Creamy Scalloped Potatoes is a delicious and easy holiday side dish made with layers of potatoes, creamy cheese sauce, then baked to golden brown perfection. Serve this classic recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or special occasions!
With the holiday season around the corner, this is a must-have side dish on the table. It is a classic side dish that will make everyone happy. Our other favorites are Corn Casserole, Mac and Cheese Casserole, and Green Bean Casserole.
An Easy Classic Side Dish
Scalloped Potatoes with Cream are all you need for a comforting and tasty side dish. The dish is buttery and smooth, with a rich cheesy flavor that will melt in your mouth. For this casserole recipe, we thinly slice the potatoes and then layer and top them with creamy white sauce and cheeses.
We use a combination of mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, and Parmesan cheese. The shredded cheese combination along with the creamy sauce is what makes this the best scalloped potatoes recipe ever!
Adding the cheese is optional, and you can totally substitute it with other types. Also, feel free to use just one or two kinds. Another great benefit of this side dish is that you can prepare it ahead, and refrigerate it to serve for later. The next day, simply put it in the oven for about 50 minutes and happily enjoy it!
What are Scalloped Potatoes?
A delicious side dish that consists of thinly sliced potatoes layered in a casserole dish. A sauce made with heavy cream or milk and sometimes cheese is added, after which the dish is baked to golden-brown perfection.
What is the difference between Scalloped and Au Gratin Potatoes?
Both dishes are quite similar. However, scalloped potatoes are usually cut thicker than the potatoes used in au gratin. Also, the au gratin recipe calls for added cheese in them.
For our recipe, we have added some cheese between the layers and on top of the spuds to make the dish creamier and more flavorful. But this step is optional, and cheese can be omitted. The sauce itself does not contain any cheese.
- Potatoes: I like to use Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes.
- Cream sauce: Basically a combination of butter, milk, flour, cream, and chicken broth.
- Seasoning: Thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Onion and garlic: They add lots of flavors.
- Shredded Cheese: A combination of shredded mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan cheese.
How to make Scalloped Potatoes?
For easy step-by-step guidelines please watch the recipe video tutorial attached. But here are the basic steps:
- Preheat the oven: First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees f.
- Slice: Next, start by slicing the potatoes as thinly as about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. this ensures they are cooked evenly and uniformly. If you want to save time and effort, a good trick would be to use a mandolin slicer and set it to 1/8 inch thick. Otherwise, use a sharp knife and slice them evenly.
- Make the Sauce: Next, over medium heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. All chopped onion and minced garlic, and slowly whisk in the flour. Then, add the seasonings along with broth, milk, and cream. Finally, add the shredded cheese: mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar cheese.
- Combine and Bake: Arrange the first potato layer at the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish or regular baking dish. Then, add half of the creamy sauce along with some shredded cheese. Repeat layers with the rest of the sliced potatoes, and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese on top, cover with foil, and bake. Uncover a few minutes before removing from the oven to brown the top.
- Rest: Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Add ham or bacon: To make it a complete meal, feel free to add some cooked bacon or leftover ham. This would be delicious creamy scalloped potatoes with ham!
- Use sweet potatoes: Alternatively, you can use sweet potatoes and make this scalloped sweet potatoes casserole.
- Add greens: A great addition would be baby spinach, green beans, or kale.
- Alfredo sauce: Swap the cheesy sauce with homemade alfredo sauce!
- Other cheese: In addition, you can use your favorite cheeses here. Great substitutions would be gouda, fontina, gruyere, or sharp cheddar.
- Make it gluten-free: For a gluten-free option, instead of regular flour, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour. Or, whisk in 2 tablespoons of corn starch with some water.
- Instant Pot Version: Alternatively, try making them quickly and easily in the Instant Pot.
What kind of potatoes are best to use?
It’s best to use starchy potatoes it’s the starch that makes the cream thicken up when cooking. So it is best to use Yukon Gold and Russets potatoes, as they have the most starch in them.
How do you thicken this recipe?
To thicken it, simply keep cooking the sauce for an extra minute or so. Also, you can add a little bit more flour and when adding it to the butter.
Another option would be using more shredded cheese. This will thicken the dish while also making it extra rich and creamy!
Can you make this side dish without peeling the potatoes?
Yes! You can make this comfort food without peeling the spuds. Just keep in mind they will turn out a little more “rustic”.
What to serve with this dish?
This is the perfect side dish to serve with main dishes such as:
Can I make them ahead of time?
Yes! To make these ahead of time follow these steps:
- Bake the casserole covered for 50 minutes
- Then, remove it from the oven and let it completely cool on the counter.
- Next, cover with foil and refrigerate.
- On the day of serving, remove the dish from the fridge at least 30 minutes in advance. Then, heat it up in a preheated oven at 350 degrees f for about 15 minutes, or until warm.
How to store creamy scalloped potatoes?
To Refrigerate: First, cover leftovers with plastic wrap or add them to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- First, let casserole come to room temperature after cooking.
- Then, cover with aluminum foil and plastic wrap or freeze in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
- Next, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Although it is best to eat it fresh and warm right out of the oven, you can definitely reheat leftovers in the microwave (2-3 minutes), or oven (350F for about 10 minutes or until warm).
- If you are thinking to reduce some calories, use low-fat cheese and reduced-fat milk.
- Similarly, use half and half instead of heavy cream, or even sour cream will work.
- Also, you can replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.
- To prevent the spuds from going brown, simply place them into a bowl of cold water prior to slicing them. Dry them with paper towels prior to slicing.
- In addition, feel free to use some fresh herbs for garnishing such as fresh thyme, or rosemary.
Useful tools used to make this recipe:
Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion (diced - optional)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups cream
- 1 cup chicken broth (or veggie broth for vegetarian)
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked or regular ground paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 3-4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (or Russets peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch - 1/4-inch rounds)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded )
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking oil spray or butter and set aside.
Make the creamy sauce
- Place a medium cast iron skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the butter and melt it.
- Add onion and garlic and sauté until just the garlic is fragrant, and onion is soft.
- Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Reduce heat to low, slowly and gradually whisk in 1 cup of chicken broth until fully combined.
- Again, gradually, without rushing, stir in milk and cream, until fully combined. Stir in dried thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- With the heat on low, let the sauce gently simmer (NOT boil) for 2-3 minutes, until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Pour half of the cream sauce over the potatoes, and top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, distribute evenly.
Assemble the casserole
- Arrange the remaining potatoes and pour the remaining cream sauce on top. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese on top if desired.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Until the potatoes are just tender and the sauce is bubbly.
- Remove foil and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fully done and the top is a golden-brown color.
- Before removing from the oven, broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top. Watch to not burn it.
- Garnish with chopped parsley or chopped green onions. Serve warm.