Scalloped Potatoes

My favorite recipe for cheesy, creamy, garlicky, crazy-delicious scalloped potatoes.

The Best Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Anyone else out there still have yet to plan your menu for Easter Sunday this coming weekend?

Well, good news: 1) you’re not alone and 2) I’ve gotcha covered! ♡

We have all sorts of delicious recipes here on our Easter section of the blog that are sure to please a crowd.  If you’re feeling those brunch vibes, there’s everything from my favorite 1-hour cinnamon rolls, to the world’s best sour cream coffee cake, to a classic breakfast casserole, to nearly every way to prepare eggs, to mimosas and more.  Or, if you’re going more of the Easter dinner route, our family’s favorite salad, classic deviled eggs, these perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts, an easy fruit salad, these quick 1-hour soft and buttery dinner rolls might be calling your name.  Of course, carrot cake (or this vegan, gluten-free carrot cake) is also a must around here every Easter.

But the other non-negotiable for me each Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and — let’s be real — any night of the year that I’m craving some creamy, garlicky, cheesy comfort food?

Scalloped potatoes.

Specifically, these scalloped potatoes.  In my humble opinion, they are simply the best.  And in the years since I originally posted this recipe here on the blog, thousands of you have also tried them and agreed!  So today, I thought I’d bump this recipe back to the top of the stack for those of you who might be new to the blog and looking for a tried and true recipe to make this weekend.  As someone who has made these dozens and dozens of times, I can vouch — they won’t let you down.

Scalloped Potatoes Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Scalloped Potatoes Ingredients:

The ingredients to make this classic scalloped potatoes recipe are pretty simple.  You’ll need:

  • Yukon gold potatoes: I prefer these to Russets because of their nice creamy texture and buttery flavor.
  • Shredded cheese: It’s important to have a good melty cheese for these.  I have always preferred a nice sharp cheddar (not one that has been aged, since those don’t melt as well).  But I have also made these with mozzarella, gouda, fontina and gruyere, and all have been delicious.  So feel free to pick your favorite, or use a mix!  Plus, some freshly-grated Parmesan is also a must.
  • Sliced onion: For extra flavor.  I always cook the onion in the sauce, and then strain it out and add it to the middle layer of the potatoes, so that there aren’t a bunch of onion slices sitting on the top layer.
  • Garlic: If you ask me, the more the merrier.  The recipe calls for 4 cloves, but I’ve used up to 8 before.  :)
  • Fresh thyme: I’ve always used this as my main seasoning for scalloped potatoes, but you could use just about any of your favorite fresh herbs or dried seasoning blends.  I also love occasionally adding some blackening seasoning to my sauce.
  • Creamy sauce: In lieu of heavy cream, my sauce for this recipe calls for a roux with butter and flour, milk and chicken (or veggie) stock.

Sliced Yukon gold potatoes

How To Make Scalloped Potatoes:

To make your scalloped potatoes, begin by chopping up your onions and garlic, and making your sauce on the stovetop.  Since we’re using milk instead of cream, it’s important not to let the sauce boil.  Just let it get warm enough that it barely comes to a simmer so that it can thicken.  (Otherwise the sauce will “break” and become watery when baked.)  Then remove it from the heat until it’s ready to be used.

Meanwhile, as your sauce cooks, slice up all of those potatoes.  The thinner they are, the quicker they will cook.  So I usually slice mine about 1/4-inch thick.

Once your sauce and potatoes are ready to go, it’s time to layer everything up!  I usually go in the following order:

  1. Half of the potatoes
  2. Half of the sauce (including the onions that I strain out and add with a slotted spoon)
  3. Half of the shredded cheese
  4. Parmesan
  5. Half of the potatoes
  6. Half of the sauce
  7. Half of the shredded cheese

Once everything is ready to go, cover the pan lightly with aluminum foil.  Then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the sauce is nice and bubbly around the edges.  Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or so, until the cheese is nice and golden on top and the potatoes are cooked through.  (If the cheese starts to get too brown on top, just lightly cover the top with a sheet of foil again until the potatoes are ready to go.)

How To Make Scalloped Potatoes

Then remove, sprinkle with some extra thyme and black pepper, and serve!

I mean, just look at that cheesy, creamy, golden crust. ♡♡♡

Who wants some??

 

Scalloped Potatoes

How To Make-Ahead Scalloped Potatoes:

Over the years, I’ve had lots of you ask if you can prep this scalloped potatoes recipe in advance, and the answer is yes!  Just bake the scalloped potatoes and let them cool completely to room temperature.  Then cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Then bake covered (with foil) at 350° for 30 minutes, or until warmed through.

Scalloped Potatoes

FAQ:

Can you freeze this recipe? Unfortunately, I don’t recommend it.  Neither the potatoes nor cream sauce freeze well.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?  Sure thing!  Just use all certified-GF ingredients.  And instead of flour, you can either use gluten-free all-purpose flour.  Or, you can nix the flour and whisk 3 tablespoons of cornstarch into the cold milk before adding it to the sauce.

Can you add other seasonings? Absolutely!  Again, I just seasoned this classic recipe with garlic and thyme.  But feel free to stir your favorite seasoning mixes into the sauce or sprinkle on your favorite herbs.

Can you substitute other kinds of potatoes? Sure thing.  I’ve made this before with Russets and red potatoes, and also enjoy occasionally using a mix of Yukon golds and sweet potatoes.  But for the classic recipe, Yukon golds are my favorites.

Creamy Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

More Potato Recipes:

If you love this recipe, be sure to check out some of my other potato faves including:

Enjoy, everyone!

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Scalloped Potatoes

My favorite recipe for garlicky, cheesy, perfect scalloped potatoes — lightened up a tad with milk instead of heavy cream.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups milk (I recommend 2% or whole milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 4 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
  • 2 cups freshly-grated sharp cheddar cheese*, divided (feel free to add more cheese if you’d like)
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion, and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Stir in the flour until it is evenly combined, and cook for 1 more minute.  Gradually pour in the stock, and whisk until combined.  Add in the milk, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon thyme, and whisk until combined.  Continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes until the sauce just barely begins to simmer around the edges of the pan (avoid letting it come to a boil) and thickens.  Then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Spread half of the sliced potatoes in an even layer on the bottom of the pan.  Top evenly with half of the cream sauce.  (I usually strain out all of the onions and add them here too.)  Then sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, and all of the Parmesan cheese.  Top evenly with the remaining sliced potatoes, the other half of the cream sauce, and the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese.
  4. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  The sauce should be nice and bubbly around the edges.  Then remove the foil and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  5. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack, and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of thyme and extra Parmesan.  Serve warm.

*I recommend not buying pre-grated cheese for this recipe, since it will not melt as well.  Instead, it’s best if you purchase a block of cheese and shred it yourself just before baking.  Over the years, I have also experimented with a variety of different cheeses here.  While I prefer the flavor of sharp cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, fontina and gruyere work great too!  (Or feel free to use a mix!)

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593 comments on “Scalloped Potatoes”

  1. These potatoes look scrumptous! Can’t wait to try them.

  2. Looks perfect for an upcoming holiday dinner! Do you think almond milk would be ok instead of 2% milk?

    • Thanks Anja! You could definitely use almond milk (just make sure it’s unsweetened and unflavored). We hope you enjoy these!

  3. Great recipe! Only thing is once you add cheese you now have Au gratin potatoes not scalloped . Just saying. 

  4. Can theses be made ahead of time? Like the night before?

    • Hi Laurel, we originally thought this would be okay, but recently learned this cannot be made (unbaked) in advance. Apparently the potatoes oxidize and turn dark. :/ We apologize for the confusion!

  5. Can you give me the right proportions for 16 people.
    I would like to try this recipe for Christmas Dinner.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Margaret – this recipe makes about 10-12 side servings. Since you need to feed 16 people, we’d suggest doubling this (that way you can guarantee everyone gets some, and also have a little for leftovers, which is always nice). We hope you and your family enjoy!

  6. I tried these for dinner yesterday and we all loved them!  Thank you for sharing this.  A side note though – scalloped potatoes don’t have cheese, au gratin potatoes do. We will keep this recipe and add it to our rotation. 

  7. Hi there! This sounds perfect for our Christmas dinner among friends tomorrow. Can I prepare it a day in advance and half cook them today? Then uncover and heat for 30 min tomorrow right before serving?

  8. Mmh, these sure look delicious! I will definitely add these to my recipe list – pinned! Thank you

  9. Can you make it the night before and  bake the next day?

    • Hi Shannon, we originally thought this would be okay, but we recently learned this cannot be made (unbaked) in advance. Apparently the potatoes oxidize and turn dark. :/ We apologize for the confusion!

  10. Currently have these potatoes in my oven! Can not wait to dig in to them. They smell so amazing. 

  11. Can I use Gruyere cheese instead of cheddar?

  12. I would like to try this recipe for Christmas and would like to prepare it the night before & bake the next day. However, I am worried that the potatoes might turn brown ( I want to peel the potatoes) before I bake them on Christmas Day. What do you think? Thank you!

    • Hi Frances, we’re so sorry we didn’t see your comment before! In the future, we would not advise making these beforehand, as the potatoes will turn brown and the whole taste and texture might get thrown off.

  13. I made this ahead of time as I read in the comments you could. You should have said they needed to be baked first. I kept them overnight in the fridge unbaked and the top layer of potatoes was black and the sauce a horrible grey so I dumped it all out. Not exactly what I was planning this Christmas morning. 

    • Hi Marilyn, we’re very sorry this happened and that this was ruined. We’re not sure what would have caused the sauce to turn grey. We thought this would be okay made in advance, but we will revise our comment responses to reflect that people should bake this first. We’re so very sorry! :(

  14. Not sure what went wrong, followed the directions perfectly. The sauce was way too runny which made them just unappetizing. 

    • Hi Kellie, we’re sorry to hear the sauce was so runny! We wonder if maybe the sauce just didn’t cook long enough? Sometimes it needs to cook a little longer in order to get thicker. Anyway, we’re sorry you didn’t care for these!

  15. Made these for Christmas (with no alterations to the recipe), and they turned out wonderfully! Great, easy recipe. It’ll be even better when I have access to my food processor and won’t have to cut the potatoes by hand. :)

  16. Wow! I made this for our family Christmas, and everyone raved about it. Great recipe!

  17. I made this tonight with two additional layers, ham and kale.  So freaking good! Perfect for cruddy winter weather day. Thanks!

    • We’re so happy you enjoyed it Charidy! And good call on adding the ham and kale, they sound like super yummy additions! :D

  18. Delicious! My mom always made scalloped potatoes with canned cream soup. I enjoyed this homemade sauce over the canned soup! I also added in some sliced ham :) definitely keeping this recipe handy.

  19. They are in the oven now and serving with big ole ham!!! They smell awesome. 

  20. In the oven right now. I have some leftover ham from New Year’s Eve to serve along with these delicious smelling scalloped potatoes! The cheese is an extra bonus. Thanks Ali for this recipe!

  21. Really enjoyed this dish! I made it with homemade stock, which we don’t salt, and if you do the same, you should probably add a wee bit more salt. I also substituted aged gouda for cheddar, and upped the potato poundage a bit, since I had a lot of CSA veg to get rid of; both these moves probably made it a bit drier, but it still worked very well. So I guess my point is that this recipe is robust to a few tweaks, and it’s a keeper for my house.

    • Hi Erin, we’re happy you enjoyed this with those tweaks — thanks for your feedback!

  22. Can these be made ahead of time and cooked hours later?

    • Hi Carol! Unfortunately we would not advise making these beforehand, as the potatoes will turn brown and the whole taste and texture might get thrown off.

  23. Have made this three times in the last three weeks and each time there’s nothing left. Even my teenage son who hates potatoes of any kind actually eats this! Thanks for posting! 

  24. I’m sharing my modified version on my blog today. This is so delicious! Thanks!

    thatmormonlady.com

  25. Made these yesterday  and they were more flavorful than my old recipe. Definitely my new recipe for scalloped potatoes. The Parmesan cheese, thyme, and chicken stock were new to me for this casserole. No leftovers so no picture to take.

  26. hi there great recipe but WAY too much garlic. I could tell it had potential but no one in my family could eat more than a couple bites,  the garlic overpowered the entire taste. I’m going to try this again with a quarter of the garlic. Thx

    • Hi Rachael, thanks for your feedback – we’re sorry it was too much garlic for you guys, definitely feel free to cut it back next time. We appreciate you giving the recipe a try, and we hope you’ll like it better next time!

  27. Made these tonight. Very good! They did take longer than 1 hour to cook.  I used PEI potatoes because that’s what I had on hand. Will have to try Yukon gold and see if they cook within the 1 hour total time. Thanks for the recipe! We will definitely make again! :)

  28. Made these last night!! Absolutely delicious!! I will definitely be making these again!! I made bacon too and sprinkled some bacon on top before I put it in the oven!! Everything is better with bacon!! Great recipe!!

    • Thanks for sharing Rachael, we’re so happy you enjoyed these! And yes, we totally share your sentiment — everything is better with bacon! ;)

  29. These are the best potatoes I think I’ve ever had!  And I’ve never been a scalloped potato fan (my son is) so I made this for him and ended up fighting for the leftovers.  Thank you for another great recipe!!

    • What a nice compliment Carla — thank you! We’re happy you and your son enjoyed these!

  30. Just have them in the oven waiting how they will turn out. My son loves potatoes au gratin :-) and we found some cheddar cheese which he also loves and is kind of hard to get here in Germany. Thank you for the recipe!

  31. I made these last night and we LOVED them!! Thank you for sharing ?

  32. If you choose to cut the potatoes beforehand place them in cold water so they do not oxidize (turn black).

  33. We loved these, perfect with roasted chicken xx

  34. what wounld the recipe for 60 poeple

    • Hi Shawn — since this recipe yields 10-12 good size servings (depending on how much/little you want to serve folks), you’ll probably want to do 5x the recipe. We hope you and your guests enjoy!

  35. What would the measurments be to make this for just two people? Myself and my very picky 6 year old son, these look amazing so I hope he likes them! 

    • Hi Jillian — since this yields about 10-12 servings, we’d cut it in half (then you can have leftovers). :) We hope you enjoy!

  36. This is my new favorite scalloped potato recipe. I did not use Parmesan cheese because I don’t like it and I used a little bit of a smaller dish to make it saucier. I also used dried thyme instead of Fresh because that’s what I had on hand.  I used skim milk.  I thought these potatoes tasted even better then a recipe I have used in the past with full heavy cream and all that added fat.  Next time I might broil of the top a little bit to make it a little bit crispy her but these were just so good…. Thank you for this healthier version!

  37. Going to make them for dinner !! 

  38. Making it now for dinner. Added some tomato paste and some chopped spinach for protein. Let’s see if hubby likes them. 
    Thanks for the recipe 

  39. Hi there! 

    I’m making this for an Easter lunch this year and was curious if I could prep it the night before and cook it the next day? Wondering if that changes the bake time. 

    Thanks!

    • Hi Olivia! You can, but when you cut potatoes up in advance, but the potatoes need to be cooked first (otherwise they oxidize and will turn grey). We’d suggest parboiling them. We hope this makes sense!

  40. Hi, can’t wait to try these for Easter. Do you think I could use gluten free flour?  I have a couple family members with gluten allergies.

  41. I’m so excited to try these! It doesn’t look like you peeled the potatoes, is this correct?

    • Thanks Tina, we hope you enjoy! We didn’t peel them, but you definitely can — it’s just a matter of preference. :)

  42. I made this at Christmas time and my family loved it :) turned out perfect. Will make again this weekend for Easter. Thanks for the great recipe Ali! 

    • Thanks for sharing Sandi — we’re so happy you and your family enjoyed these! :)

  43. I understand the potatoes must be sliced and kept in cold water to keep from oxidizing. Can the sauce be made the night before then reheated to pour over the potatoes. I’m trying to cut corners as much as possible as my company will get to mr house about 45 minutes before me!  Or, if prepared and baked in advance, will it re-heat well. 
    Thanks. 

    • Hi Becky! Yes, that is true. And making the sauce the night before should be just fine! We hope you enjoy! :)

  44. So I can bake 30 minutes today and finish tomorrow?

  45. I made this recipe last night unbaked, and baked today. Unfortunately, the milk separated and left the recipe watery. The potatoes were fine, not brown and oxidized. Still tasted good, but I’ll be sure to bake right away if I make these again.

  46. I made these for Easter dinner! I added Irish cheddar and dried chives along with the rest of the recipe and my family adored them! Definitely a recipe keeper!

  47. Have these cooking in the oven to go with our ham & Easter Dinner! They smell amazing! ????

  48. The potatoes were tender and delicious, but I was only able to fit half of the potato slices in my 9×13. Also, my cheese separated–instead of the creamy cheese coating in your photo, mine came out with lumps of cheese curds. Suggestions? Where did I go wrong?

    • Hmmm, I’m not quite sure why the potatoes wouldn’t fit? Maybe your pan was significantly more shallower than mine, or maybe it had something to do with the way they were sliced, but either way — sorry about that! And the cheese might have separated if the brand was pre-shredded and had a thicker coating on it. (Usually pre-shredded cheese has an extra coating on it to keep it from melting together, which could cause clumping.) If you make these again, I’d recommend grating the cheese from a block of cheese yourself just before using. Hopefully that would help! :)

  49. Enjoyed as a side to the Easter Ham – thanks!!

  50. Made this recipe for Easter Dinner. Best Scalloped Potatoes ever!!!