Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
This cheesy scalloped potatoes recipe will make your whole meal! Easy to make, and bakes up so creamy and decadent. So good with ham dinner!
Easter and Passover are right around the corner, so this seems like the perfect time for me to share one of my all-time favorite side dish recipes: cheesy scalloped potatoes, aka: potatoes au gratin!
When it comes to comfort food, can anything beat the combination of cheese + carbs?? I just think it’s the ultimate. Any time I’m craving cheesy, carb-y comfort, I know that macaroni and cheese, mushroom risotto, and potato skins will have my back.
And if like my family, Easter dinner = glazed ham, dishes like these are the perfect complement. Ham and cheese go so well together!
Growing up, we always had scalloped potatoes with ham dinner. It’s a match made in heaven!
Creamy, cheesy, gooey potatoes paired with smoky-sweet ham… yum!
This potatoes au gratin recipe is easy to make and comes out perfect every time! Try it once and it will become a staple for you too. And a holiday favorite your family will look forward to year after year!
HOW TO MAKE CHEESY SCALLOPED POTATOES
The main ingredient here is potatoes, obvs. I like to use russet potatoes but really I think any kind will work just fine. Use whatever your family prefers, but know that you’ll want the weight equivalent of about 5 large russets.
To make cutting the potatoes into thin slices really quick and easy, I recommend using a mandoline slicer. The one I’m using here cost less than $20 and I love it for slicing all sorts of things. Especially onions! It makes such quick work of them you don’t even have time to cry!
Here’s a link to buy one, if you don’t already have: mandoline slicer.
You could also just use a sharp knife, just do your best to cut the rounds about 2mm thick (which is quite thin). The thinness of the slices is important to have the scalloped potatoes cook in the time noted.
Arrange the potato slices in an even layer in your baking dish.
Next you’re going to combine the cream and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
Immediately pour about 2 cups of this mixture over the sliced potatoes. You want to make sure the potatoes are completely covered in liquid, this way they won’t oxidize and turn color.
Set that aside while you get going on the cheesy sauce.
Saute onions in butter until they’re sweet, fragrant, and translucent.
Then add the remaining cream/milk mixture.
Let that come to a simmer, then add cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Allow the cream cheese to soften and melt, and stir everything together until smooth.
Then start adding in the cheese, a handful at a time. Allow each addition to fully melt and incorporate into the sauce before adding in the next handful.
Once everything is smooth and melty, pour the sauce over the potatoes.
Smooth it all out and then sprinkle on more cheese. These potatoes have plenty of cheesy goodness!
I find it works best to cover the casserole with foil for the first half of the bake time. This way the topping doesn’t get too brown before the potatoes are fully cooked.
Remove the foil halfway through the baking process to get those crispy brown edges, and gently push a sharp knife into the potatoes to judge if they’re tender. When the knife slips in and out easily, you know your scalloped potatoes are done!
WHAT KIND OF CHEESE TO USE
When I’m making potatoes au gratin, I like to use a combination of shredded cheddar cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. Cheddar for its sharp flavor, and mozzarella for the gooey, stretchy factor. I like a ratio of around 3 parts cheddar to 1 part mozzarella.
- Gouda or Smoked Gouda
- Brie or Camembert
- American Cheese or Velveeta
- Parmesan or Pecorino
- Blue Cheese
- Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack
- Swiss or Emmental
- Chevre or Goat Cheese
In any combination, and just to name a few!
Play around to see what you like best, and experiment with different herbs too! Rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage can pair with different cheeses in the most delicious way.
SHOULD THE POTATOES BE PEELED?
It’s entirely up to you whether you want to peel the potatoes or not.
Personally, I like to leave the peels on because I think it makes the final dish taste more potato-y and I like that. But if you are peel-averse feel free to peel your potatoes before slicing them.
Either way, I would definitely recommend scrubbing and rinsing them first!
ARE AU GRATIN POTATOES GLUTEN-FREE?
There is not one iota of wheat gluten in this side dish, so rest assured that you can serve it without causing anyone any tummy issues.
Also, it’s entirely grain-free so it’s kosher for Passover. If your family doesn’t hold tightly to the laws of kosher, I think it would be fantastic with brisket! If you do keep meat and dairy separate then obviously you would want to serve this dish as part of a dairy meal.
This recipe does contain a lot of dairy, in the form of butter, cream, milk, and cheese. If you’re in need of a vegan or dairy-free scalloped potatoes recipe, you can try using your favorite 1:1 substitutions, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it since dairy plays such a major role here.
CAN SCALLOPED POTATOES BE MADE AHEAD?
This recipe can be prepped a day or two in advance and kept in the fridge, covered.
Slice the potatoes, submerge them in cream and milk, layer on the sauce and the cheese, cover the dish with foil, chill, and then just bake it an hour or two before you plan to serve it.
Or, you can fully bake the recipe and just reheat it in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.
You could also line your pan with foil and then freeze it. Once it’s frozen solid, slip it out of the pan so your baking dish isn’t tied up in the freezer. Thaw it in the fridge or at room temp and then reheat.
This dish has some serious thermal mass, so it will stay hot for 30 minutes to an hour after it comes out of the oven!
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS
If you have any leftovers, they should keep (tightly wrapped) in the refrigerator for several days, maybe even a week.
Any longer than that, and you should probably freeze them. Scalloped potatoes will keep in the freezer for a month or two and can be thawed and reheated according to the instructions listed above.
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE EASTER RECIPES:
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This cheesy scalloped potatoes recipe will make your whole meal! Easy to make, and bakes up so creamy and decadent!
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 5 russet potatoes, large
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (half a stick)
- 1 onion large (diced)
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheese (divided)
- fresh chives (optional garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly mist a 9x13-inch baking dish* with non-stick spray.
Slice the potatoes into 2mm rounds using a mandoline slicer or sharp knife, and arrange them in the baking dish in an even layer .
Combine the cream and milk and pour about 2 cups of the liquid over the potatoes, submerging them completely.
Melt the butter in a medium pot and saute the diced onion until translucent.
Add the remaining 1 cup of cream/milk mixture, cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and simmer gently, stirring, until the cream cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth,
Stir in about one cup of the shredded cheese until smooth and melted.
Pour the mixture over the potatoes and top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.
Cover the pan with foil and bake the scalloped potatoes for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until the sauce is bubbling, the cheese is browning, and the potatoes are tender (approx. 30 minutes).
Let stand for 10 minutes before garnishing with fresh chives and serving.
*This recipe can be halved and baked in an 8x8 square baking dish.