Athlyn Green enjoys whipping up tasty dishes in her home kitchen. She's received many requests for her recipes and is happy to share.
A Hearty and Tasty Casserole
Scalloped potatoes are especially tasty with the addition of cheese.
Instead of boiling potatoes on the stove top, this dish is prepared by slicing and layering potatoes and placing them in a greased casserole dish. You then pour cheesy white sauce over the potatoes. You top this casserole with breadcrumbs, then cook in the oven for an easy and hands-free dinner dish.
While you can get by with sprinkling sifting flour over the potato layers and pouring milk over the contents, this will not give you a dish that stands out. You want flavor, a creamy center, and a bubbling top.
Go the extra mile; make a thick white sauce and add cheese to it, top your potato layers with more cheese, and make sure to sprinkle breadcrumbs over your casserole. The results will be worth the extra effort, and your final product will have a much richer taste and a pleasantly crunchy topping.
For feeding a crowd, this is an ideal way of preparing potatoes—and it is much easier to cook a large quantity in the oven than on top of the stove. Once you pop your casserole in the oven, you can pretty much forget about it, and you do not have to worry about boil-over.
Leftovers can be frozen in small freezer containers, thereby saving time on meal preparation for future dinners. And the dish is just as good reheated—especially if you have some leftover ham to add in.
- 6-8 potatoes
- 1 onion (peel and slice or chop 1 onion and set aside)
- 3 tbsp. butter (for white sauce)
- 2 cups milk or cream (for white sauce)
- 3 tbsp. flour (for white sauce)
- 1 cup cheese, grated (for white sauce)
- 1-2 cups cheese, grated (for topping casserole)
- ham (optional)
- bacon (optional)
- green onions (for garnish)
- Start with 6-8 potatoes.
- Slice thinly.
Start With 6-8 Potatoes
Peel and Rinse
Slice Thinly to Reduce Cooking Time
Making the White Sauce With Cheese
After you've prepped your potatoes, you'll want to make a white sauce. This is easy to do and takes minutes, and it makes the critical difference in this dish's flavor. Some cooks simply pour milk over their potatoes, but I would not recommend this. You can use either milk, cream, or half and half. If you use cream, this dish will have a richer flavor.
Another thing to consider is seasoning your white sauce. We've all tasted scalloped potatoes that tasted bland, and we maybe had a hard time eating them. (I remember my mother used to make an unappetizing dish that even the dog wouldn't eat.) I like adding in onion powder because this gives the potatoes extra flavor. Onion powder goes especially well with cheese.
A good casserole tastes every bit as good cold or when reheated. (I like to fry my leftovers and they taste delicious cooked this way.)
Many people feel intimidated at the thought of making a white sauce, but this is an easy and fail-proof recipe. Once you know how to do it, you'll find yourself making it as a topper for other dishes, such as homemade noodles, eggplant casserole, or as a sauce for vegetables.
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups milk or cream
- 1 cup grated cheese of your choice (You can use mild, medium or sharp cheddar cheese). I usually use a medium flavor. Using medium to sharp cheese adds more flavor to your casserole.
Add seasonings (to taste):
- seasoning salt
- salt and pepper
- onion powder (onion powder goes very well with cheese and adds a nice flavor)
- Melt the butter, and whisk in the flour.
- Add the milk and simmer until white sauce is thickened.
- Stir in 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese. Set aside until ready to add to potatoes.
Grate another cup or two of cheese and set aside. This will be sprinkled into the casserole later. The amount of cheese you use is based on preference. Those watching fat may choose to use less; those who want a cheesy casserole will use more.
Doesn't That Look Good?
Method for Assembling Your Casserole
You now have your ingredients prepared and are set to assemble your casserole.
- Grease a large casserole dish.
- Make a first layer by adding potatoes, onions, and white sauce.
- Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over this first layer.
- If desired, sprinkle a little salt over.
- Add a second layer of potatoes, onions, and white sauce.
- Top with remaining grated cheese.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs over top of scalloped potatoes (if you can find seasoned bread crumbs, all the better).
Additional Optional Ingredients
- Green Onions: Finely chopped green onions are a good garnish if you have them on hand.
- Ham: If you have left-over ham, cut it into cubes and add it to your dish. Ham lends a wonderful flavor. This is great for a "second-day" helping.
- Bacon: Precooked and crumbled bacon can also be added 10 minutes before removing the dish from the oven.
- Cook covered in a preheated oven at 350 for 1 hour.
- Test potatoes by piercing with a fork.
- Halfway through cooking, run a knife around the edge of the casserole dish to prevent potatoes from sticking.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 and continue cooking until potatoes are done.
- If liquid dries out, add more milk.
- Uncover towards end of cooking time so that cheese becomes crispy.
Cooking time will vary depending on how many potatoes are used. A larger pan of potatoes may require a longer time in the oven.
- Shred your cheese ahead of time and freeze in containers.
- Use cheddar cheese because it has more flavor.
- Use vegetable shortening or lard to grease your baking pan.
- Slice potatoes thinly and evenly to cut cooking time and so all are evenly cooked.
- Leave room at the top of your baking dish so that ingredients do not boil over into oven.
- When the dish is removed from oven, run a knife around the edge to loosen before cheese hardens and makes removal difficult (this also makes for easier clean-up later).
- For extra flavor, add in chopped ham.
A Word About Scalloped Potatoes
In cooking terminology, a dish such as scalloped potatoes was also known as a gratin. A gratin is a cooking style, whereby something is cooked from scratch in the oven. The dish is topped with a browned crust, usually accomplished by using milk, eggs, cheese, or breadcrumbs and then baking or broiling in the oven. This results in a tasty, crispy crust.
The recipe you see here is also known as a gratin with potatoes. In North America, it would be known as "scalloped potatoes" or "potatoes au gratin."
Potatoes are a good vegetable to use in gratin-style dishes because they bake up to a nice consistency, and adding milk, cream, or cheese is a good idea for both richness and for creaminess.
© 2008 Athlyn Green
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on November 17, 2015:
This looks delicious and easy enough to make. I would love to do this next month for a perfect side dish meal. Thanks for the recipe!
Susan from India on July 05, 2013:
Great Recipe. Thank you for sharing.
Leah Wells-Marshburn from West Virginia on December 28, 2012:
Very nice hub on scalloped potatoes! I've never made them, but I think I will make some tonight. Thin slicing just seems annoying to me. I really need a mandoline to make the process less time-consuming and get evenly sliced potatoes. I like that you included different options for different tastes. While some readers may want a more stream-lined version of a recipe, I find all the extra info very helpful. Plus, I usually just take my laptop to the kitchen with me when I'm cooking from a recipe. Easy-breezy and no wasted paper. Something I did on one of my recent hubs where I have a lot of talky-talky within a recipe is add a quick-read version at the end for people who don't particularly care for the talky-talky part. Lol.
megarver on January 17, 2012:
Recipe sounds wonderful...but what a pain to print it out without all the garbage. Clean up the process PLEASE!
Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on January 17, 2012:
Wonderful to get your feedback and so glad to hear your cheesy scalloped potatoes turned out!!
Kimberly M on January 16, 2012:
I had never made scalloped potatoes before and this recipe made it very easy for me to follow and make a great dish. Making it again tonight. Love it.
vidhimayur on November 20, 2011:
very well explained, step by step easy recipe. will definitely give this a try. thanks . voted up and useful.
Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on October 28, 2011:
I posted an oven temperature for these cheesy scalloped potatoes.
Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on October 19, 2011:
Easy cheesy scalloped potatoes are a good dish when you are entertaining a crowd. I make a huge casserole dish full, then later, mix in left-over ham for a second heating.
toknowinfo on April 18, 2011:
Great recipe. Thanks for the easy to follow instructions and great info in this hub. Looking forward to trying it.
Laura Arne from Minnetonka, MN on November 04, 2010:
This is great. I am so hungry now. I am bookmarking, and voting up and awesome. Thanks
Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on October 11, 2010:
Eve: Please see the section in this hub, entitled Baking Scalloped Potatoes. This section includes temperature and baking time.
Joy: Thanks so much!
Eve on October 11, 2010:
There's no temperature or baking time here! What about those of us who are new to this baking thing? I wouldn't be on here if i knew this stuff...
Joy on September 16, 2010:
I made this recipe tonight and my husband said it was the best he's ever had! Thanks a bunch!
Artemus Gordon on August 27, 2009:
You can't go wrong with cheese and potatoes in my house.
Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on July 30, 2009:
Scalloped potatoes usually take an hour or more depending on oven temperature. 350 degrees is a good temperature.
Mimi on July 30, 2009:
sounds great but there is no temperature or time indicated, I only assumed it would be 350 and about 50-60 minutes?
moonlake from America on July 07, 2008:
sounds good...enjoyed your hub