Few foods are comforting like potatoes, and these Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are like a hug on a plate. The simple combination of cheese and potatoes in a deliciously creamy sauce is a sure-fire way to please a crowd. Make this once, and it will become a go-to recipe for entertaining!
It is hard not to love the combination of cheese and potatoes. It is such a universally loved combo that both kids and adults can agree on.
Whether you are looking for something for a simple family dinner, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or another celebration, these cheesy scalloped potatoes are always a hit.
Ingredients for Making This Cheese Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
- Potatoes: I recommend using russet potatoes. They are high in starch and perfect for drinking up butter and cream.
- Seasonings: Salt, garlic powder, pepper, and bay leaves are all you need to pack a punch of flavor. Don't skip the bay leaves - you will be surprised at how much flavor they add.
- Butter: I like to use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, make sure you reduce the amount of salt that you use to account for that.
- Cheese: I've used a blend of cheddar cheese, parmesan, and gruyere cheese, but you could switch it up depending on what you have on hand. Mozzarella is another excellent option in this cheesy scalloped potato recipe. Make sure the parmesan is rennet free to keep this vegetarian.
- Half and Half: I love the richness half and half, but whole milk could also be used. Want an even more decadent cream sauce? Feel free to use heavy cream.
Tips, Tricks & Variations
- Keep a close eye towards the end of cooking time. If your oven runs on the hot side, you may want to tent the potatoes with foil to keep them from getting too brown.
- I like to strategically place the bay leaves so that I know where they are in the pan. This makes them easier to remove! (We don't want to be serving anyone a whole bay leaf!)
- A mandoline is the best way I know to slice potatoes.
- I've skipped the flour, making these gluten-free scalloped potatoes, but feel free to dust the potatoes slices in all-purpose flour before cooking if you like.
Homemade cheesy scalloped potatoes are a versatile side dish that pleases kids and adults alike!
For me, I like to serve this as a vegetarian main with a green salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can, however, expect them to get a bit softer and the overall texture to diminish slightly. If you know you will freeze an entire recipe, I recommend undercooking them slightly.
Because of their high starch content, russet potatoes are the best option for scalloped potatoes.
They contain between 20 and 22 percent starch, which is more than other types of potatoes. This gives them a drier texture and will help to thicken the sauce.
Yukon gold potatoes are far less starchy but can be used if you desire.
Scalloped potatoes can have cheese (like these cheesy potatoes), but they don't necessarily have to. Potatoes Au Gratin have layers of cheese and are typically topped with breadcrumbs.
I recommend cutting the potatoes to ⅛" thickness. The easiest way to keep the potatoes uniform in thickness is to use a mandolin to cut them.
How to Make Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
First, start by preheating your oven to 425° F.
Next, toss the peeled potatoes in a large bowl with the seasonings.
Melt butter (1 tablespoon) in a skillet over medium-high heat and add half of the potatoes.
Toss the potato slices with the butter, and then use a fork to arrange them in a single layer.
Sprinkle with half of the sharp cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese.
Arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Reduce to medium heat.
Pour the half and half over the potatoes, and add the bay leaves.
Cook for 5 minutes.
Spray a shallow casserole dish with cooking spray, and carefully slide the potatoes and cream into it. (You can skip this step if you are using an oven-safe skillet.)
Arrange with a fork.
Cut the remaining butter into cubes, and then scatter on top of the potatoes.
Top with the remaining cheeses.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and tender.
Discard the bay leaves, and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- 3 pounds russet potatoes peeled and sliced ⅛" thick
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 10 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
- 8 ounces gruyere cheese shredded
- 3 cups half and half
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 ounces parmesan cheese grated, rennet free
- Garnishes: parsley or fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Place the potatoes in a large bowl and toss with the salt, garlic powder, and pepper to coat.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add half of the potatoes, and toss with the butter.
- Use a fork to spread the potatoes into a single layer.
- Sprinkle with half of the cheddar and gruyere cheese, and then arrange the remaining potatoes on top.
- Reduce to medium heat
- Pour half and half over the potatoes and add the bay leaves.
- Cook for 5 minutes.
- Spray a shallow dish with cooking spray and slide the potatoes and cream into it.
- Arrange with a fork.
- Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter into small cubes and scatter on top of the potatoes.
- Top with the remaining shredded cheese and parmesan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. (Tent with foil in the last 10 minutes to prevent browning if necessary.)
- Discard the bay leaves and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.