Easy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

A Classic Comfort Dish

Easy Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes, a dish synonymous with comfort and tradition, have a rich history that spans various cultures and cuisines. Originating from the basic need to create hearty, filling meals, scalloped potatoes have evolved into a beloved classic. Known for their creamy texture and layered elegance, these potatoes have graced dining tables for centuries, becoming a staple in both humble homes and grand feasts.

The versatility of scalloped potatoes is remarkable. They effortlessly adapt to different culinary styles, making them a favorite across continents. From the classic American version with a cheesy crust to the French gratin dauphinois, scalloped potatoes have been reinvented time and again, each variation reflecting the unique flavors and ingredients of its region. This adaptability not only showcases the dish’s universal appeal but also its ability to bring people together, making it a cherished recipe in various cuisines around the world.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

The key to the perfect scalloped potatoes lies in the choice of ingredients.

  • Potatoes: Opt for Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes. These varieties provide the ideal texture and flavor.
  • Cheese: While traditional recipes call for cheddar, feel free to experiment with different types of cheese for a unique twist.
  • Freshness: Using fresh ingredients is crucial. Freshly grated cheese and organic potatoes can elevate the dish.

For more on selecting the best ingredients, check out Food Pairing Guide, which offers excellent tips on complementing dishes for scalloped potatoes.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Creating the perfect scalloped potatoes is an art that involves careful preparation and layering. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your dish is a hit:

  1. Preparing the Potatoes: Begin by peeling the potatoes, if desired, and slicing them thinly, about 1/8 inch thick. This uniformity is key for even cooking. Soak the slices in cold water to prevent browning and to remove excess starch, which can interfere with the creaminess of your sauce.
  2. Creating the Perfect Cheese Sauce: The heart of scalloped potatoes is the cheesy sauce. Start with a roux by melting butter in a saucepan, then whisk in an equal amount of flour. Cook until it’s golden and nutty-smelling. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Once the mixture thickens, add your grated cheese, stirring until smooth and velvety. Season with salt, pepper, and a hint of nutmeg or garlic for extra flavor.
  3. Layering Techniques for Optimal Flavor: In a greased baking dish, start with a layer of potato slices, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, then ladle a portion of the cheese sauce over the top. Repeat the layers, finishing with a generous layer of sauce. For a golden, crispy top, add an extra sprinkle of cheese before baking.

Bake in a preheated oven until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown. The key is to bake slowly and evenly, allowing the flavors to meld and the potatoes to cook perfectly, resulting in a dish that’s both comforting and irresistibly delicious.

Mastering these steps is essential. For detailed cooking techniques, visit Bon Appétit’s Cooking Techniques.

Cooking Tips and Tricks

Achieving the perfect scalloped potatoes requires attention to detail. Here are some essential tips:

  • Thickness of Potato Slices: Aim for a uniform thickness of about 1/8 inch. Too thick, and they won’t cook through evenly; too thin, and they may become mushy.
  • Balancing Flavors: The key to a flavorful dish is the balance of saltiness from the cheese and the natural taste of the potatoes. Don’t overpower with too much salt; let the cheese’s natural flavors shine.
  • Oven Temperature and Baking Time: Bake your scalloped potatoes at a moderate temperature, around 350°F (175°C), to allow them to cook through without burning the top. The baking time usually ranges from 60 to 75 minutes, depending on the thickness of the layers and the type of potato used.

Customizing Your Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are wonderfully versatile. Customize them to suit your taste:

  • Adding Herbs and Spices: Fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary add a fragrant touch. For a spicy kick, a dash of cayenne pepper works well.
  • Incorporating Meats or Vegetables: Layer in ham, bacon, or sautéed mushrooms for added texture and flavor. Vegetables like spinach or caramelized onions also make great additions.
  • Vegan and Gluten-Free Adaptations: Use almond or coconut milk and vegan cheese for a dairy-free version. For gluten sensitivity, thicken the sauce with cornstarch instead of flour.

Serving and Presentation

Presentation enhances the appeal of scalloped potatoes:

  • Plating Suggestions: Serve in a beautiful casserole dish or plate individually for a more refined presentation.
  • Pairing with Main Courses: They pair excellently with roasted meats like beef or chicken, and are equally delightful with vegetarian mains.
  • Garnishing Tips: Garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, for a pop of color and freshness. A light sprinkle of paprika can add a subtle warmth and color.


  • Can I prepare scalloped potatoes ahead of time? Yes, assemble the dish and refrigerate. Bake it just before serving for the best texture.
  • How can I make my scalloped potatoes more flavorful? Don’t shy away from using a good quality, flavorful cheese, and consider adding garlic or onion powder to the sauce for extra depth.
  • Why are my scalloped potatoes not creamy? This could be due to undercooking the sauce or not using enough cream or milk. Ensure your sauce is well-cooked and velvety before layering.
  • Can I freeze scalloped potatoes? It’s possible, but the texture might change slightly upon reheating. Freeze in an airtight container and reheat in the oven.
  • How do I know when the scalloped potatoes are done? They should be tender when pierced with a fork, and the top should be golden and bubbly.


Scalloped potatoes, with their creamy layers and comforting warmth, are a timeless classic that can elevate any meal. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or add your own twist, they’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Remember, the key to perfect scalloped potatoes lies in the balance of flavors, the right baking temperature, and a bit of culinary creativity. So, gather your ingredients, and let the magic of cooking bring joy to your table. Happy cooking!

Easy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Easy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

This Easy Scalloped Potatoes recipe is a classic, comforting side dish perfect for any occasion. Featuring thinly sliced potatoes layered with a creamy, cheesy sauce and baked to golden perfection, it's a crowd-pleaser that pairs well with a variety of main courses.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, French-Inspired
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 337 kcal


  • 1.5-quart baking dish
  • Small saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Cheese grater
  • Knife and cutting board for slicing potatoes


  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes Yukon Gold or Russet
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • Paprika for garnish


  • Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 1.5-quart baking dish.
  • Prepare the Roux: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, until it forms a smooth paste (roux).
  • Make Cheese Sauce: Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring there are no lumps. Add salt and cayenne pepper. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese until melted.
  • Layer Potatoes and Sauce: Arrange half of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour half of the cheese sauce over the potatoes. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese on top.
  • Bake: Sprinkle some paprika over the top for color. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown.
  • Serve: Let the scalloped potatoes rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken slightly and makes serving easier.


  • Slice the potatoes evenly to ensure they cook uniformly.
  • For a richer flavor, you can substitute half of the milk with heavy cream.
  • Feel free to add herbs like thyme or rosemary for an aromatic touch.


  • Cheese Variations: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese like Gruyère or Parmesan for a unique flavor.
  • Make Ahead: Assemble the dish a day ahead and refrigerate. Bake before serving.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated in the oven or microwave.
Keyword Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

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Karen Elliot

Written by Karen Elliot

Hi, I'm Karen Elliot is a food blogger who founded to make cooking easier. Growing up on a farm in Spain, Karen was inspired by exquisite dishes prepared using simple ingredients. Karen Elliot is particularly known for making anyone can cook.


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  1. 5 stars
    Made these yummy potatoes for my family and they loved them! I like this recipe because the ingredients are common staples that most people already have at home! It’s quick, simple and taste delicious:)

  2. 5 stars
    Can I use the salad dressing as in Kraft Ranch salad dressing? I was wondering about that…I got a bottle for this recipe, but I thought I should be sure it is correct.

  3. 5 stars
    First time making this dish and it was delicious, bound to become our family’s favorite and a great dish for guests. The crispy edges of the cheese broiled in the oven was so good!! I used Mexican cheese and young potatoes, just what I had in the fridge.

  4. 5 stars
    I made these last night to go with the ribs my husband was smoking. He took one bite and announced that I was to never try another recipe and these should be made for dinner at least once a month. Lol. I believe they were a hit!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and we loved it. We only had 3 big potatoes and 2% milk but still good, I also added a little bit of Johnny’s seasoning to make it more savory. I have tried some of your recipes and everything came out amazing.

  6. 5 stars
    Love this recipe as the flavors are incredible. The only problem the bottom of mine were hard and dark brown. I buttered the dish very well but did I over cook them? The rest tasted perfect!

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