Make Best Scalloped Potatoes

Best ‘Ever’ Scalloped Potatoes

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Whenever fall rolls around, my mind inevitably drifts to cozy, comforting foods that warm the soul as much as they fill the stomach. Among these, a standout favorite has always been the classic dish of scalloped potatoes. Not just any scalloped potatoes, though — I’m talking about the “Best ‘Ever’ Scalloped Potatoes.” This recipe has a special place in my kitchen, and I’m thrilled to share why it might just become a staple in yours too.

I first encountered this dish on a chilly autumn evening at a friend’s dinner party. The rich, creamy sauce and perfectly tender potatoes were a hit with every guest, sparking conversations and recipe swaps. Since then, it’s become my go-to for potlucks, holiday dinners, and even just indulgent weekend meals. The key lies in its simplicity and the small tweaks that elevate it from good to unforgettable.

This version of scalloped potatoes incorporates sharp cheddar cheese, which adds a depth of flavor that melds beautifully with the subtle kick of cayenne pepper. This combination ensures that each bite is as comforting as it is exciting. The preparation is straightforward, making it an excellent dish for those looking to impress without stress. Plus, the bubbling cheese and golden-brown top layer right out of the oven are a sight that always garners admiration.

For anyone new to making this dish, I’ve discovered that a mandolin slicer is your best friend for achieving uniformly thin potato slices, which cook more evenly. And don’t shy away from experimenting! Sometimes I like to add a touch of garlic powder or swap the cheddar for a smoked gouda to create a different flavor profile that’s equally delightful.

Ready to dive into the details and bring this comforting classic to your table? Keep reading for the full recipe and some of my personal favorite variations that might just make you rethink everything you thought you knew about this humble dish.

How to Prepare Scalloped Potatoes?


  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1⁄2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1⁄2 cup grated cheese (for topping)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes

How to:

Start by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, whisk in the flour and let it cook for a minute to remove the raw flour taste. Gradually pour in the cold milk, continuously stirring to keep the mixture smooth. Add salt and a dash of cayenne pepper, and continue to cook on a low heat until the sauce thickens and begins to bubble.

Next, take the sauce off the heat and stir in the sharp cheddar cheese until melted and incorporated. Arrange half of your sliced potatoes in a lightly greased casserole dish. Pour half of the creamy sauce evenly over the potatoes.

Layer the remaining potatoes over the top and cover them with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle the additional grated cheese on top for a cheesy crust.

Finish by baking the dish uncovered in an oven preheated to 350°F for about 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown.


What type of potatoes work best for making scalloped potatoes?

For the best scalloped potatoes, you should use starchy potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold. However, these varieties have a texture that holds up well during baking and absorbs the creamy sauce effectively. Furthermore, they provide the desired tenderness and flavor that enhances the dish.

Can I prepare scalloped potatoes ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare scalloped potatoes ahead of time. Assemble the dish, cover it, and refrigerate for up to two days before baking. Moreover, this allows the flavors to meld together nicely. When ready to cook, let the dish come to room temperature while preheating the oven, then bake as directed.

Is it necessary to peel the potatoes for this recipe?

No, it is not necessary to peel the potatoes for scalloped potatoes. In fact, leaving the skins on can add a bit of texture and nutrients to the dish. Additionally, make sure the potatoes are well scrubbed before slicing them thinly.

What can I substitute for cayenne pepper if I don’t like spicy food?

If you prefer a less spicy option, you can substitute the cayenne pepper with a pinch of black pepper or simply omit it altogether. Moreover, this adjustment will not significantly affect the overall flavor of your scalloped potatoes.

How do I know when the scalloped potatoes are done cooking?

The scalloped potatoes are done when they are tender when pierced with a fork and the sauce is bubbly and golden brown on top. Moreover, this typically takes about 1 hour at 350°F. It’s important to ensure the potatoes are evenly cooked for the best texture and flavor.

Make Best Scalloped Potatoes

Best 'Ever' Scalloped Potatoes

Looking for the ultimate comfort food? Try our foolproof scalloped potatoes recipe with sharp cheddar and a hint of cayenne for a cozy, flavorful side dish.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1 ⁄2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 ⁄2 cup grated cheese to sprinkle on top


  • In a small sauce pan, melt butter and blend in flour.
  • Let sit for a minute.
  • Add all of cold milk, stirring with a whisk.
  • Season with salt and cayenne.
  • Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
  • Reduce heat and stir in cheese.
  • Place a half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased one quart casserole dish.
  • Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes.
  • Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  • Top with some paprika for color.
  • Bake uncovered for about 1 hour at 350°F.
Keyword cheese, potato, Scalloped

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