Creamy, comforting and indulgent, cheesy scalloped potatoes are a classic side dish. A rich and decadent cheese sauce is layered with potatoes then baked until tender for a crowd-pleasing side that is deliciously cheesy!
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Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
During the holidays, it’s an absolute must to serve at least one potato side dish at Christmas dinner or as part of the Thanksgiving menu. Scalloped potatoes, easy cheesy potatoes or my easy funeral potato recipe are crowd favorites.
These scalloped potatoes covered in cheese make the perfect holiday side dish and are always gone so fast! They are creamy and cheesy with delicious layers of tender potatoes. Baked until hot and bubbly with a golden brown top, every bite is to-die-for!
Easy scalloped potatoes is made with a few simple ingredients that are key to its delicous flavor!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Potatoes: Thinly slice potatoes help the baking process and cooks them evenly. 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.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted butter will work.
- Garlic: Minced garlic is best!
- Flour: All-purpose flour thickens the dairy mixture and makes a creamier sauce.
- Milk: Any type of milk will work well with the cheese and flour mixture. I like whole milk, for a richer, thicker and creamier sauce.
- Cheese: Freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese is what I used, but feel free to use your favorite cheese. I recommend thick grated cheese for a cheesier potato casserole.
Substitutions and Variations
- Thinly sliced onions: If you like your potatoes with onions, add 1/2 cup chopped onions when cooking the butter.
- Make it a meal: Add leftover chopped baked ham like I do in this cheesy ham and potato casserole. Leftover roasted turkey works, too.
- Cheese: 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.
- Garnish: Fresh thyme, parsley or even Parmesan cheese can be used.
How to Make the Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
Follow the simple instructions below to get started making this cheesy scalloped potato recipe.
- Prep. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter your baking dish. Slice potatoes, then line half of the potatoes on the bottom of casserole dish.
- Make cheesy sauce. To make the roux, in small skillet, melt butter over medium heat and then add in garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes then whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Slowly add milk until smooth, simmer then stir in 3/4 cup cheese until melted.
- 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.
- Bake in oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes (uncovered) until potatoes are fork tender and golden on top.
- Extra cheesy: For the best taste, grate your own cheddar cheese. When it’s freshly grated, it makes it extra creamy and perfectly bubbly on top.
- Room temperature milk: When adding your milk to the roux to prevent heat shock and possible curdling, bring milk to room temperature.
- Creamier: Instead of milk use heavy cream for best rich tasting scalloped potatoes!
- Cut down on cooking time: To speed up the cooking time of the potatoes, pop them into boiling water for just a few minutes then drain well.
- Slow cooker method: Prepare sauce and potatoes as directed. Place in greased slow cooker and heat on low 7-8 hours.
When making scalloped potatoes, I tend to use either russets or Yukon gold potatoes. Both will turn out delicious or you can even use a combination. Russet potatoes are a bit starchier than Yukons, which makes the sauce a tad creamier.
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.
The main difference is the type of sauce! Potatoes au gratin is made with a cheese sauce that is layered with potatoes and onions. Traditional scalloped potatoes is made with a white sauce and herbs. It does not contain cheese. This cheese scalloped potato recipe is the best of both with a cheesy white sauce.
Make Ahead and Storage
To make ahead: Assemble, covered with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Cool then refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, bring to room temperature for 30 minutes then bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the cream sauce is golden and bubbly.
To store: Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days. To prevent separation, reheat on the stove or in the oven. I don’t recommend freezing as the cheesy creamy sauce and potatoes may change texture upon thawing.
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
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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- 2 pounds potatoes , thinly sliced
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ – 2 cups milk , at room temperature
- 1 ½ – 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese , divided
- chopped rosemary or herbs , for topping
- 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.
- 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. Add 1/4 cup more milk to thin the sauce if desired. 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.
- Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender an the top is golden brown.
- 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.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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