Learn how easy it is to make Cheesy Baked Potatoes from scratch! This recipe features decadent caramelized onions in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce with simple seasonings. It's up-front, friendly prep for Crock Pot and the perfect side dish idea for friends and family.

I would like to add extra emphasis on the word "cheesy" in this recipe. If you like your au gratin potatoes to be totally smothered in a creamy cheese sauce, without a single dry potato in the house, then this recipe is for you. Because the truth is that potatoes absorb a lot of sauce during cooking and even when they come out of the oven. That's a good thing, because that's what makes them so tasty. 

* Ingredients :

° 6 tbsp butter, separated
° 1 tablespoon of olive oil
° 1 large yellow onion
° ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
° 2 cloves garlic
° 4 tablespoons of flour
° 3 cups of milk
° 3 ½ cups grated orange cheddar cheese, divided
° 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, softened
° ½ teaspoon of mustard powder
° ½ teaspoon of salt
° ¼ teaspoon of pepper
° 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
° 2.5 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, about 6 medium potatoes

* Instructions :

Preheaat oven to 350.
Measure out the milk, grated cheese and cream cheese. Set aside to allow them to come to room temperature, they should not be cold when added to the sauce.

Soften / caramelize the onions: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or casserole dish over medium-low heat. Cut the onions into ¼ inch strips and add them to the pot along with ½ teaspoon of dried thyme. Let them slowly caramelize until they turn a soft brown color, you will notice that the butter will eventually start to foam, this is a good sign. (See the post for the visual.) Let them cook slowly for about 25 minutes, until nicely browned. Time done, removing also set apart .

Butter and flour combined: increase the heat to medium. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the pot with the garlic. Cooking about 1 minute also utilize a silicone spatula to "clean" the bottom and sides of the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time (4 in total) and whisk to incorporate. Continue whisking for 1 minute or until you no longer smell the flour.

Add milk: Gradually add milk, splashes at a time, and whisk to incorporate. If you add it too quickly, the roux will lighten too much. Briing to a boil, then removing from heaat.

Add seasonings: add ½ teaspoon of mustard powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.

Add cheese: Let the roux cool a bit. Reserve 1 heaping cup of cheddar cheese and gradually sprinkle over the rest. If the base is too hot when cheese is added, the dairy will separate and the sauce will be grainy

Stir in 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese, then add the caramelized onions.

Slice the potatoes: peel the potatoes, rinse and dry them. Cutting them to thin, even tranches, about 1/8 inch thiick. 

Fill the casserole dish: place half in the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with half of the cheese sauce. Add the rest of the potatoes and the rest of the cheese sauce. Garnish with the rest of the cheddar cheese.

Bake: Covering & bake at 350 for 46 minutes. Removing lid & cook about other 15 min .

Grill at 450 for up to 5 minutes, until top is lightly browned, watching carefully. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Enjoy !