Make-Ahead Individual Potato Gratins with Bacon and Mushrooms

Individual glass jars of Potato Gratins topped with Bacon and Mushrooms

I have to cut to the chase with this recipe for Make-Ahead Potato Gratins with Bacon and Mushrooms. You already know that you won’t find any recipes on a farmgirl’s dabbles that aren’t approved by my family. But this dish… This dish received overwhelming praise from every one of us. And I just wanted to get it out in the open right away about how absolutely wonderful it is. You NEED this recipe!

bacon and mushroom Potato Gratins

The temps have been lower than normal for this time of year. As we keep adding more layers, dreading diving all-in with our winter gear, I am craving comfort food like crazy. Especially creamy potato dishes. So when the Kansas Pork Association asked me to create a recipe featuring thick-cut bacon, I knew exactly how I was going to use that salty pork we all love.

Be sure to read to the end of this post for info on how you can
from the Kansas Pork Association!

These gratins are filled with all kinds of comfy. Potato slices are layered with smoky gruyere, a heavenly cream sauce, and a mixture of mushrooms, onions, and bacon, all fabulously delicious together. And the bonus here is the packaging. It’s so much fun to have your very own portion!

These gratins would be just the perfect side dish for the upcoming holidays. Especially since I created the recipe with make-ahead instructions. The individual potato cups can be fully assembled up to one day prior to baking, leaving one less thing to prepare on the big day. I’m also showing you how they can go from casual, baked in simple wide-mouth canning jars, to a bit more elegant…

a black serving board of Individual Potato Gratins

…baked in ramekins. They’re eye-catching either way. But I love how versatile they are, with the ability to easily shift from casual to fancy, depending on the occasion.

Individual Potato Gratins

It’s no secret that I love pork, and that my family loves it, too. Were you following along with me on Instagram and twitter a few weeks ago, as I walked the cobblestone streets of Nantucket with the National Pork Board? It was an amazing experience, filled with new sights, new friends, and plate after amazing plate of pork. Stay tuned next week when I share more about this trip!

Pork farmers are located all throughout our country, providing our families with delicious sustenance to set on our tables. This video highlights the Wondra family from Kansas, with three generations working side by side. I love Kelly Wondra’s self proclaimed title: “Bacon Farmer”. ;)

WIN Bacon for a Year from Kansas Farmers!

The Kansas Pork Association has one cool contest going on right now.

You could win bacon for a year!

Be sure to click on over to their Photo Contest before November 12th, 2013 and share an original photo that demonstrates your devotion to all things bacon. If your photo is chosen, you’ll win a year’s worth of bacon courtesy of Farmland Foods and the hardworking Kansas Bacon Farmers.

And here’s that recipe I promised you. Enjoy!!

Make-Ahead Individual Potato Gratins with Bacon and Mushrooms

Yield: 6 individual potato gratins

Cook Time:35 minutes


  • 4 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4” rounds
  • 1 lb. thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 5 T. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 6 oz. smoked Gruyere cheese, shredded


  1. Set six 1-cup wide mouth jars or ramekins on a pan, and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a boil. Add sliced potatoes and cook until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, fry the chopped bacon until browned and just crisp, stirring regularly. Using a large slotted spoon, remove bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the skillet’s bacon grease, and then return skillet to burner over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Then add onion and mushrooms, stirring to coat. Cook until they are softened, about 8 minutes, stirring regularly. Add garlic, thyme, and black pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cooked bacon. Discard paper towel from plate and remove skillet mixture to the same plate. Set aside.
  4. Set same skillet over medium heat once again (no need to clean it first). Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. While whisking constantly, sprinkle the flour over the melted butter to form a paste. Gradually whisk in cream, and then milk. Cook until mixture comes to a boil, whisking almost constantly. Then add Parmesan and soy sauce, and cook for 1 minute longer while whisking constantly. Add more freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Remove from heat.
  5. Place one tablespoon of cream sauce into the bottom of each jar. Layer in 3 of the larger rounds of potato into each jar, followed by another tablespoon of cream sauce. Add 1/3 cup of bacon and mushroom mixture to each jar, and press in flat with the back side of a spoon. Divide 4 ounces of the shredded cheese amongst each jar, and then add 3 more rounds of potato to each jar. Spoon two tablespoons of cream sauce over potato rounds in each jar. Top each jar with 1 tablespoon of the bacon and mushroom mixture, and then sprinkle the remaining 2 ounces of cheese over the top of each jar. Finish with some freshly ground black pepper.
  6. To bake immediately:
    Preheat oven to 350°. With the jars on the pan, Loosely tent the jars with one large piece of foil, so the cheese doesn’t burn. Don’t press the foil down onto the jars. Place pan of jars in oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and then bake for another 10 minutes, or until cream sauce is bubbling and cheese is browned a bit. Remove from oven and serve hot.
  7. To bake later the same day or the following day:
    Place gratins in a covered storage container and refrigerate until ready to bake. Take gratins out of refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Set jars on a pan and loosely tent the jars with one large piece of foil, so the cheese doesn’t burn. Don’t press the foil down onto the jars. Place pan of jars in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and then bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until cream sauce is bubbling and cheese is browned a bit. Remove from oven and serve hot.

from a farmgirl’s dabbles


Disclosure: Thank you to the Kansas Pork Association for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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