These Homemade Scalloped Potatoes are the absolute best! Tender potatoes are smothered in a rich cream sauce and baked to perfection for an absolutely irresistible side dish.
Scalloped Potatoes are an obvious choice for a holiday meal, as they pair beautifully with New York Strip Roast or Instant Pot Honey Baked Ham. But they are also delicious when served alongside Chicken Marsala or Balsamic Pork Tenderloin any night of the week.
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 to make an extra-large batch of his homemade scalloped potatoes because it was a dish my family looked forward to all year long!
I mean, what is not to love about layers of tender potatoes being enveloped into a creamy sauce?! This is truly a stick-to-your-ribs favorite!
Scalloped Potatoes VS Potatoes Au Gratin
This recipe is for scalloped potatoes, not au gratin potatoes.
What's the difference?
Scalloped potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes baked in a bechamel sauce, which is 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 😉
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, I suggest using shallots, as they have a milder taste 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 half and half and chicken broth to create the sauce. It keeps this recipe a bit lighter, yet still incredibly creamy. To keep the dish vegetarian friendly, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
- Fresh Thyme: I add fresh thyme leaves to the bechamel sauce to infuse it with an earthy, slightly floral flavor. By all means, omit the thyme leaves for a more basic Scalloped Potato recipe.
- Nutmeg: Adding just a pinch of ground whole nutmeg really warms up a cream sauce. Use whole nutmeg grated with a Microplane, not ground nutmeg.
Step One: Prepare Potatoes
- Using a mandoline, food processor, or knife, thinly slice potatoes into ⅛ inch thin slices. Thin potato slices is 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 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 and for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and browned.
Make-Ahead Scalloped Potatoes
To Make Scalloped Potatoes ahead of time, bake the scalloped potatoes as directed. Then, allow them to cool, cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, remove the scalloped potatoes from the refrigerator and bake, covered with the foil, at 350-degrees Fahrenheit until heated throughout, about 30 minutes.
- For Gluten-Free Scalloped Potatoes, use a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend in place of the regular flour.
- If desired, you can double this recipe and simply prepare in a 9x13 pan. The baking time will remain the same.
- Store leftover scalloped potatoes in an airtight continer for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- There is no need to peel potatoes if you use Yukon gold potatoes, unless desired. If using russet potatoes, be sure to peel before slicing.
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
- Mashed Potato Casserole
If you tried these 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 butter divided
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
- ¾ cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
- 2 spings of fresh thyme leaves removed
- Preheat 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 knife, thinly slice potatoes into ⅛ inch thin slices and arrange potatoes in even layers in the 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, being 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 fresh thyme leaves to the cream sauce. Allow to simmer 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.
- 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.
This post was originally published in November 2018 but has been updated in December 2019 with new pictures and a video.