These easy cheesy scalloped potatoes are as comforting a dish as you can make. Pair this hearty side dish with roast chicken, steak, ham, and more!
Potatoes. Cream. Cheese. Comfort-centric Sunday dinner just isn’t the same without them.
My mom always made her cheesy scalloped potatoes with cream of mushroom soup. It was one of my favorite parts of one of my favorite dinners ever. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve moved away from the canned stuff and on to basic cream, chicken broth, and butter that envelops tenderly sliced potatoes to create a seriously decadent side dish with very minimal effort.
Scalloped Potatoes Ingredients
Although these easy cheesy scalloped potatoes may look like they take a lot of time and effort to prepare, they actually require just a handful of simple ingredients to make. Here’s what you’ll need to make this scalloped potatoes recipe:
- Fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Heavy cream
- Chicken broth
- Russet potatoes
- Bay leaves
- Medium cheddar cheese
- Parmesan cheese
I like to use my handheld mandoline to evenly slice the potatoes every time.
How to Make Scalloped Potatoes
In a Dutch oven, sauté the garlic in a little butter and cook until fragrant. Add in the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until the onions soften.
Add the cream, chicken broth, bay leaves, and sliced potatoes to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the potatoes are nearly fork tender.
Cooking the potatoes in the cream and chicken broth releases the starch from the potatoes and helps thicken the creamy sauce. It also pre-cooks the potatoes for a shorter baking time.
Transfer half of the potato mixture to a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, then top with remaining potatoes and more cheese. Refrigerate the scalloped potatoes for at least an hour before baking.
Can I Use Dried Herbs Instead of Fresh?
I recommend using fresh herbs if possible. Dried herbs are much more potent and don’t impart as fresh of a flavor.
Is There a Heavy Cream Substitute I Can Use?
Heavy cream is a must in this scalloped potatoes recipe. The extra fat not only adds lots of flavor, but it also thickens up the sauce a bit. Whole milk or half and half could be used as a substitute, but the sauce may be thinner and not thicken up as much.
Tips for Making the Best Scalloped Potatoes
I use russet potatoes versus the waxier white potatoes. Russets have a higher starch content and thus, created a tender bite.
Cooking the potatoes in the cream and chicken broth prior to baking not only speeds up the oven time but also gives the sauce an even creamier texture due to the starches the potatoes yield during the pre-baking cooking process. It is all about the creaminess IMO, after all.
Combining even amounts of cream with chicken broth brings the heaviness of scalloped potatoes down to a normal range. So you won’t feel as if you need to waddle away from the table instead of walking.
While the original recipe didn’t call for Parmesan cheese, I like the extra bite Parmesan adds to this dish. It’s a great complement to the cheddar and man, it is just plain good.
More Classic Potato Side Dishes to Make
- The Best Oven Roasted Crispy Potatoes
- Easy Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Heavenly Funeral Potatoes
- Rosemary Garlic Butter Smashed Potatoes
- The Best Buttery Parsley Potatoes
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 garlic cloves pressed in a garlic press
- 1 medium onion minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 4 pounds russet potatoes sliced thinly, about ⅛ inch thick
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup medium cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese shredded
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then add the garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds, stirring until garlic becomes fragrant. Add the onions, thyme leaves and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until onions become soft, stirring occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the cream and chicken broth and stir. Add the potato slices and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes or the potatoes are nearly fork tender.
- Transfer half of the mixture to a 1 ½ quart dish, an 8x8 or 9x6-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Top with the remaining potato mixture, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese then top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until the cream is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is golden brown. Let rest for 5-10 minutes until serving.
What to Serve with Scalloped Potatoes to Make it a Meal
- Stuffed Pork Chops
- Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon Rosemary Butter
- Juicy Roast Turkey Breast
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri
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