Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes – thinly sliced potatoes layered with a garlicky cheese sauce and more cheese for the most epic side dish! Perfect for the holidays or a fancy date night.
Cheesy Homemade Scalloped Potato Casserole
Whether it’s a special occasion or a random weekday, this cheesy potato casserole is always a great item to have on your dinner menu. It’s substantial enough to be served as a main dish, and it works great as a side if you’re serving a crowd. The potatoes are perfectly tender while the cheese on top is melty and crispy.
In addition to all that yumminess, the creamy milk sauce is seasoned with fresh thyme and garlic, infusing the potatoes with tons of mouthwatering flavor. And get this – these scalloped potatoes are completely guilt-free. They’re made with half of the ingredients as your average recipe, yet they still taste just as good.
You know what, scratch that. I’m confident that these taste even better! The shining star of this recipe is the aged white cheddar cheese. It really permeates throughout the whole casserole and makes it extra cheesy.
What is the Difference Between Scalloped and Au Gratin Potatoes?
Scalloped potatoes are typically just potatoes cooked in a cream sauce, while potatoes au gratin are buttery potatoes layered with cheese and topped with breadcrumbs. Scalloped potatoes are thinly sliced while potatoes au gratin are grated.
Potatoes au gratin are known to be quite a bit more difficult to prepare than scalloped potatoes. Adding cheese to scalloped potatoes makes them feel more like potatoes au gratin without all the extra effort. If you’d like, you can even add breadcrumbs too!
I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity. That’s why I created this minimal ingredient, maximum flavor recipe. You can thank me later!
- Potatoes: Peeled and thinly sliced into 1/8-inch thick pieces.
- Milk: I recommend using 2% milk for the creamiest result.
- Butter: Unsalted.
- Flour: To thicken up the sauce a bit.
- Fresh Garlic: Minced.
- Fresh Thyme: Or another desired herb.
- Aged White Cheddar Cheese: Shredded.
- Parmesan Cheese: Grated.
- Nutmeg: I like to add a pinch of this versatile spice to provide a hint of nutty flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: Added to taste.
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What Kind of Potatoes Should I Use?
I always urge people to use Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe. No other variety will give you the same great results. The starch content and natural firmness of Yukon gold potatoes helps them soak up all the goodness of the sauce without becoming mushy or slimy.
How to Make Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
With just 15 minutes of prep time, these potatoes are simple and stress-free. You just have to prepare the sauce and assemble everything in the baking dish
Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray (I used the butter PAM).
Melt Butter: Add the butter to a small saucepan and melt it down.
Add Garlic & Flour: Add in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, then add in the flour.
Add Milk, Nutmeg & Thyme: Stir in the milk, nutmeg and fresh thyme.
Thicken: Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s thickened, remove it from the heat.
Add Some Cheese: Add in half a cup of the aged cheddar cheese. Whisk until the sauce is smooth, then set it aside.
Start Layering Potatoes: Arrange half of the potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Season them to taste with salt and pepper.
Start Layering Sauce & Cheese: Cover the potatoes with half of the cream sauce, half of the remaining white cheddar cheese and half of the parmesan cheese.
Finish Layering Potatoes: Arrange the remaining potatoes in the casserole dish and season again with salt and pepper.
Finish Layering Sauce & Cheese: Pour the remaining cream sauce over the potatoes and top them with the rest of the white cheddar and parmesan cheeses.
Bake: Bake the casserole for 40 minutes (uncovered), or until the potatoes are tender the top is slightly browned.
Enjoy! Remove your casserole from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before digging in.
Tips for Success
The following tips will help you make the most amazing scalloped potatoes of your life. Check them out before you get started!
- Use a Mandoline to Slice the Potatoes: I recommend using a mandoline like this one to slice up your potatoes. If you don’t have access to one, you can use a handheld slicer or a knife. Just make sure you’re cutting the potatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices so they cook properly.
- Soak & Dry the Potatoes After Slicing: I like to soak my potatoes in a big bowl of cold water after I slice them. This allows them to release some of their starch so that they get nice and tender in the casserole. In order to prevent any excess moisture from making its way into your dish, pat the potato slices dry with a paper towel after soaking them.
- Make a Thicker Sauce: If you’re not happy with the thickness of your cream sauce after it cooks, you can prepare a cornstarch slurry to make it thicker. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the sauce to a small bowl along with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Use a fork to mix until there are no more lumps. Add the slurry back into the sauce, give it a good whisk, then let it cook for 1 more minute. This should thicken it up to your liking!
- Prepare the Casserole in Advance: This holiday-worthy dish is great for making ahead of time. Once the casserole is completely cooled, cover it tightly with aluminum foil and store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve it, leave the casserole covered and bake it at 350°F for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, raise the oven temperature to 400°F and carefully uncover the casserole. Continue baking until the cheese is bubbly (about 5 minutes), then remove your dish from the oven.
I have so many yummy recipes that pair wonderfully with this casserole. Serve any of the following dishes with your cheesy scalloped potatoes for a fail-proof family meal!
- Pair with Maple Glazed Ham: My sweet and savory Pomegranate Maple Glazed Ham is the ultimate main course for Christmas. Serve it alongside these cheesy potatoes for a seriously tasty feast!
- Serve with Meat & Veggie Kabobs: I love layering meat and veggies onto a skewer and firing up the grill. These Chicken, Sausage, Pepper & Onion Kabobs are the best of the best! So much nutrition and flavor is packed onto each little skewer.
- Pair with Wrapped Asparagus: Need a second side dish to compliment your potato casserole? This Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus is a mouthwatering choice that even the little ones will gobble up in no time.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftover scalloped potatoes should be refrigerated in an airtight container after they’ve cooled completely. They will last for up to 3 days. If the majority of your casserole is being saved for later, refer to the storage and reheating instructions in the tips section. You can reheat individual portions in the microwave.
Can I Freeze Scalloped Potatoes?
Yes, this dish actually freezes quite well. Secure your leftovers in a freezer-safe container once they’ve cooled and freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw them out in the fridge overnight before reheating.Print
Thinly sliced potatoes are baked in a garlicky cream sauce and covered in two kinds of cheese in this comforting casserole! You simply must serve these Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes at your next holiday meal.
- 3 lbs. of yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced to 1/8″ thick pieces (I used a madoline)
- 1 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 cup shredded aged white cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spray a 13×9″ baking dish with cooking spray. (I used the butter PAM)
- To a small saucepan, add butter. Melt and add in garlic, sauté for 30 seconds then add in flour. Stir milk, nutmeg and fresh thyme.
- Bring to a boil. Once mixture is thickened, remove from heat and add in 1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese. Whisk together until smooth. Set aside.
- Arrange half of the potatoes to the prepared baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with half the cream mixture, half the shredded white cheddar cheese and half the parmesan cheese.
- Arrange the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the rest of the milk mixture over the potatoes and finish with remaining white cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender the top is slightly browned.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 127
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 115 mg
- Fat: 4 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 18 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Cholesterol: 15 mg
Keywords: cheesy potatoes, homemade scalloped potatoes, cheesy potato casserole
More Cheesy Side Dish Ideas
Nothing hits the spot like an easy, cheesy side dish. Luckily, there’s plenty more where this one came from!