As far as sides go, this scalloped potatoes recipe is my all-time favorite.
The humble potato is so versatile and will taste great just about any way.
But scalloped potatoes are such a creamy luxury, and every time I make them, they’re the first to go.
Easy Scalloped Potatoes
Some recipes include a separate cheesy sauce for extra indulgence.
But I love the simplicity here.
Making a cream sauce from scratch can be time-consuming. But here, the oven does all the work.
By sprinkling flour over the potatoes and pouring over milk and butter, the sauce will bubble and thicken as the potatoes cook.
You could even use a dairy-free milk and butter alternative for a wonderful vegan-friendly dish.
What’s the Difference Between Scalloped Potatoes and Potatoes Au Gratin?
Scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin share a lot in common, but they have key differences.
Scalloped potatoes feature thickly sliced potatoes baked with cream and herbs.
Potatoes au gratin have thinner slices and filled grated cheese between layers. It’s the more decadent potato side dish, for sure.
But despite the absence of cheese, these scalloped potatoes are still mighty rich and creamy!
Though there are a few different ways to make scalloped potatoes, the basic ingredients all remain the same:
- Potatoes – I use either Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes for this dish. I explain this in detail below.
- Onions – Use white, yellow, or sweet Spanish onions. Don’t use reds – they don’t have the same flavor when cooked.
- Flour – This is the key to the thick sauce. Instead of making a roux, the flour will cook with the butter and milk to create a thick sauce right in the pan.
- Butter – Although the flour and milk will thicken without it, butter adds a richness that you just can’t get without it.
- Salt and Pepper – This will be to taste. I like to add it to the milk and taste it before pouring it into the dish. When in doubt, add less than you think.
- Whole milk – With cooking, it’s always best to use full-fat! For a vegan alternative, try adding some coconut cream or dairy-free milk.
What Are the Best Potatoes for Scalloped Potatoes?
Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes are your best bet for perfect scalloped potatoes.
These varieties are starchy enough to thicken the sauce and bake up soft and tender.
Avoid waxy potatoes, as they might not soften adequately.
Slice the potatoes evenly to guarantee uniform cooking. They should be about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch.
Use a mandoline to make even slices.
How to Make Scalloped Potatoes
This scalloped potato recipe is surprisingly easy to make. Here’s how:
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F and butter up a 9×13-inch baking dish.
2. Slice your potatoes and onion thinly, then pat them dry.
3. Layer the potatoes and onions, starting with the potatoes. Add only a third of each.
4. Sprinkle with flour and top with diced butter. Again, only use a third of the ingredients.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 twice.
6. Pour warm milk over the potatoes.
7. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more.
8. Enjoy this creamy potato dish fresh from the oven!
How To Make Scalloped Potatoes Ahead of Time
Let’s prep this easy holiday side dish ahead for a quick bake on serving day!
- Partially bake covered in foil for 45 minutes. DO NOT BROIL at the end.
- Let cool completely.
- Cover well and refrigerate.
- Take the dish out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until it’s hot throughout.
If you don’t want to bake the dish yet, just slice the potatoes ahead of time. Store them in water in the fridge to keep them from browning.
Assemble the layers and bake when ready.
Tips for the Best Potatoes
This recipe is super easy and comes together in around 30 minutes. But there are some ways to make it foolproof!
- Slice the potatoes thinly. Ensure uniform cooking by using a mandoline for even, thin slices.
- Slice onions thinly. This helps them to soften enough during baking.
- Pre-cook potatoes to save time. A quick microwave or boil can cut down on oven time; just be sure to drain well.
- Infuse flavor with garlic. Rub the dish with garlic before greasing for a subtle kick of garlic.
- Butter the dish. Prevent sticking and add flavor by buttering the dish before layering in the potatoes.
Variations for Scalloped Potatoes
This recipe is an excellent base and an easy starter if you’ve never made scalloped potatoes before.
Once you see how easy it is, there are endless possibilities to modify and make this dish even more irresistible.
- Add caramelized onions. Switch up the flavor profile with a sweet twist.
- Flavor your cream. Simmer it with aromatics to add depth to the creamy sauce.
- Make cheesy scalloped potatoes. Sprinkle shredded cheese between potato layers and sprinkle some more on top.
- Try mature cheddar or a Gruyere-parmesan combo!
- Bacon makes everything better. Adding it in is a decision you won’t regret.
- Spice it up with jalapenos. Create a unique dish with a kick of heat.
How To Store Leftover Scalloped Potatoes
Another great thing about this potato side dish recipe is it stores well! Here’s how:
To Store: Let the dish cool down completely and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
You can keep the leftovers in the same baking dish or transfer them to a smaller container.
To Freeze: Wrap up your dish tightly and freeze it. It’ll stay good for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to eat, thaw it out in the fridge and then reheat.
To Reheat: Cover the dish with foil and reheat it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.
If you’re in the mood for a crispy top, take off the foil for the last 10 minutes of reheating.
What to Serve with Scalloped Potatoes
Check out our full post on what to serve with scalloped potatoes for a comprehensive guide.
Here are some delicious options to get you started:
Meatloaf: A classic comfort dish that pairs wonderfully with the creamy goodness.
Fall Off the Bone Ribs: The smoky flavor of the ribs balances out the richness of the potatoes.
Sloppy Joes: A fun and messy delight that adds a zesty kick to your meal.
More Potato Recipes You’ll Love
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