Creamy scalloped potatoes are made with layers of potatoes and homemade cream sauce. Make this recipe for a casual dinner or holiday meal.
Potato side dishes are really popular around the holidays, mainly because they’re such a great way to feed a crowd. I appreciate that potatoes reheat well, so they can be made ahead.
When I’m cooking for a holiday meal, I usually make either roasted mashed potatoes or brown butter mashed potatoes ahead of time. Then, the day of serving, I just pop them in the fridge to reheat. I do the same thing when I make scalloped potato casserole.
Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
This casserole make the perfect side for a weekend dinner too, because it goes well with just about anything.
Difference between au gratin and scalloped potatoes
While both are baked potato casseroles, scalloped and au gratin have one distinct difference – cheese! Both feature layers of sliced potatoes with milk or heavy cream, but only au gratin potatoes have shredded cheese between the layers.
Potatoes au gratin also often has a layer of breadcrumbs on top. Another key difference is the thickness of the slices; those used in au gratin are typically much thinner.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Potatoes – Yukon Gold are the best choice for this recipe, as they hold their shape well.
- Milk – Feel free to use heavy cream or half and half to make a richer, creamier sauce.
- Chicken stock – You can also use chicken broth, or substitute with vegetable broth to make this dish vegetarian.
- Ranch seasoning – Any packet of dry seasoning will work just fine, or use a homemade version if you prefer.
How to slice potatoes with a mandolin
Using this kitchen tool saves lots of time in the kitchen, especially when you have a large pile of potatoes to slice! Be sure to protect your fingers with the guard provided, as the blade is very sharp.
- First, wash and peel the potatoes. It can also help to slice them in half so you start with a flat surface.
- Adjust the blade on the mandolin to the correct thickness.
- Next, position the mandolin so the raised end is closest to you.
- Place a potato half in the handguard and slide it down against the blade. Use even pressure so the slices are consistent.
- Repeat with the remaining potatoes until you have a pile of thin slices.
Video: Making Scalloped Potato Casserole
Making this recipe is pretty straightforward, but if this will be your first time making the dish, be sure to watch the video in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
- Slice the vegetables: Cut the onion in half, then slice into thin rounds along with the potatoes. You can use a mandolin or sharp knife, whichever you prefer.
- Make the cream sauce: Saute the onion with the spices, then add the flour to remove the raw flavor. Add the liquids and ranch seasoning and simmer until thickened.
- Assemble the dish: Create 3 layers of potatoes and sauce in a greased casserole dish, starting with potatoes on the bottom and ending with the sauce on top.
- Bake and serve: Bake for a total of an hour and a half, covering with foil for the first half and then uncovering for the second half. Let the potatoes rest for at least 15 minutes to make serving easier.
- Wet your blade – Because of the high starch content in potatoes, they can stick to the blade when being sliced. Prevent this by getting your knife wet first or sprinkling a few drops of water on the mandolin slicer.
- Make ahead – You can save time in the kitchen on busy holiday cooking days by pre-baking the potatoes. Assemble and bake covered in foil for 45 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight, then finish baking uncovered the next day. Be sure to let the dish sit on the counter for a bit before placing in the oven.
- Broiling – If you prefer a more brown and crispy top, leave the dish under the broiler for a few minutes after baking. This step is optional, but it adds extra flavor and texture.
- Storage – Cover the casserole dish or transfer leftover potatoes to an airtight container. These will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheating – Warm the entire dish in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through. Individual portions can be warmed in the microwave for easy leftovers.
This post, first published on Kevin is Cooking Oct. 5, 2020, was last updated with new content on Sept. 14, 2021.
Creamy Scalloped Potatoes + Video
- 3 lbs potatoes (See Note 1)
- 1 large onion halved
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk (See Note 2)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp Ranch Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
- Using a mandolin or sharp knife, cut the entire onion and potatoes separately a 1/8" thin. Set aside.
- In a skillet or Dutch oven melt butter and add onion and saute several minutes over medium heat. Add garlic, salt, pepper and saute until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring to mix thoroughly and cook flour.
- Stir in the milk, chicken stock, Ranch Seasoning and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer. Continue to stir with spoon or whisk. Sauce will thicken after 2-3 minutes.
- Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of a 9"x13" baking dish and pour 1/3 of the cream sauce sauce over top. Spread evenly using spatula. Repeat layers 2 more times ending with cream sauce on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for an additional 45 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are tender. Turn on broiler 3-4 minutes for golden top.
- Allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting/serving to cool and firm up.
- I use a Russet or Golden Yukon potatoes.
- Feel free to use heavy cream for a richer, thicker sauce or Half and Half.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.