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What to serve with au gratin potatoes?

Au gratin potatoes are a delicious and comforting side dish that can complement a variety of main courses. But with so many options, it can be difficult to choose what to serve alongside au gratin potatoes. Some key questions when deciding what to pair with au gratin potatoes include:

  • What is the main flavor profile of the au gratin potatoes? Are they cheesy, buttery, garlicky, etc?
  • What proteins would complement the flavor of the potatoes? Hearty meats like beef or pork often pair well.
  • Do you want something lighter like chicken or fish to balance the richness of the potatoes?
  • What types of sauces work well with au gratin potatoes? Creamy sauces are a natural fit.
  • What season is it? What fresh produce is available to incorporate?
  • Do you want an elegant dish for a dinner party or a comforting family meal?

Keeping these factors in mind will help narrow down what to serve with au gratin potatoes. Here are some of the most popular options:

Meat Entrees

Hearty meats are one of the best pairings for creamy, cheesy au gratin potatoes. Here are some fantastic meat-based main dishes to consider:

Beef Tenderloin

A beef tenderloin roast, or filet mignon steaks, are classic pairings for au gratin potatoes. The tender, mild flavor of the beef contrasts nicely with the richness of the potatoes. Beef tenderloin goes great with au gratin potatoes flavored with lots of garlic, cheese, and cream. A red wine sauce also pairs very well.

Prime Rib

A juicy, flavorful prime rib is another stellar choice to serve with au gratin potatoes, especially if you have prepared them with Gruyere cheese. The crispy browned potatoes complement the seasoned crust of the prime rib. Horseradish sauce is a traditional pairing with prime rib and au gratin potatoes.

Pork Tenderloin

A roasted pork tenderloin gains even more flavor when served with cheesy, garlicky au gratin potatoes. The potatoes can be flavored with rosemary and Parmesan to match nicely with the pork. A pork tenderloin also goes well with a cream sauce or mushroom gravy as another pairing for the potatoes.

Lamb Chops

Lamb is another great pairing for au gratin potatoes. Try pan-seared lamb chops served atop rosemary au gratin potatoes for a fancy dinner party menu. The rich flavor of the lamb is brought out even more by the creamy, savory potatoes.


For a comforting meal, meatloaf and au gratin potatoes are a match made in heaven. Make your meatloaf with beef, pork, and veggies seasoned with traditional herbs. Then bake it right alongside a dish of creamy, cheesy potatoes. Serve with pan gravy for the ultimate hearty dinner.

Poultry Entrees

Lighter poultry dishes also pair nicely with au gratin potatoes to balance out the richness. Here are some great options:

Roasted Chicken

A whole roasted chicken is a versatile pairing for au gratin potatoes. Opt for garlic, Parmesan potatoes as a savory accent to simple roasted or herb-rubbed chicken. Or, layer thinly sliced potatoes with Gruyere and cream before roasting the chicken directly on top.

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan makes a natural pairing for au gratin potatoes, especially if you use mozzarella and Parmesan in the potato dish. The tomato sauce on the chicken complements the creaminess of the potatoes. Serve them together for an easy baked dinner.

Turkey Breast

A roasted, boneless turkey breast served with au gratin potatoes can make an easy but elegant holiday meal. Top the potatoes with fried sage leaves for further fall flavor. Turkey gravy served on top brings the whole dish together.

Cornish Hens

Small yet mighty Cornish hens pair wonderfully with au gratin potatoes. Stuff the hens with garlic, lemon, and herbs then roast them with sliced potato topping. The potatoes soak up the juices from the hens as they cook, creating incredible flavor.

Seafood Entrees

The rich creaminess of au gratin potatoes is a fantastic complement to lighter seafood as well. Consider these seafood and potato pairings:

Baked Salmon

Baked salmon fillets pair nicely with au gratin potatoes, especially if you use a lighter hand with cream and cheese in the potatoes. Top the salmon with lemon and fresh dill to complement the starchiness of the potatoes.

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi makes an easy weeknight meal served over garlicky au gratin potatoes. The lemon-butter sauce on the shrimp brightens up the creamy potatoes. Add Parmesan, mozzarella, or Gruyere to the potatoes for even more flavor.

Crab Cakes

For an upscale seafood dinner, make crab cakes and serve them atop au gratin potatoes broiled with Swiss cheese. The richness of the crab and potatoes complement each other beautifully, especially when topped with a lemony aioli.

Lobster Tails

Buttery lobster tail meets its match when served with creamy au gratin potatoes. Choose potatoes with Gruyere, Parmesan, or cheddar to pair nicely with lobster. Fresh herbs like chives or tarragon also add nice flavor to potato and lobster pairings.

Vegetarian Entrees

Au gratin potatoes also pair wonderfully with vegetarian mains. Try these tasty combos:

Portobello Mushroom Caps

Meaty portobello mushroom caps can be stuffed with garlicky spinach, roasted, and served atop Parmesan au gratin potatoes for a vegetarian dinner. The earthiness of the mushrooms complements the potatoes.

Eggplant Parmesan

Another Italian classic – eggplant Parmesan tastes great when served with au gratin potatoes. The cheese and tomato sauce on the eggplant pairs nicely with the creaminess of the potatoes.

Vegetable Tian

For a light and seasonal meatless meal, make a vegetable tian with layered tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms. Serve it over au gratin potatoes made with thyme, Parmesan, and Gruyere for incredible flavor combinations.

Risotto Cakes

For an elegant vegetarian dinner, make risotto cakes with mushrooms and asparagus then serve them over au gratin potatoes. The starch-on-starch pairing is indulgent yet balanced. A light lemon cream sauce over both brings the dish together.

What to Add to Au Gratin Potatoes

When serving au gratin potatoes, think about what herbs, spices, cheeses, and other mix-ins would best complement your main course:

If serving with… Consider adding…
Beef Gruyere, Parmesan, garlic, thyme
Pork Gruyere, cheddar, sage, rosemary
Chicken Swiss, Parmesan, lemon, tarragon
Fish Cheddar, mozzarella, parsley, lemon
Vegetarian Goat cheese, gruyere, mushrooms, spinach

Having these complementary flavors in the au gratin potatoes helps bring the entire meal together.

Sides to Serve with Au Gratin Potatoes

Aside from the main course, consider rounding out the meal with these tasty side dishes that pair well with au gratin potatoes:


Crusty bread is great for dipping into any leftover cream sauce or gravy on the plate after eating the au gratin potatoes. Focaccia, rolls, or sourdough bread are all good options.

Green Salad

A simple green salad with vinaigrette dressing helps balance the richness of cheesy au gratin potatoes. Make sure to include some acidic components like tomatoes or pickled onions.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted veggies like brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus make great lighter sides to accompany au gratin potatoes. Toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting.

Creamed Spinach

For a decadent pairing, make creamed spinach to serve alongside the potatoes. The two cream-based sides complement each other beautifully, especially alongside a nice steak.

Green Beans

Fresh green beans sauteed with garlic and almonds offer texture and color contrast to baked au gratin potatoes. Green beans also pair well with many main dishes served with au gratin potatoes.

Perfect Wine Pairings for Au Gratin Potatoes

It’s easy to pair wines with au gratin potatoes – simply consider the main dish! Here are some fool-proof wine pairings for common mains served with au gratin potatoes:

If the main dish is… Pair it with…
Beef tenderloin or steak Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Chianti
Pork roast or tenderloin Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Rioja
Chicken or turkey Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
Salmon or seafood Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Rose
Vegetarian Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Sangiovese

The wines paired with red meat dishes tend to be bolder reds that can stand up to the richer flavors. Lighter proteins get brighter, more acidic whites. And vegetarian dishes can go either way! Sticking to these pairings makes choosing wine easy.

Dessert Pairings for Au Gratin Potatoes

If serving a multi-course meal, here are some delicious desserts that pair wonderfully with cheesy, creamy au gratin potatoes:

Creme Brulee

Rich creme brulee makes a perfect dessert after au gratin potatoes. The light, custardy sweetness contrasts with the savory creaminess of the potatoes.

Apple Pie

For a fall dessert, serve warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream after eating garlic and cheese-laden au gratin potatoes. The fruitiness cuts through the heavy potato flavor.

Lemon Cake

A light, lemony cake or torte makes a bright, refreshing dessert when preceded by au gratin potatoes at dinner. Citrus flavors cut through the richness nicely.


New York style cheesecake makes a nice thematic pairing for au gratin potatoes, since they both involve generous amounts of cheese! Opt for a fruit topping on the cheesecake for balance.


Au gratin potatoes are a versatile side dish that pairs well with everything from steak to seafood to vegetarian entrees. Consider the main protein and season when deciding which herbs, cheeses, and additional sides to serve with the potatoes. A complementary wine and light dessert can round out an incredible au gratin potato meal. With so many possibilities, you can enjoy these cheesy potatoes again and again!