These homemade Scalloped Potatoes are simple to make and so creamy and comforting. They’re cheesy and garlicky, with the best crispy golden brown edges.
Have you shied away from making scalloped potatoes because you thought they were complicated to prepare or that you needed fancy equipment like a mandoline to make them? I used to be the same way! This scalloped potatoes recipe is here to change all that.
You won’t believe how easy these scalloped potatoes are to make. And they are so, SO good. Brad and I could not stop raving about them, and we kept sneaking bites from the baking dish as the potatoes cooled. This potato casserole is garlicky, cheesy and creamy, with the best golden brown edges. This mouthwatering side dish is perfect for serving at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Or, enjoy them with Sunday dinner!
Scalloped Potatoes Recipe Ingredients
Technically, this recipe makes au gratin potatoes because traditional scalloped potatoes are made without cheese, while potatoes au gratin are made with a cheese sauce. I’m all for boosting the flavor of our favorite recipes with cheese, though, so this scalloped potatoes recipe features two kinds of cheese and I doubt anyone at the table will be disappointed about that.
- Butter: Combines with the flour to make a roux, which is the base of the cream sauce. Butter adds richness and flavor to this potato recipe.
- Garlic: Five cloves of garlic bring lots of delicious garlicky flavor! If you’re sensitive to garlic, you can reduce the amount.
- Flour: Thickens the sauce.
- Whole Milk: Makes the sauce rich and creamy.
- Vegetable Broth: I like to use 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of vegetable broth for a creamy sauce that’s not overly heavy.
- Salt and Pepper: For seasoning.
- Cheddar Cheese: Shredded cheddar cheese melts into the sauce and infuses it with cheesy flavor. I like to use sharp cheddar because of its bold flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese: Adds more cheesiness and an extra pop of saltiness.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes: Yukon golds are my preferred potato for this recipe because their creamy texture and bolder flavor are especially decadent. Russet potatoes will also work if that’s what you have on hand. If using russets, peel them before slicing. Yukon golds do not require peeling.
- Onion: Thinly sliced sweet yellow onion almost melts into the casserole as it bakes, bringing subtle onion flavor.
- Fresh Thyme: Sprinkle on some fresh thyme after the scalloped potatoes come out of the oven for the perfect savory finishing touch.
How to Make Scalloped Potatoes
This potato recipe is as easy as three simple steps: make the cream sauce, layer the sauce with the sliced potatoes and onions, and then bake!
- To make the cream sauce, first melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and flour and cook for 30 seconds to cook off the raw flour taste.
- Then whisk in the milk, broth, salt and pepper. Cook until the mixture just barely comes to a simmer, then immediately remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir the cheese into the sauce.
- Layer half of the potatoes in a 9×13-inch baking dish. The slices should overlap a bit, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Arrange the sliced onions on top of the potatoes. Then pour half of the cheese sauce evenly over.
- Top with one more layer of potatoes and the rest of the cheese sauce.
- Then bake until the potatoes are tender and the casserole is nice and golden brown on top. The potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish may also brown some. This adds to the texture and flavor of the potatoes just like the top crust does.
- Take the sauce off the heat as soon as it comes to a simmer.
- Buy a block of cheddar cheese and shred it using a box grater. Pre-shredded cheese from the grocery store won’t melt as smoothly.
- Stir in the cheese a little bit at a time to help it melt smoothly into the sauce.
- Slice the potatoes 1/8-inch thick so that they cook through to tender. You can slice the potatoes with a mandoline slicer, but I find that a sharp chef’s knife works just as well.
- Potato slicing tip: First cut off a thin slice lengthwise from the wide end of the potato, then set the potato on the flat end and slice. This makes the potato more stable when slicing.
- Be sure to slice the onions very thinly so that they cook down and soften well.
Make Ahead Scalloped Potatoes
To make these scalloped potatoes ahead, bake as directed in the recipe, then let them cool. Refrigerate in the baking dish (covered tightly) for up to 2 days. When you want to serve the potatoes, reheat, (cover the dish with foil) in a 350° F oven until hot, 30-45 minutes.
Alternatively, you can assemble the potatoes up to one day ahead of time, cover and refrigerate (before baking), then bake as directed in the recipe on the day of.
More Favorite Holiday Side Dishes
When it comes to comfort food side dishes, these scalloped potatoes are one of the best. They go well with ham or turkey. Here are a few more favorite sides that are perfect for serving with your holiday meal.
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Green Bean Casserole
- Broccoli Casserole
- Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Stuffing Recipe
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth, or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese*, 6 ounces
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, or peeled Russet potatoes, sliced ⅛-inch thick
- ¾ cup thinly sliced sweet yellow onion
- chopped fresh thyme, optional, for serving
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Whisk in the milk, broth, salt and pepper and heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture just barely comes to a simmer. Then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the shredded cheddar and grated Parmesan cheese.
- Lay half of the sliced potatoes in an even layer in the baking dish, so that the slices overlap (it doesn't have to be perfect). Lay all of the sliced onions evenly over the top of the potatoes. Pour half of the cheese sauce evenly over. Then layer the remaining potatoes and pour the remaining cheese sauce evenly over the top.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 35-45 minutes more, until potatoes are tender and the casserole is golden brown on top. Let casserole rest for 5 minutes. Then sprinkle on fresh thyme or rosemary, if desired, and serve.
- It is best to use a block of cheddar cheese and shred it using a box grater. Pre-shredded cheese from the grocery store will not melt smoothly.
- To make these scalloped potatoes ahead, bake as directed in the recipe, then let them cool. Refrigerate in the baking dish (covered tightly) for up to 2 days. When you want to serve the potatoes, reheat, (cover the dish with foil) in a 350° F oven until hot, 30-45 minutes. Alternatively, you can assemble the potatoes up to one day ahead of time, cover and refrigerate (before baking), then bake as directed in the recipe on the day of.