Scalloped Potatoes are an easy classic recipe, perfect for your Easter dinner, Christmas, Thanksgiving or even just for Sunday dinner.
In this side dish, thinly sliced potatoes and onions are layered in an easy homemade cream sauce and baked until tender, golden, and bubbly. Potato perfection!
An Easy Classic
So exactly what are Scalloped Potatoes? Thought to have originated in England, the word ‘scallop’ is basically a definition for how the potato is sliced. Thin and uniformly cut potatoes are layered in a casserole dish and then covered with a seasoned onion cream sauce and baked. The result is this savory scalloped potato recipe!
- Potatoes Yukon gold potatoes (or red potatoes) have tender skin and don’t require peeling (they hold their shape well). Russet potatoes or Idaho potatoes will work but tend to break apart more (but still taste good).
- Onions Onions add a lot of flavor to this recipe and are a classic ingredient. Slice very thinly.
- Cream Sauce A quick cream sauce made with flour, butter, milk and broth. If you’d like to add cheese, remove the sauce from the heat and stir in a handful or two of shredded cheese. It will melt from the heat of the sauce.
- Seasonings Simple seasonings in this recipe include salt, pepper, onion, garlic. Add in your own favorites including thyme, rosemary, parsley.
How to Make Scalloped Potatoes
Making scalloped potatoes from scratch takes time but it is easy. While true scalloped potatoes do not have cheese, we sometimes add a little bit in!
- Thinly slice potatoes & onions.
- Make homemade sauce (recipe below)
- Layer potatoes, onions and sauce. Cover and bake.
- Remove foil and bake a bit more, this step creates the delicious brown top on the scalloped potatoes
IMPORTANT Cool 20 minutes before serving to allow the sauce to thicken.
Tips for Perfect Scalloped Potatoes
- Slice the potatoes evenly to ensure the scalloped potatoes cook evenly
- Use a mandoline to make this job extra quick (a $25 mandoline like this one does a great job and will save you lots of time)
- A roux is the foundation for a creamy sauce. A roux just means to cook fat (in this case butter) and flour and add liquid to make a sauce!
- If you decide to add cheese to the sauce (which will actually make these into Potatoes Au Gratin) remove the sauce from the stove and stir in 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cheese (cheddar/gruyere are great choices).
- Season the potatoes with salt and pepper between layers.
- Cover with foil while it bakes, this allows it to steam and the will potatoes to a bit faster.
To Make Scalloped Potatoes Ahead of Time
To make these ahead of time (and keep cooking fast on the day of serving) we have tested partially baking them with great results.
- Bake the dish covered for 50-60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on the counter (leave them covered, the steam will help to finish cooking).
- Cover well and refrigerate.
- On the day of serving, remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered about 35 minutes or until heated through.
More Potato Recipes You’ll Love
- Twice Baked Potatoes – Make ahead & freeze!
- Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes – Great for leftovers.
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole
- Baked Potato Soup – Easy weeknight meal
Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 pounds white potatoes sliced about ⅛" thick
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- To make the sauce, melt butter, onion and garlic over medium low heat. Cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Combine milk and broth. Add a small amount at a time whisking to thicken. The mixture will become very thick, continue adding a little bit of liquid at a time whisking until smooth.
- Once all of the liquid has been added, bring to a boil over medium heat while continuing to whisk. Stir in salt and pepper and let boil 1 minute.
- Grease a 9"x13" baking dish. Place ⅓ of the potatoes in the bottom and season with salt and pepper. Pour ⅓ of the cream sauce sauce over top.
- Repeat layers ending with cream sauce. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are tender. Broil for 3-4 minutes to obtain a golden top.
- Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
What is the Difference Between Scalloped and Au Gratin Potatoes?
Potatoes au Gratin are also called cheesy potatoes because the white sauce is actually a cheese sauce (and they often have cheese sprinkled between the layers and/or breadcrumb topping).
This scalloped potato recipe can (of course) be topped with cheese or have cheese added in but sometimes I love the simplicity in this recipe without cheese. The sweetness of the onions and milk is the perfect addition to these sliced potatoes!
Can You Freeze Scalloped Potatoes?
These potatoes will keep in the fridge for about 4 days and reheat well in the microwave, oven or in a frying pan! If you want to freeze them longer, yes, scalloped potatoes can be frozen!
Almost any casserole dish can be frozen perfectly with a little know-how. If making a freezer meal, the best way to freeze scalloped potatoes is to not fully cook them all way, but leave them a little undercooked. Then, once they are cooled in the fridge, portion them out the way you want to and wrap carefully before putting in the freezer. To reheat, simply thaw and finish the cooking until the potatoes are tender again!
While that’s a great option, most often we want to freeze leftovers. In this case, these scalloped potatoes freeze well, although I do find they sometimes break apart a bit when reheated but they still taste great!
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