Creamy Potato Bake

Close up of a slice of potato bake on a green camp plate showing the layers.

A meal can be elevated to a whole new level with a complex and rich side dish such as a creamy potato bake. This potato bake is very similar to an Au Gratin potatoes except slightly less runny.

Although there is a lot of slicing involved this is effectively a very simple dish with only four key ingredients, potato, onion, cheese, and cream. Additional ingredients come from flavorings such as garlic powder.

There is also a flavorsome topping included that creates a crust when cooked, but it can be skipped or simplified as circumstances prevail. This crust includes breadcrumbs which absorb any moisture that may come from the cheese to avoid an oily appearance.

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Looking down into a Dutch oven with a layer of sliced potatoes sitting on a layer of onions.
Slowly build up the layers using potato, onion, cheese, and garlic powder.
Close up of grated cheese topped with dried parsley, and paprika.
The top of the potato bake both offers additional flavor and color.
Looking down into a Dutch oven to see a cheesy toping with herbs and spices ready to be cooked.
The top layer crust should’t be too high otherwise the bake will be too think to cook and the top may burn.
Close up of a slice of potato bake on a green camp plate showing the layers.
If the bake is allowed to cool before slicing it forms beautiful clean layers.

Creamy Potato Bake Recipe

Close up of a slice of potato bake on a green camp plate showing the layers.
A meal can be elevated with a complex and rich side dish such as a Dutch oven creamy potato bake. Layers of potato, onion, and cheese bound with a garlic seasoned cream.
Preparation 30 minutes
Cook 2 hours
Ready in 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
CourseSide Dish


Potato Bake

  • 6 waxy style potatoes
  • 1 brown onion
  • 16 oz medium cheddar cheese (white cheddar if available)
  • 16 oz cream
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste

Crust Topping

  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or to taste


  • 10 inch Dutch oven


Potato Bake

  • Slowly and carefully thinly slice the potatoes and onions. The thinner you can get each level the better it tends to work out.
  • Grate (shred) the cheddar cheese.
  • Build the potato bake with as many layers as the preparation allow.
    Base Layer – sliced onion (helps the potato to not stick) First Layer – potato Second Layer – onion Third Layer – grated cheese Fourth Layer – very gently sprinkle with garlic powder and salt (remember this will happen multiple times throughout the dish).
  • Repeat the four layers until all ingredients are used.
  • Firmly push down on the top of the dish to compress the layers. Expect to hear the onion and potato cracking and compressing. The goal is to reduce the air pockets, otherwise, they will be filled with cream which will weaken the overall dish.
  • Gently pour in the cream moving over the full surface of the potato layers to ensure it gets into all the gaps.

Crust Topping

  • Sprinkle half of the topping cheese evenly across the top of the bake.
  • Sprinkle across the top of the bake all of the breadcrumbs.
    Tip: The breadcrumbs help absorb any moisture/grease that comes from the cheese.
  • Sprinkle the remaining topping cheese evenly across the top of the bake.
  • Gently sprinkle the top with the parsley, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. If camping and have limited ingredients, this can be substituted with your favorite rub.

To Cook

  • Bake for 120 minutes, or until cooked at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
    Tip: Sometimes the potatoes may be very stubborn and can take longer until they are soft. Don’t be tempted to up the heat, otherwise, the outside will brown (possibly even burn) while the potatoes inside remain raw and hard.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 794kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 27gFat: 57gSaturated Fat: 34gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 623mgPotassium: 1077mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 2050IUVitamin C: 44mgCalcium: 690mgIron: 2mg

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Portrait Photo of Saffron Hodgson cooking on a Camp Stove with a campfire in the background

About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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