Craving cheesy, creamy, scalloped potatoes just like Grandma used to make? These thinly sliced spuds, baked in butter and cream and smothered with melted cheese, are the real deal.–Angie Zoobkoff

Why are my scalloped potatoes watery?

Scalloped potatoes should always be made from starchy potatoes (Yukon Gold or Russet for example), rather than red potatoes that are too waxy for this kind of preparation. The starchiness will help to keep things from getting too watery, especially in a recipe that doesn’t add any flour or cornstarch.

A glass casserole dish filled with golden brown easy scalloped potatoes

Easy Scalloped Potatoes

5 / 4 votes
Easy scalloped potatoes, made with cream and cheese, come together with ease and are the best imaginable side dish when you need comfort food. Here’s how to make them from scratch.
David Leite
CourseSides
CuisineGerman
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories709 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into slices 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick
  • 1 cup grated Emmental, Gruyère, or Comte cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Slick an 8-by-8-inch (20-by-20-cm) or 7-by-10-inch (18-by-25-cm) baking dish or 2-quart casserole with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon butter.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to a gentle simmer, making sure it doesn’t boil over. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 minute.
  • Arrange the potato slices in the casserole dish. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. (It’s okay if the cream doesn’t completely cover the potatoes.)
  • Bake until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, 55 to 60 minutes.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C). Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes, dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and return the baking dish to the oven until the surface of the scalloped potatoes is golden brown and the cheese has melted, 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Let the potatoes rest for 10 minutes before serving. Originally published February 22, 2019.

Adapted From

German Meals at Oma’s

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 portionCalories: 709 kcalCarbohydrates: 53 gProtein: 16 gFat: 50 gSaturated Fat: 31 gMonounsaturated Fat: 12 gTrans Fat: 0.4 gCholesterol: 150 mgSodium: 674 mgFiber: 6 gSugar: 5 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2018 Gerhild Fulson. Photo © 2018 Toni Zernike. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Of all the dishes I’ve tested for Leite’s Culinaria, this easy scalloped potatoes recipe received the highest praises. Everyone loved this dish. I found it to be very easy to make and with very little preparation and hands-on time. The result was a dish that was tasty with a beautiful appearance that elevated the rest of the meal.

In fact it was so good that I made it two days in a row! I served this with roasted chicken quarters and pan-seared cauliflower florets.

Easy breezy is the correct term for these quickly disappearing and easy scalloped potatoes! This luscious dish comes together very quickly and then the oven does the rest of the work. Who wouldn’t like that?

The cheese was melted and the top was very nicely browned by then. After pulling the potatoes out of the oven, I topped the dish with foil to keep them warm until the rest of my dinner was finished and they stayed piping hot when I served them.

I smashed 4 roasted garlic cloves around the buttered casserole dish before adding the potatoes and used Gruyère since I couldn’t find Emmental.

This dish was a huge hit at my table.

There are very few recipes that feel homey, just like something Grandma would make, while also tasting luxurious and decadent. These easy scalloped potatoes are the perfect mix of both worlds. Perfectly at home for a meal with family, but fancy enough for company. The simply spiced cream sauce perfectly complements the flavors of the potatoes and cheese for a rich side dish that’s sure to please.

I used the slicing blade on my food processor, which made the potato prep for this dish very quick and easy. I topped my potatoes with Comte, which was a nice, light, flavorful choice.

My cream sauce didn’t completely cover the potatoes and it still worked great, so don’t fret if a layer of your potatoes is above the sauce. Those potatoes will be covered in delicious cheese later anyway.

I’ve never been a real fan of scalloped potatoes but was pleasantly surprised by how tasty this was. I ended up using Gruyère since that’s what I had on hand. Was wondering as I was grating the cheese if it would be too much, and I do believe it would be best to reduce the amount by 1/4 to 1/2 cup. There was too much oil floating around the edges and then pooling in casserole bottom. I look forward to making this with a nice roast.

Damn. These scalloped potatoes are good. What’s better is that they’re super easy to make if you have a slicer. Of course, the copious amounts of heavy cream make them an occasional side, which is rather unfortunate. I used a Wisconsin-made Gruyère clone that melted and browned gloriously.

I would cut the amount of butter in half. Greasing the baking dish (an 8-inch-square is the perfect size) takes about 1/2 tablespoon butter. Dotting the top with about a tablespoon would be more than enough. There was a fair amount of butter sitting on top of the potatoes when I pulled it after the final 10 minutes of baking. I let it sit for about 10 minutes before I served it and it had all soaked back in. For maximum cheese brownage, maybe skip dotting all together? When pouring the cream over the potatoes, the cream will not cover and that’s ok. These potatoes are best eaten they day they’re made. They become a greasy mess when reheated.

Tender potatoes in bubbly cream topped with golden brown cheese—every bit of this casserole is delicious and comforting. This is also a good jumping-off-point recipe that you can build upon to make it your own. In addition to the few suggested ideas, you could add chopped herbs to the cream, or sprinkle grated pecorino if you’d like a bit of sharpness in addition to the nutty Emmental.

The entire gratin was evenly cooked and I wonder if heating the cream beforehand was the culprit. (It reminded me of the wonderful Sweet Potato Gratin recipe which I tested a few years ago.) We enjoyed the scalloped potatoes as the main dish on a weeknight with the Fennel, Orange, and Watercress Salad but since watercress wasn’t available, I used arugula instead—a wonderful substitution.

These scalloped potatoes taste just like something your old world grandmother would put on the table during a Sunday lunch or supper. I made these potatoes as a side for a pork roast and invited my father (who is from Minnesota and was raised on scalloped potatoes—they’re basically a staple!) and his wife for dinner. They were fantastic, super creamy, and very well received. The recipe itself is easy and took no time at all to get prepped and ready for the oven, which is a win in my book when trying to host and get a baby ready for a bath.

If this is the main, absolutely 4 servings. However, I served this with a salad and Spanish pork loin roast and would have had 6 servings if my husband didn’t go back for seconds.

I ended up using a Le Creuset pan that is a 7 by 10 inches. Since I used a larger pan I only needed to bake the potatoes for 45 minutes before needing to add the cheese. We ended up with 5 good servings for dinner…and my husband kept nibbling on them. I served them with a roast pork loin, roasted red onions, and a side salad.

This is a great, rich Sunday dinner side dish. It does take a long time to make, hence relegating it to weekend cooking, but it’s worth it.

I did accidentally let the cream boil over a bit, but I tasted the cream and it didn’t taste scorched so I used it anyway. The sauce was thick and flavorful in the finished product. I’ve made scalloped potatoes with russets before, but Yukon Golds are a much better fit for this dish. Don’t try to switch them for something else. I used Gruyère and it was perfect. I served it with oven fried chicken and vinaigrette-marinated cabbage.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was a little suspicious of this recipe – no careful, tedious layering? Harumph.

    Well, I needn’t have worried – this was super simple to throw together and incredibly decadent. I had to turn the broiler on for a moment to finish browning the top, but otherwise the recipe worked perfectly. We had “accidentally” opened a magnum of Rombauer Chardonnay with no food and quickly realized that wasn’t terribly bright. This dish saved the evening and was absolutely spectacular with the wine! Many thanks, Leite’s!

    1. You’re welcome, Kristen! Very smart move, indeed. And really, what more do you need than creamy potatoes and good wine?

  2. 5 stars
    These potatoes were delicious! I included shredded cheddar in between the layers. It needs extra salt. I also had a mandoline to slice the potatoes. The first time making them. Delicious! ???

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is a keeper! It was easy to make and delicious. I upped the nutmeg to 1/4 tsp and I loved how it scented and flavored the dish. Thanks to the suggestions of the Tasters, I greatly reduced the butter—just enough to grease the dish and to sparsely dot the top and that was plenty. It firmed up nicely and served beautifully when cut with a knife into 6 almost-squares. Thanks for another awesome recipe which I will be making again and again.