This is a classic recipe for scalloped potatoes made with Yukon gold potatoes that are baked to perfection in a creamy sauce infused with fresh thyme. These homemade scalloped potatoes are a perfect side dish to any meal.
Homemade Scalloped Potatoes
While my mom did the majority of the cooking in my house growing up, my dad was known for one recipe, his Scalloped Potatoes.
Every Christmas and Easter, you would find my dad in the kitchen layering potatoes into a huge casserole dish. He knew he had a to make an extra large batch of his homemade scalloped potatoes, because it was a dish my family looked forward to all year long!
Layers of tender potatoes, are enveloped into a creamy sauce for stick to your ribs comfort food.
These scalloped potatoes are so unbelievably good, they should not be reserved to just Easter and Christmas dinner!
Scalloped Potatoes VS Potatoes Au Gratin
Before I walk you through how to make scalloped potatoes, let’s get one thing straight. This recipe is for scalloped potatoes not au gratin potatoes.
What’s the difference?
Scalloped potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes baked in a bechemel sauce (a creamy white sauce). Au Gratin potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes baked in a cheese sauce. Bottom Line, Potatoes Au Gratin have cheese added to them, while scalloped potatoes do not.
I have a recipe for Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, but I SHOULD have called that recipe Au Gratin potatoes–live and learn 😉
What Potatoes are Best for Scalloped Potatoes?
For scalloped potatoes, you really want to select a starchy potato like Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes.
For this recipe for scalloped potatoes, I recommend Yukon gold potatoes, as they become super creamy as they bake. Russet potatoes are a great stand in, but keep in mind if you select russet potatoes, you really should peel them for the best texture in the completed dish.
How To Make Scalloped Potatoes
The key to being able to achieve super tender potatoes in your scalloped potatoes, is to slice the potatoes super thin. Using a mandoline, food processor or knife, thinly slice potatoes into 1/8 inch thin slices.
Once your potatoes are sliced, evenly layer them into a generously buttered a 2 quart casserole dish. This butter will help the potatoes and cream sauce not stick to the casserole dish. The butter also helps to add flavor to the finished dish.
The next step is to prepare a bechemel sauce. Which is simply a thickened cream sauce–and it is what gives Scalloped Potatoes the flavor and consistency that you know and crave.
I use a mixture of half and half and stock for the sauce. It keeps this recipe a bit lighter, yet still incredibly creamy. Feel free to use heavy cream for a more luxurious sauce or whole milk for a lighter sauce. I do not recommend skim or 2% milk for scalloped potatoes, as the cream sauce may taste watery if using low fat milk.
I also add fresh thyme leaves to the sauce to infuse it with an earthy, slightly floral flavor. My all means, omit the thyme leaves for a more basic Scalloped Potato recipe. I frankly love the depth of flavor the thyme adds.
Once the cream sauce has been prepared, pour evenly over the layered potatoes. Be sure push down lightly to allow sauce to cover all the potatoes from top to bottom. This ensures that none of the potatoes dry out and each one is covered in the luscious sauce.
Because the potatoes have been sliced so thinly, they will bake up perfectly right in the bechemel sauce. Just be sure to cover the scalloped potatoes with foil for the first 40 minutes of bake time. This will keep the sauce from evaporating before the potatoes are baked through. Then remove the foil and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and browned.
More Potato Recipes
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Easy Baked Oven Fries
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Roasted Red Potatoes
Homemade Scalloped Potatoes
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes about 4 cups sliced potatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter divided
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
- 2 spings of fresh thyme leaves removed
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 2 quart casserole dish with 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon butter.
- Using a mandoline, food processor or knife, thinly slice potatoes into 1/8 inch thin slices, and arrange potatoes in even layers in buttered casserole dish.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add in the minced shallot and saute for about 3 minutes or until the shallots begin to soften, be careful to not burn your shallots.
- Add in flour, whisking well, to form a roux (just a thickened paste). After the roux has cooked for 1 minute, slowly whisk in stock and cream.
- Season with salt and pepper and grated nutmeg. Add in fresh thyme leaves to the cream sauce. Allow to simmer for several minutes until sauce is thickened, whisking constantly.
- Pour cream sauce over potatoes. Push down lightly to allow sauce to cover all the potatoes from top to bottom. Cover scalloped potatoes tightly with foil.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and browned.
- It is not necessary to peel the potatoes when using Yukon Gold Potatoes. If using Russet Potatoes, be sure to peel your potatoes.
- Feel free to use whole milk in place of half and half, but the sauce will not be as rich. Do NOT use skim milk for this recipe or your potatoes will not be as rich or creamy.
- I only recommend freshly grated nutmeg in the cream sauce, omit if you do not have. Do NOT use ground nutmeg.
- For Gluten Free Scalloped Potatoes, use a gluten free 1:1 flour blend.
- This recipe for scalloped potatoes can easily be doubled, just bake in a 9X13 pan.