scalloped potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes

How the term “scalloped” came about in cooking is a mystery that has not been clearly explained. Generally, “scalloped” means to be cooked in a sauce of milk and butter and may or may not include bread crumbs, though the term may have its origin in the Old English word “collops”, meaning, in slices, or from the French word “escalope”, meaning, in a shell or covered.


Scalloped Potatoes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 lbs peeled or unpeeled potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 6 ozs Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 2 Cs milk
  • 3 Tbsps all-purpose flour
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (¼ C)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tspn salt
  • ¼ tspn black pepper
  • one pinch paprika
  • 2 sprigs thyme, fresh
  • 6 Tbsps butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2-quart casserole dish with shortening or cooking spray.

  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Cook onion in butter about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in flour and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

  3. Spread potatoes in a casserole dish. Pour sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle the grated Gruyere on top.

  4. Cut remaining 1 tablespoon butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the top. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and insert into the oven.

  5. Bake for 40 minutes and uncover. Add salt and pepper per your taste, sprinkle with paprika, then bake uncovered for another hour to hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender to your satisfaction and the cheese is of the desired consistency.

    NOTE: If the potatoes are still stiff after the initial 40 minutes, cook another 30 minutes covered, or until the desired degree of tenderness is obtained. Then, bake uncovered for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to brown the top of the dish.

  6. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sprigs of thyme.


Serving suggestions: Goes well as a side for ham or brisket.

Steve D.

23 comments on “Scalloped PotatoesAdd yours →

  1. That’s an affirmative! 3lbs of taters, I even checked the original recipe. Of course, you can adjust any of the ingredients to suit your own tastes/circumstances, but this is the version I use for fairly large groups.

    Thanks for your input!

    1. The base sauce of butter, onion, and flour, is similar to making a roux. Adding the milk would be like making cream gravy. The cheese goes on top along with butter and melts down into the potatoes as it bakes. The flavor depends a lot on the type of cheese you use, this particular recipe suggests gruyère, but you can substitute with any similar type cheese.

      I hope your question is answered!

      Thanks for your inquiry!

  2. It calls for 6 oz gruyere, and then says to put a generous amount in and never mentions the rest.
    It also calls for sprigs of thyme in the ingredients but never mentions them again.??

    1. As this version is only one layer, all of the cheese can be applied at the same time. The sprigs of thyme are garnish for presentation just prior to serving.

      I made some changes based on your points.

      I also lowered the total cooking time – an hour or more uncovered is a little too excessive.

      Thanks for your input!

    1. Hi Abby! The best potatoes for this are the starchy ones, like Russets or Yukon Golds. The waxy ones, like New or Red potatoes, get too soft too quickly.

      Thanks for you visiting!

  3. I used this recipe for Easter dinner but unfortunately the potatoes just didn’t ever get soft enough following this recipe. I had to leave them in for almost another hour to get them to the point of being edible.

    1. Sorry it didn’t work out for you! I’ve advised folks to use Russet or Yukon Gold so they wouldn’t get too soft, too quickly. Waxy potatoes, like Reds, tend to get too soft.

    1. I haven’t tried making this ahead of time, but I’m sure it would be okay. If you were to make it ahead of time and freeze it, I would just make sure it’s thawed completely before putting into the oven.

      Thanks for your inquiry!

    1. The potato dish should remain uncovered for the last period of baking, to brown the top. However, if the potatoes don’t seem to be tender enough, you may wish to recover them and bake for another 30 minutes or so, until the potatoes reach the desired texture, then bake for another 5 to 10 minutes uncovered to brown the top.

      Good question! I will update the post to clarify!

      Thanks for visiting and you input!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.