Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are legendary in my family. Back in the day when we would all gather at my Grandma’s for a Sunday dinner, if a pan of scalloped potatoes showed up on the table us kids went crazy. Well, more specifically, my cousin Kristy and I would go crazy. To this day, if we’re at a holiday dinner and there are scalloped potatoes, we take it upon ourselves to sit next to each other and then proceed to put the pan of scalloped potatoes right between us. Yes, we’re 31 and 27, but there are some things you just never outgrow. Our love of scalloped potatoes is one of them. Back in the day my grandma made hers from a box mix, and they were always delicious, but nowadays I like to make them from scratch. They are so much heartier, creamier and I know exactly what’s in them. This particular recipe I broke out for Christmas this past year and it was met with rave reviews. The pan was demolished in no time.

I used a mandoline to slice my potatoes – it makes the process super quick and ensure that all of the potatoes are evenly sliced to the right size. This is the one that I have; an inexpensive investment for something that makes kitchen tasks painless, quick and easy.

Is there a traditional dish that people in your family always fight over? Hopefully we’re not alone! :)

Scalloped Potatoes

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, melt butter in large Dutch oven (or large, heavy-bottomed saucepan) over medium-high heat until foaming subsides, about 1 minute. Add onion and saute until it turns soft and begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cream, milk, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a light simmer, and cook until potatoes are almost tender (paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potato slice with some resistance), about 15 minutes.

2. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Transfer potato mixture to a 3-quart gratin dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cream has thickened and is bubbling around sides and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

(Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated, February 2005)


103 Responses to “Scalloped Potatoes”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Liv B on April 20, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Is there any better combination that cheese, potatoes and cream? I think not!

    Scalloped potatoes is one of those dishes I’m worried will under cook. My mother never made it, so I’ve never made it. I think this has to change, and soon! Thank goodness it’s coming into Winter here, perfect timing.

    The dish we fight over? Nonna’s lasagna. It’s my favourite and I always claim the leftovers before we’ve even started dinner!


  2. Katrina on April 20, 2011 at 12:53 am

    This is my absolute favorite food! I love your recipe, I’m excited to try :)


  3. Gwenevere on April 20, 2011 at 4:14 am

    So many meals we fight over. Mostly the rolls. I feel like a commercial every time I bake them because I have to triple the recipe That’s something like 60 rolls! Its exhausting but I love the excited look on everyone’s face when they walk in for dinner and can smell the fresh bread. It’s therapeutic…for everyone. :)

    I’d comment more on your potatoes but I hate them right now, because I want them so badly. I’m on a diary free diet (among many other restrictions) and cheese is one of those things I miss a lot a lOT!


  4. Becka on April 20, 2011 at 4:48 am

    It always interests me how the same dishes have different names for us.
    This is one of my favourite potato dishes, but over here they’re known as the French call them: “potato dauphinoise”.
    Scalloped potatoes are thick slices of part-cooked potatoes, battered and deep fried! You should try them, they’re very good!! 😉


  5. Caylee on April 20, 2011 at 4:56 am

    Y U M


  6. Maris (In Good Taste) on April 20, 2011 at 5:05 am

    A delicious recipe for a classic dish. This looks mouthwatering good!


  7. Blog is the New Black on April 20, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Scalloped potatoes are a favorite of mine!


  8. Dishes of Mrs. Fish on April 20, 2011 at 6:36 am

    I love scalloped potatoes! What a great recipe. :)


  9. Kristy on April 20, 2011 at 8:52 am

    First of all, I LOVE your blog! And being a Pittsburgh girl myself just makes it even more enjoyable! :)

    Well, we don’t actually fight over the mint brownies at Christmas… but there are definite rules about how many one is allowed to consume!


  10. Debbie on April 20, 2011 at 9:21 am

    These look amazing! I think this sound perfect for Easter Sunday, thanks!


  11. Amy @ The Savvy Kitchen on April 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I loooove scalloped potatoes! Or just anything with potatoes! I love your recipe. I’ll be trying it soon!


  12. Marilyn on April 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

    My siblings and I never fought over a particular dish because we had such wildly different tastes. However, I remember one of my roommates telling me that she and her brother used to have bitter arguments over equally dividing up the bacon for BLTs. I just love to imagine that. Bacon can be a very divisive conversation topic. :-)


  13. amanda @ fake ginger on April 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

    My husband would love this!


  14. Jenny Flake on April 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Definitely one of the best foods ever!!


  15. pigpigscorner on April 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Oh my, this looks heavenly!


  16. Maria on April 20, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Josh will LOVE these!


  17. Erin on April 20, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Mandolines are great. My dad used it all the time. I need to get one for myself one of these days.


  18. Monica on April 20, 2011 at 11:23 am

    My mom’s Portuguese cream puffs “fillozes” were always a special treat. It would take a great deal of restraint to not eat all of them at once :). I’m excited to try your scalloped potatoes, thanks for sharing!


  19. Alli on April 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Scallop potatoes and ham was an Easter staple at my house growing up. I have never been able to make them like my mom. These look so creamy and delicious. I am going to try them this weekend. At Easter we fight over the coconut cake. Yum!


  20. Cookin' Canuck on April 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Scalloped potatoes are a favorite in my house and a “must” at Easter. You’re right about the mandoline – it makes the task of slicing the potatoes so much easier.


  21. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on April 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I love scalloped potatoes and yours look perfect, Michelle! Thanks for sharing this Easter favorite. It will be sure to make an appearance at my table this Sunday!


  22. Sues on April 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    These look incredible! I’m not even a big potato fan, but I LOVE scalloped potatoes. I think my sister is making them for our Easter dinner :)


  23. Amanda on April 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Oh yum, I think I just fainted. Love!


  24. kim on April 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Just this morning my husband told me he wanted scalloped potatoes for Easter. This looks perfect!


  25. Kate@Diethood on April 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Beautiful dish! I’m also always ready to fight for the scalloped potatoes! :) One of the best side dishes for Easter…or any other holiday, as a matter of fact.


  26. Sarah on April 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I think I’ll be making this for Easter! I love scalloped potatoes but like many others I’m paranoid about undercooking them. My Mum, the font of knowledge that she is, told me to layer the potatoes in a dish first, cover and pre-cook them for about 5 minutes or so in the microwave with a bit of water in the bottom of the dish.

    Turns out that woman knows what she’s doing and after I had poured the cream mixture over and popped it in the oven, I was rewarded with the best ever scalloped potatoes ever!


  27. Aleida on April 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Another dish that I have never had. It sure sounds delicious, though!

    We fight over lots of food: my pancakes, my potato salad, and my mother’s pinion (it’s basically a kind of casserole but I don’t know what it is called in English) are probably the best examples.


  28. Cheryl and Adam @ on April 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    We were recently served the most DISMAL scalloped potatoes imaginable. Thanks for restoring our faith in this delicious, fabulous side!


  29. penandra on April 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    my cream always separates when I bake my scalloped potatoes. The last time I used evaporated milk and didn’t have that problem . . . is there a secret that I don’t know?

    When we were kids, my brother and I would fight over popcorn. The way I got around it was when I made the popcorn, I would burn it — just a little, but enough that he didn’t want it . . . I got so used to “well done” popcorn that I still eat it that way (but I also never have to share!) BTW, I just turned 60 and my “little brother” is 57! 😉


  30. Hannah at FleurDeLicious on April 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    No matter what else was for dinner, if my mom made these, my brother and I would be happy. I love using different kinds of cheeses too…makes it customizable like mac and cheese! I love using cheddar, but I think gruyere is my favorite so far! (For special occasions that is :) )


  31. Liz on April 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    This wonderful dish will be on our Easter table…yummy!


  32. Jennifer on April 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    These look absolutely divine and I am drooling just thinking about the taste. Cheese and potatoes are always a winning combination, especially when cream is added to the mix.


  33. Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies on April 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Wouldn’t you know, I just bought some scalloped potatoes from Costco that look exactly like yours. Wish I had saved my money and made your recipe instead.


  34. Dee on April 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    This great! I am having a special sunday Easter Linky buffet Any Easter recipe accepted no limit to what you like to submit. I am taking submissions till saturday, your welcome to post this!


  35. Lily on April 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    These look delicious! Hmm….can’t think of any food offhand that we fought over – probably any of Mom’s great desserts like O’Henry bars or the homemade peanut butter cup bars…yum! Get hungry thinking about it…


  36. Kristen on April 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Scalloped Potatoes are probably one of my very favorite things to eat. Your photos have me drooling!


  37. Tracy on April 20, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I’m not really a fan of scalloped potatoes, but I’ve only ever had them from the box – these totally look like they could change my mind!!


  38. Memoria on April 20, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Ohh, I bet I could prepare AND bake this in a cast-iron skillet without having to change vessels. Yea! Thanks for the great-looking recipe.


    • Memoria on April 20th, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      Oh, and my family fight over the chicken and dressing I make in the crockpot every year. One year, my aunt tried to (and succeeded) hoard most of it and not let the rest of the family take some leftovers home.


      • Adonna on November 26th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        I’d love to see that recipe posted somewhere! It sounds *amazing*!! Yum!


  39. The Waspy Redhead on April 21, 2011 at 3:12 am

    Wow – I am so craving scalloped potatoes now. Oddly Easter is the one holiday meal where my family tends to eat light. Scalloped potatoes would fit in better at our Thanksgiving or Christmas tables. For easter we usually revel in the bright flavors of spring and eat lots of veggies, grilled meat or fish etc.


  40. Misbah on April 21, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Thankyou for shareing the recipie. In Denmark this dish is called “fløde kartoffler” meaning creame potatoes. In my house we use it as side dish with meat. When we siblings and inlaws-siblings are ghathered at my moms house for muslim holliday we “fight” over her rice dessert called “kheer”. :) everybodt wants the rest .


  41. Maureen on April 21, 2011 at 8:34 am

    These look really good. I had some at a party the other day and they had no seasoning and they were horrible. I’m craving something good like yours. :)


  42. Kasha on April 21, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I just had my aunt’s scalloped potatoes at a party last weekend – and that was the bulk of my meal! I forgot how much I loved them.

    Your recipe may just be gracing my Easter table as well!


  43. Muffin Tin on April 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Beautiful photo. I think I have that same white plate, too!


  44. bridget {bake at 350} on April 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Oh, I think I will be making this for Easter! :)


  45. Paula on April 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Too good to pass up. They are a favourite in this house too so I’m now wondering why we don’t make them more often!


  46. Sonya on April 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I am adding these to our menu for sunday!! they look amazing!


  47. Anne on April 22, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I LOVE potatoes in ANY form. But these look as though they are going to be even more comforting than macaroni and cheese. I can almost smell them! Will definitely give them a try with my Easter ham this Sunday! Have a great weekend Michelle and everyone! : )


  48. Laura on April 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I love scalloped potatoes! This would make a great addition to Easter dinner!


  49. knuckstermom on April 23, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Thank you for this great recipe! I made it, it’s wonderful and I blogged about you on my blog. Thank you!!


  50. Chung-Ah Rhee on April 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I just made scalloped potatoes last night and it was not the best in the world. But these look absolutely amazing! I will definitely give this one a try.


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