This recipe of creamy scallop potatoes is quick and easy to make. It doesn’t include any cheese but relies on a classic cooking technique of parboiling thinly sliced vegetables (potatoes) in an herb-infused cream sauce and baking until tender.
The difference between “scalloping” and “a gratin” is if there is a top crust involved. A gratin potatoes rely on breadcrumbs, cheese or a combination of ingredients to make a top crust. Scallop potatoes only rely on the creamy sauce to brown and is not as crusty. This recipe is for scallop potatoes and is easy to make. An added benefit is that it can be assembled a day before and then baked just before serving which makes it a wonderful side dish for entertaining.
Four Tips for Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
- Use waxy potatoes—Yukon Golds are a wonderful combination of starchiness and waxiness. They hold their shape and won’t produce a gloppy mess.
- Slice the potatoes correctly—make sure the slices are uniform thickness of 1/8” thick. This lets them hold the shape in the creamy sauce and still cook evenly. Use a mandoline, V-Slicer or chef’s knife to slice the potatoes.
- Cook in cream—simmer on infused cream on the stove before layering the potatoes and sauce in a greased baking dish and baking in the oven. Cover the potatoes during baking to help seal in steam. Uncover at the end to brown the dish after they are tender.
- Let the dish rest—After the potatoes come out of the oven, let the dish rest for 20 minutes to allow the cream mixture to reabsorb into the potato slices so the dish is not soupy.
An easy side dish that taste like it is loaded with cheese, but actually doesn’t have any. It can be assembled a day ahead which makes it perfect for entertaining.
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
- 4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 8 medium)
- 1–1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2–1/2 cups milk
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme (about 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1–1/2 – 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon white pepper
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a 3-quart baking dish, set aside.
- Remove thyme leaves from the stem. Set aside. Slice garlic into thin slices, set aside.
- Peel potatoes, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds with a mandolin or V slicer.
- In a medium-large saucepan, heat the heavy cream, milk, garlic slices and thyme over medium-high heat.
- Carefully add the potatoes to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the nutmeg and stir carefully as to not break up the potato slices.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper and taste. Add remaining salt and pepper as desired.
- Spoon the potato mixture into prepared dish. Cover dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender when the tip of a knife is inserted. Remove foil; increase oven temperature to 425° F. Continue baking until potatoes are bubbly and browned.
- Let cool 20 minutes so the sauce is reabsorbed into the potatoes. Serve warm.
This dish can be assembled a day before a stored covered in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before baking to come to room temperature.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
Keywords: scallop potatoes, creamy potatoes