopefully you can grab all the herbs right from your garden too! Is there anything more satisfying? I think not.
- 6 medium-sized yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into ⅛" rounds
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh chives, plus more for serving
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 cup 2% milk, (non-fat, whole milk, or non-dairy milk would all work here!)
- ¼ cup prepared pesto
- 1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, (pecorino romano would work too!)
- Fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- In a large bowl, toss the potato slices, melted butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and chives until all the potatoes are evenly coated in the butter mixture.
- Spray a large (8"x10" or so) baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Arrange the potato slices in a single layer in the dish, fanning them out so they overlap each other about halfway. I was able to make three parallel rows in my dish.
- Pour the milk in the baking dish, (it should pool evenly in the bottom).
- Drizzle lines of pesto across the potatoes with a spoon.
- Top the potatoes evenly with the shredded cheddar and parmesan cheeses.
- Bake uncovered for 45 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Serve with more fresh chives and fresh basil sprinkled over the top.