Simple Scalloped Potatoes from Scratch Recipe

Bobbie sez


Bobbie says:


Lately, Home Ec 101 has been focusing on cooking basics, and in my opinion, Scalloped Potatoes are about as basic as it gets when it comes to side dishes. They go with practically anything, and with the right recipe, made-from-scratch scalloped potatoes are almost as easy as a boxed mix, so much better for you, and waaaay better tasting! And (lucky you) it just so happens I’ve got the right recipe.

While most scalloped potato recipes call for first making a white sauce, or using a can of condensed soup instead, this recipe is even better. Why? There is no white sauce to make and no canned soup with this Simple Scalloped Potatoes from Scratch Recipe. It makes its own sauce as it bakes! So, the hardest bit is peeling and slicing the potatoes, which you know isn’t really hard at all.

What variety to use? Some say only red. Other say definitely yellow. While I do like both of those varieties, I prefer white potatoes in this recipe. It’s up to you, really. My honest opinion, based completely in practicality, is this: use what you have. Or what’s on sale. Seriously, I’ve tried scalloped potatoes using different varieties, and they all end up delicious. Don’t fret.

You’ll see the recipe calls for onions. I prefer yellow, but use what you like — even scallions would work, and give you a bit different flavor. If you’re tempted to omit onions because some family members are Not Onion People, please don’t. It’s really an essential part of the flavor here. Instead of sliced onions, though, you could use a smaller amount of finely minced onion.

Simple Scalloped Potatoes - 6 Versatile Side DishWhile I served these golden-browned, creamy scalloped potatoes with a pan-fried ham slice and peas, they’ll pair well with chicken (roasted or fried or even boneless breasts browned in butter), steak, roast beef, burgers, pork roast or chops, turkey — pretty much any non-pasta entree. And easy? Oh yeah, this one is a piece of cake. (Only, much easier than cake – for me anyway. I’m really not a baker.) Once they’re assembled and in the oven, little attention is required. They’ll bake while you work on the rest of the meal. Or read a book. Or, you know….write one.

Simple Scalloped Potatoes from Scratch Recipe

2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 Tablespoons cold butter, plus more to grease pan
2 pounds white or yellow potatoes (about 6 medium – enough for 4 cups of sliced potatoes)
1/4 cup thinly sliced onionSimple Scalloped Potatoes - 1 from simple wholesome ingredients
3 tablespoons flour (unbleached all-purpose)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Choose a 2-quart baking dish, preferably no more than 2 to 3 inches deep. If you’re not sure it’ll hold 2 quarts, try filling it with 8 cups of water. Seriously, if it won’t, you’ll be cleaning the oven after baking this dish. If it holds a bit more than 2 quarts, that’s probably even better. Make sure it’s big enough, then rub the inside with butter.

Start heating the milk — you can either microwave it, or do it on the stovetop in a small pan. Do not boil it, just get it very hot. Once it’s hot, set it aside.

Wash the potatoes, scrubbing them if they’re very dirty. Peel them using a potato peeler or a sharp paring knife, and remove the eyes, if any.

Cut potatoes into slices between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. Don’t sweat it. If they’re around that thickness, more or less, you’re good. Make sure you’ve got about a quart, or 4 cups, of potato slices.
Simple Scalloped Potatoes - 2 slice potatoes thinly

Make a layer of one-fourth of the potatoes, about a cup, in the casserole dish. Top that with one-fourth of the onion, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper.

Now we’re going to “dot with butter.” Here’s how: take 1 tablespoon of the butter and cut it into a dozen or so small bits, then distribute those more or less evenly over the potato/onion/flour layer.

Simple Scalloped Potatoes - 3 dot with butter

Repeat 2 more times, making a total of three layers of potatoes, onions, flour, salt, pepper and butter.

Now, do one more layer, same as the previous ones, except with no flour.

Pour the hot milk over the potatoes, then cover tightly with foil.

Place in preheated oven, being careful not to spill the liquid.

Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes longer. If you chose a deeper casserole dish, it may take up to another 20 minutes.

Carefully remove from oven – the sauce will be on the thin side right now. Let stand about 10 minutes for sauce to thicken before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Simple Scalloped Potatoes - 5 golden brown


Bobbie Laughman is probably just a figment of her own imagination, but if you like figments, consider following her on Pinterest or check out her blog, Gruntled, Sheveled, Whelmed.



  1. says

    This sounds fabulous! I’ve tried some other “simple” scalloped potato recipes and have ended up with a relatively decent tasting sauce….but it’s only covering about the top 1/3 of the potatoes. This seems like it’s MUCH more likely to spread the sauce through the WHOLE dish!

    • Bobbie says

      Melissa, the sauce does end up throughout the dish when you do it this way. And while making a white sauce isn’t all that hard, why go to unnecessary trouble?

  2. says

    I’ve tried a number of scalloped potatoes recipes, but have never found one that had quite the taste or texture I was looking for. I’ll have to give this one a try.
    I really like that it doesn’t use canned soup (I’m trying to limit my household’s consumption of these) and it doesn’t seem too laborious. Thanks!

  3. susan says

    I love homemade scalloped potatoes. I adore onions and usually use about 1/2 the amount of onion as potatoes. I also love a bit of heat and add ground red pepper. Mmmm, I might have to bake a ham and cook the potatoes next weekend.

    • Bobbie says

      You can definitely up the onion content – I do just that if my son isn’t eating with us. He’s recently decided that cooked onions aren’t really his thing. I don’t leave them out just for him, but I do use restraint.

      Scalloped potatoes and ham are a match made in heaven.

  4. Lindsey McCollum says

    I just popped this into the oven. I’m sure it will be fabulous! I had to add a few more potatoes to the recipe because my daughter’s boyfriend is a teenage eating machine and will be joining us for dinner :) I wanted to have enough for the rest of us to eat! Thanks for the inspiration.

      • Bobbie says

        I’m glad you liked it.

        I’ve seen a lot of recipes that include cheese. Sounds yummy, but to me that’s not scalloped potatoes. To each his own :-)

  5. Pamela says

    I love scalloped potatoes but mine turn out curdled. Your sauce looks so smooth. I have bad luck with mac and cheese also. I can’t wait to try this one.

    • Denise Nihill says

      Are you using a white sauce base? If so, you are boiling your milk. Melt butter, add flour to make a rue. Very gradually add milk or cream. Stir constantly , over medium heat, until the white sauce is the desired thickness

  6. says

    I made this for company – and LOVED it. Usually, I’d blog it (with full credit to you, of course) – but I didn’t get a photo, because we scarfed it so fast. It’s great because you can prep earlier in the day, and then throw in the oven while you do other things (like drink wine)

    So simple, I couldn’t believe how much flavor it had. I’m a convert. Thanks so much for posting this. I pink puffy heart you :) lol.

    • Bobbie says

      Kylee, you just made my day :-)

      Since you mentioned doing the prep earlier in the day, I just wanted to point out to those who may not know — make sure that the potatoes are completely submerged in the liquid, to keep them from turning black. (So appetizing, eh?) And store the prepped casserole dish in the refrigerator. You’ll probably need to bake it a bit longer from cold.

      Another option for prepping early is to peel and slice the potatoes and keep them in a bowl, completely submerged in cold water. Also, peel & slice/chop the onion and refrigerate (I store onions in a wide-mouth canning jar, re-using a lid from something I canned). Drain the potatoes REALLY well, then assemble the dish as above.

  7. Fyre says

    Argh! Any way this will still turn out okay without the flour, or what to use to substitute with? I love scalloped potatoes, but I hate canned soups. White sauces also usually have flour in them.

  8. BNRusso says

    I made a slight variation and it came out great. Fried up the onions in butter, added milk and diced ham. Seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. Added 2 tablespoons cornstarch into 1/4 cup cold water and stired it in. As soon as it started to thicken I added the potatoes previously cooked in the microwave. Great, simple, quick meal.

  9. Sherry says

    I have made these for 30 yrs but mine is a little different and takes abt 75 mins ,, I do not peel my taters I slice them thin early and soak in cold water .. I use a cast iron skillet put down a layer of taters salt – pepper to taste – sprinkle ( I use a non gmo flour ) with flour pats of real raw butter ( non Salted ) parsley then the next layer ( you can put cheese in the layers ) then I pour milk over the top make sure it is abt covered in milk ( again I use raw milk with the cream in it ) bake 350 covered checking it for fluid last 10 mins remove cover brown it a bit and bam mine makes a custard almost in between the layers

    • Linda says

      It was also in a BH&G spiral bound cookbook I received in 1967. I gave the cookbook to my daughter after she was married and she can’t find the cookbook now ! I’ve looked for this recipe forever ! I throw the in left over ham pieces and add some velveeta cheese and my meal is done!

  10. Lora says

    This is nearly word for word the recipe my mom taught me to make when I was a teen. I’m in my 50’s now, so that’s been awhile! Everyone in our extended family loves them and requests them. People all seem confused at first because they expect cheese. Over the years Potatoes Au Gratin have become confused with scalloped potatoes. And so many rely on box mixes or using soup bases when this is SO much easier and TASTIER!

    I have made 2 small alterations that I sometimes use – I use 1 part rich chicken stock (not broth) to 2 parts milk, and I sprinkle paprika over the top before baking for added color and flavor. The stock adds an incredible richness. But don’t try it with thin canned broth or worse yet, bullion.

    Love what you do here! You remind me of… well… me. 😉

  11. magilla71 says

    Is the butter absolutely necessary? I was going to sprinkle some cheese in and I don’t want it to be oily. Thanks!

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