Slow Cooked Au Gratin Potatoes

For holiday gatherings, one of my favorite tools to use is a slow cooker. It’s the best way to free up the oven for other items on your menu. Plus, I love being able to “set it and forget it.”

The secret to this recipe is the smoked gouda. It not only adds smokiness to the dish, but richness as well. Make sure to coat the inside the crock to prevent the potatoes from sticking.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Slow Cooked Au Gratin Potatoes
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Recipe Type: Side
Serves: 4-6 hours
  • 5 – 6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ “ thick
  • ½ cup onion, minced
  • 3 Tbl. butter
  • 3 Tbl. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 oz. smoked gouda, shredded
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 3 Tbl. parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking spray
  1. Coat the interior of the slow cooker crock with cooking spray. Evenly layer the potatoes with the onions. Sprinkle each layer with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, until the butter is completely absorbed. Slowly add the milk and heat for 3 – 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Do not allow the sauce to boil. Remove from heat and add all three cheeses at once. Stir until the cheeses have melted.
  3. Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes. Cook the mixture on high for 2 - 3 hours and then reduce the temperature to low. Cook for an additional hour, or until the potatoes have completely softened. Total cook time in the slow cooker will roughly be 4 - 4 1/2 hours. There should be no need to stir during cooking. Serves about 4 – 6 people as a side. The recipe can be easily doubled.
Author's Note
Author's Note: It is very important to coat the slow cooker crock with cooking spray to prevent the cheese from sticking. This will totally save on cleanup time.

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  • My potatoes did not turn out and I followed the recipe – the sauce looked broken and not smooth and creamy. The potatoes were not soft – tender yes but not soft. I did use a bag inside the slow cooker?

    Not sure what i did wrong – loved the cheese blend tho and will try again for the oven.

  • Try with garganzola and gruyere along with the cheddar, I also used 1/2 cream and 1/2 milk. For a spice I did nutmeg. This was so good, I made a double batch for 6 people and expected leftovers but there weren’t any. They even scraped the pot to where I had almost no clean up. This is so much easier than in the oven like I use to do. Next time I think I’m cutting the cream and using some tobacco instead of nutmeg.

  • Once your cheese is melted in, take off heat and pour over potatoes and onions. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure it gets in the layers a bit. Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. If you cook on high then it will take the same amount of time as your ham! See how that works there?

  • This was a huge hit with our family at Thanksgiving. The smoked gouda was the key ingredient. I doubled the recipe and cooked in my 6 qt crock pot for 6 hours. I was a little concerned when I first removed the lid because the potatoes looked a bit watery but once the dish cooled down a little the sauce firmed up. Thank you for this delicious recipe! My husband is already asking me to make these potatoes again.

  • Great! Thanks, I just want to make sure they will done and not really hard. I was thinking of leaving them from about Nnoon to 5:30ish. It would be great to have them done before all the company comes! So 51/2 hours….would this be okay?

    • Hi Michelle: If you have a slow cooker that’s big enough to hold double the recipe, then you should be fine. I would add an extra half hour just to be safe. The trick is to avoid lifting the lid during the cooking process.

  • Fingers crossed! I normally don’t cook anything more complicated than an omelette, but really wanted to try something. After agonizing over ideas/recipes I finally settled on this one with pan fried steak. I substituted Gouda with Mozarella and used a really sharp aged cheddar. It’s in the slow cooker now. Here’s to anxiously hoping that we aren’t ordering pizza later tonite! Thank you for the recipe!
    Disclaimer: Even if mine don’t turn out perfect the recipe looks really good!

  • We’re bringing this to Thanksgiving dinner today! I agree, takes longer than you recommend (about an hour longer – and I have a new CrockPot!)… but that’s to be expected with CrockPot dinners: you should always give yourself extra time to adjust as needed. What I am here to say is that the cheesy sauce is amazingly, smokily, perfectly delicious. The family will love it. Thanks, and happy Thanksgiving!

  • I tried this recipe tonight. The potatoes have now been in the crock pot for half an hour longer than stated and they are no where near done yet. Guess I won’t be eating this tonight.

  • Complete fabulousness! I just bought a hunk of smoked Gouda today too.
    Funny story:
    I came home from college, in 1983, and told Fred (dad) about this great new cheese I had called Smoked Gouda! (yes Cory that’s 27 years ago!)
    Fred is a VERY quiet man and never one to criticize, but he looked at me so seriously and said “Don’t ever embarrass yourself like that again!”
    Me: huh?
    Fred: It’s pronounced how-da, you know, like the city in the Netherlands, WHERE it’s MADE!
    Needless to say I’m self conscious EVERY time I say it because to the rest of the world I’m saying it WRONG! Case in point today: I thought at my Polish deli with the Polish attendant I could get away with calling it ‘how-da’ NOT! She corrected my pronunciation.

    Oh me, oh my I’m carrying on so… to try me some spuds with Gouda augratin Cory style!

  • I tried this recipe for Easter. It did not work out at all. In Cory’s defense, my husband blamed the crock pot. Totally bummed because the slow cooker mac and cheese was so good!

    • Peggy: I’m so sorry this didn’t work out for you. I’ve had several friends try it and the only negative was it stuck to the crockpot if you don’t spray it with cooking spray. Thanks for the feedback. I sure hope you try another recipe soon.

  • Au Gratin Potatoes is something from my childhood. My mom would make them from a box (ahem..), but as I started to cook, I made them from scratch. I remember the first time I made them and my sister proclaimed they were just as good as the Betty Crocker! At the time, that was high praise coming from my sister.

    With the addition of the gouda, I’m sure this “childhood” favorite now comes back to my adult life to surprise me again.

    Thanks Brent…and Cory! 😉

  • I love you slow cooker potatoes, and yes thanks Brent for the great cheese idea. I think these taters would be just fabulous right next to a big slice of the ham listed below.

  • Au gratin potatoes are my nemisis – never tried them in the slow cooker though!

    Will definitely give these a try – thanks Cory and Merry Belated Christmas!

    Love the snowman header 😀

  • CC,
    I am making steakhouse style potatoes for New Years eve, similar to this recipe, but w/ cheddar and bread crumbs. Fattening and delicious!
    Happy New Year and to Brent too!
    Stacey Snacks