Our scalloped potatoes recipe is a potato and cheese lover's dream come true. It tastes wonderful with ham and the hardest part is waiting for this side dish to cook!
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The ingredients for our scalloped potatoes recipe are easy to find at most large grocery stores in the U.S. Let's talk about the main ingredients.
- Aromatics: We used yellow onion and freshly minced garlic.
- Spices: We used sage, nutmeg, thyme, bay leaf, black pepper, and salt.
- Potatoes: We used russets since they are the starchiest.
- Dairy: We used asiago and Romano cheese, butter, and heavy cream.
- Stock: We used low sodium chicken stock.
How to Make
- Using a food processor, mandolin, or box grater, slice the washed and peeled spuds with a consistent thickness, roughly ⅛ inch. Submerge the slices in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from changing color.
- In a large cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Saute the onion until soft, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the spices and cook for a minute to make the spices bloom. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl.
3. Drain the potatoes in a colander, making sure all the water is gone. This will also remove the surface starch from the potato.
4. Add the sliced spuds to the onion mixture. Mix gently with your hands so each slice has some onion mixture on it.
5. In the same cast iron skillet, melt the butter and remove it from the heat. Layer the sliced aromatics and potatoes in the skillet, then pour the heavy cream and the chicken stock all over the vegetables.
6. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Add one bay leaf to the center of the skillet. Cover with a large lid, foil, or a small baking sheet. On the stovetop, bring the potatoes to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Remove the lid, and sprinkle on the Asiago and Romano cheeses. Put the cast iron skillet in the oven for 20 to 23 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
8. Garnish with some fresh thyme leaves and let this sit for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Once cooled, carefully remove the bay leaf from the center. Since cast iron retains heat really well, our scalloped potatoes recipe should stay warm for an hour.
These two dishes are very similar, and in many American households, the words are used interchangeably. Since there are so many different variations of both recipes, it's easy to get them confused.
Scalloped use thinly sliced spuds, are cooked in a creamy sauce infused with garlic and herbs, and are traditionally made without cheese.
Au gratin also uses very thinly sliced spuds, can be cooked in a creamy sauce, are always made with cheese, and can have a crunchy bread topping.
The easiest way to check for doneness is to insert a fork or knife gently into the center area of the casserole. It should easily pierce the potatoes without any resistance.
Since this side dish is rich and creamy and so comforting, it really can be served with almost any main dish. It can be seen on holiday tables alongside other popular holiday meats like glazed ham, crown roast, and leg of lamb.
In most recipes, they are peeled before layering and that is our preference when making them. However, if you prefer to leave the peels on, it will cook up just fine. Just be sure to scrub the outside of them very well.
Make ahead: Make, bake, and let it cool to room temperature, then cover tightly. Scalloped potatoes can be refrigerated for up to three days before you reheat it. When you are ready to serve, reheat in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes or until it is warmed all the way through.
Leftovers: Cover them well so no air can get at them and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Unfortunately, homemade versions of scalloped potatoes don't freeze well. The cooked sliced spuds and the cream sauce aren't the same after freezing, thawing, and reheating.
- Want a different cheese? Try a good melting cheese, like gouda, fontina, or gruyere.
- Don't want any cheese? Traditionally scalloped potatoes are made with cream and no cheese, so you'll be fine.
- Don't want to use heavy cream? Make a roux with butter and flour, then add whole milk and chicken stock to make scalloped potatoes.
- Use a starchy potato such as Yukon gold, Russet, or yellow. It will help the cream in the scalloped potatoes thicken up.
- Use a cast iron skillet. It's guaranteed to cook it all the way through.
- Use two kinds of cheese. It makes the flavor profile of your scalloped potatos more complex.
- Want to prep ahead of time? Soak sliced spuds in cold water with a little vinegar or lemon juice to help them from turning brown. Place them in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. Drain well.
More Potato Side Dishes You'll Love
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Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
- 4 tablespoons butter, reserve half
- 2 ½ cups yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 7 medium yellow potatoes, washed, peeled sliced ⅛ inch
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup Asiago cheese, grated
- 1 cup Romano cheese, grated
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until soft, roughly 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring continuously.
- Sprinkle on the salt, sage, nutmeg and black pepper, and cook for one minute, stirring continuously. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl.
- Grate the Asiago and Romano cheese and mix them together in a bowl.
- Wash and peel the spuds, then cut them in ⅛ inch slices with a mandolin, box grater, or food processor. Submerge the sliced potatoes in a large bowl of water to keep them from turning color.
- Drain the spuds and dump them into the large bowl with the onion mixture. Mix well with your hands.
- Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Remove from the heat and carefully layer the slices into the skillet.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Pour the heavy cream and chicken broth into the skillet, then add one bay leaf. Cover with a large lid. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Take off the lid and sprinkle on the cheese. Put the skillet in the oven and cook for 20 to 23 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown on top.
- Sprinkle on the fresh thyme leaves for added flavor and let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving. This allows the dish to finish setting. Carefully remove the bay leaf from the center. This dish keeps warm for up to an hour in the cast iron skillet.
- Help the cream thicken up by using a starchy potato.
- When you use a cast iron skillet, it's guaranteed to cook the spuds all the way through.
- Want a more complex flavor profile? Use two cheeses.
- To help them from turning brown, soak sliced potatoes in cold water with a little vinegar or lemon juice then place them in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. Drain well before using.
This scalloped potatoes recipe post was originally published on November 16, 2017.