Take your love of potatoes to the next level with this easy scalloped potato Irish side dish. Simply combine sliced spuds with Irish cheddar cheese, cream, thyme and onions to create a delicious Irish scalloped potato side.
Homemade cheesy scalloped potatoes are very popular in Ireland. This is a recipe for feeding a crowd, or for any big meal with family. These potatoes are a Sunday dinner favorite all over Ireland.
If you’re looking for Irish creamy baked potatoes, or a classic scalloped potatoes recipe then you’ve come to the right corner of the internet.
This is a very versatile recipe. Toss in scraps of ham or corned beef to add a little extra protein to this potato recipe. By doing so you’ll transform it into a one dish meal.
I use real heavy whipping cream, together with cheddar cheese for this old fashioned scalloped potato dish.
Sometimes my mother would make a similar dish using a béchamel or white sauce made with milk. Technically my mom's potato casserole was potatoes au gratin, rather than a scalloped potato dish.
We’ll learn a little more about the differences between the two dishes in just a moment.
There are many different ways of making scalloped potatoes. But today’s recipe is a classic that uses heavy whipping cream and Irish cheddar cheese for extra flavor.
This is a delicious and impressive potato side dish that’s perfect for entertaining and dinner parties. This is Irish style cooking at its finest.
This is a perfect Thanksgiving side or also works great for Christmas dinner. In fact, it goes great with roast leg of lamb or ham at Easter time too, so it can beome your go to holiday side dish.
What is the difference between scalloped and au gratin potatoes?
Scalloped potatoes are very similar to potato gratin. Both dishes consist of thinly sliced potatoes, baked until golden brown in a rich and creamy sauce.
However, there’s one main difference and that is cheese. For scalloped potatoes always add cheese. For me it has to be cheddar cheese to make these Irish style baked creamy sliced potatoes.
The tangy sharp taste of Irish cheddar makes these spuds extra indulgent. No flour is used to make the sauce, just cream and Irish cheddar cheese. Simply an amazing flavor combination.
What type of potatoes is best for scalloped potatoes?
For this easy cheesy scalloped potato dish I recommend using a starchy potato. In Ireland we love to cook with floury potatoes.
For American cooks Russets are best for scalloped potatoes because the extra starch helps thicken the sauce. The potatoes also bake up nice and tender. You can also try Yukon Golds, which are a little floury, but not as good as Russets in my opinion.
In Ireland I would use a Rooster, Maris Piper or Golden Wonder variety for this recipe.
Now, waxy red skinned potatoes do not bake well in this recipe. They do not have enough starch and remain hard and too firm after they’re baked in the cheese sauce. So definitely avoid them for any creamy cheesy scalloped potatoes.
You can use Yukon gold potatoes, if that's all that you can find, but they do tend to be a little waxier than the other varieties mentioned above.
How thick should the sauce be for oven baked scalloped potatoes?
The consistency of the sauce for this cheesy creamy scalloped potatoes recipe is not as thick as a regular white sauce.
The cream thickens slightly when combined with the cheese and the starch from the potato slices. Depending on how starchy your potatoes are, they're can still be a little sauce at the bottom of the casserole. This can be spooned on top of each serving.
How thick should the potato slices be for scalloped potatoes?
Definitely do not make the potato slices too thick. The maximum width of each slice should be ¼ inches. I like to make the slices about ⅛ inches thick, so that the slices bake evenly in the cream sauce.
If the slices are too thick then they won’t get tender enough in the oven. Thinly sliced potatoes ensure the layers of spuds cook up just perfectly and get tender all the way through.
The best way to slice the potatoes is using a mandolin. Please make sure you use the safety guard when using a kitchen mandolin, so you protect your fingers.
What is the best cheese for cheesy scalloped potatoes recipes?
Since I’m Irish I’m going to recommend an Irish cheddar cheese for this recipe. You can use any white cheddar but I love the taste of Irish Dubliner cheddar cheese.
It’s extra sharp and tangy. I don’t think any American cheddar comes close to the flavor profile of Irish cheddars.
You can use Parmesan or mozzarella for gooey, stretchy cheese layers and a little Italian flair.
Make Mexican style scalloped potatoes by using a grated Pepper Jack cheese. Add some paprika or chili powder, and a few jalapeños for extra south of the border flavors.
However, since this is an Irish cooking blog, I’m sticking with Irish cheddar for this tutorial. It’s simply the best in my book.
Can you use leftovers?
Leftovers from this delicious casserole can be heated in the microwave and served alongside your favorite quiche, or meat dish.
I don't recommend freezing the fully cooked leftovers since the potatoes tend to fall apart and become soggy in the freezer.
Can you freeze scalloped potatoes?
If you would like to make this dish in advance and freeze it, then I recommend that you do not fully cook the casserole all the way before freezing. Take about 15 minutes off the cooking time in the oven, and keep the scalloped potatoes a little undercooked.
Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool at room temperature. Then place them in the fridge to cool completely.
Next I recommend cutting them into serving sizes. Place each portion in a freezer bag or wrap carefully in plastic wrap. Place the portions on a baking tray in the freezer and flash freeze.
When you're ready to serve the potatoes, remove them from the freezer and thaw them completely in the fridge or at room temperature.
Reheat each portion in an oven proof dish. Complete the cooking process by baking for 20 to 30 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Make sure they are heated through before serving.
Ingredients for Irish Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes
Here's a list of the ingredients you'll need. Check out the printable recipe at the bottom of this post to find the exact quantities required.
- Russet potatoes (peeled and sliced evenly into ⅛ inch rounds)
- grated Irish white cheddar cheese
- olive oil
- onion (peeled and diced)
- chopped fresh thyme
- heavy whipping cream
- white pepper
- fresh parsley to garnish
You can add some minced garlic to this dish if you wish, but I like the combination of thyme and onion flavors, without any garlic.
Directions for Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a deep 13 x 9-inch casserole dish with butter.
Peel and slice the potatoes. Use a mandolin for this job, or a sharp knife.
Try to keep the slices as thin as possible, about ⅛ inch thick. Put the slices of potato in a large bowl of salted water to prevent them browning while preparing the cream sauce.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Add the onions and thyme. Sauté until the onions are softened.
Do not over brown the onions. Add the heavy cream and heat while stirring until just warmed. Be careful not to boil the cream. Season with salt and pepper. I like to use white pepper. Set aside while assembling the dish.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and shake to remove any excess water.
Layer one quarter of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Use one quarter of the cheese and sprinkle it over the potatoes in the baking dish. Repeat the layers of potatoes and cheese 3 more times.
Pour the cream mixture evenly over the potatoes and cheese.
Bake uncovered in the oven for about 70 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is bubbling.
Test the potatoes with a sharp knife to ensure they are cooked.
Serve warm with your favorite meat or fish.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Irish Style
- 4 pounds Russet potatoes peeled and sliced evenly into ⅛ inch rounds
- 3 cups white cheddar cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ounce butter
- 1 medium onion peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped and for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit or 190° Celsius. Grease a deep 13 x 9-inchcasserole dish with butter.
- Peel and slice the potatoes. Put them in a bowl of salted water to prevent them browning while preparing the cream sauce.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Add the onions and thyme. Sauté until the onions are softened. Do not over brown the onions.
- Add the heavy cream and heat while stirring until just warmed. Be careful not to boil the cream. Season with salt and white pepper. Set aside while assembling the dish.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and shake to remove any excess water. Layer one quarter of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Use one quarter of the cheese and sprinkle it over the potatoes. Repeat the layers of potatoes and cheese 3 more times.
- Pour the cream mixture evenly over the potatoes and cheese. Bake in the oven for about 70 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is bubbling. Test the potatoes with a sharp knife to ensure they are cooked.
- Serve warm as a side dish with fish, or meat dishes.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
Happy potato cooking. I hope you like this delicious Irish veggie side dish.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
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