This scalloped potatoes recipe makes the ultimate comfort food. When you make this casserole dish, you get creamy, cheesy, thinly sliced potatoes, baked in rich creamy white sauce. So creamy, so cheesy, everyone’s favorite side dish for holiday dinner or any other night.
The Best Cheesy Potatoes
This is my family’s favorite side dish of all time. They can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If I let them, they’d eat it all day, every day. Honestly, this recipe makes the best potato casserole you will ever try!
These scalloped potatoes are the epitome of comfort food and taste so good, it’s worth every calorie. It’s not just scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin, it’s both put together since it’s made with cream and cheese. I save this special side dish for special occasions and holidays.
Whether you make this recipe for a holiday gathering, a potluck, or a simple family dinner, it will most likely be everyone’s favorite side dish. This baked casserole features thin slices of potato in a rich cream sauce with plenty of cheese. It’s incredibly rich and indulgent, but seriously delicious!
No disrespect to the other delicious potato recipes out there, because of course, my Loaded Cheesy Potato Casserole is also pure comfort food.
Difference Between Au Gratin and Scalloped Potatoes
The primary difference between au gratin and scalloped potatoes is the use of cheese.
Both methods involve layering potatoes into a dish for baking. But, potatoes au gratin includes layers of cheese, while recipes for scalloped potatoes do not typically include cheese. Rather than cheese, the highlight of scalloped potatoes is the creamy sauce!
What makes this particular recipe so special is that we use a combination of those two methods. Our creamy scalloped potatoes recipe uses cream sauce AND cheese!
Kitchen Tools and Equipment Needed
- Baking dish: I use a 13×9-inch casserole dish, or you could also use a 2-quart (or larger) oven-safe baking dish.
- Kitchen knife: A chef’s knife or kitchen utility knife (santoku) will give you effortless slicing and dicing ability. Just make sure the knife is sharp, you never want to work with a dull knife.
- Mandoline slicer: If you’ve ever seen food cut into paper thin slices, chances are good that a mandoline slicer was used to cut them. Using one isn’t required, but they sure are nice to have because it will make slicing pounds of potatoes effortless. Make sure to use the holder that comes with it or use cut-resistant gloves.
Potatoes – best potatoes to use for scalloped potatoes are russet potatoes. They are starchy, soft, and very tender when baked.
Cheese – I like to use a mix of cheeses like sharp cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese because one provides stronger flavor, while the other one melts nice and smooth. Any cheese you choose, try to use block cheese and grate it yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated in separators and will affect how smooth the sauce will be.
Cream – for best results, use heavy whipping cream!
Step-by-step Recipe Instructions:
Prep: Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a baking dish with a little bit of vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray.
Prepare the cream sauce.
Make the cream mixture by whisking together sour cream, mayo, heavy cream, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper and set it aside.
Slice the potatoes.
You’ll need to slice them very thinly. If you use a mandoline slicer, be very careful, please watch your fingers, and always use a pronged food holder or cut resistant gloves. (The food holder is a plastic piece with prongs on the bottom to hold large pieces of food as they go through the slicer. A good quality mandoline should come with a food holder in the box.)
NOTE: To reduce the risk of serious injury, please do not use a mandoline by holding the food in your hand! Use the special holder or use cut resistant gloves.
If you don’t have a slicer available, use a sharp knife to cut the potatoes into thin slices. Slice them as close as possible to equal thickness.
Layer the casserole.
Spread a thin layer of cream sauce in the bottom of the baking pan. Start by layering a third of the potatoes in one even layer.
Then, sprinkle 1/3 of the shredded cheese over the potatoes and spoon 1/3 of the sauce over the cheese and potatoes.
Repeat these steps, layering potatoes, cheese and sauce two more times. Finally spread some more cheese over the top.
Bake the scalloped potatoes.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 1 hour. (TIP: spray the side of the foil that will be touching the potatoes with some cooking spray to prevent sticking.)
Then, remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Doing this allows the cheese to melt and become golden brown.
Test for doneness: Insert a butter knife or a fork into the center of one of the potato slices to be sure that the potatoes are not under cooked.
How to Make It Ahead of Time
You can easily make scalloped potatoes ahead of time. It’s best to make it ahead unbaked so prepare the whole recipe in the casserole dish, up to the step of baking. Instead of baking it, wrap it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil air-tight and refrigerate. You can make it up to 2 days ahead of time but I could do it any longer.
To bake it, take the casserole dish out of the oven about 30 minutes before baking. This will give it a chance to warm up a bit. Preheat the oven to the recipe recommended temperature and bake as directed. The bake time might increase by about 5 minutes because the casserole will bake from cool.
Other comfort food recipes to make:
Chicken Cordon Bleu Scalloped Potatoes is a combination of two favorite comfort foods, all baked into one seriously delicious casserole.
My Hashbrown Casserole is such an easy and delicious side dish that when you take it to a potluck dinner, be prepared for a lot of requests for the recipe!
And of course, no holiday meal is complete without making the Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipe. Creamy, light potatoes with no lumps!
- 3 lbs Idaho potatoes
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1-1 1/2 cups shredded cheese for topping
- Green onion and parsley for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 13×9 casserole baking pan with some vegetable oil.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayo, heavy cream, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Slice potatoes very thin. (You can use a mandoline slicer just remember to be very careful and watch your fingers.)
- Spread a thin layer of cream sauce in the bottom of the baking pan.
- Start layering 1/3 of potatoes in one even layer. Spread 1/3 of shredded cheeses over potatoes and then 1/3 of the sauce.
- Repeat potatoes, cheese, and sauce two more times.
- Add some more cheese on top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. (TIP: spray the part of foil that will be touching potatoes with cooking spray so it doesn't stick to cheese.)
- Take off the foil and bake fore another 15-20 minutes. Insert a butter knife in the center part to make sure that the potatoes are tender.
- *Optional: Serve with some finely chopped green onions or parsley on top.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on June 13, 2011.
This looks delicious. Can you make and bake the day before and just heatup the next day? I saw in the previous post you can make ahead but does that mean bake too or just put together.
Hi, Lynn! Either way you would work. You can make and bake the next day, or make and bake same day then heat it up later, whichever you prefer.
Hi, Ron! Yes, you can make this the night before! Just make sure you are using a casserole dish that can go from being cold to hot without cracking, if not I would let it sit out 30 min or so before putting it in the oven.
Would this dish be able to made a day in advance before baking?
Dani M says
Amazing!! So good! I’ve made scallop potatoes before and always have trouble baking them through. I boiled my sliced potatoes for a few minutes before preparing the dish. Thank you for sharing!! I’ll be making this again!
Dani, I’m so glad you liked them! 🙂
This recipe looks yummy! I will add it to my “Gotta Try this” list.
The crust on these potatoes is amazing! It’s perfect for the whole family!
Thank you, Diane! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂
these are so creamy and amazing! Love all the cheese for the fantastic flavor.
Love hearing it, Karla! Thank you 🙂
Shekira bryant says
This looks very good creamy and lots of cheese comfort food for sure great winter meal with meatloaf.
Oh, absolutely! It’s my family’s favorite for holidays and family dinners. I hope it will be yours too 🙂 Thank you, Shekira!
This looked irresistible, by adding some cubed ham it became a main dish. I softened the potato slices in the microwave to compensate for our high altitude, and used a can of evaporated milk instead of the cream.
The result was as bubbly, cheesy delicious as the pictures.
I actually have dinner version you might like!
I’m so happy you liked it 😀
Thank you for letting me know!
Donna McNeely says
I’m going to.try this with Ire-Ida has browns.
Oh fun! Let me know how that turns out!
Karen O says
Can I use something to replace the mayo in this recipe? My husband does not eat it and somehow tastes it when it is in a recipe! These potatoes are calling my name and I want to make them.
You can use extra sour cream, you can use plain yogurt, and there is also a vegan mayonaise (not sure what it tastes like though 🙂 ). I hope you guys enjoy it!!
Rhinestone Beagle says
I love food posts that make me hungry. Thanks for linking up last week.