Pommes Boulangère Recipe (2024)

By Claire Saffitz

Pommes Boulangère Recipe (1)

Total Time
About 3 hours
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Like a creamless gratin, this potato casserole gets its flavor and richness from caramelized onions and chicken (or turkey) stock. For a sliceable texture, bake the casserole ahead of time and let it cool completely (during which time the gelatin in the stock and the starch in the potatoes will set), then reheat before serving.

Featured in: 3 Thanksgiving Potato Dishes That Are Better Than Mashed

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Yield:8 servings

  • 6tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more at room temperature for the baking dish
  • 2large yellow onions, halved and very thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1garlic clove, halved
  • 3pounds fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
  • 3fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4cups chicken or turkey stock, preferably homemade

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

270 calories; 10 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 39 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 5 grams sugars; 7 grams protein; 792 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Pommes Boulangère Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high. When the butter is melted and foamy, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown, adding a splash of water to the skillet as needed if the bottom is getting brown, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Season the onion with salt and pepper, and scrape into a medium bowl. Set the bowl aside and reserve the skillet.

  2. Step


    Arrange an oven rack in the center position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Rub the bottom and sides of a 3-quart baking dish with the cut sides of the garlic clove, then generously coat with room temperature butter. Set the baking dish aside.

  3. Step


    Using a mandoline or a knife and a cutting board, slice about a third of the potatoes into ⅛-inch-thick rounds. Working quickly so the potatoes don’t brown, heat 1 tablespoon butter in the reserved skillet over medium-high, then add the sliced potatoes and 1 thyme sprig; toss until the potato slices are coated in the butter. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are browned in spots and just starting to turn translucent and lose some of their crunchy texture, about 5 minutes. Scrape the potato mixture into a separate large bowl.

  4. Step


    Working in two batches, slice the remaining potatoes and cook with the remaining butter and thyme in the skillet just as you did the first batch. Transfer all of the potatoes to the same bowl as the first batch and let cool for a few minutes (reserve the skillet).

  5. Step


    Scatter about a third of the potato slices in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, then scatter about half of the onions over top. (You can pluck out and discard the thyme sprigs if you like, or, if you don’t mind picking them out later, you can leave them in.) Scatter half of the remaining potatoes in the baking dish, then top with the remaining onions. Layer the remaining potatoes over top in an even layer, shingling them or arranging in a rosette, or you can leave them haphazard.

  6. Step


    Add the stock to the reserved skillet and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. If using homemade stock, give it a taste and add salt as needed to make sure it’s well seasoned (store-bought stock is usually already pretty salty). Remove the skillet from the heat and gently pour the stock into the baking dish just until it barely covers the potato slices. If you have any stock leftover, reserve it for moistening the potatoes as needed while they bake.

  7. Step


    Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake uncovered until the potatoes are tender and golden across the surface and the stock is bubbling, reduced and has been mostly absorbed by the potatoes, 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes. If the surface of the potatoes seems to be drying out or if the potatoes absorb all of the stock during baking, drizzle some of the reserved stock over top to moisten them. (If you don’t have any more stock, you can use water.)

  8. Step


    Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool completely at room temperature (turn off the oven). As it cools, the mixture will set and absorb the stock, but if you are using store-bought stock, it will stay a bit brothy. The potatoes can sit uncovered at room temperature for several hours.

  9. Step


    About an hour before serving, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake uncovered until the potatoes are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.


  • DO AHEAD: The pommes boulangère can be assembled and submerged in stock up to 24 hours ahead. Cover the baking dish and refrigerate, then let it come up to room temperature before baking. Note that it will take longer to bake since the stock will be room temperature rather than warm.



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Cooking Notes


Lisa,Your suggestion about adding gruyere will turn this recipe into Tarteflette, a sublime winter dish popular with skiers in the Haute Savoie of France. It is layers of cooked and sliced potatoes, sauted lardons, and Reblouchon cheese. Reblouchon is expensive and hard to find (outside of NYC) in most of the US. Raclette, Comte, and Gruyere make fine substitutes. Some people add garlic, sauted onions, broth, creme fraich. With a green salad and wine this is a great meal.


I made this a few night ago with tiny creamer potatoes and managed to come away cut free from the mandolin. I used a boxed stock enriched with better than bouillon base. It was delicious the first night but even better reheated the second. Will definitely keep this recipe in the arsenal. I bet it would be delicious with some gruyere intermingled in the layers.


If you ever buy a rotisserie chicken, freeze the carcass! Simmering the leftover carcass in store-bought stock for an hour or so is a great way to get both the gelatin and a taste that is closer to homemade stock. After straining, the resulting broth can be refrozen or stored in the fridge for a few days before using. Dedicated cooks will make homemade stock, but for novice cooks and/or those short on time and money, this is a cheap and easy way to a better-tasting dish.

Jim Brown

I find it un-helpful when recipes use in-exact descriptions like "two large yellow onions," and "3 garlic cloves." Onions and garlic cloves vary widely in size. Better to use weights in ounces or grams, and volumes like cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons.


Please do not try to slice the fingerling potatoes bare-handed on the mandolin as is shown in the video. They are small and slipppery and uneven and hard to palm towards the end. A cut resistant glove is essential for this recipe.


@junaka, I haven’t made this recipe yet but plan to do so soon. Regarding your question about veggie stock, you could add a vegetarian gelatine substitute. Check out this post from serious eats https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-use-gelatin-better-stock-sauce-dessert. The post suggests adding gelatine to store-bought stocks and provides vegetarian alternatives to gelatine.


Need about twice as much butter to get the onions caramelized and the potatoes nicely translucent. I used the slicing attachment on a Cuisinart for the potatoes; they came out as beautiful coins in about 5 minutes flat. I really think that heating the broth in the skillet is a mistake--use a saucepan for easy and safe transfer to the baking dish. I used 5lbs of potatoes and 3 large onions, and a 4 quart baking dish. It took little less than a quart of stock, and it cooked for just 80 minutes.


I still think turkey gravy calls for mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, but this recipe sounds perfect for prime rib or fillet or crown roast of pork for Christmas or New Years!


I know that Mark Bittman has a similar recipe with a layer of white beans beneath the potatoes. He also mentions it as a standard french bakery dish. Great for vegetarian/vegan main.


I made this recipe with Yukon gold potatoes and did not sauté either the potato or onions. Layered with thyme, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Was great and less work.


We followed this recipe exactly and were disappointed. I agree with Bridget--it was a tasteless and soggy waste of our time in a busy cooking week. There are so many great potato recipes--not sure how we could have gone wrong on this one --the ingredients were all thre but it just did not pan out. We won't try this again.


I wanted this recipe to work. Mandolin potatoes, perfect. Caramelized onions, just delicious. Home made chicken stock, tasty. Thyme sprigs from the garden plus lots of butter. Three plus hours of time to create a horribly tasting mess. Yep followed the recipe exactly. The steak main was great and the potato mess was garbage. There is a reason for the saying….make the recipe and test it before making it for guests. Back to basics for Thanksgiving! Perhaps someone there had better luck…..

Serena Dinsmore

OMG, this was so good. I keep picking off pieces of crunchy potatoes. I used the slicer blade on my food processor. I wall make this for Thanksgiving.


Delicious! Top was crispy and inside was rich, earthy and very creamy despite NO cream or cheese! I used caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms. Thanks for a great alternative to scalloped potatoes.... Anything potatoes for me but this was a new one!!


Wonderful as written. This recipe should be in French Essentials.

Beauty And Brains

This is not vegetarian if you’re using chicken stock.


Substituted vegan butter and vegetable stock. The garlic rub on the dish seemed to be a nice touch, but not noticeable. It helped to have someone mandolin the potatoes, and someone else cooking them on the stove, however, it could be done in one mandolin go around, and then batches of cooking. It was hard to find true fingerling potatoes, but ours ended up being tri-color (yellow, red, purple). Overall, it was tasty but it was hard to finish all of the leftovers between the 3 of us.


I halved-ish this recipe and used a mix of red and yellow onion (that’s what I had in the house) and stock from a cube. Yes it’s a faff but it was fantastic with the “French” Roast Chicken with tarragon butter and cognac (or brandy in my case) and lemon sautéed tenderstem broccoli. I usually do roast potatoes with roast chicken and this made a lovely change. I think it would also be great with any meat that doesn’t have a gravy, like ham, because it will keep the meat from becoming too dry.


Another thing, maybe because I halved the recipe, it started getting really really brown early in the process so I covered it with foil for the most of the rest of the cooking time and took it off for the last ten minutes to crisp up.


This was incredible. So So good. Yes, it's a buttload of work. Do it on a Saturday for Sunday dinner. This was the perfect dish for the three Costco rotisserie chicken carcasses I had in the freezer. I made an all-day stock from the bones and slow caramelized the onions in a dutch oven while the stock was cooking. It really is critical your stock be well seasoned. It needs to taste like the best chicken soup ever before you ever pour it over the potatoes. This one's going in regular rotation!


I made this recipe with Yukon gold potatoes and did not sauté either the potato or onions. Layered with thyme, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Was great and less work.


I couldn’t find my Mandoline and sliced by hand. It took so long I thought, I’m not serving this…too much work.But. They were so flavorful and worth the effort. Bought a new mandoline for my next effort.

Dr T

I don't know what I did wrong. But after cutting 6 pounds of fingerling potatoes with no mishaps, and making home made broth, I made this recipe - following it precisely.It was disappointing at best. I can't even describe it except to say that the potatoes were mushy and limp, the flavor almost non-existent. And I was looking forward to it so eagerly since I truly love potatoes. Oh well. Too bad it was for Thanksgiving dinner.


Made ahead for Thanksgiving. An absurd amount of work when there are other recipes that do not require pre-cooking the potatoes and give similar or better results. Would not make again from this recipe!

Sweet potatoes and sage

I used white or golden sweet potatoes for this recipe and added sage with the thyme when tossing and cooking the potatoes in butter. I also used homemade Turkey stock. This dish had a wonderful flavor profile but it is possible I either added too much stock or the white sweet potatoes don’t have a much starch as a the potatoes called for in the recipe because my finish product ended up being more soupy then I was hoping for.


We followed this recipe exactly and were disappointed. I agree with Bridget--it was a tasteless and soggy waste of our time in a busy cooking week. There are so many great potato recipes--not sure how we could have gone wrong on this one --the ingredients were all thre but it just did not pan out. We won't try this again.


I'm sure I must have done something wrong, but this turned out terribly. Bland slices of wet potato floating in stock. :(


This recipe was a lot of work to prepare, and in the end, I was unimpressed. It was fine, but unremarkable for our Thanksgiving dinner. Not a lot of payoff for the amount of time and effort. Next year, I will definitely go back to our favorite garlic mashed potatoes.


Made this for Thanksgiving dinner-big soggy for my taste, but the family loved it!

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Pommes Boulangère Recipe (2024)


Why are they called Boulangere potatoes? ›

The name of the dish is said to derive from an old practice in French villages, where householders without their own ovens would take the prepared dish to the village bakery. After the baker had finished making his bread, the potato dish would cook slowly while the oven gradually died down.

How many things can you make out of a potato? ›

How many ways do you know to cook a potato? Mashed, fried, roasted, boiled - that's four, but what about another 59 ways? Sounds impossible, but the guys at Bon Appétit have taken on the enormous task of cooking potatoes in every way imaginable, and put it all together into a single 33-minute video.

How many types of cooked potatoes are there? ›

The potato is a staple food in most parts of the world, and it's one of our most versatile vegetables. Boiled, smashed, mashed, baked or roasted, there are several ways to cook potatoes and an endless number of ingredients to combine them with to create a variety of recipes.

What does Boulangere mean? ›

feminine noun. baker. Elle est boulangère. She's a baker. Collins Beginner's French-English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers.

Should you cover potatoes while boiling? ›

In a large pot, add potatoes, 1 tablespoon salt, and cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook uncovered until potatoes are tender and can easily be pierced by a knife, about 10 to 15 minutes (20 to 25 minutes for larger potatoes).

How long should you cook potatoes for? ›

In general small or cubed potatoes will take about 10 to 15 minutes to boil, while larger, whole potatoes will take between 20 to 25 minutes. To check potatoes for doneness, insert a knife into one. If it slides in without much effort, you're good to go!

What is the healthiest way to cook potatoes? ›

And, when it comes to the healthiest way to cook potatoes for weight loss, Burgess and Barthel recommend steaming and air frying. These methods can help support weight loss because they require minimal amounts of oil when cooking. This can help preserve the nutrients within the potato.

What alcohol is made from potatoes? ›

Applications and Use. Neutral Potato Alcohol is commonly used in the production of Vodka, as potatoes and grains provide a neutral flavor profile for the alcohol. The use of potato alcohol to produce alcoholic beverages, however, is just limited to just vodka.

What vodka is made from potatoes? ›

Chopin Potato Vodka is the world's most awarded potato vodka, with a distinctly earthy, full-bodied flavor profile that makes it simply the best choice for a martini.

Can I freeze potatoes? ›

You absolutely can freeze potatoes, and you should if you have an excess of spuds. But there's one important thing to remember: You should really only freeze cooked or partially cooked potatoes, as raw potatoes contain a lot of water. This water freezes and, when thawed, makes the potatoes mushy and grainy.

What is the best potato to eat? ›

Which Potatoes Are the Healthiest?
  1. Purple Potatoes. Purple potatoes are packed with beneficial plant compounds, including anthocyanins (a type of antioxidant). ...
  2. Red Potatoes. Red potatoes are an excellent source of flavonoid antioxidants like quercetin, kaempferol-rutinose, catechin, and rutin. ...
  3. Sweet Potatoes.
Mar 5, 2024

Where did the Boulangere come from? ›

Literally called “potatoes from the baker,” pommes boulangère originated in France centuries ago when people in rural areas did not own ovens of their own.

What do Southern people call potatoes? ›

You Say “Potato”, We say “Tater”: Growing Potatoes in the South – Digging Food.

What do British call baked potatoes? ›

A baked potato is sometimes called a jacket potato in the United Kingdom. The baked potato has been popular in the UK for many years. In the mid-19th century, jacket potatoes were sold on the streets by hawkers during the autumn and winter months.


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