Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes (Au Gratin)

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.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are our favorite way to make potatoes. My cheesy potato recipe is a perfect side dish to pair with any meal, especially Easy Baked Glazed Ham and the Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe. While they are technically au gratin potatoes, you’ll love this recipe no matter what you call it!

An overhead image of cheese covered sliced potatoes with paprika and parsley

EASY, CHEESY SCALLOPED POTATOES RECIPE

My grandma was known for her comfort food cooking. From authentic German Spaetzle and Hungarian dishes 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 Shortcut 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.

I remember the first time I cooked this Scalloped Potatoes recipe on my own. It was for a Christmas party that I was hosting at my home, and it was the first Christmas since my grandma had passed away. My boss was bringing the ham, so I knew I had to make my grandma’s cheesy potatoes recipe. I did and they tasted just like hers…which of course made me cry as I ate them!

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes in a large casserole dish with a wooden spoon

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?

  1. 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. My grandma boiled the potatoes whole and unpeeled for about 20-25 minutes, to cook them most of the way through. Then she would peel them when they were cool enough to handle and slice them with a paring knife.
  2. MAKE THE CHEESY SAUCE. Make the cheese sauce – a basic bechamel sauce with grated cheddar added – while the potatoes are boiling. 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. Since this is a cheesy potato recipe, the cheese is important! Make sure you are using fresh shredded off the block sharp cheddar cheese.
  3. 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.

A collage of images depicting steps for making au gratin potatoes

Recipe Tips and Questions

Since first posting this recipe back in 2016, we get lots of questions and reviews. I tried to address some of the most frequent questions and comments.

Why do you boil the potatoes first?

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. You won’t have that problem with my Grandma’s Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes!

What type of potato is best?

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.

Make Ahead and Freezer Instructions for Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

  • 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.
  • Make Ahead instructions: If you’d like to prep this Scalloped Potatoes 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.

Hey! These Are Au Gratin Potatoes

Technically, that is correct. 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.

A big scoop of cheesy potatoes on a wooden spoon

Here are some more delicious potato recipes to check out:

And for more amazing side dishes, try these:

icon
If you’ve made this recipe, please come back and leave us a star rating or a comment below. Or, tag us on social media @yellowblissroad or #yellowblissroad for a chance to be featured.

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are the perfect side dish! Par-boiled instead of baked raw, these cheesy potatoes will always be cooked to creamy perfection.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 285kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

If the cheese sauce seems too thick, add more milk, just a little bit at a time, whisking it each time until you like the consistency. It should be thick, but still somewhat pourable. 
Potatoes should be able to be pierced through with a sharp knife, but not falling apart. 

Nutrition

Calories: 285kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 11gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 252mgPotassium: 572mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 555IUVitamin C: 6.4mgCalcium: 277mgIron: 1.4mg
Keyword cheesy scalloped potatoes

For all side dishes go HERE and for the Recipe Index go HERE

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

Free Email Series
5 Secrets to Dinnertime Sanity
Free email series with tested, tasted & terrific dinner recipes!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. I made these for Christmas and they were a big hit. I changed the process a bit. I wanted to slice them on my mandoline, so I peeled and sliced them first, then boiled the slices for about 10-12 minutes. My slices were on the thicker side. I drained them, returned them to the pan, and then added the cheese sauce, so the potato slices were covered evenly with sauce, and transferred them into my baking pan, rather than layering. This way I didn’t have to let the potatoes cool down first, and they baked beautifully. Thanks for the tip of cooking the potatoes first! They were very creamy, and not at all dry, hard or cooked unevenly.

  2. So I am going to make for 11 people. Approximately how many russet potatoes are in 2 pounds and will this be enough for 10 adults and 1 child? Should I just add 1 pound more potatoes and 1/2 more of other ingredients? Thank you!

    1. The 2 pounds will make roughly 8 servings. However, you could probably stretch it to 10 people if there are a lot of sides.

  3. Kristin,

    I made these tonight for Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow. They look great so far. I will let you know how they taste. I made six pounds of potatoes and adjusted the recipe for the cheese sauce.

  4. My grandmother was also Hungarian and German. Everybody tells me that I am a wonderful cook but I believe this is attributed to my grandmother putting me on a stool in the kitchen when I was 2 years old I can make her biscuits and gravy so well that my friends call me Miss biscuit. Thank you so much for this recipe I was looking for an easy cheesy potato recipe to serve with my ham dinner tonight and I think this will do just wonderful and I think my grandmother would be proud of you. Thank you so much!

  5. Hi, I’m making this for xmas eve to go with my ham. At what point can I freeze this recipe? As I want to do as much beforehand as possible. Thanks xx

  6. I plan on making your recipe and taking it to a Christmas Eve dinner.
    Your instructions say to serve immediately.
    Will it keep about an hour or so after cooking??
    Thanks for your help.
    Elaine

    1. It will keep. They are just best served right away as the cheese sauce can thicken a bit. Cover them with foil and keep warm as much as possible.

  7. This was awesome! I added some chopped ham to the sauce. I don’t think 2 lbs of potatoes was quite enough. I could have fit several more in. But the only reason I’m complaining about that is because this was so good and I would have loved it if it had filled up the pan, haha! I also boiled my potatoes longer because I live at a high altitude. So maybe I didn’t slice them as thinly as I was supposed to. Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. Hi. This is my first time making this potato dish. I will be making for eleven people. Very excited to put these on my table. I’m hoping everyone will love them.

  9. Hi Kristin, Im making these for Thanksgiving and had a quick question. You recipe is for 8 servings. I’m having around 24 guest so I will be making three of these in three different containers. My question is once I place all three in the oven should I change the temp on the oven should I cook it longer but keep the same temp? Im not sure what to do! Thanks for your help!

    1. If you’re making a lot of sides, you could probably get away with just two 13×9-inch pans. However if you’re not, then yes, go ahead and do three pans. You may need to cook them longer, but probably not by much.

  10. Your cooking time is definitely not true. I cooked them for 45 mins (your suggested time was 20-25mins) and they were still hard potatoes. So your “quick” recipe isn’t actually quick. Just wanted to let you know..

    1. They work in my kitchen perfectly every time. The reason they would be hard would be either they are really large and didn’t cook enough in the boiling water, or they were cut to thick. Oven temperature also can vary.

  11. Hi Kristin, First off I followed your recipe for the Thanksgiving Turkey and got great compliments on it and it was my first time cooking a turkey so thank you soooo much! This time around I will be cooking the Turkey but also making this recipe (EASY CHEESY SCALLOPED POTATOES). My question would be would I be able to make this recipe the night before and store it in the fridge and then cook it right before we decide to eat? Only reason I ask is because since i’m already making the turkey and only have one oven I wouldn’t want to cook both at the same time.

    Thank you! and happy holidays!

    1. Hi Jonathon, yes you prep the scalloped potatoes the night before and cook them the day of. I wouldn’t bake them the day before though because they won’t be as creamy.

  12. This looks amazing! I’ve been searching for a good cheesy potato recipe for years, so I’m excited to try it for Thanksgiving. My sister in law has to eat gluten free, so is it possible to use an all purpose gluten free flour for the cheese sauce? That way she can give it a shot too. I try my hardest to have some dishes that we can all enjoy without too much tweaking. Thanks!

  13. Hi.im making it now.i c you have no measurements for ingredients.im winging it.also u don’t say if it’s baked cover or not.im covering to keep cheese from burning.cheers.P

    1. I’m not sure I understand what you mean by no measurements for ingredients. They are all correct in the printable recipe card. You bake uncovered.

  14. I’ve been searching for a cheesy potato recipe for ages! Made these with some steak the other night, and they were delicious! I followed the recipe to the letter, and it did not disappoint. Next time, I may add some red pepper flakes, or even experiment with different types of cheese combos with this recipe as the base. Thanks for sharing with us!

  15. I don’t have a printer to print these out. Is there a way I could get this delicious looking recipe emailed to me? It’s the scalloped potato recipe