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Serving spoon in the cheesy scalloped potatoes.
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5 from 12 votes

Make-Ahead Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes (with cream)

Simmer thinly sliced potatoes in a creamy sauce with onions and fresh herbs, then load them with sharp cheddar cheese to make these irresistible Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes! Plus, with make-ahead instructions these are a foolproof freezer-friendly side dish for all your special menus or even a special weekend meal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Cooling10 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 429kcal


  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • pounds russet potatoes washed and peeled
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 ounces cheddar cheese


Make-Ahead Instructions

  • Spray 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a food processor, mince onion, slice potatoes ¼ inch thick, and shred cheese, making sure to clean out the processor bowl in between ingredients.
  • Melt butter over medium to medium-high heat in a deep pot. Add onion and cook for 4 minutes or until soft.
    2 tablespoon butter, 1 small onion
  • Add garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds.
    2 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Add broth and cream. *Optional: If the onion is too chunky for your preference use an immersion blender to blend until mostly smooth.
    1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup heavy cream
  • Add potatoes and bay leaves. Simmer, then cover and simmer stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, approximately 10 minutes.
    2½ pounds russet potatoes, 2 bay leaves
  • Discard bay leaves. Add cheese and stir until the cheese is fully melted. Pour into greased 9x13 pan.
    5 ounces cheddar cheese
  • NOTE: If baking immediately without refrigerating or freezing first, jump down to the "Baking Immediately Instructions." If making ahead, continue with the next step.
  • Once the potatoes are in the greased 9x13 pan, allow them to cool completely. Wrap with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of tinfoil. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • If frozen, allow the potatoes to fully thaw in the refrigerator before serving day. This can take 24 hours so give them plenty of time. Once thawed, move to next step.
  • Remove the potatoes from the refrigerator an hour before baking and let them begin to come to room temperature. Remove the layer of plastic wrap, but replace the tinfoil layer. Cook for 50-60 minutes at 425°F, the first 30 minutes with the tinfoil on, and the last 20-30 minutes with the foil off. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Baking Immediately Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Follow steps 1-7 above.
  • Once the potatoes are poured into the greased pan, bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • We love comments! Please come back and leave us one after you’ve tried this recipe.


Tips & Tricks
  • Use a food processor for quick prep time. 
  • Move quickly after prepping the potatoes or they will discolor. 
  • Be sure to slice potatoes in an even thickness so that they cook evenly. 
  • Make sure they are fully thawed after freezing or the edges will get done before the middle.


Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 737mg | Potassium: 914mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1054IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 239mg | Iron: 2mg