Australian/ Baking/ Dinner/ Recipes/ Side Dish

Australian Cheesy Potato Bake

11/05/2022

Enjoy this creamy, cheesy potato bake layered with onion and garlic that will have everyone fighting to be the first to dig in! Serve up a big batch at your next BBQ for guaranteed smiles.

Large glass dish with golden baked potato bake and serving spoons.

Why We Love This

This easy cheesy potato bake or potato casserole is our go-to side dish for family gatherings and BBQs. It’s always a hit and there are almost never any leftovers.

It’s the kind of side dish you can prep before everyone gets there, and have cooking in the background while everything else is going on. That’s our kind of cooking!

Spoonful of soft, creamy potato bake.

What is Aussie style Potato Bake? 

Australian potato bake or potato casserole is one dish you’ll usually find alongside freshly grilled snags and lamb chops at a family BBQ. Depending on where you’re from, there are many variations of this classic potato dish.

You may have seen it called potatoes au gratin, the traditional French name for a dish consisting of sliced potatoes covered in cheese and breadcrumbs, which is baked until the top is golden brown. With origins in the Dauphiné region of southern France, where it’s also known as potatoes dauphinoise.

Scalloped potatoes is another variation where the origins may be from England. These days, whatever name you know it by, it’s just as popular across Australia, Europe and beyond.

What You’ll Need

  • Potatoes – Floury / starchy potatoes are the best choice to give you that lovely soft and fluffy texture once baked. Great options are desiree or sebago (aka brushed potatoes in Australia) or Yukon Gold (America). Though when we make this at home, we’ll use any potatoes we have on hand and still get a yummy result.  Try to avoid waxy potatoes if you can, as you’ll be waiting forever for them to soften in the oven. Sub with half sweet potato or all sweet potato.
  • Cream – We use thickened cream / heavy cream to give the dish a lovely creamy texture. Sub with sour cream. Traditional potatoes au gratin uses milk, so you can use that in a pinch, although the texture of the finished bake will be a bit looser. For a no cream base, make our tuna mornay white sauce instead.
  • Cheese – Shredded cheddar cheese (known as tasty cheese in Australia) is the best choice. It has a lovely sharp flavour and turns the topping that magic golden brown colour you know and love on potato bake! If you’re feeling extra naughty, throw in a handful of parmesan cheese.
  • Garlic & Onion – We love using fresh garlic and onion here. Sub with garlic powder and onion powder for a shortcut if you don’t feel like chopping the real stuff.
Ingredients laid out to make Australian potato bake.

How to make Potato Bake:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 360°F.
  2. In a large baking dish, line and layer half the potato slices.
  3. Sprinkle half the chopped garlic and onion slices over the top then give a generous crack of salt and pepper over the top. Evenly pour over half the cream.
  4. Now repeat the steps, layering the remaining potato slices and sprinkling over the remaining garlic and onion on top. Pour over the remaining cream, then top with the shredded cheese. . Garnish with an extra crack of salt and pepper if you like.
  5. Pop it in the oven and bake for around 1 – 1.5 hours. If your oven browns your cheesy top quickly, add a layer of aluminium foil over the top. Test with a fork or chopstick and remove from the oven when potato is soft.
  6. Top tip: If you’re dishing this up alongside a bbq, and the meat isn’t quite ready, top with aluminium foil to stop it over cooking and drying out then switch the oven to off or “keep warm” until everything is ready to be dished up.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Cover with Foil – Covering the tray with foil for the first part of baking will help to steam and soften the potatoes more quickly. Taking it off after that will ensure a deliciously golden cheesy topping.
  • Baking Dish – A large, shallow baking dish works best to ensure you maximise your cheesy topping.
  • Double the Recipe – If you’re feeding a crowd, double the recipe and make a huge batch!
  • Use a Mandoline Slicer – These will give you even, thin slices that will help everything cook through. It will also you loads of time!
  • Storage – Leftover potato bake will last around 3-5 days in the fridge (although with our hungry families, there’s hardly ever any leftovers to be found!).

FAQs

What if I’ve used the wrong potatoes?

If you’ve used waxy potatoes instead of starchy potatoes, don’t stress! You’ll still end up with a delicious potato bake, you just may need to cook it for longer to reach the soft and fluffy texture you’re looking for. Cover with foil to stop the cheesy topping from browning too fast, then remove towards the end to brown it up perfectly once the potatoes are close to being cooked through.

What should I serve alongside potato bake?

We love it alongside BBQ sausages, steak or cevapi with a refreshing side salad of tomato and cucumber shopska. It’s delicious alongside a serving of curried sausages.

Can I freeze it?

Yes, you can freeze potato bake for up to a couple of weeks. We recommend separating leftovers into small portions to make them easier to reheat later. Always store in an airtight container. 

What’s the best way to reheat it?

Allow refrigerated potato bake to come up to temperature first before reheating. If frozen, allow enough time to fully defrost on the bench and come up to temperature. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through. You can also use a microwave to reheat (in short bursts) until warmed through – the texture won’t be quite the same but the speed makes up for it!

What else could I do with leftovers?

Leftover potato bake is actually super adaptable. Mash it up and form into fried patties or potato pancakes. Use as a topping on shepherd’s pie or moussaka. Or for something a little bit fancier, use a piping bag to turn them into duchess potatoes.

Variations

  • Cheese – Switch out half of the regular cheddar cheese for something extra fancy, like camembert or gruyère. Or add sharpness with aged cheddar or parmesan!
  • Herbs – Layer a small handful of fresh dill, chives or thyme through the potato slices or over the top before baking.
  • Garnish – Top with a sprinkling of thinly sliced spring onion or fried shallots. 
  • Extra Flavour Variations – Think about adding extras like bacon bits, chicken stock or smoked paprika.
  • Make it Spicy – Stir a little cayenne, tabasco or shichimi togarashi through the cream for a subtle spicy zing.
Golden crispy potato bake, ready to be served.

Serve it up along these Aussie BBQ favourites:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Large glass dish with golden baked potato bake.

Australian Cheesy Potato Bake

Enjoy this creamy, cheesy potato bake layered with onion and garlic that will have everyone fighting to be the first to dig in! Serve up a big batch at your next BBQ for guaranteed smiles.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Australian, English, French
Servings: 6 Side Serves
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $6

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 5-6 potatoes sliced thinly, around 1 kg / 2 lbs, starchy potatoes are best
  • 1 onion sliced in thin half moons
  • 2 garlic chopped finely
  • 300 g cream heavy cream or whipping cream is best, sub sour cream
  • 2 cups tasty cheese grated or shredded pizza cheese mix works well
  • Salt and pepper to taste, between each layer

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 360°F.
  • In a large baking dish, line and layer half the potato slices.
    5-6 potatoes
  • Sprinkle half the chopped garlic and onion slices over the top then give a generous crack of salt and pepper over the top. Evenly pour over half the cream.
    1 onion, 2 garlic, 300 g cream, Salt and pepper
  • Now repeat the steps, layering the remaining potato slices and sprinkling over the remaining garlic and onion on top. Pour over the remaining cream, then top with the shredded cheese. . Garnish with an extra crack of salt and pepper if you like.
    1 onion, 2 garlic, 300 g cream, 2 cups tasty cheese, Salt and pepper
  • Pop it in the oven and bake for around 1 – 1.5 hours. If your oven browns your cheesy top quickly, add a layer of aluminium foil over the top. Test with a fork or chopstick and remove from the oven when potato is soft.
  • Top tip: If you’re dishing this up alongside a bbq, and the meat isn’t quite ready, top with aluminium foil to stop it over cooking and drying out then switch the oven to off or “keep warm” until everything is ready to be dished up.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Cover with Foil – Covering the tray with foil for the first part of baking will help to steam and soften the potatoes more quickly. Taking it off after that will ensure a deliciously golden cheesy topping.
  • Baking Dish – A large, shallow baking dish works best to ensure you maximise your cheesy topping.
  • Double the Recipe – If you’re feeding a crowd, double the recipe and make a huge batch!
  • Use a Mandoline Slicer – These will give you even, thin slices that will help everything cook through. It will also you loads of time!
  • Storage – Leftover potato bake will last around 3-5 days in the fridge (although with our hungry families, there’s hardly ever any leftovers to be found!).
  • Cheese – Switch out half of the regular cheddar cheese for something extra fancy, like camembert or gruyère. Or add sharpness with aged cheddar or parmesan!
  • Herbs – Layer a small handful of fresh dill, chives or thyme through the potato slices or over the top before baking.
  • Garnish – Top with a sprinkling of thinly sliced spring onion or fried shallots. 
  • Extra Flavour Variations – Think about adding extras like bacon bits, chicken stock or smoked paprika.
  • Make it Spicy – Stir a little cayenne, tabasco or shichimi togarashi through the cream for a subtle spicy zing.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Australian Cheesy Potato Bake
Amount per Serving
Calories
400
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
27
g
42
%
Saturated Fat
 
16
g
100
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Cholesterol
 
86
mg
29
%
Sodium
 
257
mg
11
%
Potassium
 
703
mg
20
%
Carbohydrates
 
29
g
10
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Protein
 
13
g
26
%
Vitamin A
 
991
IU
20
%
Vitamin C
 
30
mg
36
%
Calcium
 
245
mg
25
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Australian Cheesy Potato Bake

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