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A touch of Parmesan cheese scattered through the layers adds flavor and interest to these elegant but Easy Scalloped Potatoes. The perfect side dish for a special meal.
Scalloped potatoes have a solid place in my memory bank. My mom made them frequently and they graced our Easter table every year. I’ve got them on our Christmas Eve menu this year and since I haven’t shared this one with you all yet, it’s happening today!
There is a big difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes and its name is cheese. A true classic scalloped potato recipe is very basic – potatoes, milk or heavy cream, salt, pepper, and various other seasonings. If using milk instead of heavy cream, flour is often times added to thicken the sauce. Once you begin adding copious amounts of cheese, you’ve basically got an au gratin and not a scalloped potato. Now, that being said, I couldn’t help but add just a tad of Parmesan between the layers of Mom’s very classic recipe. It’s not enough to push it into the au gratin realm but just enough to add a nice salty bite that makes this an elegant, truly special holiday dish.
Mom’s no-fuss, practical method for this classic holiday dish is fabulously easy and results in beautiful, tender scalloped potatoes every single time. You’ll need to plan for a decent amount of time in the oven but the prep is a breeze.
What makes this method different is the layering process. While most recipes call for a bechamel (a fancy, schmancy term for a thickened white sauce), Mom threw caution to the wind and just layered all the ingredients together in a baking dish and popped it in the oven. There’s really no need to bother with a bechamel because the thickening process will take place as the dish bakes. Try it and you’ll see. It’s magical!
We’ve had some seriously grey skies in this neck of the woods so I have to apologize for the photos (no natural light = blah photos), BUT the recipe is solid, delicious, and worth sharing, regardless.
I’m using just a tad over 3 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes that I’ve peeled and sliced. I highly recommend using a food processor with a slicing blade or a mandoline for this task because it takes forever and a day to thinly slice 3 pounds of potatoes and we have far better things to do with our lives then peel potatoes. Am I right? I thought so.
Coat a baking dish that measures 13- x 9-inch or slightly larger. My deep baking dish works great. Place 1/3 of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the dish and then sprinkle them evenly with 1 heaping tablespoon of flour.
To complete the first layer, pour 1/3 of the milk right over the top of the potatoes and flour, sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese, and season with your seasoning of choice. I frequently do this with just salt and pepper but this time around instead of just plain salt, I used some Lawry’s seasoning salt to pep it up a bit.
You’ll need to repeat the layer two more times with the remaining ingredients for a total of three layers. Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for an hour. Remove the foil and let it cook for another 5 or 10 minutes until the potatoes are super tender when pierced with a fork.
There is no better side dish for ham than these potatoes. I’m telling you, they belong together. But, they are also excellent served with a variety of entrees, including beef, poultry, it’s all good!
Easy Scalloped Potatoes
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled and thinly sliced (6 to 8 potatoes)
- 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole or 2% milk
- 1/2 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt or seasoning salt like Lawry’s, or to taste
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large deep baking dish, 13- x 9-inch or slightly larger, with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cover the bottom of prepared baking dish with 1/3 of the potatoes then sprinkle evenly with 1 heaping tablespoon of flour. Pour 1/3 of the milk over the top, then add 1/3 of the Parmesan. Season with salt (or seasoning salt) and fresh ground pepper, to taste. Repeat layers two more times – potatoes, flour, milk, Parmesan, salt, and pepper, exactly like first layer. Cover with foil.
- Bake for 1 hour then remove foil and continue baking for another 5 to 10 minutes or until fork tender and lightly golden brown.