Simple Scalloped Potatoes ♥ Recipe

Simple Scalloped Potatoes, just five ingredients, crispy on the bottom, crispy on the top. #AVeggieVenture
graphic button small size size 10 How to make scalloped potatoes with just five ingredients, thin-thin layers of potato, the bottom gets as crispy as good hashed browns and the top layer gets crispy like kettle chips! This may be a "simple" recipe for scalloped potatoes but the results are most impressive. graphic button small size size 10

Hello again, veggie lovers! It's November and at A Veggie Venture, that means it's time to go crazy for the real stars on the Thanksgiving table, the vegetables! I've been collecting especially-for-Thanksgiving vegetable recipes since 2006. After A Veggie Venture readers voted for their top Thanksgiving vegetables, I collected all those recipes in one convenient place, Favorite Recipes for Thanksgiving's Favorite Vegetables. In 2014, I decided to learn how to cook potatoes really, really well and oh man! these recipes are worth checking out! Today? Simple-simple scalloped potatoes, just five ingredients!

And so this exploration of the lowly potato continues. By rights, 2014 will go down as the Year of the Potato here at A Veggie Venture, going way back to Midsummer when we ate our weight in new potatoes during a long holiday in Finland, Estonia and Sweden. Remember Finnish Summer Potato Salad? Yeah, my ode to Finnish Potatoes.

But until now, I've yet to master a really good scalloped potato, what the French call Potatoes Lyonnaise or a "potato gratin" – and while it's possible, even typical, to go all out out and cheesy with scalloped potatoes, here I wanted something extraordinary and yet extraordinarily simple. These potatoes are, indeed, all about the potatoes, in my dish, sixteen thin-thin layers of russet potatoes enriched with just enough cream to hold them together. They are dramatic on the table and cut into tight squares.

Simple yes but also extraordinary.


Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Time to table: 1-3/4 hours
Fills a 10x7 (or similar) baking dish about an inch thick, enough to serve 12 for a "regular meal" or as many as 24 at a big, multi-course meal like Thanksgiving

1 tablespoon soft salted butter, for the baking dish
1 cup (227g) heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 large russet baking potatoes, about 2-1/2 pounds (1134g)
1 tablespoon butter, in tiny cubes, for the top

Set oven to 450F/230C. Butter the bottom of an oven-safe 10x7 or similar-size baking dish and up the sides by an inch. In a bowl, mix the cream, garlic and salt. Scrub the potatoes really well.

One at a time, use a mandoline to slice the potatoes about 1/16-inch thick, that's thick enough for the slices to hold together, not so thin you can see through them. Before starting, it helps to cut a small slice off one end, creating a flat surface for the mandoline blade. Layer the potato slices in the baking dish, overlapping the slices slightly. After the first and second potatoes, spoon about a quarter of the cream mixture over the layers, saving half for the top potato's layers.

You'll bake the potatoes in three steps. #1 Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. #2 Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes. #3 Reduce heat to 375F/190C, dot the top with 1 tablespoon butter and bake for another 20 minutes. Finally, remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing to serve.

MAKE-AHEAD To make ahead, make and bake the entire dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate for up to four hours (longer is not recommended, the potatoes begin to turn color a little). Heat oven back to 375F/190C and bake, uncovered, until heated through, about 30 minutes. The dish is "not as good" when made-ahead but still very good.

graphic button small size size 10 BUTTER Butter the bottom of the pan plus up the sides about an inch. If you go any higher, as I did, that butter will burn.
graphic button small size size 10 LEAVE SKINS ON? I like the rustic appearance of potatoes with their skins on but it would be fine to peel the potatoes too. It might actually take less time to peel them to scrub them really well, however.
graphic button small size size 10 MANDOLINE SAFETY Be careful with that mandoline, the blades are so sharp! You might want to review How to Use a Japanese Mandoline (Benriner).
graphic button small size size 10 FOR AESTHETICS Arrange the last potato's slices especially decoratively. You'll see from my photo that I ended up with three slices leftover and dropped them into the center – wish I hadn't done that, it messed up the "look".
graphic button small size size 10 INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS I have the idea this would work well for an individual serving in a small ramekin or something similar. It would work really well with steaks or roast chicken.
graphic button small size size 10 PLAYING AROUND It's easy to imagine playing around with a simple recipe. You could stir a tablespoon of sherry into the cream. You could warm the cream, infusing it with fresh thyme or sage. You could put shreds of Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions between the layers. You could put a few shreds of Gruyere between the layers. You could use truffle oil instead of butter on the top. So many ways to play around!

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Still Hungry?


~ Potato & Poblano Pepper Gratin ~
~ Scalloped Potato & Apple ~
~ Scalloped Swedes & Finns ~
~ Greek Spinach-Asparagus-Potato Gratin (Spinaki me Sparaggia Orgraten) ~
~ more potato recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Perfect Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes (Party Potatoes) ~
~ Smashed Potatoes & Broccoli ~
~ Those Pink Potatoes ~
~ more potato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2014

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Wow. Gorgeous.

  2. My comment may appear twice - sorry! I make this, but my potatoes often do not cook through (I've resorted to par-boiling) and the cream curdles. I will try your recipe. I think the thinness of the potatoes, the ratio of cream to potato & the three stage cooking technique will resolve the problems! Thanks! ~ Sandy

  3. Sandra ~ Nope, just once! I’ve had that trouble too and know that the Cook’s Illustrated recipe parcooks the potatoes. These were totally, totally cooked, even without an excess of liquid. Let me know how yours go!

  4. These look divine. I can't wait to make them - I love, love potatoes, especially like this.

  5. Cyndi ~ We do “eat” with our eyes, too, don’t we?! Let me know how yours goes!

  6. Add some thinly sliced onions and you have exactly what I do. Taught by my grandmother in law........Grammy. She reads this site. We love you. M&R.

  7. M & R & Grammy too ~ Well, my goodness, you sure brought tears to my eyes, the nice kind! Thank you so much for the kind words, I so appreciate your following A Veggie Venture. PS Onions! I was thinking caramelized onion but now you have me thinking a mix of thin-sliced onion and thin-sliced fennel. Would you and Grammy love that too?!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna