Best Scalloped Potatoes


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Are you ready to elevate your side dish game with a recipe that promises to deliver the most delicious, creamy, and cheesy scalloped potatoes you’ve ever tasted? Look no further! This ultimate guide will walk you through a simple, yet exquisite recipe for making scalloped potatoes that are guaranteed to be a hit at any dinner table.

Why This Recipe Stands Out

In the vast sea of scalloped potato recipes, this one shines for its perfect balance of flavors, easy-to-follow steps, and foolproof techniques that ensure a mouthwatering result every time. What sets it apart is the homemade cheese sauce, enriched with a hint of cayenne pepper for a subtle kick that complements the creamy texture and rich taste of the potatoes and cheese.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 4 cups of thinly sliced potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated cheese, for sprinkling on top

Step-by-Step Guide to Scalloped Potato Perfection

  1. Preparation: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Then, lightly grease a one-quart casserole dish. This will help prevent sticking and ensure easy serving after baking.
  2. Make the Cheese Sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let the mixture sit for a minute to cook off the raw flour taste. Gradually add the cold milk, continuously stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps. Season the mixture with salt and a dash of cayenne pepper, according to taste. Continue to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is smooth and has thickened. Then, reduce the heat and blend in the grated sharp cheddar cheese until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  3. Layer the Potatoes: Arrange half of the thinly sliced potatoes in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Pour half of the cheese sauce evenly over the potatoes. Repeat this process with the remaining potatoes and cheese sauce, ensuring that the layers are evenly distributed.
  4. The Final Touch: Sprinkle the additional grated cheese over the top layer for that irresistible golden crust. For a touch of color and subtle flavor, add a sprinkle of paprika over the cheese.
  5. Bake to Perfection: Place the casserole dish in the preheated oven and bake uncovered for about 1 hour. You’ll know it’s done when the potatoes are tender, the sauce is bubbly, and the top is beautifully golden brown.

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Tips for Success

  • Potato Selection: For the best results, use starchy potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds. Their texture becomes exceptionally creamy as they bake, absorbing the cheese sauce perfectly.
  • Slicing: Ensure your potatoes are thinly and evenly sliced. This not only helps them cook uniformly but also creates a better texture in every bite.
  • Seasoning: Don’t be afraid to adjust the seasoning to suit your taste. The cayenne pepper provides a lovely warmth, but you can also experiment with other spices like nutmeg or garlic powder for a different twist.

Serving and Storage Tips for Scalloped Potatoes

After mastering the art of creating the best scalloped potatoes, it’s essential to know how to serve and store them properly to maintain their delicious taste and texture. Here are some expert tips to ensure your scalloped potatoes remain a crowd-pleaser from the oven to the table, and even as leftovers.

Serving Tips:

  • Let it Rest: Allow your scalloped potatoes to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes after taking them out of the oven. This resting period helps the sauce to thicken slightly and makes serving easier.
  • Garnish for Appeal: Before serving, consider garnishing with a sprinkle of fresh herbs such as parsley or chives. This not only adds a pop of color but also a fresh flavor contrast to the rich and creamy dish.
  • Serve Warm: Scalloped potatoes are best enjoyed warm, when the cheese is melty and the sauce is at its creamiest. If they’ve cooled down, you can briefly reheat them in the oven or microwave before serving.

Storage Tips:

  • Cool Before Storing: Allow the scalloped potatoes to cool to room temperature before storing them to prevent condensation inside the storage container, which could make them soggy.
  • Refrigerator Storage: Store leftover scalloped potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, they will last for 3 to 5 days.
  • Freezing: If you have a large batch of leftovers or want to prepare your dish in advance, scalloped potatoes can be frozen. Freeze them in airtight containers or freezer bags. For best quality, consume them within 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Reheating: To reheat, cover the scalloped potatoes with aluminum foil and warm them in an oven preheated to 350°F (175°C) until heated through. This usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the portion size. If microwaving, consider covering them with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel to avoid drying out.

Additional Tip for Reheating:

  • Moisture Retention: If you find the scalloped potatoes a bit dry after refrigeration, you can add a small amount of milk or cream before reheating. This helps to rehydrate the sauce and bring back the creamy texture.


1. Can I make scalloped potatoes ahead of time?

Yes, scalloped potatoes can be made ahead of time, making them a perfect dish for entertaining or holiday meals. Prepare the dish up to the point of baking, then cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, you may need to add an extra 10-15 minutes to the baking time since you’ll be starting from a cold state. Ensure the potatoes are fully heated through and the top is golden brown before serving.

2. Why did my scalloped potatoes come out watery?

Scalloped potatoes can turn out watery for a few reasons. One common cause is not slicing the potatoes thinly enough, which can result in undercooked potatoes and excessive moisture. Additionally, using low-fat milk or cheese can also contribute to a watery consistency because they contain more water and less fat. To prevent this, stick to the recipe’s recommended ingredients and ensure your potatoes are thinly and evenly sliced.

3. Can I use different types of cheese in my scalloped potatoes?

Absolutely! While sharp cheddar cheese is recommended for its strong flavor and good melting properties, you can experiment with different types of cheese for varied flavors. Gruyère, Parmesan, or a mix of your favorite melting cheeses can add a unique twist to the dish. Just be mindful of the salt content in different cheeses, as this may affect the overall seasoning of your scalloped potatoes.

4. How can I add more flavor to my scalloped potatoes?

To elevate the flavor of your scalloped potatoes, consider incorporating additional ingredients such as minced garlic, sautéed onions, or crispy bacon bits into the layers. Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage can also add a lovely aroma and taste. For a spicy kick, increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add a pinch of smoked paprika. Experimenting with these add-ins can turn a classic dish into a signature favorite.


This scalloped potatoes recipe is more than just a dish; it’s a ticket to a memorable dining experience. Its simplicity, combined with the rich and comforting flavors, makes it the perfect side dish for any meal, from casual family dinners to festive holiday feasts. Give it a try, and you’ll see why these scalloped potatoes are indeed the best.

📖 Recipe

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Best Scalloped Potatoes

  • Author: Isabella
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Discover the ultimate Scalloped Potatoes recipe, a perfect blend of thinly sliced potatoes layered with a creamy, cheesy sauce, seasoned to perfection. This classic side dish is elevated with sharp cheddar and a hint of cayenne pepper, making it a must-try for cheese lovers and those looking to impress at any dining occasion. Ideal for family dinners, holiday gatherings, or any meal where comfort food is welcomed, this dish combines simple ingredients for an unforgettable taste experience.


4 cups thinly sliced potatoes

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

A dash of cayenne pepper

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated cheese, for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a one-quart casserole dish.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and let sit for a minute. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Cook until smooth and thickened. Add the cheddar cheese, stirring until melted.
  3. Arrange half of the potatoes in the casserole dish. Pour half of the cheese sauce over. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and sauce. Sprinkle the extra cheese on top.
  4. Bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown.


For best results, use starchy potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds for a creamy texture.

Allow the dish to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving for the sauce to thicken slightly.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Scalloped Potatoes Recipe, Creamy Scalloped Potatoes, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, Easy Scalloped Potatoes, Best Scalloped Potatoes, Holiday Side Dish, Comfort Food, Vegetarian Scalloped Potatoes, Baked Scalloped Potatoes

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