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These Easy, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are smothered in a creamy cheese sauce and baked to perfection. With a quick shortcut, this classic side dish takes less than an hour from start to finish. They are sure to be a hit at your holiday feast.
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Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Recipes
My grandma was known for her comfort food cooking. From authentic German Spaetzle and Hungarian Goulash to American classics like these Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, each recipe she cooked was her pride and joy.
In our family she was known for certain dishes, like her German Potato Salad and her Zucchini Bread, among others. She never had to follow a recipe – she knew each one like the back of her hand. Which of course leaves us trying to recreate the flavors she made. Thankfully we cooked with her enough that we are usually successful.
While they are technically au gratin potatoes, you’ll love this Scalloped Potatoes recipe no matter what you call it!
- Russet potatoes – The best kind of potatoes for a cheesy potato casserole are russets. They hold their shape the best.
- Butter, flour, and milk – For making a roux and then a bechamel sauce.
- Cheddar cheese – Since this is a cheesy potato recipe, the cheese is important! Make sure you are using fresh shredded off the block sharp cheddar cheese.
- Salt, pepper and paprika
How To Make Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
I love this recipe because it’s super easy and tastes better than any cheesy potato casserole I’ve ever had. That could be due to the massive amounts of fresh Cheddar cheese in the rich, creamy sauce, but who knows?
- BOIL THE POTATOES. Most potato casserole recipes I’ve seen (au gratin or scalloped) use raw potatoes and bake the casserole for over an hour, up to an hour and a half or more! The potatoes take quite a while to cook so that lengthy time was necessary. We boil the potatoes whole and unpeeled for about 20-25 minutes, to cook them most of the way through. Then peel them when they are cool enough to handle and slice them with a paring knife.
- MAKE THE CHEESY SAUCE. Start with a roux (melted butter and flour, cooked until golden), add milk and simmer until thick. Stir in shredded cheddar cheese until it melts.
- LAYER AND BAKE. Layer the sliced potatoes and cheese sauce in a large casserole dish and top with more grated cheddar and some ground Hungarian paprika for color. I like to add fresh minced parsley as a finishing touch, but either of these garnishes can be left off. Bake as directed until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the cheesy potato casserole is hot throughout.
The par-boiling of the potatoes ensures that the potatoes will be creamy and soft and cooked all the way through in under 30 minutes of baking time. Unevenly cooked potatoes is the most common complaint about casseroles that start with raw sliced potatoes.
Russet potatoes or Yukon Golds will work best for this recipe. Both will hold their shape well during cooking and will be easy to slice. I recommend peeling, especially if you’re using russets because the skin is tough, but if you’re using Yukons, leaving the peel on would be fine.
What is the Difference Between Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Au Gratin Potatoes?
Technically, scalloped potatoes are made with a creamy sauce, while au gratin potatoes are covered with cheese. However, since we kind of combine these two methods, I feel confident calling them Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes. Plus, that’s what Grandma always called them, and we don’t mess with Grandma!
This Easy Scalloped Potatoes recipe was a hit at my dinner party, and they’re sure to be a hit at yours. They are delicious with ham, turkey, or even as a fancy side for your favorite steak. They also pair well with a beautiful London Broil.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions
If you’d like to prep this recipe a day ahead of time you can certainly do that. Layer the casserole as directed, cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate overnight. Bake as directed.
These potatoes will last several days in an airtight container in the fridge. You can reheat a large portion in the oven at the same temperature until hot, or in the microwave for individual portions.
Keep in mind that any time you are baking a casserole straight out of the fridge, it may be necessary to add baking time. To avoid this, let the casserole sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
How to Freeze
Freezing the cooked casserole: Cool the potatoes completely and place in an airtight container. You could also freeze them in the pan, then pop them out and wrap them in foil. This applies to a full pan or leftovers. To reheat, thaw in a pan in the fridge overnight. Place into the baking dish and cover with foil to keep them from drying out. Bake as the recipe directs.
Freeze without baking: Prep the entire recipe right up to the baking, but instead cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil and place the whole potato casserole into the freezer for up to 3 months. To bake, thaw in the fridge for 24 hours, then bake as directed.
More Potato Recipes
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic & Herb Butter Baby Potatoes
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Perfect Baked Potatoes
- Roasted Red Potatoes
More Side Dishes
- Slow Cooker Creamy Corn
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Parmesan Rosemary Rolls
- Sour Cream Salad
- Creamy Scalloped Corn Casserole
Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups nonfat milk or half & half
- Salt & pepper
- 2 1/2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Paprika for garnish
- Fresh chopped chives or parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F and grease a 13″x9″ baking pan with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Scrub potatoes and place them, whole, into the boiling water for 20-25 minutes. They don't need to be fully cooked, but should be easily pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the water and let sit until cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is golden brown; about 2 minutes. Stir in milk and cook, stirring often, until thickened; about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently peel potatoes and slice into ⅛ inch rounds.
- Place ⅓ of the potatoes overlapping in a single layer in the baking dish, seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon about ⅓ of the cheese sauce on top of the potatoes. Repeat for two more layers. Pour all of the remaining cheese sauce over the top layer of potatoes. Spread to ensure all of the potatoes are covered.
- Sprinkle with ½ cup shredded cheddar (if desired) and paprika (about ⅛ teaspoon, just for color).
- Bake in the 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly.
- Garnish with fresh chopped chives or parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.