This recipe for Scalloped Potatoes is the absolute best! Made with tender potatoes enveloped in a rich cream sauce, these Homemade Scalloped Potatoes are an irresistible, decadent side dish.
When it comes to holiday side dishes, potatoes or some sort are an obvious choice. Whether Mashed Potato Casserole, Cheesy Funeral Potatoes, 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
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step One: Prepare Potatoes. You want to be sure your potatoes are thinly sliced, so that they become tender as they bake. I recommend using a mandoline or food processor to thinly slice potatoes into ⅛ inch-thin slices.
Step Two: Prepare the Bechamel Sauce. A bechamel sauce sounds complicated, but it is incredibly simple to make. One thing that helps to remember while making your sauce, is to whisk the cream and broth slowly into the flour and butter mixture, as this will help prevent lumps.
Step Three: Assemble and Bake. After pouring the sauce over the potatoes, use your hands to lightly push the potatoes into the sauce. This ensures that none of the potatoes dry out and each one is covered in the luscious sauce. Begin baking covered, giving the potatoes time to become tender, and then remove the foil to allow the top to brown.
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.
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.
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.
Yes! Follow my recipe for Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes for perfect results.
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℉. 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. Add 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 was updated in December 2019 with new pictures and a video.