This easy scalloped potatoes recipe makes the best potato side dish! Tender slices of potatoes in an easy creamy sauce is a classic favorite!
Scalloped potatoes are an easy, classic favorite potato side dish that is great for a Sunday supper, holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! It makes the perfect side dish for serving a group. With the exception of mashed potatoes, it is hard to think of a more comforting potato side dish. Even though it seems so elaborate and elegant, it really couldn’t be simpler to make!
Easy Classic Potato Recipe
What is Scalloped Potatoes?
Originating from England, it is a recipe for uniformly and thinly sliced potatoes that are layered and baked in a creamy sauce. If you add the optional cheeses listed in my recipe, you have technically transformed your scalloped potatoes into Potatoes Au Gratin as traditional scalloped potatoes do not include cheese.
For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- potatoes – I prefer to use Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes that have been peeled and sliced to about 1/8-inch thick.
- butter – you can use your preference of salted or unsalted butter in this recipe.
- flour – I use all-purpose flour in this recipe to make the signature creamy sauce for the potatoes.
- milk or heavy cream – you’ll want to use whole milk or heavy cream in this recipe for the proper consistency in the sauce.
- salt – if you are using salted butter, you can reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe to 1/4 teaspoon.
- ground black or white pepper – I love to use black pepper, but for a traditional appearance of scalloped potatoes, white pepper works beautifully.
- cayenne pepper – I love the addition of cayenne pepper in this potato recipe. You can omit it from the recipe if you prefer.
How to Make Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
Prep. To make my scalloped potatoes, begin by preheating your oven to 350º F. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Prepare the Potatoes. Peel your potatoes and then slice them into uniform 1/8-inch thick slices. You can use a food processor with the slicing attachment, a chef’s knife, or even a mandolin.
As you slice your potatoes, place the slices into a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown while making your cream sauce.
When your cream sauce is ready, drain the potato slices from the cold water and layer them in the casserole dish.
Make Your Cream Sauce. The cream sauce is so easy to make. You are basically making a roux, which is a creamy sauce from the butter and flour. To this roux, you are adding your milk or cream and seasonings.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until well-combined, then whisk in milk, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to whisk until the sauce begins to bubble slightly around the edges of the saucepan and has thickened slightly.
Remove from the heat and pour over the sliced potatoes in the casserole dish.
Bake. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is golden and the potatoes are fork-tender, an additional 45 minutes. For an even more golden top, you can additionally broil for 3 to 5 minutes.
Cool. Remove the Scalloped Potatoes from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. This allows the cream sauce to thicken and the potatoes to set for easier serving. If you do not allow it to rest, the cream sauce can be to think and cause the potatoes to not be as easy to serve.
Do You Use Cheese or No Cheese in Scalloped Potatoes?
While traditional Scalloped Potatoes does not include cheese, we love to add it from time to time. If you do (which is Potatoes Au Gratin), stir your cheese into the cream sauce once you reduce the heat to a simmer.
I recommend using Monterrey Jack, Cheddar, Gruyere, Fontina, Pepper Jack, etc. I do not recommend using packaged pre-shredded cheeses as they are coated with an ingredient to help the cheese not stick together in the packaging. This coating causes the cheese not to melt as well, in my opinion.
Make Ahead Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
I love that these scalloped potatoes make a great make-ahead side dish as well!
Bake the scalloped potatoes as directed and allow them to cool. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, just the scalloped potatoes bake, covered with the foil, at 350º F until heated throughout, about 30 minutes.
Can You Freeze Scalloped Potatoes?
Yes! This recipe freezes beautifully!
Meal Prep. If you are preparing them as part of your meal prep, I recommend cooking the first 45 minutes covered with the foil. Allow them to cool completely and then freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, you’ll want to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake until fork tender. This may take a bit longer than 45 minutes since the original recipe had hot cream sauce that the thawed from frozen dish does not.
Leftover. Most often, I am freezing leftover scalloped potatoes. For this, portion the fully cooked leftover recipe into freezer-safe containers. Wrap well and freeze up to 3 months. To serve, remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, remove the foil and reheat in the and cover with microwave-safe cover to reheat in the microwave or leave the foil to reheat in the oven. Reheat until warmed throughout.
Note: I occasionally will sprinkle the leftover recipe with a bit of water before I reheat. This produces a bit of steam as the casserole is reheated which prevents the cream sauce from breaking and adds moisture.
Here’s my Scalloped Potatoes recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
- 4 large Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes sliced thinly to 1/8-inch thick
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black or white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Place potato slices in a bowl of cold water to keep from turning brown while making cream sauce.
Make Cream Sauce
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in flour until well-combined, then whisk in milk, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to whisk until sauce bubbles slightly around the edges of the saucepan and has thickened slightly.
- If you are adding cheese (making Potatoes Au Gratin), stir them in at this point.
- Drain cold water from the potato slices and arrange the slices in the 9×13 casserole dish. Pour cream sauce over potato slices and cover the casserole dish with foil.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are fork-tender. If additional browning is desired, you may broil the casserole for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken for easier serving. Serve warm.
Bake the scalloped potatoes as directed. Allow to cool, cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, bake covered with the foil, at 350º F until heated throughout, about 30 minutes.
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives, originally published 2013.