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Layer on the love with these easy, CHEESY Scalloped Potatoes. Thinly sliced potatoes layered in a creamy sauce, then baked until hot, bubbly, and tender, they’re a pan of comfort and the number one side dish at our family holiday meals.

the BEST cheesy scalloped potatoes with onions

Why You’ll Love These Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

  • Easy Shortcut Method. No fussing with a roux! These are scalloped potatoes without heavy creamy and béchamel sauce. Instead, this easy recipe uses potatoes’ own starches to thicken the casserole.
  • Special-Occasion Worthy. Scalloped potatoes feel a little fancy, so they’re ideal for holidays and special events (think of them as the horizontal version of Hasselback Potatoes).
  • Feeds a Crowd. This recipe yields a generous pan (not that you’ll have any leftover)!
  • Make-Ahead Friendly. Like most of my casserole recipes, this recipe for scalloped potatoes reheat well. You can fully bake them a day in advance, then rewarm them prior to serving.
  • Essential. Whether it’s Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, no holiday feast feels complete without a big pan of bubbling, cheesy potatoes (this Hash Brown Casserole is a similar favorite).
a large pan of easy cheesy scalloped potatoes

The Difference Between Scalloped Potatoes and Au Gratin

While there are differences in these two dishes, the two terms are used fairly interchangeably, including by some major, well-respected food websites.

  • Scalloped potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes layered in a casserole dish and baked with heavy cream or milk.
  • Au gratin potatoes have grated cheese sprinkled between the layers, so they taste more decadent. Breadcrumbs are also often sprinkled on top of the dish before it goes into the oven. (Check out Brussels Sprouts Gratin for a twist).
  • The potatoes are also usually sliced more thinly for au gratin potatoes than scalloped potatoes.

So which are these?

They have thinly sliced potatoes, milk, and cheese, so they are a combo of both.

a large baking dish of the best cheesy scalloped potatoes recipe

How to Make Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

The Ingredients

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes. Yukon golds, with their buttery flavor, are an excellent choice for scalloped potatoes.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Cheesy scalloped potatoes are the best scalloped potatoes! The sharp cheddar stands out from the creaminess of the potatoes and sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese. Sprinkled on top for the perfect cheese-crusted lid. And parm makes just about everything better, right?
  • Whole Milk. The secret to obtaining a perfectly creamy, tender texture without using cream.
  • Onion. Sautéed along with garlic for major flavor. Scalloped potatoes with cheese and onions? Say no more!
  • Garlic. Brings these cheesy scalloped potatoes up another notch.
  • Flour. The sliced potatoes are tossed in all-purpose flour, thickening the sauce while it cooks in the dish.
cheesy scalloped potatoes on a plate with greens

The Directions

sauteeing onions for cheesy scalloped potatoes with onions
  1. Saute the Onion and Garlic. This builds flavor right from the start.
adding milk to a pan of sauteed onions for cheesy scalloped potatoes
  1. Add Milk. Do this slowly and stir.
sliced potatoes for cheesy scalloped potatoes
  1. Toss the Sliced and Peeled Potato in Flour. This will thicken up the sauce as they bake.
adding potatoes to a pan for cheesy scalloped potatoes
  1. Layer. Start with 1/3 of the potatoes and some milk.
cheese and potatoes in a large baking dish
  1. Add Some Cheese. These are cheesy from the inside out!
layering sliced potatoes into a baking dish for cheesy scalloped potatoes
  1. Layer More. You will have 3 layers of potatoes, cheese, and milk.
laying potatoes and cheese in a baking dish
  1. Bake. You’ll start by baking covered, then switch to uncovered.
  2. Broil. Don’t walk away! You want the top golden, not burned.
  3. Let Rest. The sauce will thicken up at room temperature. ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Place cooked and cooled leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. You can make these potatoes ahead and reheat them. Gently reheat leftovers in an oven-safe baking dish covered with foil in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through, adding additional splashes of milk as needed. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave until hot, though I recommend the oven for the best texture.

Make Ahead Tips

The dish can be prepared through Step 3 one day in advance (wait to add the milk/cheese until just before you bake). Store covered in the refrigerator, let come to room temperature, then continue with the recipe as directed.

Or, fully bake the scalloped potatoes 1 day in advance, then rewarm, covered, in a 350 degree F oven.

What to Serve With Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

A winning side for your holiday spread, cheesy scalloped potatoes are perfection with any of these classic starring mains, or with additional sides.

Holiday Main Dishes

More Yummy Sides

creamy and easy cheesy scalloped potatoes with onions

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Use a Starchy Potato. Yukon golds or russet potatoes have enough starch to thicken the sauce. Between the two, I find the best potatoes for cheesy scalloped potatoes are Yukon gold potatoes. Their flavor is naturally richer and more buttery.
  • Avoid Waxy Potatoes. They will be too firm after cooking; save them Roasted Red Potatoes instead!
  • Slice the Potatoes Ultra Thin. Part of what makes these quick scalloped potatoes is how thinly the potatoes are sliced. For best results, I recommend a mandoline for even, razor-thin slices that don’t need to cook before layering them.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

4.84 from 37 votes
The best cheesy scalloped potatoes recipe! Traditional scalloped potatoes with onions, cheese, and creamy sauce. Easy potato side dish!

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 45 minutes

Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion ¼-inch diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes about 6 to 8 medium
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese shredded (about ¼ cup)

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375°F. Coat a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • In a medium pot or wide skillet with high sides, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Turn off the heat.
  • Stir in the milk, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Set aside to cool.
  • Peel the potatoes. With a mandoline or very sharp chef’s knife, slice the potatoes into VERY thin slices, about ⅛ to ¼-inch thick (thinner is better). Place potatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the flour and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. With your hands, toss to coat the potatoes as evenly as possible.
  • Spread one-third of the sliced potatoes evenly in the bottom of the prepared dish. Spoon 1 cup of the milk mixture over the top. Sprinkle with ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat two more times so you have a total of 3 layers each of potato, the milk mixture, and the cheddar cheese, ending with the cheese on top.
  • Lightly mist a large sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick spray. Cover the dish with foil spray-side down. Bake the scalloped potatoes for 35 minutes, then uncover and bake for an 25 additional minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Turn the oven to broil and return the pan to the oven for 1 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Don’t walk away and let them burn!
  • Allow the potatoes to stand at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes prior to serving to allow the milk mixture to set and thicken (don’t worry, they

Notes

  • *I do not recommend russet potatoes for this recipe, as they have less flavor, a dryer texture, and thicker skin than Yukon golds.
  • TO MAKE AHEAD: The dish can be prepared through Step 3 one day in advance (wait to add the milk/cheese until just before you bake). Store covered in the refrigerator, let come to room temperature, then continue with the recipe as directed.
  • TO STORE: Place cooked and cooled leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently reheat leftovers in an oven-safe baking dish in the oven at 350°F until warmed through, adding a splash of broth as needed. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave until hot.
  • TO FREEZE: I do not recommend freezing scalloped potatoes as they can become mealy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 8Calories: 313kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 12gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 39mgPotassium: 861mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 431IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 297mgIron: 2mg

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are They Called Scalloped Potatoes?

While the specific reasoning for the name is still a mystery, many speculate that it may reference the “scalloped” shape that the potato slices make when they’re assembled in the dish. Others believe the name could have originated from “collops,” which is an Old English word meaning “to slice meat thinly” and could refer to thinly sliced potatoes.

Can I Double This Scalloped Potatoes Recipe?

Because this scalloped potatoes recipe isn’t very saucy to begin with, if doubling the recipe, I suggest doing 2.5 times the amount of milk and cheese to ensure there’s plenty of cheesy sauce to cover the potatoes. If you like your scalloped potatoes extra saucy, you may even want to consider tripling the amount of milk and cheese if preparing these scalloped potatoes for a crowd.

Can I Freeze Scalloped Potatoes?

Potatoes become mealy when frozen, I do not recommend freezing baked scalloped potatoes. Only freeze as a last resort, or if you don’t mind a less-than-optimal texture.

Related Recipes

Here are more of my very favorite holiday side dish recipes with potatoes:

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I am making these today… no goat cheese on hand but I have a queso semi soft (crumbling) cheese… I think I will try that and omit the rosemary. I will let you know!

  2. I have never been a big fan of scalloped potatoes. This recipe changed my mind. The Yukon gold potatoes sliced thinly were perfectly cooked and full of flavor. The minced garlic was just enough zip. I used cream cheese in layers. Next time I will keep it colder to cut into smaller pieces. The fresh Parmesan on top was beautiful to see when potatoes were done. My husband really liked it too. I’ll be adding this dish to my everyday sides. It went together quick and easy. Thanks Erin for another highly recommended side dish.5 stars

  3. As a cheese lover, I love this recipe so much! The creaminess of the cheese sauce perfectly complements the tender potato slices in this scalloped potatoes recipe.5 stars

  4. Delicious! We all loved these potatoes. My goat cheese had a sort of curdled look when it was done baking but the flavor was great. I might try this with different kinds of cheese, too.5 stars

  5. Hi Erin,
    I’d like to make these ahead for Christmas. You suggest this can be done by completing through Step 3. Step 3 is to layer 1/3 of the potatoes only. Maybe the intention was to complete only through step 2? Thanks in advance. I’m excited to try these. They sound divine!

    1. Hi Lori! You can stop at Step 2 if you’d like, but you can also do Step 3 and stop there before you add the cheese. Hope you enjoy them!

  6. I made these cheesy scalloped potatoes for a potluck dinner and they were a huge hit! Everyone loved them. I’m definitely making this recipe again soon!5 stars

  7. I made these cheesy scalloped potatoes for a potluck dinner and they were a huge hit! Everyone loved them. I’m definitely making this recipe again soon!5 stars

  8. I made this last weekend and my guest loves it! I had fun making this, I double the recipe and added more cheese. Simply the best!5 stars

  9. This was the messiest way to make scalloped potatoes ever! Sorry but seemed a bit unnecessary all the strange steps. Scalloped potatoes is a lot of work in the first place but this just pushed it over the edge3 stars

  10. This recipe is easy and so good! It is the first time a Scalloped Potatoes recipe is a complete success. Thank you so much for sharing.5 stars

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