Simplest Scalloped Potatoes

My technique for scalloped potatoes comes from a young chef I once worked with when I first moved to Montreal. The fact that he proposed marriage to me every second Saturday never lessened my admiration for his skill in the kitchen, and I learned a lot during the time we were together.

We were both transplanted, he from Lyon, France, and I from Canada’s West Coast. Trapped together in a small, hot kitchen six nights a week, we talked of family back home, the peculiarities of Quebec, and, of course, food. He would prepare the sauces and trim the meats for the evening service, and I would make the desserts and accompaniments to the entrees. Like these Pomme de Terre Dauphinois, or scalloped potatoes.

My chef-friend showed me how to layer thinly sliced potatoes in a shallow baking dish and cover them with cream for the simplest – yet delicately rich and lovely – side dish. The only seasoning on the potatoes was salt and pepper; hence, they went with nearly every dish on the menu.

Scalloped potatoes are a lovely side dish to the Sunday roast beef or just served up weeknights as an accompaniment to a platter of grilled sausages or salmon filets. They re-heat beautifully, thanks to all that cream keeping them moist, and are one of my favorite side dishes to serve when entertaining for dinner.

I won’t deny it, these potatoes are rich, but their creaminess and ease of preparation more than make up for the calorie count.

Try them plain – just three ingredients: potatoes, cream and salt – then have a little more fun and dress them up with chopped fresh herbs, thinly sliced shallots, or crumbled bacon. You can also go wild with cheese toppings; Parmesan is the most classic, while a strong blue cheese crumbled over the top is a little bolder.

However you prepare these simple scalloped potatoes, you’ll find that once you’ve made the recipe through the first time, you won’t ever have need of it again. It’s easy enough to remember the method off the top of your head; voila, another recipe in your repertoire.


Simplest Scalloped Potatoes
4.6 from 5 reviews
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 4
Just a handful of ingredients make up this comforting and simple side dish of scalloped potatoes.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes, scrubbed, skins on
  • 1 1/2 cups 35% cooking cream or whipping cream
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional) fresh herbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch oval or 9x9 baking dish.
  3. Thinly slice potatoes using a mandoline or a food processor with the blade attachment.
  4. Arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the pan (about 1/3 of the sliced potatoes).
  5. Pour about 1/2 cup of cream over them and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange another layer of potatoes, top with 1/2 cup more cream and season. Repeat with final layer of potatoes and top with remaining cream.
  7. Bake for about 50 minutes, until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and top is lightly browned. Serve hot.
Notes
  • For additional flavor, layer chopped herbs or garlic between the layers of potato.
  • Do Ahead Directions: Prepare and bake potatoes as directed above. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Before serving, bring to room temperature, then reheat gently in the oven at 325F.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. This looks to die for! I love scalloped potatoes, but have never made them before. I think I want to try it! For some reason I thought it was more involved…
    Heather’s last post: baby chicks take two!

  2. This is how I learned to make them as well, but my chef was a transplant from Sri Lanka, and he didn’t ever propose (not a problem since I was already married!).

    Sometimes I like to add caramelized onions to the layers, and if I’m feeling really a crazy, a few thin slices of Brie get tucked in there, as well.

    • Love the addition of caramelized onions, Jan! I’m trying to lay off the onions/garlic since I am nursing, but I’m going to try this just as soon as I can!

  3. This looks so good! And I like Jan’s idea of adding caramelized onions. Yum!
    Steph’s last post: He can’t love us more

  4. Oh my goodness! I have a brand new mandoline and now I have something to break it in with! There’s a version of this dish we make in the St. John Valley; instead of cream, we use gravy. It’s called Patate Fricasse!
    Jenna’s last post: Hiking Up Haystack Mountain

  5. Sauteed onions and thyme are my favorite additions. I make this all the time. Occasionally I add a little Romano to the top. It really does go with anything.

  6. Gorgeous! These look so delicious!
    Rachel Cooks (formerly Not Rachael Ray)’s last post: Everyday Food Light {rach reads & reviews}

  7. That’s exactly how I made mine last night! I added some herbs and onion powder along with salt and pepper, and they were fantastic! Mine always seems to take longer than 50 minutes though, nearly an hour and a half last night.

  8. I am going mad if I don’t get to eat one of those recipe!
    joanne’s last post: Chaise lounges

  9. I must attempt scalloped potatoes…I never liked them growing up so they are never really on my menu plan. This look delish!
    Kelly’s last post: KellyAnnMorris: @jp1310 thanks for the congrats last night! Hope you enjoyed the nicer weather.

  10. I must attempt scalloped potatoes…I never liked them growing up so they are never on my menu plan. These look delish!
    Kelly’s last post: KellyAnnMorris: @jp1310 thanks for the congrats last night! Hope you enjoyed the nicer weather.

  11. These are the potatoes that, if they’re not on our Thanksgiving menu every year, sends my husband into a pouting fit. He requests loads of Gruyere cheese on the potatoes in addition to the cream, cause he’s so healthy that way.
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Cooking for Fun With the French Laundry’s Help

    • Hard core!!! Of course I must try it now.

      We love to make these at Easter, served with a nice ham, of course, and a pot of mustard.

  12. I always seem to get stressed out by scalloped potatoes… They always seem so tedious to me (at least, the family recipe I have always prepared is). I love this version, and can’t wait to give it a try! Gorgeous!
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction’s last post: Kitchen Bootcamp Roundup – Grilling, Broiling, Roasting, and Baking

  13. That does look very good. I can’t eat cream (it makes me sick) and they are a little rich for my diet, but they look absolutely delicious. :)
    Jen Rothmeyer (EmSun)’s last post: Hey Guys! Guess what! I’m going to have a baby!

  14. These sound amazing. Love the simplicity, love the whole, real ingredients, and you make them look gorgeous (wait, gorgeous potatoes?!? ha).
    Caramelized onions and bacon sound like delcious additions too!
    Steph (The Cheapskate Cook)’s last post: On the Menu: Recovering from the Stomach Bug and an Old Fridge

  15. I just made potatoes and yam dish similar to this with ground beef. It is another form of musaka. I’m trying to help my husband eat healthier and adding one sweet potato is a step up in his horrible diet. I never add salt to my dishes but always add a variety of spices but your recipe is so simple and creamy ah love it!
    Amy’s last post: What Foods You Need to Eat to Stay Healthy

  16. These sound absolutely delicious and simple! My kind of meal.

    Oh, and I’m originally from Canada’s West Coast as well ( currently living in AB) but we spent some time in Montreal. So talking of all things family and food struck a chord with me. =)
    Breanne’s last post: Dancing the Limbo

  17. Pretty sure that is what heaven tastes like! Gorgeous, Aimee!
    Jessica’s last post: Sweet Corn Risotto

  18. It would be bad to eat JUST these for dinner, right? Cus that’s really what I want to do.
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: Nuts & Bolts: Flash Freezing

  19. Beautiful! Love the simplicity of these too!!!

  20. These came out amazing and received rave reviews, even by the pickiest member of the family! I kept going back to the pan myself to sneak just one more bite…
    Nicole @ Simple Homemade’s last post: Engage Your Children in Shopping for Vegetables (Farmer’s Market Bingo Printable)

  21. I am making these as a side dish tonight with pork chops and fried green tomatoes; I already know it’s going to be amazing. Just curious if you could freeze this as a make-ahead dish, maybe by parbaking before freezing?
    Kate’s last post: Chicken enchilada casserole.

    • I don’t think it would be great, Kate. In my experience, potato dishes (especially those with cream) do not reconstitute well. Still, if you try it, let me know how it works!

  22. Debbie Olson says:

    how would this change for adding ham and for 80 people as a main dish?

  23. Thinking this would be a perfect side dish for Easter, but with my time constrains that day I’m worried about having this done at the same time as everything else. Do you think I can cut and layer the dish about 4-5 hours before baking time?

  24. I made this, but I seeped roasted garlic, fresh thyme and fresh sage in the cream before adding it to the potatoes. I also layered a bit of parmesan cheese between a few of the layers as well. This is one of my favorite dishes. Thanks for sharing.

    I love the addition of caramelized onions too.

  25. my mom used to make this for us when we were kids. i am going to try this with coconut kefir, instead of the cream. (vegan version) and see how that works!! thanks for the memory of an old comfort food, and the inspiration to try it “my way” !!

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