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French Boulangère Potatoes (Potato and Onion Bake)

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French Boulangère Potatoes AKA Potato and Onion Bake – delicious and easy to make. Enjoy maximum flavour from layers of humble potato and onion baked to perfection.

A crispy golden top with soft, creamy potatoes underneath. Minimal effort with a quick prep and just a few basic ingredients.

Simply layer potatoes and onions with seasoning and thyme before adding a hot stock containing a touch of milk. Dot with butter and leave the oven to work its magic.

Potato and Onion Bake in a casserole dish with a teatowel.

The potatoes release their starch to thicken the stock and milk which then soaks into the layered potatoes. Basic ingredients are transformed into something truly special.

A perfect potato side dish, equally at home for a dinner party, a Sunday roast or a quick midweek meal. A foolproof recipe which all but looks after itself and doesn’t mind being kept warm in the oven or reheated later.

A plate of layered baked potatoes and onions.


Not only light on the pocket, it’s light in the fat department too whilst still delivering great flavour.

Regular readers will know potatoes are a firm favourite side dish here at the Kitchen Shed. Any treat night generally includes spuds and a healthy take often includes our Roasted Bombay Potatoes, Low Fat Oven Chips or Mexican Potatoes.

But when it comes to feeding a crowd I always make a large serving dish of Boulangère Potatoes. Whilst living in France, accommodating 8 to 12 guests at a time was a regular occurrence and the menu always featured Pommes Boulangère.

Now we’re in Wales, I often make a potato and onion bake just for the two of us. On the recipe card, I’ve included timings, amounts and dish sizes for a small, medium or large serving. Believe it or not, even if you’re cooking only for two, it takes an hour to bake.

Milk being poured over layers of potato and onion alongside a baked potato and onion casserole.

So, whether a dinner party or simply looking for an easy potato side dish, you can enjoy mouthwateringly delicious potatoes.

A spoon of Boulangere potatoes over a dish.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Budget friendly – made with just 6 basic ingredients you’ll probably already have.
  • Prep in advance – cook earlier in the day and reheat when you need it.
  • Easy to make but looks impressive and tastes delicious enough to serve at a dinner party or special occasion. It’s also a family friendly recipe that can be served with your Sunday roast or a midweek meal.
  • Feed a crowd – I’ve included servings from 2 to 10 with casserole dish sizes and oven timings.
Crispy sliced potatoes in a black dish.

What equipment do I need ?

  • A mandoline or a food processor fitted with a slicing attachment make light work of slicing. Equally, keep it simple and get perfectly sliced potatoes using a quality kitchen knife and a chopping board.
  • A casserole dish I used a 2 litre 30 cm / 12 inch by 20 cm / 8 inch ovenproof dish to make enough for 8 to 10 people.

To feed 4, I use a 1.5 litre 18 cm / 7 inch by 26 cm / 10 inch ovenproof dish.
For 2 servings I use a 750 ml 17cm / 6 ½ inch by 17 cm / 6 ½ inch ovenproof dish.
Casserole dish sizes are approximate, they don’t have to be these exact dimensions, this recipe is quite forgiving.

Sliced onions and potatoes in bowls with stock being poured onto a potato and onion bake.

What ingredients do I need ?

You only need a few ingredients to make these Boulangère Potatoes. Hopefully you’ll already have them in your kitchen.

Potatoes, pepper, milk, butter, stock, onions, , fresh thyme and salt.
  • Potatoes – you need a floury variety like Maris Piper, King Edward, Wilja or Idaho (Russet). I used Maris Piper. Avoid using waxy potatoes or new potatoes as you won’t get the right texture. This is the sort of potato recipe where you want the potatoes to become lovely and soft under a crispy golden crust.
  • Onions – I’ve used brown onions.
  • Stock – this time I’ve used a chicken stock pot but I often use Swiss Marigold vegetable bouillon.
  • Milk – to add a bit of creaminess to the potatoes. Full fat or semi skimmed can be used. I use half the amount of milk to stock.
  • Herbs – I’ve used fresh thyme. If using dried thyme, only half the amount is needed. Parsley or rosemary also add a great flavour to Boulangère Potatoes.
  • Seasoning – I’ve used freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.
  • Butter – unsalted. If you use salted butter, add less salt when seasoning.

How to make French Boulangère Potatoes (Potato and Onion Bake)

This French style side couldn’t be easier to make but I still love a shortcut. So I’ve used the microwave to soften the onions as it makes the process much quicker and easier.

Sliced onions in a Magimix and a bowl. Bowl in a microwave with finished cooked onions in butter.
  • Peel and slice your potatoes. A food processor fitted with a 2 mm slicing attachment makes short work of this. Alternatively, use a mandoline or a sharp kitchen knife and chopping board. Slices need to be about 2 mm thick. Keep your sliced potatoes in water.
  • Slice your onions to 2 mm thick.
  • Microwave your sliced onions with a nob of butter for 2 or 3 minutes on full power.
Sliced potatoes in a Magimix bowl. Potatoes and onions being layered in a casserole dish and seasoned.
  • Layer the potatoes and onions, starting with potatoes, then onions, along with plenty of seasoning and a sprinkling of thyme. Carry on like this until you have used up all the potatoes and onions.
  • Slightly overlap each potato slice as you place the layers but don’t worry about getting every layer looking just right. I like to make the top potato layer look neat but even then it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Stock and dots of butter being added to layers of potato and onion in a casserole dish.
  • Dot with butter and pour over the milk and hot stock.
  • Cover with foil and bake for about an hour.
  • Remove foil and dot with more butter and bake until golden.
Casserole in oven with foil, extra butter dotted on potatoes and returned to the oven.

How to serve

Perfect as a side dish with a Sunday roast,

Large casserole of baked French Boulangere Potatoes

How long does it keep ?


Potato and Onion bake will keep for up to three days in an airtight container stored in the fridge.

Can I reheat them ?


Boulangère Potatoes reheat really well. Cover with foil to prevent the top from going too dark and reheat in the oven. 180 C for 20 to 25 minutes for a large casserole dish or 15 to 20 minutes for a small casserole dish.

A plate of baked sliced potatoes and onions in butter and stock.

More Potato Side Dishes

Parmentier Potatoes
Perfect Mashed Potato
Low Fat Oven Chips
Slow Cooker Jacket Potatoes
Slow Cooker Roast Potatoes

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French Boulangere Potatoes in a casserole dish with a Magimix bowl of sliced potatoes being layered into dish.
A spoon of Boulangere potatoes over a dish.

French Boulangère Potatoes (Potato and Onion Bake)

French Boulangère Potatoes AKA Potato and Onion Bake – delicious and easy to make. Enjoy maximum flavour from layers of humble potato and onion baked to perfection. A crispy golden top with soft, creamy potatoes underneath.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 242kcal
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • Food processor fitted with a slicing attachment, mandoline or a sharp kitchen knife and chopping board.
  • Casserole dish – I used a 2 litre 30 cm / 12 inch by 20 cm / 8 inch ovenproof dish to make enough for 8 to 10 people.
  • For a 4 person serving I use a 1.5 litre 18 cm / 7 inch by 26 cm / 10 inch ovenproof dish.
  • For 2 servings I use a 750 ml 17cm / 6 ½ inch by 17 cm / 6 ½ inch ovenproof dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 kg potatoes Floury varieties are best – eg. Maris Piper King Edward or Russet.
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs fresh thyme
  • 400 ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 200 ml milk I used semi skimmed
  • 75 g unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Grease your casserole dish.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 °C, 160 °C Fan, 350 °F, Gas Mark 4.
  • Peel and thinly slice your potatoes about 2 mm thick. If using a food processor use a 2mm slicing attachment.
  • Keep your potato slices in water while you slice and cook your onions.
  • Slice your onions to 2 mm thick.
  • Microwave onions in a bowl with a nob of butter for 2 to 3 minutes on full power until soft.
  • Alternately layer the potatoes and onions, starting with the potatoes. Add plenty of seasoning and sprinkle with thyme.
  • Carry on like this until you have used all the potatoes and onions. The slices of potatoes should overlap slightly within each layer.
  • Dot the final layer of potato with half of the remaining butter before pouring over the milk and hot stock.
  • Cover with foil and bake for about an hour.
  • Remove foil and dot with the remaining butter and bake for a further 30 minutes until golden. If making a 2 servings dish, bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes. A 4 servings dish will need 15 to 20 minutes.

Notes

  • Casserole dish sizes are approximate; they don’t have to be exactly these dimensions as this recipe is quite forgiving.
  • Potato and Onion bake will keep for up to three days in an airtight container stored in the fridge.
  • Reheat in a 180 C oven, covering with foil to prevent the top from going too dark. 20 to 25 minutes for a large casserole dish or 15 to 20 minutes for a small casserole dish.
  • Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 953mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg
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