Scalloped Potatoes

5 from 6 votes

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This easy recipe for Scalloped Potatoes is one you will make again and again. Extremely creamy and cheesy potato perfection!

When I think of Scalloped Potatoes, I think of family get-togethers, holidays, and an unforgettable super creamy cheesy potatoes. Scalloped Potatoes are usually reserved for those special occasions because they are a little more time consuming than say, mashed potatoes or a potato casserole but are probably more delicious than them both because they are laced with a homemade, buttery cream sauce, browned onions and topped with cheddar cheese.

scalloped potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

I adore this recipe because it’s the epitome of potato perfection. Typically served with baked ham at Easter, these scalloped potatoes are made with really simple ingredients:

  • Potatoes – starchy *peeled* potatoes cut relatively thin. I used large Idaho potatoes to make my life easier (because peeling small potatoes is the worst).
  • Salted Butter – for flavor and for frying.
  • Onions – I fried up yellow onions until lightly browned for that delicious onion flavor.
  • Flour – this acts as our thickener.
  • Milk – to help thin out the flour-butter-onion mixture.
  • Salt and Pepper – season to your liking but add more salt! I’ll tell you why below.
  • Ground Nutmeg – a sweet spice that can stand on its own. It compliments potatoes really well!
  • Heavy Cream – to make the cream sauce even more creamy.
  • Cheddar Cheese – I used grated medium cheddar, but if you like things sharper, go for it!

Potatoes

How to Make Scalloped Potatoes

The hardest part about this recipe is waiting the hour for it to bake. When the potatoes are very tender and the top and edges are brown and slightly crispy, its done! Don’t forget all the increments and specific details are listed in the recipe card below.

  1. Spray a casserole dish or 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel potatoes and rinse. Slice into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside.
  3. In a deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Fry onions until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until a smooth paste is created. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to simmer. Add in salt, pepper, and nutmeg while waiting for the sauce to bubble. The sauce should thicken once it starts bubbling.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream. Taste and adjust seasonings. Once you get the sauce to taste how you like, add in a little extra salt.
  6. Spread about 1/3 cup cream sauce into the casserole dish. Add about half the potatoes, being sure to separate from each other as best as possible. Top with half the remaining cream sauce and half the cheddar cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, sauce and cheese.
  7. Bake for 1 hour uncovered. Check after 30-40 minutes to ensure the top isn’t getting too brown. If it is, cover with foil for remaining baking time. Cool scalloped potatoes 10-15 minutes before serving.

Cream Sauce

Do I have to add Cheese?

No, not at all! Technically, Scalloped Potatoes with cheese in between all the layers are called Potatoes ‘Au Gratin’. Potatoes without cheese are called Scalloped Potatoes. But cheese is the only difference and since I only added a little on the top, I called these scalloped potatoes (obviously).

One big Tip for the Best Scalloped Potatoes

After making this scalloped potatoes recipe consistently for the past three months, trying to get it just right, I realized that the only trick into getting amazing potatoes is the salt.

After you make the cream sauce and taste, you’ll want to add enough salt until its perfect for your liking. And then here’s the kicker: add a little extra because all those potatoes you’re going to cover in the sauce are not seasoned AT ALL. The sauce needs to keep itself delicious while flavoring all those potatoes too. So a little extra salt does and will make all the difference in this recipe. Don’t forget it!

Top with Cheese

Make-Ahead

Luckily you can make this scalloped potatoes recipe in advance! This is great if you are making this dish for Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Holiday meal prep allows you more time to spend with your family instead of slaving away in the kitchen. I would recommend making these AND baking these ahead of time.

Refrigerate the covered pan of baked scalloped potatoes for up to 3 days in the fridge. To reheat, cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until warmed all the way through. (The microwave also works great!)

You can also freeze the covered pan of baked scalloped potatoes for up to 3 months in the freezer. To reheat, cover with foil and bake at 350 for 60 minutes or until warmed all the way through. (The microwave also works great!)

Warning: if the potatoes aren’t baked and you’re storing this in the fridge, the salt in the dish will pull out the extra liquid in the potatoes and they will turn brown. NO THANKS. So, the best option is to bake them immediately and serve or store for later.

Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Add More Seasonings

The beauty of scalloped potatoes is that this is a basic recipe! Meaning you can add seasonings that you love to this dish and customize it to your liking.

Try adding some minced garlic to the fried onions. Or add some color and flavor with thyme. Maybe you even want to make a baked potato experience by adding fresh chives and bacon bits! Experiment and see what you like.

Do I have to Use Idaho Potatoes?

No not at all! I use Idaho Potatoes because I like them best in this recipe but if you have Yukon Gold or Red potatoes, feel free to use those. If you really want to experiment and have some fun, you can try to find and use Blue Potatoes. These have a rich and nutty flavor to them.

Scalloped Potatoes

More Holiday Dishes to Try!

Whether you are making Scalloped Potatoes for Thanksgiving, Christmas or even Easter, you should give these other dishes a look to build up your holiday dinner table.

 

Scalloped Potatoes

More Potato Recipes to Try!

The scalloped potato recipe card is below! Make sure to print, save, bookmark and pin this recipe because, between you and me, you’re not going to want to use any other recipe after this one.

Have a great day, friends!

5 from 6 votes

Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

This easy recipe for Scalloped Potatoes is one you will make again and again. Extremely creamy and cheesy potato perfection!
servings 6 servings
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Idaho potatoes about 4 large

For the cream sauce -

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups onion finely diced, about 1/2 large onion
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Spray a casserole dish or 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Peel potatoes and rinse. Slice into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside.

For the cream sauce:

  • In a deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Fry onions until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until a smooth paste is created. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to simmer. Add in salt, pepper, and nutmeg while waiting for the sauce to bubble. The sauce should thicken once it starts bubbling. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream. Taste and adjust seasonings. Once you get the sauce to taste how you like, add in a little extra salt.

For assembly:

  • Spread about 1/3 cup cream sauce into the casserole dish. Add about half the potatoes, being sure to separate from each other as best as possible. Top with half the remaining cream sauce and half the cheddar cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, sauce and cheese.
  • Bake for 1 hour uncovered. Check after 30-40 minutes to ensure the top isn't getting too brown. If it is, cover with foil for remaining baking time. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 581kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 1224mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1155IU | Vitamin C: 15.4mg | Calcium: 418mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make scalloped potatoes, scalloped potatoes, scalloped potatoes recipe
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Recipe Rating




26 Responses
  1. Kim Wagner

    Lauren, would it be a big deal to leave out the nutmeg?? I’ve used 1/8 teaspoon in a couple different recipes and the taste seems to be overwhelming.

  2. Cheryl

    Au gratin typically is defined by crumbs on the top of the dish, with or without cheese. Scalloped means a circular vegetable cooked in a sauce also with or without cheese.

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  8. Melissa Whittaker

    5 stars
    These are the best!!!! I added ham into mine while I was layering it. Boy was that the right choice. I love that I can add anything I’d like to these scalloped potatoes but at the same time, they are so good without adding anything extra. Plus the recipe was easy and straightforward. Thanks! I’ll definitely be saving this recipe for thanksgiving.

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  10. Tracy

    5 stars
    This came up in my news feed from Google because I was searching for a scalloped potato recipe a few days before. This is extremely simple to put together…the most involved part being peeling and slicing the potatoes.

    I halved the recipe as it is just my mom and I. I still think there was plenty to serve four given that this is somewhat of a rich recipe. I made it gluten free by using a gluten free sub for the flour and I cut the butter in half and subbed avocado oil. The flour did not thicken into a paste when added to the butter/oil. However when the milk was added it thickened just like it was supposed to. That sauce itself was pretty good! Everything layered well and baked beautifully. The onions were an excellent addition to this. I had not seen a scalloped potato recipe with them in it before. Do keep an eye on the browning as it tends to sneak up on you.

    This recipe was a hit with my mom proclaiming “You can give me more of that!” And I agree. She also suggested adding ham as someone else had. I thing subbing other cheeses such as gruyere or Swiss would be a nice variation every once in a while.

    Excellent recipe!

  11. Barbara Harris

    5 stars
    My son is not a potato lover. I am tired of eating rice dishes. he loves cheese so i decided to try your recipe for scalloped potatoes. He loved them .He said they were great and so yummy. Thank you for a potato recipe I finally can make.

  12. Alishia

    5 stars
    My husband has begged me for scalloped potatoes, and swears this is just like his mom’s. I love cheese and sauce, so I layer the sauce and cheese between every layer of potatoes. Its delicious!

  13. Suzanne Manning

    Can I substitute milk for the heavy cream since I don’t have any cream in the fridge and want to avoid the store?

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