Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

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There are many ways to make delicious scalloped potatoes. For this version, I consulted several books—Kitchen Sense, two James Beards, and the Joy of Cooking. Basically you layer thinly sliced potatoes with any number of extras—cheese, onions, parsley—add milk or cream, and bake. The potatoes absorb the liquid as they cook, the cheese melts, the top gets browned.

One tip: use a shallow casserole dish. The one I used here ended up stacking the potatoes a little too high and I had to add a half hour or so to the cooking time. What you don’t want is crispy browned on top and not-cooked-enough potatoes inside. If you need a faster cooking time, Joy of Cooking recommends parboiling the potatoes first for a few minutes.

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

You'll need 2 slices of cooked bacon for this recipe, so start the bacon cooking and then prep the other ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs (about 4 medium sized) Russet potatoes, peeled, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives (optional)
  • 2 thick slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 cups to 3 cups of half-and-half (half milk, half cream)
  • Salt and pepper

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a large casserole dish with 1 1/2 Tbsp of butter. If you use a casserole dish that is about 9x13 (bigger than the one shown) you'll have more surface area, more of the potatoes will brown, and the cooking time will be faster.

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2 Layer the bottom of the casserole dish with a third of the potato slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer on half of the sliced onions and 1/2 cup of the Swiss cheese. Layer on half of the bacon, and half of the parsley and chives. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan.

Repeat by layering on a third of the potato slices, sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Layer on the remaining sliced onions, 1/2 cup of the Swiss cheese, the remaining bacon, parsley and chives. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan.

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Top the casserole with the remaining potato slices. Add the half and half. Dot the potatoes with the remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp of butter.

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3 Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for one hour. After an hour, remove from the oven, remove the foil, sprinkle on the remaining Swiss and Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven for an additional 30-40 minutes. When done, the potatoes should be tender, but not mushy, and the liquid should be mostly absorbed.

For a faster cooking time, you can parboil the sliced potatoes for 8 minutes first, patting them dry, before layering them in the casserole pan. In this case the total oven cooking time is about 35-45 minutes.

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Showing 4 of 44 Comments

  • Yanis

    I love this recipe, it’s my go to scalloped potato recipe. Although I leave off the bacon, in my opinion it’s better without bacon, but that’s just my personal opinion. I do advise pre boiling the potatoes. But it’s a great recipe, I’ve been using it for years now.

  • Carol

    My experience with parboiling is that it makes the dish watery. Think it must have something to do with leaching the starch. So I just plan on cooking for the whole long time. They’re totally worth it.

  • Evelyn

    Can this be done in a crock pot?

  • Milena

    I am planning to make this for Christmas and I can’t wait. Thank you for the marvelous recipe.

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