Scalloped Potatoes

At parties and shindigs throughout the Midwest, Scalloped Potatoes are always the first thing to disappear from the table. This recipe uses a quick, made-from-scratch cheese sauce that’s thickened with milk and flour, similar to a mac and cheese sauce.

Scalloped potatoes in a white baking dish.

Keep it classic or add any other ingredients that you want: bacon, garlic, onions. It’s ready in minutes, by the time the oven preheats.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled ingredients for scalloped potatoes in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Potatoes: Starchy russets are the best potatoes for scalloped potatoes.
  • Cheese: A block of cheddar, shredded, seems to work best. Pre-shredded cheese can contain ingredients that prevent the cheese from melting smoothly. However, if you have a brand of shredded cheese that you rely on, go ahead and use it.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter or oil a casserole dish. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and keep whisking until the flour is cooked, about a minute or so. Whisk in the milk, stirring until smooth. Bring this to a boil and cook until thickened, then turn the heat down. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and if you like, a dash of cayenne.
    Cheese sauce in a silver skillet with a whisk.
  2. Arrange half the potatoes in the bottom of the dish.
    Scalloped potatoes in a white serving dish.
  3. Pour half the cheese sauce over the potatoes, then top with the rest of the potatoes.
    Cheese sauce being poured onto scalloped potatoes in a white serving dish.
  4. Cover everything with the rest of the cheese sauce, then top with shredded cheese and a little paprika, and slide into the oven to bake.
    Scalloped potatoes in a white serving dish.
  5. Bake scalloped potatoes uncovered at 350 degrees for an hour, until piping hot and golden on top.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Prevent curdling: High-starch potatoes and full-fat ingredients keep the sauce from separating. Besides, you only live once, and it’s the holidays.
  • Slow cooker: If you need valuable oven space and have the extra time, this recipe is easy to make in a crock pot or slow cooker. Just prepare the liner of the pot as you would the casserole, then build the dish following the same instructions. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. They don’t get as toasty or crispy on the top, but they’ll still taste fabulous.
  • Make ahead: This recipe can be made ahead, unbaked, and refrigerated up to three days in advance. Just wrap it up and stow it in the fridge. You can also pre-bake the casserole. Bake and let it cool completely to room temperature.  Then cover tightly with foil and refrigerate. When you’re ready to eat, reheat the casserole (covered with foil) at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • Freezing: Make the potatoes according to the recipe, then take them out of the oven a few minutes before they are finished. Allow the dish to cool, then cover or wrap in foil and freeze. Frozen potatoes store for up to two weeks. To finish baking, uncover  and remove from oven when the top is brown and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  • Favorite flavors: For a heartier side dish that verges on main course, layer in thinly sliced ham between the potatoes. Crumble cooked bacon over the top of the casserole or mix it in with the potatoes. Thinly sliced onion or leeks can be added to the layers of potatoes for a little extra flavor. Garden herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or chives are always welcome too.

Scalloped potatoes in a white baking dish.

More delightful potato recipes:

 

Scalloped potatoes in a white baking dish.

Scalloped Potatoes

At parties and shindigs throughout the Midwest, Scalloped Potatoes are always the first thing to disappear from the table. This recipe uses a quick, made-from-scratch cheese sauce that's thickened with milk and flour, similar to a mac and cheese sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 327kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes thinly sliced (see note 1)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated, divided (see note 2)
  • paprika for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a one-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter until foaming. Whisk in flour until cooked through, about 1 minute. 
  • Whisk in milk until smooth. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until thickened. Stir in 1 cup cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
  • Layer half the sliced potatoes in bottom of prepared casserole dish. Top with half the cheese sauce. Layer the second half of potatoes on top and top with remaining cheese sauce.
  • Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top. Sprinkle with paprika for color. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  1. Potatoes: Starchy russets are the best potatoes for scalloped potatoes. The thinner the potatoes are, the faster they'll cook; plus the cheese sauce finds its delicious way in-between the slices. A mandoline works well for making uniform slices, but please be careful using it!
  2. Cheese: A block of cheddar, shredded, seems to work best. Pre-shredded cheese can contain ingredients that prevent the cheese from melting smoothly. However, if you have a brand of shredded cheese that you rely on, go ahead and use it.
  3. Prevent curdling: High-starch potatoes and full-fat ingredients keep the sauce from separating. Besides, you only live once, and it's the holidays.
  4. Slow cooker: If you need valuable oven space and have the extra time, this recipe is easy to make in a crock pot or slow cooker. Just prepare the liner of the pot as you would the casserole, then build the dish following the same instructions. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. They don't get as toasty or crispy on the top, but they'll still taste fabulous.
  5. Make ahead: This recipe can be made ahead, unbaked, and refrigerated up to three days in advance. Just wrap it up and stow it in the fridge. You can also pre-bake the casserole. Bake and let it cool completely to room temperature.  Then cover tightly with foil and refrigerate. When you're ready to eat, reheat the casserole (covered with foil) at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until warmed through.
  6. Freezing: Make the potatoes according to the recipe, then take them out of the oven a few minutes before they are finished. Allow the dish to cool, then cover or wrap in foil and freeze. Frozen potatoes store for up to two weeks. To finish baking, uncover  and remove from oven when the top is brown and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  7. Favorite flavors: For a heartier side dish that verges on main course, layer in thinly sliced ham between the potatoes. Crumble cooked bacon over the top of the casserole or mix it in with the potatoes. Thinly sliced onion or leeks can be added to the layers of potatoes for a little extra flavor. Garden herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or chives are always welcome too.

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 745mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 632IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 293mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Lindsay Peters

    Made these scalloped potatoes tonight and added diced ham to each layer. It was straight fire! 🔥🔥🔥 SOOO good that I ate too much and I’m in physical pain. My husband already said we definitely need to make these again soon.

    1. Meggan

      I’m glad you liked it Lindsay! Hopefully you can move today. ;)

  2. Mary Coughlin

    This recipe looks very easy to make. I am looking forward to try it on Saturday, 9-28-19. Then I will let you know how it tastes and worked out for our Lords Kitchen Day.5 stars

  3. diane

    I was taught that scalloped potatoes have NO cheese,and au gratin potatoes have cheese…..Yet so many recipes today are including cheese. Am I mistaken in my thinking?

    1. meggan

      Hi Diane, you are actually spot on in your thinking. You’re right. And I didn’t even know! I’m from Wisconsin things end up having cheese that might not otherwise have it or need it. However, I consulted my culinary textbook from school and you’re right. Potatoes, bechamel, nutmeg, butter, salt and pepper. That’s it. I should probably redo my recipe. Thank you for pointing that out!

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