This easy, time-tested recipe for scalloped potatoes works with a variety of main dishes and makes a perfect side dish for holiday celebrations and family dinners.

Classic Scalloped Potato Recipe

Search the internet or your personal cookbook collection and you're bound to find a wealth of scalloped potato recipes made with all types of cooking instructions and ingredient ratios.

We've tried a bunch of them over the years, but this simple, oven-baked version is still our favorite.

8 Tips for Perfect Scalloped Potatoes

Making a delicious casserole of scalloped potatoes is an inexact science that often requires more common sense than precise measurement.

There are a number of variables that can affect the outcome, so we recommend that you use our recipe as a guideline for quantities and follow the tips below to ensure success.

  1. Cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch slices. Using a food processor or mandoline makes this job a lot easier.
  2. Be sure to season every layer of potatoes liberally because you're not able to adjust the seasoning once the dish is cooked.
  3. Use a fine mesh strainer to evenly dust each layer of potatoes with flour. Don't go too heavy with this. You still want to be able to see the potato slices, not a blanket of flour.
  4. Use only whole milk or half-and-half.
  5. The level of liquid should be 3/4 of the way up the height of the potato layers. Don't exceed this recommendation or your potatoes could be watery.
  6. Cover the casserole tightly with foil for the first half of the cooking time. This essentially steams the potatoes in milk until tender.
  7. Once the potatoes are tender, return them to the oven uncovered so that all the milk is absorbed and the top layer is nicely browned.
  8. Let the scalloped potatoes stand for a few minutes before serving to allow the last of the remaining liquid to be absorbed.
Classic Scalloped Potato Recipe

Recipe Variations

In addition to being delicious all on their own, scalloped potatoes lend themselves pretty well to some flavor variations, and we've included several in our recipe notes.

One version adds sautéed onions, Fontina cheese and fresh sage; another includes Gruyere cheese and apples; and the third simply enhances the creaminess and flavor with a little sour cream and fresh dill.

Also, for a bit of a twist on this cooking method, check out our Skillet Scalloped Potatoes. That version (an adaptation of a Julia Child recipe) is a little less time-consuming than this one but makes fewer servings.

Classic Scalloped Potatoes

Classic Scalloped Potatoes

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This recipe for classic, oven-baked scalloped potatoes is a tried-and-true family favorite that's easy to make and a favorite for holidays and Sunday dinners.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon flour (plus more if needed)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 cup whole milk or half-and-half (plus more if needed)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and generously butter a 3-quart casserole dish (13 x 9 x 2-inch).
  2. Arrange a single layer of potato slices in the bottom of the casserole dish with their edges overlapping slightly and season with salt pepper.
  3. Add the flour to a small, fine-mesh strainer and dust the potatoes as evenly as possible.
  4. Add another layer of potatoes, season and dust with flour, then scatter a few cubes of butter on top.
  5. Heat 1 cup of the milk in the microwave for 1 minute, then pour 1/4 cup evenly over those first two layers of potatoes.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining potatoes. Make sure you have some butter left to dot the top layer.
  7. How much milk you need will depend on the shape and size of your casserole dish. The level should come about 3/4 of the way up the height of the potatoes, so if you need more than the initial 1 cup, add it in small increments and be careful not to add too much.
  8. Butter a piece of aluminum foil, cover the casserole tightly and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.
  9. Remove the foil, tilt the dish and spoon some of the liquid over the top of the potatoes.
  10. Return the casserole to the oven uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until the liquid has evaporated, and the top layer of potatoes is golden brown.
  11. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Recipe Variations

Here are three easy variations on our classic scalloped potato recipe.

Scalloped Potatoes with Fontina, Onions and Sage

In addition to the ingredients in the basic recipe, you'll need:

  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Fontina cheese

Before assembling the scalloped potatoes, sauté the onions over medium heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant, 2 minutes more.

Follow the instructions above for preparing the layers of potatoes, scattering the onion mixture and a few tablespoons of cheese over every other layer making sure you reserve some cheese for the top.

Scalloped Potatoes with Apple and Sage

A little bit of sweetness from a thin-sliced apple adds a nice twist to scalloped potatoes and it goes really nicely with pork. 

Follow the instructions above for Scalloped Potatoes with Fontina, Onions and Sage, but switch the cheese to Gruyère and hold off on adding that top layer until the potatoes are tender and you're ready to uncover the casserole.

At that point, add a layer of  thinly sliced apple (1 large or 2 small), sprinkle with the remaining cheese and finish baking.

Scalloped Potatoes with Sour Cream, Havarti and Dill

In addition to the ingredients in the basic recipe, you'll need:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Havarti cheese

Whisk the sour cream and dill into your milk and proceed with the basic recipe for Scalloped Potatoes above.

When the potatoes are tender and you're ready to uncover the casserole, scatter the grated Havarti on top and continue baking until bubbly and lightly browned.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 312 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 152mg Carbohydrates: 51g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 5g Protein: 7g
Note: Nutrition information is estimated and may vary from your actual results.