Easy scalloped potatoes are simple but creamy and flavored with fresh herbs. It’s the perfect addition to any table spread and perfect for the holidays.
This scalloped potato recipe is one of my favorite recipes because it reminds me of my dad. He always made scalloped potatoes and braised chicken from Julia Child’s book, The Art of French Cooking, when we were growing up. It was one of my favorite meals.
I love my version of these simple scalloped potatoes because of its simplicity, but I wanted to amp up the flavor a little bit without going over the top. I found that a lot of the recipes that used cream or cream cheese ended up just coming out greasy because of the long bake time required to cook the potatoes all the way through.
The first step is to heat the milk through with garlic and salt and pepper, don’t skip this step! It seems a little trivial, but this thickens the milk and takes the raw edge off the garlic, both are really important to the potatoes finishing and not being too watery.
How to Layer Scalloped Potatoes
- Slice potatoes thinly.
- Layer half of the potatoes in the baking dish.
- Grate half of the cheese on the top.
- Sprinkle herbs on top.
- Repeat layers with remaining potatoes, cheese, and herbs.
- Pour milk mixture over the top of the potatoes.
- Sprinkle with more herbs.
- Dot the top of the simple scalloped potatoes with butter.
What kind of cheese to use for simple scalloped potatoes?
This is a great question! I love to use a specialty cheese when I make these scalloped potatoes. Some great options are parmesan, pecorino, gouda, or any other cheese that is more on the firm side. There isn’t a lot of cheese in this dish so whatever cheese you use needs to pack a lot of flavor.
The last tip for making sure these simple scalloped potatoes turn out perfectly everytime is to let them rest for 15 minutes before serving. They will still be nice and warm, but this gives the liquid a chance to thicken and will ensure they aren’t soupy when you serve them.
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Easy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
- 2 pounds russet potatoes see note
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup cheese see note
- 2 tablespoons rosemary minced
- 2 tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Combine milk, salt, pepper, and garlic.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, until thickened slightly.
- While the milk simmers, peel potatoes and slice thinly, about 1/8 of an inch.
- Layer half of the potatoes in a 9x13 baking dish.
- Sprinkle half of the cheese over the top.
- Sprinkle half of the herbs over the top.
- Layer the rest of the potatoes in the pan. Repeat cheese and herb layers.
- Pour milk mixture over the top.
- Dot the top with the butter.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, covered with foil for the first 30 minutes, until fork tender. The baking time will vary depending on your pan size, shallower pans will cook more quickly and deeper pans will take longer.
- Let the potatoes rest for 15 minutes after removing from the oven, this allows the liquid to thicken.
Sorry but this recipe totally fell flat. It was quite good but looked like a watery mess. I’m a seasoned cook, followed directions to a tee and still did not produce something I would serve to guests. No matter how long it sat it was still a watery mess.
Hi Eileen, I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve made this recipe quite a few times and haven’t had trouble, but I’ll test it some more to see where I can improve it. If you followed the directions and used russet potatoes, it should have worked. Sorry again!
Alex Jacobson says
How hot should the oven be?
Just fixed it in the recipe card, thank you for bringing it to my attention, Alex! Appreciate you being here. 🙂