Spiced Gratin Dauphinois

Serves 4-6

| Prep Time: 25 mins

| Cook Time: 50 mins

| Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Gratin dishes are casseroles topped with breadcrumbs, cheese, and / or egg to form a golden crust. Gratin Dauphinois, a French recipe of thinly sliced potatoes mixed with cheese and milk is baked to develop a golden brown crust. Traditionally, this dish contained milk and/or cream but no cheese. Today, even the most classically trained French chefs add Gruyère cheese to Gratin Dauphinois. In the U.S., this dish is commonly known as Au Gratin Potatoes. Each bite of tender sliced potato is coated in a delicate, velvety sauce, with subtle hints of garlic. Topped with a crispy golden crust, our recipe for Spiced Gratin Dauphinois results in a wholesome, satisfying meal or side dish. 

We spiced our gratin with a French Spice blend known as Quatre Épices (literally "Four Spice"), a blend traditionally used to season soups, stews, ragout, and charcuterie, such as pate and terrines. Our proprietary blend includes a fifth spice, cinnamon, in addition to the traditional white pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cloves. The Quatre Epices blend is also great in baked goods and desserts. Try our Quatre Epices Bundt Cake to bring a spiced holiday cake to your next party.


  • 2 lbs russet potatoes

  • 2.5 cups whole milk

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 Tbsp Piquant Post Quatre Epices

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp butter

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (optional)


This is a great make-ahead dish. Simply stop after step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Remove from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before, to bring to room temperature. Continue at step 4.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel, rinse and dry the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into thin discs, about ¼ inch. Layer in a large 8-12 quart stock pot. Add milk, salt, pepper and Piquant Post Quatre Epices to the pot with the potatoes. Gently stir to coat. Bring the large pot to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until just tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, gently smash the garlic clove with a knife. Rub the clove of garlic on the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Following the garlic, use the butter to grease the baking dish. Chop remaining butter and smashed garlic clove, and scatter on the bottom of the baking dish.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the baking dish in even layers. Halfway through the layers, add ½ cup of the shredded Gruyère cheese. Continue layering the remaining potatoes. Pour the milk from the pot over the potatoes. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes, until cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed. For a slightly crispy cheese layer, broil for an additional 3 minutes. 

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Quatre Épices is tremendously versatile. You can use the spice in savory or sweet dishes. Try using it in soups and stews, add a pinch to salad dressing, or use it in Brownies, cookies, cakes or other baked goods. 

  • This spice works well can also use it to add spice to sausages or other meats. Try our French-inspired recipe for Beef Stew in Red Wine.

  • Try using Quatre Epices in a classic French dish, with braised chicken, Coq au Vin

  • Comfort food like Coq Au Vin doesn't only have to be made with meat. Vegetarians can try this vegan Coq Au Vin recipe, full of rich flavor and veggies, served over mashed potatoes.

  • Our recipe for Quatre Épices Bundt Cake promises a cake delivering citrus and sweet spices with a peppery after glow. For another sweet, try making these beautiful and delicious Quatre Épices Palmiers.

  • If you love a good French pate, try making your own French country pate and spice it with Quatre Épices! 

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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