Overhead of a creamy potato casserole in a white baking dish on a light counter with a wooden spoon alongside.

Layers of tender potatoes are baked in a rich, creamy cheese sauce to create our simple and mouthwatering scalloped potatoes recipe. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this classic dish! These potatoes pair like a dream with holiday ham or roasted turkey for an awesome holiday dinner.

Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just a Sunday family dinner, this scalloped potatoes recipe is sure to steal the spotlight on your dinner table. Let’s get cooking.

Tight view of a wooden spoon digging into a casserole dish of Thanksgiving potatoes.

What’s the difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes?

While many people use the terms interchangeably, scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes are similar but not the same dish. Both feature sliced potatoes baked in a cream sauce, but potatoes au gratin are typically topped with breadcrumbs and additional cheese before baking. The gratin potatoes have a cheesy, crispy crust, while scalloped potatoes are more creamy and rich. 

Scalloped potatoes ingredients

You’ll recognize all the ingredients for this classic dish. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Potatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Bacon
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Whole milk
Two hands place a white oval baking dish of scalloped potatoes on a light counter with fresh parsley and a wooden spoon nearby.

What are the best potatoes to use?

When it comes to crafting the perfect scalloped potatoes, the choice of potato plays a crucial role. You’ll want a variety that holds its shape, doesn’t turn to mush, and boasts a mild flavor to complement the creamy sauce. Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes are excellent choices.

Russet potatoes, with their high starch content, provide a fluffy texture that’s perfect for absorbing the rich sauce. On the other hand, Yukon Gold potatoes have a creamy, buttery flavor and hold their shape well during cooking. Use one variety or a mixture—cook’s choice!

How do you make scalloped potatoes?

Collage of eight simple steps to make scalloped potatoes. A text overlay reads, "How to Make Scalloped Potatoes."
  1. Preheat the oven and grease a baking dish. Layer half the potatoes in the baking dish.
  2. Layer the sliced onion, parsley, and bacon on top of the potatoes.
  3. Add the rest of the potatoes.
  4. Start the cream sauce by making a roux: melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. 
  5. Slowly whisk the milk into the roux—adding the milk slowly is key to avoiding lumps!
  6. Add the salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese to the milk mixture. Whisk until the cheese is melted and smooth.
  7. Pour the cream sauce over the potatoes. Cover with foil and bake for around an hour.
  8. Remove the foil, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the potatoes, and bake for another 30 minutes.

Can you make this scalloped potatoes recipe ahead of time?

Absolutely! Follow the recipe up to the point of baking, then cover the dish tightly with foil and refrigerate. When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply bake as directed. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the cooking time if the dish is cold from the refrigerator.

A wooden serving spoon scoops creamy potatoes from a baking dish.

Do you have to peel the potatoes?

This really is a matter of preference. Peeling the potatoes will give the dish a smoother, creamier texture. If you’d like to leave the peels on, the scalloped potatoes will have an earthier flavor and more rustic appearance—but they will still be delicious! 

If you decide to leave the peels on, be sure to give the potatoes a good scrub and ensure they are sliced thinly for even cooking.

How do I fix scalloped potatoes that are runny?

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, scalloped potatoes may turn out a bit runny. Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. Here’s how to fix them:

  • First, let the dish sit for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
  • If the scalloped potatoes are still too runny, you can return them to the oven, uncovered, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to prevent overcooking.
Close view of a casserole dish full of creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes.

What goes well with scalloped potatoes?

Scalloped potatoes are incredibly versatile and can be paired with a variety of dishes. They’re a perfect side dish for a holiday roast, such as turkey or ham. For a vegetarian option, pair them with a fresh garden salad or roasted vegetables. The creamy, cheesy goodness of scalloped potatoes can elevate any meal to the next level.

Overhead of a creamy potato casserole in a white baking dish on a light counter with a wooden spoon alongside.

Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

You'll be amazed at how easy it is to make Scalloped Potatoes at home! Our kitchen-tested recipe features layers of tender potatoes in a rich, creamy sauce.

Ingredients

  • Butter for greasing the baking dish
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4-6 medium), peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter.
  2. Place half of the potatoes in an even layer in the baking dish. Top with sliced onion, parsley, and bacon. Layer the remaining potatoes on top of the onion bacon layer and set aside.
  3. Make the sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for another minute, stirring continuously.
  4. Whisk in the whole milk slowly, and continue to whisk until no clumps remain. Add the salt, pepper, and shredded cheddar cheese. Continue to heat over medium and whisk continuously until the cheese is melted and everything is smooth.
  5. Remove the sauce from the heat and pour over the potatoes evenly.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened.
  7. Remove foil, cover in Parmesan cheese, and bake for 30 more minutes, or until cheese is browned.
  8. Serve hot!

Notes

  • This recipe is best served hot! The sauce stays smooth and creamy while it's hot, then thickens as it cools.
  • Leftovers store really well for up to 3 days in the fridge, just reheat in the microwave or oven!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 348Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 562mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 14g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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