Baked Southern Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes, a dish many of us are familiar with, have deep roots in French cuisine but found a warm welcome in Southern kitchens where it’s undergone a delightful cheese-laden transformation. This side dish, also known as potatoes au gratin in its classic form, has traveled the oceans and settled comfortably on American dinner tables, particularly loved for its comforting marriage of potatoes, creamy sauce, and melted cheese. In this recipe for Baked Southern Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, we’re going to embrace the down-home, cheesy variation that’s become a soul-warming favorite. Why would someone want to make this, you ask? Well, it’s a substantial method to transform a few simple ingredients into a dish that’s both heartwarming and satisfying, perfect for family gatherings, potlucks, or anytime you need a touch of Southern comfort on your plate.

Baked Southern Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to a myriad of mains. They pair beautifully with a succulent roasted ham, barbeque ribs, or even a lemon-herb chicken. To balance the creamy richness, serve alongside a crisp green salad or some steamed green beans. And don’t forget a light, fruit-forward wine such as a Pinot Noir or a refreshing Chardonnay to bring everything together.


– 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 2 cups whole milk
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon paprika
– 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
– 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped (optional, for garnish)


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook for about 2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste, creating a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk, and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.

3. Stir in the salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese until well combined. Set aside.

4. Arrange half of the potato slices in the bottom of the prepared baking dish, slightly overlapping them. Pour half of the cheese sauce evenly over the potatoes.

5. Add the second layer of potatoes, followed by the remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese on top.

6. Cover with foil and bake for 60 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue baking for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.

7. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving to allow the sauce to thicken slightly. Sprinkle with fresh chives for garnish if desired.

Variations & Tips

– For a bit of crunch, add a layer of buttered breadcrumbs or crushed crackers on top during the last 15 minutes of baking.
– If you’re in a rush, you can parboil the sliced potatoes for 5-7 minutes before layering them–this will reduce the baking time.
– Mix up the cheeses for different flavors: try Gruyere for nuttiness or Monterey Jack for a gentle heat.
– A little bit of Dijon mustard or Worcestershire sauce whisked into the cheese sauce can add a pleasant depth to the dish.

Whether you’re sticking to the classic or adding your twist, Baked Southern Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are sure to make for a scrumptious side that might just steal the spotlight.

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