Making this easy scalloped potatoes recipe from scratch is simple for an Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas side dish! They are incredibly comforting, creamy, cheesy, and rich.
Why you'll love them
Scalloped potatoes are the best holiday side dish, but they're totally worth making for an everyday occasion or Sunday dinner. It's thinly sliced potatoes that are cooked in a garlicky cream mixture which thickens in the oven for irresistible layers of potato and cheese heaven.
Layering the slices might seem tricky, but this step-by-step guide will show you just how hassle-free this impressive side dish is to assemble. You'll even have time left over to make these Deviled Eggs too for your next feast or gathering!
Is this potatoes au gratin?
- Sort of! If you want to get a little technical, this dish borrows a technique from au gratin potatoes. There's cheese not only on top but also in between each potato layer, which just adds to the deliciousness. Lots of sources use the terms interchangeably, but mine is kind of a hybrid of au gratin and scalloped potatoes. Whatever you call it, it's delicious.
Ingredients you'll need
- Potatoes - use either Russet or Yukon gold. Either will work.
- Butter - for the base of the cream sauce
- Garlic - if you're a garlic lover, go ahead and add more
- Heavy cream - for ultimate creaminess. I wouldn't recommend using anything else
- Cheese - we're using both cheddar and parmesan for extra cheesiness!
How to make scalloped potatoes
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grate the cheese, and slice the potatoes with a mandoline. In a small saucepan, add the butter and garlic. After frying for 30 seconds, stir in the cream and salt & pepper. Let it warm, and remove from the heat.
Arrange half of the potato slices to the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. It's ok if you don't do this perfectly evenly! Pour half the cream mixture over top.
Sprinkle on half the cheddar and parmesan cheese. Arrange remaining potato slices over top of the first cheese layer. Pour in the other half of the cream mixture.
Top with the rest of the cheese, and bake until golden.
Make ahead tip
- Assemble the potatoes up until the step prior to baking. Cover them tightly with foil, and refrigerate up to a day ahead.
- It may take a bit longer to cook them than suggested since they'll be cold coming straight from the fridge. I'd let them warm up on the counter for an hour or so prior to baking!
Tools for this recipe
- I highly recommend using a mandoline slicer to get even slices fast. It takes me less than 5 minutes to cut the entire 3 pounds of potatoes up. I also always use a protective glove so it's a worry-free experience.
- Definitely grate your own cheeses. They will taste and melt a lot better, so it's worth the bit of extra effort. I use this grater for the cheddar and this grater for the parmesan.
Substitutions and variations
- I don't recommend subbing the cream for something lower fat. It may curdle/separate and it won't thicken the same since there's no roux in this recipe.
- You could change the cheeses up if you wish. For example, any nicely melting cheese like Gruyère will work instead of cheddar for a twist.
- You're welcome to throw in some herbs if you like such as rosemary or thyme.
Leftovers and storage
- They will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge in a covered container.
- Reheat these potatoes in a covered saucepan on the stove at a low heat vs. in the microwave unless you put it on a lower setting. The cream is likely to separate if you warm the potatoes up at too high of a heat. You could also warm them up in the oven if you've got a lot left still in the casserole dish. Cover with foil.
- I wouldn't recommend freezing leftovers because of the cheese and cream.
Questions about this side dish? Did you make it for the holidays? Let me know in the comments below!
Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- 3 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes peeled & sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups heavy/whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat your oven to 350F and move the rack to the middle position.
- Meanwhile, grate the cheese and prepare the potatoes by peeling them and using a mandoline slicer to cut them into 1/8" (3 mm) slices.
- Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and once it's melted, add the garlic and cook it for about 30 seconds. Add in the cream, salt, and some pepper. Let it warm through, stirring occasionally. As it reaches a boil, take it off the heat.
- Arrange half of the potatoes on the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish (overlap the potatoes but don't worry about arranging them perfectly). Pour half the cream mixture over top, and then add half of each cheese. Repeat the process for the second layer, finishing up with a layer of cheese on top.
- Bake, covered with foil, for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick slides into the potatoes without much resistance. Ovens vary, so check for doneness earlier than suggested if your oven runs hot.
- Let the potatoes sit for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.
- Serves anywhere from 6-10 depending on serving size/what else you serve these with.
- I highly recommend using a mandoline slicer to cut the potatoes into uniform slices quickly and without hassle. I always use a protective glove with my mandoline.
- You may want to place the baking dish on a baking sheet just so any splatter/spills don't end up in your oven (especially if your baking dish is a bit shallow).
- See blog post for more tips including how to make these ahead and step-by-step photos that show how to layer them.