Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes have been assigned mandatory attendance at my family’s holiday meals. If more than four of us are gathering, you better believe some version of a cheesy potato recipe is bubbling away in a casserole dish nearby. In case they are compulsory at your family feasts too, today’s recipe for Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes is an easier, tastier way to serve them. It took me three tries to get this recipe right, but the final success was more than worth the first failures.

Save oven space with these creamy, CHEESY Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes! EASY recipe that combines buttery regular potatoes and sweet potatoes for the BEST flavor. The crock pot does the work! Add bacon, mushrooms, ham, or any other ingredients you love. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Despite their omnipresence, scalloped potatoes have always been my least-favorite side. I don’t find them offensive; they just give me the all-around reaction of “meh.” I’ll pile a few on my plate because they are, you know, there, but my heart is never really in it. Until today.

Easy CHEESY Scalloped Potatoes, made in the crock pot! Both regular and sweet potatoes makes this recipe extra special, but it’s surprisingly simple to make. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

These Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes, which use both buttery Yukon Gold potatoes AND sweet potatoes, are something special. Making the simple change of integrating sweet potatoes with the regular “white” potatoes gives the dish a much more interesting flavor profile.

And the signature scalloped potato sauce? Perfection. While many scalloped potato dishes I’ve tried are swimming in a greasy, thin sauce that’s 99% heavy cream yet mysteriously bland (I’m still not sure how this is possible, but it’s true), the sauce for these Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes is rich, cheesy, and packs real pizzazz from the use of fresh garlic, nutmeg, and dreamy white cheddar.

CHEESY Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes. So simple and SO GOOD. A blend of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes makes this crock pot recipe the best. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

I first started working on these Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes last Easter. EPIC DISASTER. I opened the crock pot to find the milk completely curdled and the potatoes a watery mess. I shed a small tear for the wasted cheese (gruyere!), dumped it out, and made Crock Pot Honey Carrots instead.

My next attempt was this Thanksgiving. I cooked the Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes over low heat. WRONG. The middle stayed raw, while the outsides disintegrated into something closer to potato soup.

Older, wiser, and fueled by my own stubbornness, I made a final attempt this week. ROARING SUCCESS. Call it a Christmas miracle or crock pot destiny, but I have the recipe ready for you at last.

Instead of trying to cook the sauce in the slow cooker with the potatoes (curdle issue), I made it on the stove first, then poured it over the potato slices in the crock pot. A layer of paper towels under the lid absorbed the moisture that had made prior versions soupy, and high heat cooked the potatoes evenly.

This scalloped potato recipe is also lighter than most, but I promise you won’t miss the heavy cream one bit. They taste completely decadent. Just LOOK at that cheesy top and creamy sauce!

Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes. The BEST cheesy potato recipe, made easy in the crock pot! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

These Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes can be made with all sweet potatoes or all Yukon Gold (the white potatoes) if that’s your preference, but honestly I loved the blend of both. You can also add cooked, diced ham, cooked bacon pieces, or even sautéed mushrooms.

No matter which potato path you choose, the creamy sauce guarantees you’ll be upping your cheesy potato recipe game and freeing up your oven at the same time too.

Tools I used to make this recipe:

Craving more scalloped potatoes? Don’t miss my Homemade Scalloped Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Garlic!

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Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes

Save oven space with creamy, CHEESY Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes! Easy recipe that combines regular potatoes and sweet potatoes for the BEST flavor.

Yield: Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 to 4 hours, depending upon your slow cooker

Total Time: 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours, depending upon your slow cooker

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups peeled, 1/4-inch-sliced Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound or 3-4 medium potatoes)*
  • 2 3/4 cups peeled, 1/6-inch-sliced sweet potatoes (about 3/4 pound or 2 medium/large potatoes—slice these slightly thinner than the Yukon Gold potatoes)*
  • Kosher salt (about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons, plus 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for the sauce)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons for the potatoes, plus 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon for the sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1/2 of a small onion)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*
  • 1 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese*
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Generously coat the inside of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. (See recipe notes if using a smaller slow cooker.)
  2. Place a layer of potato slices in the bottom of the slow cooker, alternating the Yukon Golds and sweets. Generously sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper (do not skimp or the potatoes will be bland). Repeat with a second layer of potatoes, another sprinkling of salt and pepper, then another layer of potatoes, continuing until all the potato slices have been used.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat with the onion. Sauté until the onion is soft and beginning to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the top, then whisk constantly until it turns a golden color and smells nutty, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the milk a few splashes at a time, whisking constantly to smooth any clumps. As you add the milk, the mixture should begin to form a paste that becomes increasing golden. Finish adding the milk, then increase the heat to medium high. Let cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the nutmeg, grated cheese, and half of the thyme. Continue whisking until the cheese melts and you have a smooth, rich sauce. Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
  4. Pour the sauce evenly over the potatoes, then jiggle the slow cooker gently so that the sauce seeps down to the various layers. Do not stir. Drape a triple layer of paper towels over the top of the slow cooker so that the sides of the paper towels overhang the edge, then cover the slow cooker with the lid over the top of the paper towels. Cook for 2 1/2 to 4 hours on high, until the potatoes are tender, changing out the paper towels halfway through if they become soggy. The cooking time can vary widely depending upon your slow cooker, so adjust accordingly. Start checking at the 2 1/2 hour mark, then every 15 to 30 minutes afterwards depending on how the potatoes are progressing.
  5. Once the potatoes are tender, uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining thyme. Cook on high, uncovered, for 10 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the top to crisp. Serve immediately or keep warm in the slow cooker for up to 1 hour.
  • I recommend using a mandoline for fast, guaranteed-even slicing of the potatoes. It’s important that the slices be the same relative size to ensure even cooking.
  • I always recommend grating your own nutmeg from whole nutmeg instead of buying pre-ground. The flavor is spectacular! I use this zester to do it. Otherwise, regular ground nutmeg can be substituted.
  • I recommend using full-fat cheese for the recipe, as it melts the most evenly. Low-fat cheese can also be used, but do not use fat free, as it will not melt completely. Avoid pre-shredded cheeses, as they have a powdered coating that prevents caking and thus may not melt properly and can even make the potatoes greasy.
  • If using a smaller slow cooker, reduce the recipe accordingly to ensure that the potatoes cook completely (if using a 4-quart, reduce to two-thirds of the total recipe; if using a 3-quart, reduce to half, etc.).
  • I do NOT recommend cooking this recipe on low heat, as the potatoes tend to turn out soggy and will not cook through properly.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 215
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 26mg
  • Sodium: 506mg
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 8g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

29 comments

  1. Scalloped potatoes are a family necessity at our holiday gatherings too, but this recipe looks waaaay better than the one my aunt uses! Shhhh, don’t tell her! ;)

  2. It looks like all your recipe testing paid off, these scalloped potatoes look amazing!! :D

  3. My family loves scalloped potatoes – and I love using my slow cooker – so I’m excited about trying this recipe soon! It looks so delicious!

  4. I think I had scalloped potatoes once, and wondered why anyone would make them or like them.  They were BORING!  However, I will probably have to give yours a try, as a matter of principle.  They do sound good.  And besides, since I haven’t been making yogurt lately, my slow cooker is probably feeling lonely.

    • This recipe would be a great way to show some love to your slow cooker, Susan! ;) I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try!

  5. Love the slow cooker method!  Sounds yummy!

  6. hey girl these look amazing! yummy! Anything with cheese is the best!

  7. Has anyone tried to double the recipe for more servings in the same pot?

    • Hi Erica, I actually would not recommend this, as I worry the potatoes would not cook through. At most I would do one and a half times the recipe, but you’d be experimenting. The best idea might be to borrow a second crockpot, especially if you need a larger amount!

  8. My husband is on a low sodium diet so I’ll make this with Swiss cheese, lowest in sodium other than low sodium cheddar by Tillamook that is impossible to find.  And I found a fabulous all-seasoning no salt spice at Costco, it is really great and we hardly miss the salt at all.  We love yukon and sweet  potatoes and I’m excited to give this a try!!

    • Hi Cheryl, it sounds like you have a great plan for tweaking the recipe to suit your needs. I hope you enjoy it! The potato combination really is delicious here. :)

  9. is there a substitute to the flour in order to make this gluten free?  They look delicious. Thanks

    • Hi Kathy! If you have a gluten-free flour blend that has worked well in place of all-purpose flour in the past, you’re welcome to try that! This is the one that I have used, though never for scalloped potatoes.

  10. Can you bake this in the oven instead of using slow cooker?

    • Hi Rita, you probably could, but I’ve never tried myself. I would suggest looking for a recipe for regular oven-baked scalloped potatoes that call for similar quantity of potatoes. One I saw suggested about a 1-hour cook time in a 375-degree oven, but you can do some research on your own as well!

  11. This sounds great and sure looks good. I just made scalloped potatoes in my slow cooker, and did make the thickened sauce on the stove first, and did not use heavy cream, just 2% milk. They came out pretty good, but this looks even better than mine and I’m excited to try it, esp with the sweet potatoes, too. Yum! I love your slow cooker recipes, I have brussel sprouts and 2 lbs of carrots I want to try your recipes for them, too. Yea!

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Rosie! I hope you love this version too! Thank you for the kind comment about my other slow cooker recipes. I really appreciate your saying so, and I’m happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed them! (And I hope you love the carrot and brussels sprouts ones too!)

  12. What is the purpose of the paper towels? What will happen if I don’t use them?

    • Hi Margie! I go into more details in the blog post, but if you don’t use them, the potatoes become very soupy. The paper towels absorb excess moisture. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      • Thanks, Erin. I only skimmed the blog post, diving straight to the ingredients list and instructions (after looking at other recipes, that called for slightly exotic ingredients I didn’t have on hand).

        The first set of paper towels is soaked, and the potatoes seem done, but still a bit soupy. I’m going to let the crock pot sit on “low” with the cover off for a bit, to see if I can get a bit more liquid to evaporate.

  13. Hi,
    Have you ever tried making in a Nesco roaster? Instead of a couple of crock pots?
    I am feeding a large group .

    • Hi Dian, I’m not familiar with Nesco roasters and haven’t used one, but from what I’ve read, it sounds like it could work! I would recommend finding similar recipes that use the roaster and follow the timing and temperature guidelines you see there. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  14. Erin, I made this recipe for Easter, and it was a huge hit! Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
    • Barb, I’m so happy to hear this recipe was a winner! Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to report back!

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