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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.
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.
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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, 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.
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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Hello, can you use red potatoes instead?
I think red potatoes would probably be too sweet. You could use Yukon gold if you didn’t want to use russets.
I used red potatoes and they worked perfectly.
Thanks for sharing Jody! Glad they worked out for you!
Hi Kristin, I have to make enough for about 26 people for tomorrow night, 2 questions: should I triple the batch and can I do them in a Roaster oven?
I was thinking of making today and just reheating tomorrow afternoon…any thoughts?
You can triple the batch and bake in three separate pans, but I haven’t ever baked in a roaster oven. Not sure that would work.
Could I double this recipe and cook for the same amount of time?
If you bake in two separate pans, yes.
How long in advance can I make this dish for same day serving? For instance can I put together in morning, refridge them then cook around late afternoon?
We usually cook this dish within an hour for best taste and texture.
This recipe sounds easy and delicious so I’m going to give it a try for Christmas this year. I want to cook the potatoes the day before so they will be cold when I go to peel them and make the dish. Do you see a problem with this?
That should be fine!
Hi! Do you think you could make these (including baking) a day ahead, refrigerate, and then reheat on the day you are serving?
Could I use heavy cream instead of milk or half and half?
Yes, you can!
Can i peel the potatoes first before I boil them but not boil them to long or then they’ll be mashed potato’s instead then slice them after words?
Definitely peel them after boiling them or they will become mushy as they cook.
I’m so excited to try this for our Christmas dinner. Have you tried peeling the potatoes before par boiling? Thank you for the recipe?
Peeling them will result in mushy potatoes. Definitely peel them after once they’ve cooled.
Is it “unsalted” butter?
I use regular salted butter.
Excited to try! Do you know around how many cups 2lbs of potatoes is? (Or how many large potatoes) 🙂
It’s roughly 5 potatoes. The recipe is pretty forgiving if you don’t have quite enough or a little too much.
My scalloped potatoes are dry and under cooked. If I add milk to it and cook it again for half hour will that work? I want to serve it tomorrow
I’m not sure why they would come out dry as I’ve never had that problem. But because this recipe uses a cheese sauce, it’s tough to reheat.
These are a fan favorite. After a disastrous attempt last Christmas at scalloped potatoes that seemed to take hours to cook and a sauce that never firmed up, I tried your recipe for Thanksgiving and pre-boiled the potatoes. The dish cooked up right on time and everyone loved the flavor of the sauce. I just made a triple batch today for our family party tomorrow after requests for extra to take home. This one is a keeper.
So glad you enjoyed it Ginny!
You made yours ahead completely? Did they turn out ok when you reheated them?
Can 1% milk be used as a substitute for the non-fat or half and half?
YEs, you could use just 1% milk.
Can this dish be made a day ahead and then baked?
I don’t recommend it because of the cheese sauce.
hi there! I am looking to make some dishes ahead of time for a big Holiday gathering. Your recipe looks incredible and I love the idea of cooking the potatoes ahead of time. I have a quick question: Do you think it would be ok to prepare everything and then freeze it before baking? I could then thaw the day before the event and bake when ready? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
I am very leery of freezing anything with a cheese sauce and do not recommend it.
These are TO DIE FOR!!! I used whipping cream instead of the full amount if milk. So i used 3/4c of milk and 3/4 of heavy whipping cream.
Oh that would make them so nice and creamy! So glad you enjoyed them.
I made these yesterday for Thanksgiving. They were so good, everyone loved them. As a side note, I will be using the cheese sauce part of this recipe to make macaroni and cheese. It’s that good. Thank you!
Thank you and Great idea Kristin.
How many potatoes are 2lbs ?
Hi Anna, Because potatoes can vary quite a bit in size, it’s difficult to say how many are in a pound. I usually buy the 5 pound bag and use roughly half of the bag. But if you want to be precise, I’d suggest weighing them at the grocery store.
I just made this dish today for Thanksgiving dinner. I followed the directions except that I used shredded Parmesan cheese on the top because I didn’t have any more cheddar. I also added about one cup of cubed ham. It was delicious and everyone really liked it. I will definitely make this dish again.
That sounds delicious!