There are easier ways to make scalloped potatoes, but taking the easy way isn’t always the best way! Homestyle Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are so worth the extra effort!!
Who doesn’t love scalloped potatoes? It’s one of those classic and nostalgic dishes that everyone can relate to on some level. For me, it’s memories of coming home for dinner in the middle of winter. I could smell the onion and the cream before I would reach the front steps.
Growing up in Newfoundland was basically the foundation of everything I love in life. I love colder weather, oceans and ponds alike, hills and woods, snow and especially a really good blizzard, and I most certainly love the food!
My mom was a great cook; she wasn’t a great cook by today’s standards, but she was the best home cook. She would never be able to tell you what blanching is, or how to use a sous vide, but when it came to homestyle, rustic, and delicious comfort meals, she was the best!
For the life of me, I cannot source the recipe my mom would use to make scalloped potatoes. I do know that she wouldn’t make a roux or a cheese sauce from scratch. She made her scalloped potatoes the way I think most poeple still do – with cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup.
I will sometimes cook with canned soups, but not too often. If the recipe is supposed to be quick and easy, then I’ll opt for a canned cream soup just to keep the recipe speedy and easy. You can see an example of what I mean in my Make Ahead Creamy Vegetable Casserole or in my Creamy Mushroom Sauce Baked Chicken.
As much as I loved my mom’s scalloped potatoes, I wanted to avoid using canned soup like she did. First, I have learned that many home cooks would rather stay away from canned creamed soups in their dishes, so that they can control the amount of sodium and additives. And, secondly, I could not source my mom’s recipe, so I opted to adapt the best scalloped potato recipe I could find, and that is why this recipe is inspired by Michelle at Dishes & Dust Bunnies.
Scalloped potatoes are meant to be comfort food. If you’re trying to avoid fat, then you should hit the back button now and look for another recipe. Sometimes, Dear Reader, a recipe (and life!) demands cheese and lots of it! That is why, unapologetically, I’ve added four cups of cheese to this scalloped potato recipe!
In addition, I’ve also added a whole cup of grated parmesan cheese. It adds such a great salty and woody flavour to the dish. I think it helps to round out the richness from the butter and the milk. Another thing I like to add to my scalloped potatoes recipe is ground nutmeg. I’ve said before that we eat with our eyes first, but in many cases, we can smell food before we can see it. Therefore, we eat with our noses first!
Nutmeg is a great addition to almost any potato dish. It has a warming, slightly sweet flavour, and a fantastic aroma, which is very distinctive. It is used to flavour many kinds of baked goods, confections, puddings, potatoes, meats, sausages, sauces, vegetables, and such beverages as eggnog.
Enough about nutmeg! Let’s get to the recipe! Like I said at the beginning of this post, Homestyle Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes take a little more effort, but the rich, buttery, cheesy flavour is well worth your time!
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Homestyle Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick (use a mandolin for perfect and even slices) Place sliced potatoes into a large bowl of cold water. Let sit until ready to use.
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup butter, plus more for greasing casserole dish
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 4 cups cheese, old white cheddar
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped, for garnish - optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Liberally grease a large casserole dish with butter. Set aside.
- In a sauce pan, add the butter and onions and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. The onions should be cooked through, but not browned.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk into the butter and onion mixture. Constantly whisk to "cook" the flour for 5 minutes. The mixture will turn a very light, golden colour.
- Add the milk one cup at a time, whisking well between each addition, ensuring that there are no lumps.
- Next, add 3 cups of the cheese - whisk to incorporate until melted.
- Remove cheese and milk mixture from the heat.
- Now, layer half of the potatoes into the casserole, evenly distributing the potatoes so that there's an even layer.
- Ladle half of the sauce over the top. (I like to gently tap the casserole dish firmly onto a large cutting board. This forces the sauce down into the nooks and crannies.
- Layer the remaining potatoes into the casserole. Then, ladle the rest of the sauce on top. Again, tap the casserole gently to help settle the sauce.
- Top with the remaining cup of cheese.
- Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. (It's a good idea to pierce the scalloped potatoes with a sharp knife to see if the potatoes are cooked all the way through. In some cases, depending on the oven temperatures, firmness of the potato, or even the size of the casserole, you may need 10-15 minutes more baking time.)
- Remove from oven. Top with chopped parsley - if using, and let the potatoes set for 5 minutes before serving.
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