Family Favorite [Upgraded]: Scalloped Potatoes With Heavy Cream And Onions

Scalloped Potatoes With Heavy Cream And Onions

Family Favorite [Upgraded]: Scalloped Potatoes With Heavy Cream And Onions

Scalloped potatoes with heavy cream and onions embody the epitome of classic comfort food.

This easy-to-make side dish features thinly sliced potatoes and onions, all layered within a homemade cream sauce.

Once baked until golden and bubbly, these scalloped potatoes transform into a delightful treat.

Whether you’re looking to learn how to make this dish or simply want to enjoy it with friends and family during Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving, this recipe is sure to impress.

Quick And Easy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Scalloped potatoes have always been a big deal in my family. No holiday, family gathering, or Sunday dinner was complete without a hot pan of bubbling scalloped potatoes taking front and center on our dining table.

Crafted entirely from scratch, this dish was one of the cherished recipes passed down from my grandmother to my dad, and then to me.

Eschewing cream-of-something soup or pre-made mixes, this recipe relies on tender, sliced potatoes enveloped in a buttery cream sauce for its unforgettable taste.

What Are The Best Potatoes For Scalloped Potatoes?

Choosing the right potato types for scalloped potatoes can make all the difference.

Waxy potatoes like red or Yukon gold are praised in casseroles or potato salads for their ability to hold their shape during cooking and resist turning mushy.

On the other hand, starchy potatoes such as russet potatoes are fluffier, lighter, and tend to fall apart more easily, making them perfect for mashed potatoes.

For this recipe, a mix of russet and Yukon gold potatoes caters to personal preference, blending the best of both worlds.

traditional scalloped potatoes recipe

How To Make Scalloped Potatoes?

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large, 9″x13″ casserole dish or baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Wash and scrub your potatoes, then dry thoroughly. Peeling is up to personal preference, especially for thicker-skinned, russet potatoes.
  • Thinly slice the potatoes into rounds approximately 1/4″ thick using a mandoline slicer for even slices in a fraction of the time.
  • Important Tip: For russet potatoes, transfer them to a large bowl filled with cold water to prevent them from turning rusty-orange.
  • To make the homemade cream sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven over medium to medium-low heat. Add diced onions and cook until softened and translucent.
  • Add garlic and continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Then, add flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously to make a roux.
  • Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk to the onions, whisking continuously to prevent flour from clumping. Then add chicken broth, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a low boil. Cook, stirring as needed, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in heavy whipping cream or half-and-half.

Scalloped Potatoes With Heavy Cream And Onions Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs of potatoes (choose from Yukon gold, russet, or red varieties)
  • 4 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 5 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp of salt (adjust according to taste)
  • ½ tsp of ground black pepper (adjust according to taste)

Instructions

Preheat And Prepare

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large 9″x13″ casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. This initial step ensures that your dish will be ready for the magic you’re about to create. From my own experience, a well-prepared dish makes the whole process smoother and more enjoyable.

For The Potatoes

  1. Begin by giving the potatoes a good wash and scrub, then dry them thoroughly. Thinly slice them into rounds, approximately 1/8″ thick. I find that using a mandoline makes this task not only quicker but also ensures uniform slices, which cook evenly.
  2. As you slice, transfer the slices into a large bowl of cold water to prevent them from turning a rusty-orange color. Set aside until they’re ready to use. This little trick keeps the potatoes fresh and prevents any discolouration.

To Make The Sauce

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add diced onions and stir to combine. Cook the onions on medium to medium-low heat until softened, which takes approximately 5 minutes. Then, add garlic and continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add flour and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent any lumps. Reduce heat to low. Slowly add milk to the onions, whisking continuously to prevent flour from clumping. Continue to slowly add the rest of the milk, then add chicken broth.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil, continuing to cook and stir as needed for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the heavy whipping cream or half-and-half. The key here is patience and constant stirring to achieve a smooth, rich sauce.

Assembly

  1. Drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly. Place approximately 1/4 of the potato slices at the bottom of the baking dish, season with salt and pepper. Spoon approximately 1/4 of the cream sauce on top.
  2. Repeat with an additional layer of potatoes until all the potatoes are used or you run out of space in the casserole dish. Ensure there’s room for 2-3 more layers, ending with a final layer of cream sauce on top. Tent with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  3. Uncover and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes until it’s golden and bubbly at the edges. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. This rest period lets the layers settle and the flavors meld together perfectly.

How To Assemble Scalloped Potatoes With Heavy Cream And Onions?

Assembling traditional scalloped potatoes recipe involves a few key steps to ensure perfection:

  • Drain the sliced potatoes and dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel or paper towels.
  • Place about 1/4 of the potato slices at the bottom of the baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and spoon a similar portion of the prepared creamy sauce over the top.
  • Repeat this process, adding additional layers of potatoes, salt, pepper, and sauce. Continue layering until all potatoes are used or you run out of space in your casserole dish.
  • End with a final layer of cream sauce on top. Tent the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes, or until the dish is golden and bubbly around the edges.
  • Allow the dish to rest for 10 minutes before serving, creating a memorable side dish that’s sure to impress.

What Is The Difference Between Scalloped Potatoes And Potatoes Au Gratin?

The difference between potatoes au gratin and scalloped potatoes primarily lies in the use of cheese and breadcrumbs.

Au gratin potatoes are known for having cheese within their layers and often a cheesy sauce, with a breadcrumb or cheesy crust on top, making them richer.

Scalloped potatoes, on the other hand, focus on thinly sliced potatoes layered in a creamy sauce without the cheese integrated into the dish, offering a more straightforward but equally comforting experience.

Potatoes au gratin typically feature thinner potato slices compared to the slightly thicker slices found in scalloped potatoes.

Whether you choose to add cheese between the potato layers for a twist or stick to the traditional scalloped potatoes with heavy cream no cheese without a crispy topping, both dishes bring their unique charm to the dining table.

Can Scalloped Potatoes Be Made Ahead Of Time?

Scalloped potatoes offer the flexibility to be made ahead of time, a boon for those elaborate family gatherings where time is of the essence.

Despite being a relatively fast-cooking side dish, the overall process from start to finish can take up to 2 hours, mostly due to baking time.

For those planning, you can prepare and cook the dish following the recipe instructions, then cool completely to room temperature, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 days before you plan to serve them.

When ready to reheat, simply remove from the refrigerator, bake covered with foil at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until the dish is warmed through, ensuring a delicious and comforting meal every time.

easy scalloped potatoes with heavy cream

How To Serve Easy Scalloped Potatoes With Heavy Cream?

Scalloped potatoes pair wonderfully with turkey, ham, and roasted veggies like asparagus, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.

To repurpose leftovers, enjoy them the next day by scrambling with eggs or mixing into an omelet with bacon, avocado, and homemade salsa.

Make-Ahead Instructions

For make-ahead scalloped potatoes, bake them, let cool completely to room temperature, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, bake covered with foil at 350° for 30 minutes, or until warmed through.

FAQs About Simple Scalloped Potatoes With Heavy Cream And Onions

1. How Do You Know When Scalloped Potatoes Are Done?

A simple trick to know if scalloped potatoes are ready is poking them in the middle with a fork. If the fork goes through with ease, the potatoes are ready.

2. Can You Put Together Scalloped Potatoes Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can prep scalloped potatoes in advance. Simply bake, let them cool completely to room temperature, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 days before you need to serve them.

3. Do Scalloped Potatoes Freeze Well?

Scalloped potatoes and potato gratins are ideal for freezing. It’s best to cook the potatoes until they are tender and starting to brown but not fully cooked. Cool completely, wrap well, and freeze for up to two weeks.

4. How Long Can Scalloped Potatoes Sit Out?

Cooked potatoes should be refrigerated within 2 hours to maintain freshness and safety. If they have been left out longer than 2 hours, it’s safer to discard them to avoid any health risks.

5. How Long Can You Eat Scalloped Potatoes?

Scalloped potatoes can be eaten for up to 4 days when the recipe is stored properly. Storage: Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Make-ahead: The dish can be assembled, covered, and refrigerated (unbaked) up to 1 hour in advance.

6. Why Do Scalloped Potatoes Take So Long?

Scalloped potatoes require time to cook through. The dish needs to bake for about an hour, covered with foil for 2/3 of the cooking time to ensure doneness, before exposing the top to the heat element for browning.

7. How Do You Thicken Scalloped Potatoes?

To thicken the sauce for scalloped potatoes, All-purpose flour is sprinkled between each layer of potatoes. As it bakes, the flour helps the sauce thicken evenly. Butter is also distributed generously for added richness.

8. Why Do My Scalloped Potatoes Curdle?

Scalloped potatoes may curdle due to high heat affecting the milk. To prevent this, use milk or cream with a higher fat content like Whole milk, half-and-half, or full-fat cheeses. Skim milk and reduced-fat products are less suitable for this dish.

9. How Do You Keep Scalloped Potatoes Warm?

To keep scalloped potatoes warm, cover the dish loosely with foil and place in a warm place. For longer service periods, up to two hours, you may reheat them in the oven or brown lightly under a salamander or broiler.

10. What Meat Goes Well With Scalloped Potatoes?

Scalloped potatoes are rich and filling, making them a perfect match for lean proteins. They pair nicely with grilled ham, pan-seared fish, roast chicken, broiled lobster, and filet of beef tenderloin. For those preferring no animal proteins, a side salad with a sharp vinaigrette complements the dish beautifully.

11. Why Did My Scalloped Potatoes Turn Dark?

The darkening of scalloped potatoes is due to oxidation. As a naturally starchy vegetable, potatoes, when exposed to oxygen, can see their starches turn gray, brown, or black. This oxidized potato is still safe to eat, as the process does not affect the flavor or texture of the vegetable.

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