Made with tender potatoes enveloped in a rich cream sauce, these Homemade Scalloped Potatoes are an irresistible, decadent side dish.
This recipe for Scalloped Potatoes is the absolute best! They are easy enough to prepare for a weeknight meal, yet impressive enough for a holiday meal paired with Glazed Baked Ham, Instant Pot Ham, Brined Turkey, or New York Strip Roast.
When it comes to holiday side dishes, potatoes or some sort are an obvious choice. Whether Mashed Potato Casserole, Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, or Scalloped Potatoes, rich potato dishes are a holiday must-make.
And one of the most show-stopping, decadent ways to prepare holiday potatoes is to make Scalloped Potatoes.
This recipe for Scalloped Potatoes has been a staple on my family's Easter and Christmas menu since I can remember.
Made with layers of tender potatoes enveloped in a rich, creamy sauce, these Scalloped Potatoes are the ultimate holiday side dish.
And they are actually easier to make than you may think!
Notes on Ingredients
- Potatoes: For scalloped potatoes, you really want to select a starchy potato such as Yukon gold or russet 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.
- Shallots: Instead of using onions and garlic, this recipe calls for shallots, which have notes of both garlic and onions, yet a milder bite and pair better with the creamy sauce.
- Half and Half: 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.
- Broth: I use a mixture of both half and half and chicken broth, to keep this recipe a bit lighter, yet still incredibly creamy. To keep the dish vegetarian-friendly, use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
- Fresh Thyme: Fresh thyme leaves add a nice earthy, slightly floral flavor and elevate the flavor of these scalloped potatoes. By all means, omit the thyme leaves if you don't have them on hand or don't care for their flavor.
- Nutmeg: Adding just a pinch of nutmeg really warms up a cream sauce. Use whole nutmeg grated with a Microplane, not ground nutmeg, as the flavor is NOT the same.
How to Make Homemade Scalloped Potatoes
Step One: Prepare Potatoes
- Using a mandoline, food processor, or knife, thinly slice potatoes into ⅛ inch-thin slices. Thin potato slices are key to being able to achieve super tender potatoes.
- Once your potatoes are sliced, evenly layer them into a generously buttered 2-quart casserole dish. This butter will help the potatoes and cream sauce not stick to the casserole dish and add additional flavor to the finished dish.
Step Two: Prepare the Bechamel Sauce
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter.
- Once the butter is melted, add the minced shallots and saute until the shallots are just softened and glistening.
- Whisk in the flour to form a thick paste. Cook the mixture for 1-2 minutes, just to cook off the raw taste of the flour.
- Slowly whisk in the broth and half and half.
- Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and thyme, and bring the sauce to a simmer, whisking constantly.
- Allow the sauce to simmer until thickened. You want the sauce to coat the back of the spoon.
Step Three: Assemble and Bake
- Once the cream sauce has been prepared, pour it evenly over the layered potatoes. Be sure to push down lightly to allow the 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.
- Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil, and allow the potatoes to continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and browned.
Scalloped Potatoes are a classic for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter dinner, as they pair beautifully with Baked Ham, Instant Pot Turkey Breast, New York Strip Roast, or Instant Pot Honey Baked Ham.
However, don't just limit these potatoes to the holidays. This recipe for scalloped potatoes is easy enough to prepare for a Sunday Supper or even a weeknight meal. Try serving them as a side dish to meals like Balsamic Pork Tenderloin or Honey Garlic Pork Chops.
Make-Ahead Scalloped Potatoes
To Make Scalloped Potatoes ahead of time, bake the scalloped potatoes as directed. Once baked, allow them to cool to room temperature, cover tightly with foil, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, remove the scalloped potatoes from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Then bake, covered with the foil, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated throughout, about 30 minutes.
Once cooled slightly, store any leftover scalloped potatoes in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. I don't recommend freezing this dish, as the cream sauce can separate once thawed, and the texture of the potatoes changes as well.
FAQs on Scalloped Potatoes
Yes! If you would like to add cheese to these scalloped potatoes, stir in up to 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar, swiss, and/or parmesan cheese to your bechamel sauce after it has thickened.
Both scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin are thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy bechamel sauce. What makes these two dishes distinctive from each other is that au gratin potatoes have cheese added to the bechamel sauce, while scalloped potatoes do not.
Yes! I have done this many times using a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend in place of all-purpose flour.
There is no need to peel potatoes if you use Yukon gold potatoes unless desired. However, I do recommend peeling your potatoes if you use russet potatoes for the best texture.
Yes! Double the ingredients and layer the potatoes in a 9x13 pan. The baking time will remain the same.
More Holiday-Worthy Side Dish Recipes
If you tried this recipe for homemade scalloped potatoes, please be sure to leave a comment and a review below.
Homemade Scalloped Potatoes
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes about 4 cups sliced potatoes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- ¾ cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 2-quart casserole dish with ½ tablespoon to 1 tablespoon butter.
- Using a mandoline, food processor, or sharp knife, thinly slice potatoes into ⅛-inch thin slices and arrange potatoes in even layers in the buttered casserole dish.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Once the butter has melted, add in the minced shallot and saute for about 3 minutes or until the shallots begin to soften, being careful to not burn your shallots.
- Add in the flour, whisking well, to form a roux (just a thickened paste). After the roux has cooked for 1 minute, slowly whisk in the broth and cream to incorporate.
- Whisk in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and thyme leaves to the cream sauce. Allow the mixture to simmer on medium-low heat for several minutes until the sauce has thickened, whisking constantly. The sauce is ready when it coats the back of a spoon and slowly drips off the spoon.
- Remove the cream sauce from the heat and pour it over the prepared potatoes in the casserole dish. Push down lightly to allow the sauce to cover all the potatoes from top to bottom. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and browned.
- Let the scalloped potatoes rest for 10-15 minutes and then serve warm.
This post was originally published in November 2018 but has been updated in December 2019 with new pictures and a video.
Made this for Easter and it was a hit. So yummy and pretty easy to make. A winner in my book!
YAY! I love hearing your family enjoyed for Easter! Thanks for sharing!
Can I use heavy whipping cream in place of the half and half and chicken broth in place of chicken stock? I am trying to use what I have on hand...
Hi Doris! Both will work well! Enjoy!
I’m not sure why you say not to use ground nutmeg or 2% milk. I used both in this recipe and just tasted it and it’s divine. Not watery at all and the ground nutmeg gives it warmth and depth of flavor. Great recipe even with just using what I have on hand 👍
Thanks for sharing that it worked for you using those modifications Kelly. In my opinion, ground nutmeg can overwhelm the dish, but some people aren't as sensitive to it.
Can this be made ahead a time and refrigerated until ready to bake? I’m thinking of making it tomorrow morning but not baking it until right before we are ready to eat. Also can I use water or Chicken bone broth instead of chicken stock?
Hi Angela, this recipe would be better to be baked and then reheated. The potatoes can brown (even in the liquid) to make this look much less appealing and they will release liquid making the sauce watery and starchy. Prepare as directed and then cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before reheating. Bake at 325° for 30-40 minutes. Using bone broth is a great substitute for stock. I would not use water. I hope you enjoy!
I know what you mean! I get the difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin but the family insists mine are scalloped even though I add cheese to them. It doesn't matter because whatever way you have these potatoes they're going to be good. Delicious recipe!
Conversations around food crack me up Linda! Everyone has an opinion, and everyone thinks they are right. In the end, what matters is the taste though! Enjoy!
This sounds so delicious and easy too! I love that the cream is infused with thyme as well. Thank you so much for the recipe!
The thyme makes this SPECTACULAR!