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Scalloped Potatoes

Creamy, hearty, and indulgent, this scalloped potatoes recipe is the perfect potato side dish for Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. It contains thinly sliced potatoes covered and baked in a creamy sauce until golden and bubbly. Here, I’ve also added caramelized onions to the dish for extra flavor.

an overheat shot of golden and bubbly scalloped potatoes

Creamy potatoes may be a side dish that requires more effort, but they always pay off. This dish is similar to my super-popular potato and leek gratin recipe but uses caramelised onions and less cheese. A traditional scalloped potato recipe does not have any cheese – I’ve added a sprinkle over the top of my dish as I think a little cheese improves everything!

These scalloped potatoes would be delicious served alongside honey butter carrots, roasted green beans, and braised red cabbage. You could also try making these cheesy stuffing balls for an extra indulgent side dish! 

Ingredient Notes

The exact quantities of the ingredients you need for this recipe are included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here, I’ve added a few notes on the ingredients you need, plus a few potential substitutions you could make if you can’t eat/find a certain ingredient.

  • Potatoes: I used large white baking potatoes for this recipe, which are then peeled and thinly sliced. You could use a mandolin to save time on slicing the potatoes, but I just stick to using a knife and chopping board!
  • Onion: You’ll need a large white onion for this recipe. The onion is caramelized for a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes on a low, slow cook to get them golden and sweet – the perfect compliment to the creamy sauce.
  • Roux Sauce: To make the creamy sauce for your scalloped potatoes, you’ll need to make a roux. This is butter, flour, and milk.
  • Seasonings: I use dried thyme and rosemary, alongside salt and pepper for this dish. You could also use fresh thyme and rosemary if you have it. Fresh chives are used to season the top of the dish.
  • Cheese: Now, a traditional scalloped potato recipe does not have any cheese. If you would like to keep this recipe 100% authentic, omit the cheese. However, I love how a sprinkle of grated cheese over the top of this dish gets it really golden and bubbly, plus potatoes and cheese are a match made in heaven!

Variations & Substitutions

Making This Recipe Vegan: Use vegan butter and vegan cream to make your roux sauce, and simply omit the cheese to make this recipe dairy-free/plant-based.

How To Make This Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Again, the exact step-by-step instructions and ingredient quantities will be in the recipe card at the bottom of this page. 

Below is an overview of making this recipe, plus some process shots to help you visualize how this recipe should turn out.

Step 1) Caramelize Your Onions

To start, add thinly sliced onion to a pan with melted butter and cook low and slow for 20 – 30 minutes minimum to caramelize your onions.

Stir the pan frequently to avoid the onions burning. You could skip this step for a faster recipe, but the caramelized onions add so much flavor to the finished dish!

Step 2) Make The Roux

Once the onions are done, add the seasoning and flour. Then, pour in your milk, whisking constantly over low heat until the sauce thickens and becomes creamy. Keep whisking to avoid lumps in your roux and avoid letting the milk come to a boil.

Step 3) Layer Up The Potatoes

Layer your thinly sliced potatoes around a baking dish. I like to arrange my potatoes stacked horizontally as pictured, but you could arrange yours face up if you prefer.

Pour the creamy sauce over the potatoes, nestling the sauce into the potatoes using a spoon. If you’re using cheese, scatter it over the top of the dish now.

Step 4) Bake The Scalloped Potatoes

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes covered, then uncover the dish and bake for a further 25 – 30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and the top is golden and bubbly.

What To Serve Your Scalloped Potatoes With

These scalloped potatoes make an excellent side dish as part of a bigger meal. You could make this recipe for a roast dinner, serving the potatoes alongside crispy roast potatoes, honey butter carrots, brussel sprouts, and green beans.

If serving at Christmas, you might also like to make these vegetarian pigs in blankets.

Storing

If you have leftover scalloped potatoes, here’s how to store them:

  • Refrigerator: Either cover your baking dish with foil and store it in the refrigerator, or transfer the leftovers to an airtight container, storing for 3-5 days. Reheat until piping hot in the microwave or oven before eating.
  • Freezer: Again, you could either bake the scalloped potatoes in a disposable foil tray and cover and freeze it, or transfer to an airtight container before freezing for up to three months. Defrost fully before reheating, and use your defrosted leftovers within 24 hours of defrosting.

FAQs

Why are they called scalloped potatoes?

They’re called scalloped potatoes because “scallop” refers to the method of thinly slicing the potatoes, a term derived from the Old English word “collop,” meaning “to slice thinly.”

What’s the difference between scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin?

The key difference is that scalloped potatoes typically don’t have cheese in the layers, focusing on a creamy sauce and sliced potatoes, while potatoes au gratin include cheese and often breadcrumbs, creating a cheesy, crusty topping.

Can I use cream instead of a roux sauce?

Yes, you can use cream instead of a roux-based sauce for a richer, creamier texture, though it increases the fat content. The potatoes’ natural starches will help thicken the sauce during baking.

another overhead shot of the scalloped potatoes, but with a large serving spoon taking a portion of the potatoes out of the skillet the dish was baked in. The scalloped potatoes are also topped with chives
overhead shot of scalloped potatoes cooked in a skillet, topped with chives

Scalloped Potatoes

Yield: 3 - 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

This classic scalloped potatoes recipe makes the perfect Easter side dish, or addition to the table for Thanks Giving or Christmas! Thinly sliced potatoes are baked in a gorgeous creamy sauce with caramelized onions for potato heaven.

Ingredients

  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 40g cheddar cheese
  • 10g fresh chives

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice your onion, and add it to a pan with the melted butter. Cook the onions low and slow (20 - 30 minutes) until they are golden and soft and caramelized.
  2. While the onions are caramelizing, peel and thinly slice your potatoes either using a knife or a mandolin. 
  3. Preheat your oven to 200C | 395F.
  4. Add the seasonings and the flour, stirring into the onion mixture to cook off the flour.
  5. Pour in your milk, stirring constantly until the sauce begins to thicken (3-5 minutes). Don’t let the milk boil.
  6. Place a tablespoon or two of the onion roux sauce in the bottom of your baking dish, then add your potatoes. I like to stack the potatoes facing up as I think this gives the dish a really striking look, but you could also stack them vertically!
  7. Pour over the rest of the creamy sauce, using a spoon to nestle the sauce in between all the slices of potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are fully covered by the sauce.
  8. Top with the grated cheese, if using.
  9. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 25 - 30 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.

Notes

If the potatoes don’t seem to be cooked enough, cover the dish with the foil again and bake for another 10 minutes then check (if you pierce the potatoes with a knife, it should slide right through).

If your roux sauce is lumpy, continue whisking it over low heat until smooth. The sauce should be thick and creamy.

If you would prefer to make this dish faster, you could skip the caramelized onions step (although they really do elevate this recipe!). Simply layer the raw onion amongst the potatoes before pouring over the sauce and they’ll baked at the same time as the potatoes. This will cut the cooking time by 30 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 405Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 786mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 14g

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