Looking for an au gratin potato recipe that will wow your guests? Look no further! These creamy bacon au gratin potatoes were inspired by Fleming’s Steakhouse. Layers of soft, thinly sliced potatoes with bacon, jalapeños, and two types of cheese make this dish a winner. This au gratin is perfect for special occasions or when you want to impress your family and friends.
Update: This recipe for au gratin potatoes was originally published in November 2014. I made updates to the post below to include more information about how to make these creamy, cheesy jalapeño potatoes.
Quick Navigation - Table of Contents
About this potato au gratin
Hi friends! Have you ever been to a steakhouse like Outback’s, Ruth Chris, or Ocean Prime and just ordered a whole bunch of side dishes? I’m talking onion rings, creamed spinach, dinner rolls…the works.
I’m personally all about the potatoes. I love them all: mashed, whipped, twice-baked, french fries, potato wedges! I recently went to Fleming’s Steakhouse for dinner and tried their famous potato au gratin with bacon and jalapeño. It was SO GOOD that I just had to try to recreate it at home.
Au gratin potatoes are usually made with thinly sliced potatoes, cream or milk, and cheese. This dish is baked until the potatoes are soft and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Fleming’s potatoes are their version of potatoes au gratin with jalapeño and leeks! The leeks add a nice onion flavor without being too overwhelming.
Once you make this dish, everyone will be begging you to make it for every potluck, family dinner, and holiday party you are invited to.
Why this potato au gratin recipe works
These cheesy jalapeño potatoes are the bomb-diggity! They’re silky, creamy, cheesy, bacon-y, a hint spicy, smoky, and the perfect amount of salty.
My recipe is pretty darn close to the original, except I used Colby and pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar and Monterey jack. I also added bacon because if you ask me, it should have been there to begin with… sorry Fleming’s. 😉
This easy potatoes recipe is also:
- Loaded with flavor. Between the cheese, bacon, and jalapeño, there is no shortage of flavor in this dish! They are seriously decadent and the ultimate in the comfort food department.
- A great side dish. This au gratin would be perfect alongside a steak, roasted chicken, or pork chop. And, they happen to taste delicious as leftovers, cold straight from the refrigerator… no judging. 😉
- Perfect for a crowd. Easily double or triple this recipe to serve at a big family gathering. Everyone deserves a scoop (or 4) of these spicy potatoes.
What are the best potatoes to use for au gratin?
When making the best au gratin potatoes, it all comes down to your type of potato, it can make or break your dish!
For this recipe, you’ll want to use a high starch potato for cooking and coming together with the heavy cream and cheese. One of the highlights of steakhouse potatoes is how creamy and smooth they turn out.
Russet potatoes are the perfect type of potato to use for this recipe! They cook up nice and tender without being mushy. They’re also affordable, which is always a bonus.
Another type of potato you can use is Yukon gold potatoes. They have a similar starch content as russet potatoes but are slightly more waxy. They’ll still work great in this recipe, but the au gratin potatoes may not be quite as smooth.
Ingredients for Fleming’s potatoes
These layered potatoes take about 25 minutes to prep before baking in the oven, leaving you will a warm, bubbling dish of gratin potatoes.
Here’s what you will need to make Flemming potatoes:
- Potatoes: The best potatoes for this au gratin recipe are russet potatoes. You’ll need to thinly slice them so that they cook evenly. I like to use a mandoline, but you can also use a sharp knife.
- Substitution: If you don’t have russet potatoes, you can use Yukon gold potatoes.
- Bacon: I like to use center-cut bacon for this recipe because it has less fat and more meat.
- Substitution: Swap out the pork bacon with turkey bacon.
- Jalapeños: Add jalapeños to the potato au gratin for a bit of spice. If you don’t like spicy food, you can leave them out.
- Leeks: Leeks add a subtle onion flavor to the au gratin; only use the white and light green parts.
- Substitution: Don’t have leeks? Use yellow onions!
- Cheese: I used a combo of Colby jack cheese and pepper jack cheese. You can use all Colby jack or all pepper jack.
- Substitution: Not a fan of pepper jack cheese? Swap it out for any cheese you like. Try the classic cheese combo of Gruyere and parmesan!
- Garlic: You’ll need two cloves of minced garlic, adding a lot of flavor to the dish.
- Dairy: To make the creamy base, I used a mixture of heavy cream and half and half.
- Parsley: Fresh is best!
- Substitution: Sub in 2 tsp of dried parsley.
- Seasonings: A little classic salt and pepper are all you need.
Serving ideas for bacon au gratin potatoes
Consider making one of these delicious main dishes to serve with spicy cheese potatoes for a satisfying and mouthwatering dinner:
- Pork tenderloin. This apple bourbon pork tenderloin recipe is easy to make and super tasty with potato au gratin. The leeks and bacon in the potatoes compliment the pork so well!
- Grilled steak. Steakhouse potatoes with steak? No brainer! A perfectly cooked, juicy, grilled steak is my go-to whenever potatoes are involved. Don’t forget the chimichurri sauce!
- Chicken. Try this jalapeño, brown sugar chicken breast! The sweetness of the chicken paired with the spice in the au gratin potatoes is a match made in heaven.
- Vegetables. You can serve these potatoes with a plate full of your favorite seasonal veggies, roasted. Asparagus, mushrooms and brussels sprouts are my vote.
FAQ: potato au gratin recipe
What’s the difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin?
The main difference between au gratin and scalloped potatoes is the cheese. Au gratin potatoes are usually made with Gruyere or cheddar cheese, while scalloped potatoes typically don’t have cheese added to them.
Both dishes are creamy and delicious either way!
Which cheese is typically used when making au gratin potatoes?
Many different types of cheese can be used for au gratin potatoes. The most common cheeses are Gruyere, cheddar, and Swiss. But, you can use any you like!
I decided to use Colby cheese and pepper jack cheese for my version of Fleming’s potatoes.
Why does my potato gratin curdle?
When au gratin potatoes are overcooked, the milk and cheese can curdle. To avoid this, cook the potatoes until they are just tender, and be careful not to overcook them.
Do I have to add jalapeños?
No, you don’t have to add jalapeños. But, I think they add a nice little bit of spice to the dish. If you don’t like them, you can leave them out.
If you want it to be even spicier, you could swap them out for serranos or habanero peppers. Just don’t forget that there is also pepper jack cheese in this recipe, which has a kick to it!
What else can I add to au gratin potatoes?
There are many different things that you could add to au gratin potatoes. I added some jalapenos and bacon, but here are some other ingredients that would work well in this dish:
- Green onions
- Truffle oil
What can I use in place of potatoes?
There are many different types of au gratin recipes out there. But, the most classic version uses potatoes. For example, you could use sweet potatoes or broccoli if you want to change it up. I personally love an au gratin with brussels sprouts. However, please be aware that the cooking time may vary depending on what you use.
Can I make this au gratin recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. Just assemble the dish and bake it when you’re ready to serve.
Storing and freezing steakhouse potatoes
Follow these simple tips to properly store, freeze and reheat this potato au gratin recipe!
How do I store au gratin potatoes?
This potato recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Make sure to cover the dish airtight, so the cheese and sauce don’t dry out.
Can I freeze potatoes au gratin for later?
No, I wouldn’t recommend it. Since this potato dish has a lot of dairy, it doesn’t usually freeze well. The sauce can separate, and the cheese can get grainy.
Can’t make it to your favorite steakhouse? No problem! These au gratin potatoes are just as good, if not better. Fire up the grill, cook a juicy steak, and whip up a batch of these jalapeño cheese potatoes. It’ll be like you are right at Fleming’s Steakhouse!
Until next time, friends, Cheers – to recreating restaurant favorites at home. (<–Preferably in the comfort of your pajamas)
Craving MORE? For more tasty recipe inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. You can also get all of my newest content delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for my email newsletter.
More potato side dishes!
If you love these homemade au gratin potatoes, try one of these potato recipes next!
- Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic
- Greek Potato Wedges
- Mashed Potatoes with Parsnips
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes
- Potato Galette Recipe
- Frittata with Potato
How to make potatoes au gratin 👇
Fleming's inspired Bacon & Jalapeno Potatoes au Gratin
- 3 Pound Russet Potatoes – peeled and sliced 1/8’’ thin (about 4 potatoes)
- 8 Slices Center Cut Bacon - diced
- 2 medium Jalapenos – finely diced*
- 2 medium Leeks , white and light green part only – thinly sliced (about ¾ Cup)
- 1 ½ heaping tsp Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
- 2 Cups Heavy Cream
- 1 ½ Cups Half and Half
- 1 Cup Coby Cheese – shredded*
- 1 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese – shredded*
- 1 TBS Flat Leaf Parsley – chopped (can substitute 2 tsp dried)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13’’ baking pan with olive oil and set aside.
- Add bacon to a medium sauce pan or Dutch oven and place over medium heat. Cook until bacon is crispy and cooked through, about 11-15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease*(if necessary) and add the jalapenos, leeks, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium high and sauté, stirring occasionally, until leeks have softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the heavy cream and half-and-half. Bring to a simmer and immediately remove from heat. Add in both cheese (1 cup each) and stir until cheese is completely melted. Stir in bacon and parsley.
- Using a large spoon, add just enough of the cheese sauce to the greased pan to barely cover the bottom. Add the potatoes to the pot with the remaining cheese sauce and gently toss to thoroughly coat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to the greased pan (using a slotted spoon will keep some of the cheese sauce in the pot). Top the potatoes with the remaining cheese sauce in the pot.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional cheese (if using). Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Use a small fork or toothpick to test potatoes for doneness. Switch oven to broil and cook until top is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes depending on the strength of your broiler.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy
For spicy potatoes – leave seeds intact in both jalapenos
For medium - spicy potatoes completely seed one jalapeno and leave the seeds intact in the other.
For mild - spicy potatoes – completely seed both jalapenos.
*Cheeses- shred an additional ¼ Cup of each cheese for topping potatoes. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over potatoes after you remove the aluminum foil, then continue to bake as directed.
*Bacon Grease – don’t simply discard bacon grease, pour it into a small container with a tight fitting lid and store it in your refrigerator. Use it in place of butter or oil to add bacon flavor to dishes.
*To Make in Advance – Cook according to directions, covered, for one hour (do not sprinkle with extra cheese if using). Allow to cool on counter for 20 minutes. Covered the dish and transfer it to the refridgerator. When ready to serve, remove from fridge and set on counter for 30 minutes to remove chill. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake, covered for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking as directed.
*You can also make the potatoes in individual baking dishes. Bake according to the same directions above.
*Recipe adapted from Flemings Site, but they recently removed their recipe from website.