These scalloped potatoes are a huge hit in our home
This recipe took a little bit of adjusting until it was just right, but the results were worth the wait.
The family stood around while Liz took the final photos and then we dug in. I thought we’d have lots of leftovers, but that didn’t happen. It made me happy to hear “mmm’s” and watch Liz and the kids help themselves to extra servings. Quiet moments like this during a meal are usually a good indicator that the recipe came out just right.
Do I need to use a cast iron pan?
Absolutely not. You can use a deep baking dish and get the same result. I just love the way cast iron looks and how it retains heat, so I thought it would be a great way to present the dish. It gave Liz the time she needed to get the perfect photo and we still enjoyed the potatoes while they were hot.
Our cast iron pan is 12 inches wide. If you plan on using a much larger or much smaller dish, make sure to adjust the quantities of all the ingredients, accordingly.
How long does this take to cook?
The thickness of potato slices will affect the cooking time. We cut our potatoes to 1/8 inch (3.175mm) slices using a food processor. Our dish took 1 hour and 5 minutes to cook through and then another 3 minutes with the broiler on to get that toasty top.
If you’re hand-cutting potatoes try to keep your slices to a consistent thickness for even cooking, but don’t worry if they aren’t perfect. Use a cake tester or fork to poke through the potatoes in different areas of the pan. If the fork pokes through easily it means the potatoes are tender and ready. There shouldn’t be resistance—but don’t overcook to the point that the potatoes become soft and mushy. To get it just right, I start testing every few minutes after the potatoes have been in the oven for about 50 minutes.
Is this a dish I can I make ahead of time?
You sure can. If you want to save the prep time and the hour cook time on the day you’re serving this up, you can make it a day or two beforehand. Follow the recipe, then let the potatoes cool completely before wrapping them with foil and refrigerating. Then to warm them up, set your oven to 325°F, drizzle about 1/4 cup of milk evenly over the potatoes, cover the pan or dish with the same foil wrap and place it on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 25 minutes then remove the foil and turn on the broiler for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how much colour you want on the top.
Are scalloped potatoes the same as potatoes au gratin?
This is a common question. They are, in fact, similar but not the same. The main difference is that scalloped potatoes are cooked in a cream sauce, while potatoes au gratin are baked in a cheese sauce. I’ve never made potatoes au gratin. but I have eaten them. My recommendation? You have to try both. They’re both delicious dishes. I’ll add potatoes au gratin to my list of things yet to make. It’s amazing that after making hundreds of unique meals, sides, mains, and desserts, there are still loads and loads of things I have yet to make. I’ll never get bored in the kitchen.
Enjoy these scalloped potatoes with grilled meats, roast, fried chicken etc. Just make sure to scoop out your portion as soon as the dish hits the table. These scalloped potatoes are so good that they’ll get gobbled up quickly. If you happen to have any leftovers, they’ll keep in the fridge and reheat nicely (drizzle a little milk on them and warm in an oven)… but if you’re like us… you won’t even need that tip.
Make today yummy!
Scalloped potatoes in a cast iron pan
- 4 lbs thinly sliced red potatoes scrubbed/washed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium cooking onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted better + 1 tbsp cold piece of butter for coating the inside of the cast iron pan
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups whole milk 3.8% fat
- 3 tbsp + 3 tbsp freshly chopped chives
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF
- Using a cold piece of unsalted butter, lightly coat the inside of the cast iron pan surface by rubbing the 1 tbsp cold piece of butter all over the surface. Set aside.
- Wash the potatoes (don’t peel).
- Thinly slice the potatoes evenly (about 1/8 inch thick). We used a food processor to cut them, but you can also carefully cut them by hand.
- Place the sliced potatoes in a bowl, cover with cold water and set aside.
- Start the sauce.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot on medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for another minute or until the onions are soft.
- Add the butter, salt and pepper, 3 tbsp chopped chives and stir until the butter has melted.
- Reduce the heat to medium low.
- Sprinkle in the flour.
- Stir until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Add the milk and whisk until the mixture start to thicken again (don’t let the mixture come to a boil).
- Shut off the heat and set the sauce aside.
- Pour out the water from the bowl of potato slices.
- Dry the potatoes using paper towels.
- Place one layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the coated pan, with each slice slightly overlapping the previous slice.
- Pour 1/4 of the sauce mixture evenly over the potatoes.
- Repeat: Add a second layer of potatoes and sauce mixture.
- Add a third layer of potatoes and sauce.
- Add the fourth and last layer of potatoes and sauce.
- Place the pan on the middle rack.
- Cook for about 50 minutes and check for doneness. They will likely not be ready just yet. Use a cake tester or fork to poke through the potatoes. the tester should poke through easily with little resistance to show that they're tender and ready. Ours cooked for about 1 hour, 5 minutes total before they were ready.
- Don't take them out off the oven yet!
- Shut the over door, turn on the broiler on and let cook for another 3 to 5 minutes to create those beautiful toasty edges on top.
- Rest the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the remaining freshly chopped chives evenly over the cooked potatoes.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Slice the potatoes with even thickness to ensure even cooking time.
- If possible use a a food processor with a slicing blade or a mandoline to speed the slicing up and to make sure the slices are an even thickness.
- You can absolutely use a baking dish for this recipe instead of the cast iron pan.
- Make them ahead of time to save time.