Creamy scalloped potatoes are a no-fail decadent side dish that will be the star of any meal. The perfect holiday side that only takes 30 minutes in the oven for a potato dish that everyone will be raving about.
Need a make-ahead dish for the holidays or your next dinner party, this popular potato casserole is calling your name. A creamy potato side dish that only requires 30 minutes of oven time, and you can do all the prep work ahead of time.
When you’re searching for a wonderful creamy side dish and don’t feel like making mashed potatoes, you can’t go wrong with a potato casserole. A classic comfort food that you’ll find at any special meal in the South.
It’s an old fashioned side dish that’s been around forever for good reason. It’s so creamy and cheesy that it will melt in your mouth. Most people think about homemade scalloped potatoes around the holidays because they’re so easy to make but still deliver that “wow” factor.
While they’re fabulous with turkey and ham, you can also pair them with a simple rotisserie chicken and transform a boring dinner.
Au gratin vs. Scalloped: What’s the difference?
These terms are used interchangeably by most people. Officially au gratin potatoes are covered in cheese and breadcrumbs while scalloped potatoes just have cream. However, growing up we called these scalloped potatoes and they always had cheese on top.
My au gratin potato recipe has cheese throughout and a crispy cheese topping. While it has plenty of cream, it’s not as creamy as scalloped potatoes. They are great if you are looking for a crispier potato dish.
Why Homemade Scalloped Potatoes are the best
- You get the ‘wow’ factor with this creamy potato dish
- It’s prepared and ready to serve in just 30 minutes
- I consider this a no fail dish – it’s hard to screw it up
- It can share the oven with another dish
- It needs to rest for 15 minutes before serving freeing up the oven for another side
Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or just having friends for dinner, I want at least one side dish that I can make ahead and don’t have to worry about. You can assemble this a day or two in advance and then bake it before serving.
But what’s really great about homemade scalloped potatoes are that the sliced potatoes are partially cooked before they go in the oven which reduces the baking time. Typically scalloped or au gratin potatoes need to bake for an hour and a half while these will be done in just 30-40 minutes.
Do you struggle with making sure that everything is done and ready to serve at the same time. This popular potato casserole is ideal for a meal where you have multiple dishes and you’re having to juggle which to put in the oven first.
They can cook at any temperature, just adjust the time. Since it needs to sit for a minimum of 15 minutes before serving this will free up your oven for yeast rolls!
Make Ahead Scalloped Potatoes Ingredients
- Yukon Gold potatoes – I find that they will more readily absorb the cream and milk and will not take as long to cook as a russet, but russet potatoes will work for this dish.
- Cream and milk – to make these decadent, you need to use whole milk and cream. You could get by with half-and-half.
- Garlic and Nutmeg – for flavor.
- Gruyere – an aged gruyere is even better. You can use another variety such as cheddar but I like the subtle flavor gruyere adds. It’s only going on top of the casserole.
How to make Scalloped Potatoes from scratch
Step 1 – slice the potatoes
Peel and then slice the potatoes with a mandolin or food processor. You want the slices to be thin.
Step 2 – boil in cream
Add the sliced potatoes to a large pot with cream, milk and garlic and bring it to a boil.
Step 3– layer
Add the slightly cooked potatoes to a baking dish, sprinkle with nutmeg,
Cover with cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes until it’s bubbly, the cheese is toasty brown and the potatoes are soft.
Step 4 – let rest
Make sure you let them rest for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes before serving. They’ll be soupy at first and need time to thicken.
Pro Tip: Place a baking sheet under the casserole dish in case it bubbles over. This will save you plenty of clean up time!
The trick to making Homemade Scalloped Potatoes creamy
The fat content in the cream and whole milk is what makes scalloped potatoes creamy, but using Yukon gold potatoes will help also along with partially cooking the potatoes in the cream and milk.
What goes with Scalloped Potatoes?
Scalloped potatoes with cream are such a great side dish because they go with everything. The flavor and texture pair well with a honey baked ham but also are perfect with steak marsala or any beef dish.
While mashed potatoes are great with turkey, they can’t compete with a creamy scalloped potato recipe.
Storing and Reheating Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
To store scalloped potatoes let them come to room temperature and then cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. You can reheat in the microwave or oven.
Homemade Scalloped Potatoes Tips & FAQs
The type of cheese depends on your preference. You will see many recipes with cheddar, but I prefer an aged gruyere.
Yukon Golds will provide a creamier texture than a russet.
The nice thing about this recipe is that you can bake it at any temperature and just adjust the time. So if you have multiple dishes to bake, this dish can share the oven with something else. At 350º it will take about 30 minutes. If cooking at a higher temperature remove when the top is golden and bubbly.
You can prepare these ahead of time. Once the boiled potatoes have been placed in the baking dish let them come to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days. Let them come to room temperature before baking.
A mandolin or food processor is the easiest way to get thin potatoes. If not available, then slice as thin as you can with a sharp knife.
More fabulous potato recipes
Adapted from My Kitchen Year
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Scalloped Potatoes with Cream and Cheese
- 1 ½ cups cream
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 ½ lbs Yukon Gold potatoes sliced thin
- salt and pepper
- nutmeg just a sprinkle over the dish
- 8 ounces gruyere grated (2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350º. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish or 2 quart baking dish.
- Add cream and milk to a large pot. Peel potatoes and slice very thin. Place in the pot with the milk. Add garlic and salt and pepper and bring slowly to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the prepared dish. Grate nutmeg on top and cover with cheese.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Used an aged gruyere cheese if you can find it for my flavor.
- Make sure you taste the sauce before adding to the baking dish and add more salt if needed.
- Place a baking sheet under the casserole dish in case it bubbles over.
- You can slice the potatoes with a mandolin or food processor. If using a knife, try to get the potatoes as thin as possible.
- Let this dish rest for 15-30 minutes before serving so the sauce can thicken.
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