Homemade scalloped potatoes is a classic dish and holiday staple! This easy recipe comes together quickly and is wonderfully rich, creamy and cheesy.
Scalloped potatoes are legendary in my family. Back when we would all gather at my grandma’s for Sunday dinner, if a pan of scalloped potatoes showed up on the table, madness ensued. My cousin Kristy and I would go position ourselves at the table based on where the pan of scalloped potatoes was placed.
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. Back in the day my grandma made hers from a box mix, and they were always delicious, but now I like to make them from scratch. This particular recipe is very holiday-worthy – it’s super creamy and rich, and the pan is demolished is no time.
I used to use a mandoline to slice my potatoes up until two weeks ago. Whyyyyyy I never used the slicing blade on my food processor before is seriously beyond me. GAME CHANGER. Hello, four pounds of potatoes sliced precisely one-eighth of an inch thick in approximately 1 minute. No exaggeration. I will never slice anything by hand or mandoline again.
(I realize that I am probably the last person on the planet to figure this out, but honestly? I hate washing my food processor, so I don’t use it for everyday-type stuff, but I could wash it 100 times in the amount of time it saves!)
Now, I first shared this recipe six years ago, and I still love it as my go-to recipe, but I did a little more tweaking this time around. I upped the amount of cheese on top (because bubbly, browned cheese covering the top is an absolute must) and I increased the oven temperature from 350 degrees to 400 degrees. I also increased the baking time from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. The last two changes were made because I found at 350 degrees for 20 minutes the sauce was still a little bit too soupy, but at 400 for 30 minutes, it was thick and bubbling and the resulting dish “set” quite a bit better. The changes are reflected in the recipe below.
Is there a traditional dish that people in your family always fight over? I know we’re not alone, ha!
These easy scalloped potatoes come together quickly and are rich and decadent.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups (720 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (240 ml) 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
- 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
- Heat oven to 400 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, gently stirring occasionally to ensure the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Transfer potato mixture to a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cream has thickened and is bubbling around sides and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe was originally published on April 20, 2011.