Featuring thinly sliced potatoes and a from-scratch cheese sauce, these cheesy scalloped potatoes are rich, creamy, and easy to make. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh thyme for the ultimate holiday side dish everyone loves!
Potatoes + cheese = the comfort food side dish that always disappears first. There’s something magical about this flavor and texture combination that keeps people coming back for more, and today’s cheesy scalloped potatoes are no exception!
Featuring thinly sliced potatoes and a from-scratch cheese sauce, these scalloped potatoes are the perfect holiday side. Slice the potatoes into even rounds, make the cheesy sauce on the stovetop, combine it all in a casserole dish, and bake in the oven to golden brown, bubbly perfection.
You’ll notice in the recipe below that we use plain Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese. We love the tartness and creaminess that yogurt adds, but you’re welcome to replace the yogurt with cream cheese if you prefer. We tested these potatoes both ways and you can’t go wrong!
What You Need for Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
There are 2 parts to these cheesy scalloped potatoes – perfectly sliced potatoes and a homemade cheese sauce (and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to top it all off!). Here’s what you need for each:
Yukon gold potatoes are our favorite kind of potato for scalloped potatoes. Leave the skin on or peel them, it’s up to you!
For perfectly round potatoes, you have two options: you can use a mandoline or a very sharp knife. We prefer to use a mandoline because it creates perfect potato rounds every time. If using a knife, work slowly and try to cut potato rounds that are about the same thickness.
The homemade cheese sauce is what sets this scalloped potato recipe apart from the rest. Made with milk, cheddar cheese, and Greek yogurt, the sauce is creamy, cheesy, ultra thick, and bakes up beautifully. We also use olive oil, garlic, salt, onion, and flour to create the white roux.
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Variations of Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
Our recipe for cheesy scalloped potatoes is pretty simple. However, there are plenty of ways to mix up this traditional side dish. Here are some fun options:
- Partially cook some ground Italian sausage and sprinkle it all over the potatoes before adding the cheese sauce.
- Sprinkle bacon bits on top of the baked cheesy scalloped potatoes before serving.
- Sauté some peppers and onions and add them to the baking dish along with the potatoes before adding the cheese sauce.
What is the best way to arrange the potatoes?
You can stack or pile the potatoes however you would like – it’s most important to get as much cheese sauce between the potatoes as possible. If you stack them in rows, use a fork to separate the potatoes while you pour in the cheese sauce. If you pile the potatoes into the casserole dish, create alternating layers of cheese sauce and potatoes.
What’s the difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes?
The primary difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes is cheese. Traditionally, scalloped potatoes are made with a heavy cream sauce (a white roux) and au gratin potatoes are layered potatoes with lots of cheese. This scalloped potatoes recipe combines the two for super cheesy scalloped potatoes!
Once the scalloped potatoes are completely cool, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through.
We don’t recommend freezing scalloped potatoes. The texture and consistency of the potatoes becomes grainy and not that tasty. Cheesy scalloped potatoes are best enjoyed fresh (or reheated as refrigerated leftovers).
Make Ahead Scalloped Potatoes
This is a great holiday side dish to prepare ahead of time! Make the recipe as instructed through pouring the cheese sauce on top of the potatoes. Store the baking dish (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to bake the potatoes, continue with the recipe – you may need to add a few minutes to the first bake time as the potatoes will be cold straight from the fridge.
These cheesy scalloped potatoes pair wonderfully with just about anything! Traditionally a holiday side dish, we love them year-round. Enjoy them as part of a weeknight dinner or add them to your holiday menu alongside roasted turkey tenderloin or smoked ham. They always disappear quickly!
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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- 4-5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes rinsed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
- 1/2 medium white onion minced
- 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 cups milk we used 2%
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup broth we used vegetable
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Fresh thyme springs for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Use a mandoline* to slice each potato into 1/8-inch thick rounds. We used size 2.0 on our mandoline. Set sliced potatoes aside.
Make the Cheese Sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat. When the olive oil is fragrant, add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the saucepan and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes or until the onion begins to brown.
- Mix in the last 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and let it heat for 30 seconds.
- Add the flour to the saucepan and whisk the oil, onion, garlic, and flour together until it turns into a paste.
- While whisking, slowly pour the milk into the saucepan. Continue to whisk the milk over medium heat until the milk begins to thicken.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and sprinkle the cheddar cheese into the saucepan. Whisk until the cheese melts.
- Add the vegetable broth, garlic powder, and Greek Yogurt to the saucepan and whisk until combined.
Assemble the Scalloped Potatoes
- Spread 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce into the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
- Use the sliced potatoes to create 3 rows of tightly packed potatoes on top of the cheese sauce in the dish.
- Carefully pour the cheese sauce on top of the potatoes, working the cheese sauce in between each potato round. You can use a knife or fork for this, but it's important to get the cheese in between each potato slice and on top. This is a tedious step but the effort is well worth it!
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, scrape down the sides of the dish, and bake (covered) for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the potatoes.
- Turn the heat to 450ºF and place the casserole dish, uncovered, back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the parmesan cheese starts to brown.
- Garnish with fresh thyme and let potatoes rest for at least 5 minutes before serving to allow the sauce to thicken.
Tips & Notes
- Storage: Transfer completely cooled potatoes to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare the recipe as instructed through pouring the cheese sauce on top of the potatoes. Store the baking dish (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to bake the potatoes, continue with the recipe – you may need to add a few minutes to the first bake time as the potatoes will be cold straight from the fridge.
- Mandoline: For evenly sliced potatoes, using a mandoline is best. If you don’t have one, a sharp knife works, too.