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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

When it comes to comfort food, few dishes can beat a piping hot serving of scalloped potatoes with cheese. This classic side dish is a staple at family gatherings and holiday feasts, and for good reason.

These indulgent, creamy scalloped potatoes have layers of thinly sliced, tender potatoes and cheeses smothered in a rich sauce. This delicious potato casserole is the perfect accompaniment to roasted meats, grilled veggies, or even enjoyed on its own with a hearty spinach salad.

While a scalloped potato recipe might seem like a simple dish to make, cooks often struggle to get them right. There are a few secrets to achieving the perfect texture and flavor.

Nonetheless, this is a very straightforward, easy recipe for scalloped potatoes. If you follow the recipe, read our tips, and watch the video demonstration you will have no problems.

In this homemade scalloped potatoes recipe, we’ll walk you through the steps to create a delicious batch of cheesy scalloped potatoes that are evenly cooked, perfectly cheesy, and sure to impress. So grab your potatoes, preheat your oven, and let’s get cooking!

Browned Scalloped Potatoes

Difference Between Scalloped Potatoes and Au Gratin:

Scalloped potatoes and au gratin are both classic potato dishes that feature thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy sauce. However, there are a few key differences between the two:

  1. Cheese: A Scalloped potato casserole is typically made with a cream-based sauce, while au gratin potatoes are made with a cheese sauce. The cheese can be added either to the sauce or on top of the dish to create a crispy, golden-brown crust.
  2. Toppings: While both dishes can be topped with cheese, au gratin potatoes can also be topped with breadcrumbs or other toppings, such as bacon or herbs.
  3. Cooking Method: Scalloped potato is normally baked in a covered dish at a lower temperature, while au gratin potatoes are usually baked in a higher temperature, uncovered, to create a crispy, golden-brown crust.
  4. Origin: The term “au gratin” comes from the French language and refers to a dish that is topped with cheese or breadcrumbs and browned under a broiler or in the oven. Scalloped potato casseroles, on the other hand, are a traditional American dish that has been around since the 19th century.

In summary, the main difference is the use of cheese. While a scalloped potato recipe features a cream-based sauce and can use no cheese, au gratin potatoes feature a cheesy sauce and can be topped with breadcrumbs or other toppings.

Our recipe uses a classic cream sauce that is typical of scalloped potato recipes. We add layers of shredded cheese to add cheesiness and even more flavor. This is the best scalloped potatoes recipe we have found. We hope you love it too!

How to Make Scalloped Potatoes Perfectly:

  1. Slice the potatoes evenly: It’s important to slice the potatoes as evenly as possible, so that they cook evenly. Use a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife to slice the potatoes into thin, uniform rounds.
  2. Make a roux for the sauce: To create a rich and creamy sauce, it’s important to start with a roux. This involves cooking flour and butter together to create a thick paste, which helps thicken the sauce.
  3. Gradually add the milk to the roux: When making the sauce, add the milk gradually, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  4. Use flavorful cheeses: Choose flavorful cheeses that will add richness and depth to your dish. Cheddar, Gruyere, or Parmesan are all great choices. We chose cheddar and parmesan in this recipe.
  5. Cover the dish while baking: To prevent the top layer of the potatoes from burning, cover the dish with foil for the first part of the baking time. This will allow the potatoes to cook through without drying out. Remove the cover to allow the potatoes to brown as necessary.

By following these techniques, you’ll be well on your way to creating a delicious and perfectly cheesy scalloped potato casserole.

More Tips On Making This Scallop Potato Casserole:

What are the best potatoes for this recipe? The best type of potato to use for scalloping is a starchy potato, such as Yukon gold, Russet or Idaho potatoes. Starchy potatoes have a high content of starch and low moisture content, which makes them ideal for scalloped potatoes as they hold their shape and absorb the creamy sauce well.

Do you have to peel potatoes to scallop them? You don’t have to peel the potatoes. however, peeling the potatoes is recommended for a few reasons. First, the potato skin can be tough and detract from the creamy texture of the dish. Second, peeling the potatoes ensures that they cook evenly. Thick Potato skin can prevent the potatoes from absorbing the cream and getting tender.

If you prefer to keep the skin on, you can definitely do so. Just be sure to wash and scrub the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris, and slice them thinly to ensure they cook properly. You can also leave the skin on for a rustic and slightly earthy flavor, which can be delicious in some variations of scalloped potato casseroles.

Is milk or cream best for the sauce? You can use either milk or heavy cream for this sauce. While cream adds more richness, it also makes this a heavier dish with the cheese. So we chose to use milk to lighten the calories and balance the cheeses.

Can I make this recipe with vegetable broth rather than chicken broth? Absolutely you can, they both will work well for this recipe. Chicken broth is just a bit more flavorful so we used that.

Trouble shooting Scalloped Potato Casserole:

There are a few common problems that many cooks encounter when making scalloped potato casserole. Most of these problems will be corrected by using the proper ingredients, measuring correctly, and following the recipe closely. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind.

  1. Overcooked or Undercooked Potatoes: One of the most common issues when making his dish is getting the potatoes to cook evenly. If the potatoes are undercooked, they will be hard and crunchy, while overcooked potatoes will be mushy and fall apart.
  2. Too Much or Too Little Sauce: Getting the right amount of sauce is important, so measure correctly. If you use too much sauce, the potatoes will be too creamy and runny, and if you use too little, the potatoes will be dry and flavorless.
  3. Cheese Separating from Sauce: When making cheesy scalloped potato casseroles, the cheese can sometimes separate from the sauce, resulting in a grainy texture. For this reason we don’t put cheese into the sauce. Rather we use the cheese as a separate layer so it can melt evenly into the potatoes.
  4. Burnt Top Layer: The top layer of potatoes can easily burn if it is not covered with foil or if it is cooked at too high of a temperature. Our recipe calls for baking the dish covered until the potatoes are pretty much cooked. Then we remove the cover to allow the potatoes to brown and all the layers to get bubbly and merge together. Just watch it so it doesn’t burn.
  5. Uneven Slicing of Potatoes: Unevenly sliced potatoes can cause some slices to cook faster than others, resulting in an uneven texture throughout the dish. To avoid this, try to slice the potatoes as evenly as possible. We recommend this Mueller Pro Series 10 in 1 vegetable slicer(available on Amazon) for cutting your potatoes to get them perfectly even. You can cut them by hand but be very careful to get them the same thickness so they cook correctly.

By keeping these common problems in mind and using the right techniques, you can create a perfectly delicious scalloped potato casserole every time.

Scalloped Potato Variatons:

There are so many versions and variations of scallop potato dishes we will just pick a few of the more popular ones to focus on.

Scallop Potato Ham Casserole:

One of the favorite variations on this recipes scalloped potatoes and ham. Adding ham offers an amazing increase in flavors, protein and satiation. Adding ham turns this potato side dish into a full on dinner. Just add a salad.

The amount of ham you add will depend on your personal taste preferences. As a general rule of thumb, you can use about 1 cup of diced ham for every 4 cups of sliced potatoes.

To add ham to this recipe, simply layer the diced ham under the cheese layer. This puts the meat between the layers of sliced potatoes and sauce in your baking dish. You can also add it the top layer under the final topping of grated cheese for extra flavor and richness.

Keep in mind that ham can be salty, so you may want to adjust the amount of salt in your sauce accordingly. You can also add other seasonings or herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, to complement the ham and potatoes.

The amount of ham you add is up to you. The great thing about making homemade food is playing around with it. Feel free to experiment and adjust this recipe to your liking.

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes With Ham
Adding ham to your scalloped potato dish adds flavor and protein and takes from a side into a dinner.

Scallop Sweet Potato Casserole:

Scalloped sweet potatoes are delicious and much healthier than regular baking potatoes. Subbing in sweet potatoes in this recipe will add a touch of sweetness and a beautiful orange color to the dish. You can adjust the amount of cheese and milk to your liking. Adjust the spices (like using nutmeg) or herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, to complement the sweet potatoes.

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes:

You can make cheesy scalloped potatoes in a slow cooker or by using the slow cook feature on your multi-cooker. This is a convenient and easy way to prepare this delicious dish and can save you time and oven space when you’re hosting a large gathering. Here’s how to make this recipe in a slow cooker.

  1. Grease the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Layer half of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar cheese over the potatoes.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the milk (or heavy cream), chicken (or vegetable) broth, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Pour half of the sauce mixture over the potatoes and cheese.
  6. Repeat layers with the remaining potatoes, cheese, and cream mixture.
  7. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. If desired, garnish with fresh herbs, such as chopped parsley or chives, before serving.

Note: Cooking slow-cooker scalloped potatoes will result in a creamy cheesy mass of potatoes, rather than the evenly layered casserole we are used to. The potatoes may mush down and the finished product will not be browned. But it will still be delicious.

To create a crispy crust on top, you can transfer the cooked potatoes to a baking dish, sprinkle with additional cheese, and broil in the oven for a few minutes until golden brown.

To make Small Batch Scalloped Potato Casserole:

If you want to make a scalloped potato dish for 5 or so adults, cut the recipe in half and use a 2 quart casserole dish. The baking time is going to be close but may take a few minutes less depending on your oven and the configuration of your pan.

To serve only 2 or 3 adults use these amounts:

  • 2-3 medium-sized potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (or heavy cream)
  • 1/4 cup chicken (or vegetable broth)

Adjust the spices and seasonings to taste. Make and assemble the dish as directed in the recipe card.

Bake at 375 degrees F. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Scalloped Potatoes For Small Family
scalloped potatoes with a brown crispy top

How to Make This Recipe Ahead:

Make-ahead scalloped potatoes are a convenient and delicious option for busy home cooks who want to prepare a comforting side dish in advance. Like making this dish in a slow cooker, making it ahead clears the day so you can do other things.

To make scalloped potato casserole before you need to serve it, you can follow the recipe in our printable, cover the dish with foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. This is so handy for spreading out the work of a large gathering.

When you’re ready to bake the potatoes, simply preheat your oven to the recommended temperature and remove the dish from the refrigerator. If your dish has been in the fridge for a while, you may want to let it sit at room temperature for a bit to take the chill off.

Bake the dish according to our recipe, but note if you put them into the oven cold from the fridge you will need another 10 or 15 minutes of covered baking time to get them thoroughly cooked. Then remove the foil as needed for browning.

This make ahead scalloped potatoes method saves time and stress on the day of your event.

Browned Scalloped Potatoes
Yield: 12 servings

Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

When it comes to comfort food, few dishes can beat a piping hot serving of scalloped potatoes with cheese. This classic side dish is a staple at family gatherings and holiday feasts, and for good reason.

These indulgent, creamy scalloped potatoes have layers of thinly sliced, tender potatoes and cheeses smothered in a rich sauce. This delicious potato casserole is the perfect accompaniment to roasted meats, grilled veggies, or even enjoyed on its own with a hearty spinach salad


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup chicken stock
  • 2 Cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 1/2 pounds gold potatoes (sliced thinly with a mandolin)
  • 2 Cups freshly-grated cheddar cheese, divided 
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried parsley (optional garnish)



  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside
  3. Thinly and evenly slice potatoes and onions. Set aside.

Make The Sauce:

  1. Add butter to saucepan on medium heat and melt
  2. Add sliced onion and garlic to heated saucepan.
  3. Sauté until onion is soft 2-3 minutes
  4. Add flour to pan coating the onions and garlic completely.
  5. Slowly whisk in chicken stock, stirring constantly until thickened
  6. Slowly add in milk. Whisk until sauce is thickened.
  7. Add the fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.
  8. Remove thickened sauce from heat.

Scalloped Potatoes Assembly:

  1. Arrange sliced potatoes in a single layer in the greased baking dish.Laying Out Potatoes Slices
  2. Pour 1/2 of the sauce over the potato layer.
  3. Sprinkle on 1 Cup of the shredded cheddar and the 1/2 of the shredded Parmesan cheese.
  4. Arrange another layer of thinly sliced potatoes over the dish.Assembling Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
  5. Pour the rest of the sauce and top with remaining cheeses.
  6. Cover and bake casserole for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove cover and bake an additional 25 minutes until the scalloped potatoes are crispy golden brown on top and bubbly throughout.Browned Scalloped Potatoes


This post is of full of tips and variations for this recipe. I suggest you read the full post before you make this recipe for best success. it's an easy recipe and will turn out great if you use the correct ingredients, measure well and follow the instructions. Happy Cooking!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 288Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 35mgSodium 457mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 11g

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More Delicious Cheesy Casseroles:

Here are more delicious cheesy casseroles that work great for all in one family meals, freezer meals, or large gatherings. Easy Cheesy Taco Pie with Doritos will be better served when made but it is a scrumptious meal you won’t want to miss.

Green and Vegetable Salads:

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The Best Cheesy Scalloped Potato Recipe-Pin Image
These indulgent, creamy scalloped potatoes have layers of thinly sliced, tender potatoes and cheeses smothered in a rich sauce.

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