Easy Cheesy Loaded Scalloped Potatoes {Au Gratin}

Cheesy loaded scalloped potatoes are full of delicious cheese and bacon making for a very satisfying side dish that is traditionally served for holiday dinners like Thanksgiving or Christmas. This is a perfect make-ahead side that reheats beautifully.

baking dish of scalloped potatoes next to  white dish with some of the potatoes on it next to a glass of wine

Cheesy loaded scalloped potatoes are exactly what they sound like — thinly sliced potatoes cooked in a delicious mixture of cheese, milk, and bacon.

Serve this with my recipes for herb & butter turkey crown roast, oven roasted crispy glazed duck or smoked whole turkey.

This is a perfect make-ahead side dish (that seems to taste even better when reheated) and is pretty much a necessity for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also make it throughout the year as it can be reheated in smaller scoops and served alongside any meal I’m making as a quick but tasty side dish.

Ingredients

an overhead picture showing all of the ingredients needed for cheese loaded scalloped potatoes
  • bacon, cooked and chopped
  • unsalted butter
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • all-purpose flour
  • heavy cream
  • chicken broth or stock
  • russet potatoes
  • freshly grated sharp cheddar (or a combination of cheeses)
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder

Equipment

  • 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish
  • mandoline, to easily and quickly slice endless super-thin potato slices.

You can also use a chef’s knife (takes ages and hard to cut them thin) or your food processor might have a slicing attachment too.

a white pate with a scoop of cheesy scalloped potatoes

Instructions

a bowl of potatoes, a slab of bacon, and other ingredients being prepped.

Preheat oven to 400. Thinly slice your potatoes. Dice your bacon, and then in a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Place cooked bacon on paper towel to drain, and set aside. Drain the excess fat out of the skillet (use the fat for other recipes, do not waste it).

overhead frying pan with butter and garlic in it.

In the same skillet add the butter and let it melt and start to foam. 

Add garlic and cook for 45 seconds to 60 seconds — until fragrant. Do not let it brown.

flour being added to pan.

Whisk in flour and cook for about one min.

a hand is whisking the flour garlic butter mixture

You want to cook the raw flour taste out before adding more liquids and ingredients. Whisk continuously.

sauce is thickening in pan

Whisk in the heavy cream and chicken broth. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

spices being added

Add the other spices and then simmer until thickened (4-5 min).

thick bubbly sauce

Your sauce is now thickened and ready.

sauce spooned on top of dish
a layer of potatoes in the baking dish

Spoon a layer of sauce into the bottom of dish and add a layer of potatoes.

sauce being spooned ontop of potato layer
sprinkles of cheese and bacon on top of sauce and potatoes

Spoon sauce over potatoes, sprinkle some cheese and bacon.

another layer of potatoes, overlapping
the final layer of sauce
final layer of sauce being topped with more cheese and bacon

Repeat 6-7 times (or as many times as it takes without overflowing the pan).

Top with any remaining sauce, cheese and bacon and then bake for one hour and fifteen min until bubbly.

Let rest for 15 min.

a scoop of scalloped potatoes in close up focus

Substitutions & Variations

  • Feel free to omit the bacon
  • Use crumbled cooked spicy or mild sausage instead of bacon
  • Use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose wheat

4 Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Instead of just cheddar, add other cheeses depending on your taste and what’s available. My favorite mixture is Cheddar, Gruyere, Asiago, and Monterey Jack mixed with jalapeños.

You can also crumble feta on top on top for a surprisingly delicious and different cheesy flavor to this popular dish.

Storage

As mentioned, scalloped potatoes can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator without any loss of quality.

Store, covered, for up to 5 days. However, this dish is best if not stored for much longer than 24 hours.

For long-term storage, you can freeze our scalloped potatoes — but cook them half way to protect the texture.

FAQ

What’s the difference between au gratin and scalloped potatoes?

The answer is one ingredient — cheese. Scalloped potatoes is a dish traditionally made with thinly sliced potatoes cooked in cream and basic spices. Potatoes au gratin are much more decadent as they include cheese as well as the cream. In French culinary terms, the word gratin applies to dishes with crispy baked tops like this one.

Why did my scalloped potatoes curdle?

Your heat was WAY too high or you didn’t make the cheese sauce on the stove top, opting to just throw everything in cold — that can break the sauce as it forms in the oven. Don’t do that even though it seems like a good idea (ask me how I know).

Should I cook scalloped potatoes before freezing?

Yes but only partially. If you’re planning on freezing your scalloped potatoes (instead of just refrigerating them) for long-term storage, only cook them about half way. The reason for this is we want to protect the texture of the potatoes and finish the cooking after they have been thawed completely in the refrigerator.

top view of loaded cheesy scalloped potatoes on a marble kitchen counter top

Easy Cheesy Loaded Scalloped Potatoes {Au Gratin}

Cheesy loaded scalloped potatoes are full of delicious cheese and bacon making for a very satisfying side dish that is traditionally served for holiday dinners like Thanksgiving or Christmas. This is a perfect make-ahead side that reheats beautifully.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: autumn, cheese, thanksgiving, winter
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 485kcal
Author: Jana Dziak

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 lbs russet potatoes peeled
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated (or a cheese blend. You may also find yourself needing more)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion flakes or powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Thinly slice your potatoes.
  • Dice your bacon, and then in a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Place cooked bacon on paper towel to drain, and set aside. Drain the excess fat out of the skillet (use the fat for other recipes, do not waste it).
  • In the same skillet add the butter and let it melt and start to foam. Add fresh minced garlic and cook for 45 seconds to 60 seconds — until fragrant. Do not let it brown.
  • Whisk in flour and cook for about one min. You want to cook the raw flour taste out before adding more liquids and ingredients. Whisk continuously.
  • Whisk in the heavy cream and chicken broth. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the other spices and then simmer until thickened (4-5 min).
  • Spoon a layer of sauce into the bottom of dish and add a layer of potatoes, each row slightly overlapping.
  • Spoon sauce over potatoes, then sprinkle some cheese and bacon.
  • Repeat 6-7 times (or as many times as it takes without overflowing the pan).
  • Top with any remaining sauce, cheese and bacon and then bake for one hour and fifteen min until bubbly.
  • Let rest for 15 min and then enjoy.

Notes

Store, covered, for up to 5 days. However, this dish is best if not stored for much longer than 24 hours.
For long-term storage, you can freeze our scalloped potatoes — but cook them half way to protect the texture.

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 6161mg | Potassium: 555mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1088IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 253mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes

What’s New At the Homestead

Food Safety

  • Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
  • Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
  • Wash hands after touching raw meat
  • Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
  • Never leave cooking food unattended
  • Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
  • Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove

See more guidelines at USDA.gov

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating