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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

These cheesy scalloped potatoes are a classic and staple at any holiday dinner. They are creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious! Your guests will go crazy over this recipe!

scalloped potatoes in a baking dish with a wooden spoon

Favorite Holiday Side Dish

I love all things potato! Especially during the holidays, it’s an absolute must to serve at least one of these potato side dishes for your Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving menu. These scalloped potatoes make the perfect holiday side dish and are always gone so fast!

They are creamy, cheesy and taste amazing. The flavors bake perfectly together and create the most delicious layers of tender potatoes. Plus the cheesy top gets nice and golden brown…making every bite to die for!

thinly slicing potatoes on a cutting board with a knife

What Kind of Potatoes to Use?

When making scalloped potatoes, I tend to use either russets or Yukon gold potatoes. Both will turn out delicious, so you can choose based on what’s available at the store, looks the most fresh or is on sale.

Russet potatoes are a bit starchier than Yukons, which makes the sauce a tad creamier. So I typically will use russets since I prefer a creamier sauce. You could also use sweet potatoes, but I prefer my savory scalloped sweet potatoes for those.

How Thin Should Scalloped Potatoes Be?

The key is to make sure your potato slices are super thin. Each slice should be about 1/8″ thick. This will help them to cook evenly and become tender.

Using a mandoline to slice the potatoes makes it quicker and easier, however you can definitely still use a regular knife. Just try to slice them equally in size so that they cook at the same speed.

grating cheddar cheese for scalloped potatoes

The Key to Extra Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I LOVE adding lots of cheese to my scalloped potatoes. That’s the best part, right?! I always grate my own cheddar cheese. When it’s freshly grated, it makes it extra creamy and perfectly bubbly on top.

You can even use other types or cheese, or use half and half to mix up the flavor. Shredded mozzarella and gruyere are other great options.

To go lighter on cheese

You can cut down on cheese if you prefer. I wouldn’t cut the cheese from the sauce, but you could cut it from adding as much to the top. But since it’s the holidays, you might as well go all out. ;)

uncooked scalloped potatoes in a baking dish with cheese on top

How to Make Scalloped Potatoes

This dish is simple to make and tastes amazing. Follow the simple instructions below to get started making this cheesy scalloped potato recipe.

  1. Preheat oven and butter pan. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter your baking dish. Then line half of the potatoes on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Make the roux. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and then add in garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper and cook another minute.
  3. Let simmer, then add cheese. Next, slowly whisk in the whole milk until smooth. Bring to a light simmer (to thicken) and then stir in 3/4 cup cheese until melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Assemble in pan. Pour half of the cheese sauce over the potatoes and then sprinkle cheese over top (about 1/2 cup). Then line remaining potatoes on top and add remaining sauce and cheese.
  5. Bake in oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes (uncovered) until they are fork tender and golden on top.

Adding in Extras

If you like your potatoes with onions, add 1/2 cup chopped onions when cooking the butter. You can also turn this into a meal by adding leftover chopped baked ham or roasted turkey to the middle layer.

cheesy scalloped potatoes in a baking dish with a wooden spoon

Can You Make This Dish Ahead of Time?

Sure! You’ll still want to bake them first if making ahead of time, however you’ll cut the baking time in half. I’ll typically cover with foil and bake them for about 30 minutes. Then I’ll remove from the oven and let them cool. Once cooled, I’ll refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve the next day, remove from the fridge and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes. Then bake uncovered for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the cream sauce has thickened and the cheese is golden and bubbly.

5 star review

“I made this for Easter this year and it was so good! The cheesy sauce was so delicious and melted perfectly on the potatoes! I plan on making it again next year!”

– Loni
cheesy scalloped potatoes in a baking dish with chives on top

More Holiday Side Dishes:

Scalloped potatoes recipe

Scalloped Potatoes

4.92 from 36 votes
These cheesy scalloped potatoes are a classic and staple at any holiday dinner. They are creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious! Your guests will go crazy over this recipe!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds potatoes , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese , divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 8×8" or 7×10" pan. Slice the potatoes into 1/8" rounds and then line half of the potatoes on the bottom of the pan. 
    How to make scalloped potatoes
  • Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-heat. Add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Let cook another minute. Turn heat to medium-low. Slowly whisk in the milk and whisk until smooth. Bring to a light simmer to allow to thicken. Then stir in 3/4 cup cheese until melted and remove from heat. 
  • Pour half of the sauce over the potatoes. Then sprinkle about 1/2 cup cheese over top. Line the remaining potatoes over top. Then add the remaining sauce and cheese over top.
    Easy scalloped potatoes
  • Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender an the top is golden brown.
    scalloped potatoes

Video


Notes

  • If you like your potatoes with onions, add 1/2 cup chopped onions when cooking the butter. Then cook 2-3 minutes. 
  • You can also turn this into a meal by adding leftover chopped ham to the middle layer. 
  • Add a little crunch by adding 4 pieces cooked and crumbled bacon to the top.
To make-ahead:
If making in advance, cut the baking time in half. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, refrigerate overnight. 
When ready to serve the next day, remove from fridge and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes. Then bake uncovered for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the cheese is golden and bubbly. 

Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 556mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 13.1mg | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Jamielyn Nye

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