These Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are so tender and flavorful, they make the perfect side dish at dinner and even taste great leftover or for breakfast!
I have so many great memories of my youth. As you might imagine based on my food obsession, some of those memories pertain to food. One of my not-so-great memories pertains to scalloped potatoes. I remember the wonderful smell as they cooked, and the hopeful feeling that they would taste great as I waited for them to come out of the oven. But I also remember the disappointment as I lifted the potatoes out of a thin liquid bath and took a crunchy starchy bite. YUCK.
You see, my mom can be a pretty darn good cook. She still makes the best all butter pie crust I’ve ever had. But scalloped potatoes? Fail. She’s the kind of cook who either very loosely follows a recipe or doesn’t fallow one at all. I’m not sure why we couldn’t successfully pull off scalloped potatoes during my entire youth despite countless attempts, but I am thrilled to say that I have replaced those crunchy potato memories with the best scalloped potatoes I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m going to share the secret with you.
First, its important to slice the potatoes thin and make them uniform. My cutting skills aren’t quite on par with that task so I used my mandolin. I highly recommend you follow the same technique or use the slicer on your food processor. The great flavor comes from all the ingredients I chose in addition to the cooking method. Onion and garlic – yeah, those always go well with potatoes. Buttermilk, heavy cream and butter – another no brainer. Cheddar, gruyere, and parmasan – I knocked it out of the park with that combo. Cooking everything in a cast iron skillet and then in a super hot oven – oh yeah, now we’re talking. Don’t be deceived by the golden brown color. I was so afraid of burning them (more for the sake of the blog photos than us having to eat them) that I probably took them out of the oven a minute or two prematurely. I had put a fork in some potatoes to test them and they fell apart, but I really should have tasted them. Still, a far cry from the crunchy potatoes of my youth, but not as soft as when I heated them up for leftovers. Learn from my mistakes, friends. Bottom line – these potatoes are outstanding and you will love them.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1 small onion or half of a medium, minced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup shredded cheese I used a cheddar gruyere blend
- 2-3 pounds russet potatoes about 3 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
- Heat an oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add some (less than half) of the butter and the onions to the pan. Let cook until they start to brown, while stirring only occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add half of the potatoes and toss with the onions and garlic to evenly coat, then spread them out. Sprinkle with a hefty pinch of salt, half of the remaining cut up butter, half of the shredded cheese, and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Sprinkle with another hefty pinch of salt as well as some freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Mix the heavy cream and buttermilk together and pour it over the potatoes. Top with nutmeg and allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Dot the potatoes with the remaining cut-up butter.
- Mix the remaining shredded cheese with the parmesan and spread this cheese blend over the hot potatoes.
- Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Be sure to check if they are done by tasting a potato, not just by poking it with a fork. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.