These Easy Scalloped Potatoes are extra cheesy and super flavorful with three types of cheese, fresh herbs, and garlic. These potatoes are the perfect side for grilled steaks, pork chops, or a holiday dinner.
Easy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
Cheese + potatoes = the perfect combination, no matter how you serve them. This simple and easy scalloped potatoes recipe is no exception. These scalloped potatoes incorporate thin slices of Yukon gold potatoes that are baked until tender in a velvety cheese sauce and topped with a browned cheese crust. They get a big flavor boost from fresh herbs, garlic, and smoked cheddar, which helps make them a stand-out side dish.
These potatoes are the perfect side for ham, grilled steaks, or pork chops. They’re perfect for any occasion, from casual dinners to holidays – you’ll most definitely end the evening with an empty pan!
What Are Scalloped Potatoes?
Scalloped potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes layered with a cream sauce – often with cheese and herbs as well. This popular potluck dish may have originated in England, though no one is sure of the exact details.
What is the difference between au gratin and scalloped potatoes?
Scalloped potatoes are very similar to au gratin but not quite as fancy. Typically, potatoes au gratin include extra ingredients like cheese and a breadcrumb topping while scalloped potatoes are made with fewer ingredients.
This recipe does have extra cheese and herbs added, which some would say make it closer to an au gratin, and you can find some au gratin recipes that are quite simple. They’re practically interchangeable – both are delicious!
These cheesy scalloped potatoes are made with – you guessed it – lots of cheese and dairy! Plus potatoes, herbs, and a few additional ingredients.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Potatoes – The best potatoes for scalloped potatoes are red or Yukon gold potatoes, since they are waxy-type potatoes that hold their shape when cooked.
- Butter – Gives the potatoes a rich flavor.
- Garlic – For aromatics and flavor.
- Flour – Helps to thicken the sauce.
- Milk – Creates the base of the sauce.
- Heavy cream – Gives the scalloped potatoes a thicker, richer texture and flavor. It can be substituted with half and half or whole milk, but might make the sauce thinner. If using all milk, you may need to increase the butter and flour to 3 tablespoons each.
- Salt & pepper – These season the dish.
- Cheese – I use a combination of sharp cheddar, smoked cheddar, and grated parmesan for the most robust flavor.
- Fresh herbs – Parsley, chives, and thyme are all perfect for the finishing touches on this side dish. Fresh herbs give this dish so much flavor, but can be excluded if you do not have them on hand. A 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme can be used in place of the fresh herbs.
How to Make The Best Scalloped Potatoes
These easy, cheesy potatoes come together in just a few simple steps. The hardest part is allowing them to cool a bit before diving in!
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for details and measurements, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Make the sauce. Melt the butter over medium heat, then add in the garlic. Cook for 20 seconds, then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes to make a roux. Whisk in the milk and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then whisk in the fresh herbs and 3/4 of the cheeses.
- Layer the casserole. Begin by spreading a small amount of the cheese sauce in the bottom of the pan. Top with 1/2 of the sliced potatoes and 1/2 of the cheese sauce. Repeat the layers with the remaining potatoes and cheese sauce. Finish with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake at 350F for 75 to 90 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the edges are bubbly. Remove the foil and broil for just a few moments until the cheese browns.
- Enjoy. Allow the scalloped potatoes to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips for making these easy scalloped potatoes.
- Make sure to thinly and evenly slice the potatoes. For evenly baked, tender potatoes, use a mandoline slicer or a food processor to cut the potatoes to a uniform thickness. Between 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch is the ideal thickness for scalloped potatoes. If your cuts are thicker, you may need to increase the cooking time, but run the risk of the sauce drying out.
- Switch up the cheese. If smoked cheddar is not your thing, you can substitute with more sharp cheddar, gouda, Monterey jack, or gruyere.
- Should I peel the potatoes? Waxy potatoes such as Yukon gold, redskin, and white have very tender skin, so there’s no need to peel them! The skin also helps the pieces hold their shape during cooking.
- Cool before serving. It’s important to let your scalloped potatoes rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. The sauce thickens as it cools, so this allows you to create actual slices of the casserole without it falling apart.
What goes with cheesy scalloped potatoes? Truly, pretty much anything! This is a versatile side dish that can be served up with a Thanksgiving roast turkey or crockpot ham, but also pairs well with meatloaf, roast chicken, and even steak.
Video: Scalloped Potatoes
- Storing leftovers. Leftover cooked cheesy scalloped potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat. Cover the dish with foil and reheat in an oven preheated to 325F for 25 to 30 minutes, until heated through. Individual servings can also be reheated in the microwave.
- Can You Freeze Scalloped Potatoes? Yes and no. Be prepared that the texture will change. Creamy, cheesy sauces like the one used to make these scalloped potatoes tend to have a bit of a gritty texture when defrosted and not our favorite. For best results, wrap the potatoes tightly in plastic and again in foil for up to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight then reheat in the oven as directed above, also keeping in mind the sauce will be drier.
- Can Scalloped Potatoes Be Made in Advance? Yes, you can make scalloped potatoes in advance – but they need to be baked and then reheated. These potatoes can not be assembled ahead of time and then baked later, as the potatoes will turn brown. To make scalloped potatoes ahead of time, bake them and cool completely, then cover with foil and refrigerate. Reheat in the oven with foil to prevent burning. Keep in the mind that baking and reheating does tend to dry out the sauce a bit.
More Potato Side Dishes:
- Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Cheesy Potatoes
- Potato Latkes
- Crispy Roasted Smashed Potatoes
- Best Homemade Mashed Potatoes
- 2 & 1/2 pounds red or yukon gold potatoes , sliced thin (do not peel)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup sharp cheddar , shredded
- 3/4 cup smoked cheddar , shredded
- 1/2 cup parmesan , grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (parsley, chives, thyme)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in fresh herbs and 3/4 of the cheeses, reserving some for the top.
- Place a small amount of cheese sauce in the bottom of the pan. Layer with half of the sliced potatoes. Add 1/2 of the cheese sauce and then repeat with another layer of potatoes followed by the remainder of the cheese sauce. Top with the rest of the shredded cheese and cover with foil.
- Bake for 75-90 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and edges are bubbly. Remove foil and broil until the cheese on top browns (watch it carefully to prevent burning. It can happen fast!)
- Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing, to prevent slices falling apart. The sauce will thicken as it cools.