If you’re looking for the perfect potato side dish, this Easy Cheesy Potato Bake recipe has you covered. Meltingly tender, creamy scalloped potatoes laced with bacon, thyme and cheese all baked in a comforting sauce.
Did you grow up with scalloped potatoes? I did. Thin slices of potato baked in a creamy sauce. Well, this Easy Cheesy Potato Bake is a combination of that and my favourite Potato and Bacon Pie.
It’s a sliced potato casserole made up of tender slices of potato luxuriating in a flavourful creamy sauce and it makes a fantastic side dish for any dinner party, potluck or Sunday supper.
If you love a good potato side dish, try my Simple Potato Salad, or these Buttery Garlic Potatoes with Crispy Prosciutto. If you’ve ever wanted to know How to Make Perfect Roast Potatoes then that’s the perfect post for you.
Easy, you say?
Yes, even though everything is made from scratch (no canned soups here), these cheesy scalloped potatoes are easy to make and can be in the oven in less than half an hour.
- The potatoes are just thrown into the dish, no need for careful layering
- The sauce, while extremely flavourful, is ready in 10 minutes.
- The rest is all up to the oven.
The ingredients you’ll need
This sliced potato casserole is filled with simple, flavourful ingredients. Bacon, spring (green) onions, thyme and cheese create a flavour explosion while the sauce comes together from a mixture of butter, flour, cream and milk.
Which potatoes to use
The best potatoes for scalloped potatoes are Desiree, Russet and Yukon Gold – they keep their shape but are meltingly tender when baked.
How to make it – step by step
Making a cheesy potato bake is a very simple process
- Peel and slice the potatoes to about 3-4mm thick. Add them to a pan of water, bring it to the boil, then cook for just 2 minutes before draining. Don’t cook them too long or they’ll fall apart when you drop them into the casserole dish.
- You can use the same pan for the sauce. Start by sautéing some bacon pieces just until they start to brown.
- Add spring onions and garlic and saute for about a minute before adding butter and flour.
- Add stock, cream, milk, thyme and seasoning and cook, stirring until it thickens and starts to bubble.
- Layer up your potato bake in a casserole dish. Start with a good spoonful of the sauce, then layer potatoes, sauce, cheese, finishing with cheese on top.
That’s it. Just 3 layers and the sauce will seep down through all the gaps and thickens up more in the oven. It bakes for 45-50 minutes, then a few minutes under a grill / broiler to brown up the top if it needs it.
Soft sliced potatoes in a cheesy sauce just waiting to accompany your favourite grilled meats, sausage or just eat it as a main dish with a side salad.
How to store and reheat
- Storage: Cover the potato bake with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: This bake is best reheated in the oven for 20 minutes but can easily be reheated in the microwave too for just a couple of minutes on high.
- Make ahead: Yes, this can be made a day ahead and left in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. You can also par-bake it for 40 minutes, then store it in the fridge overnight. Finish it off in the oven for 20 minutes when ready.
- Make it vegetarian by swapping the chicken stock for vegetable and remove the bacon.
- Swap the bacon for leftover ham or even turkey after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- Thyme – you could try rosemary or sage or a mixture of your favourite herbs
Tips And Tricks
- Let it rest for 10 minutes once it comes out of the oven, as the sauce will be molten hot.
- Don’t turn up the heat of the oven hoping to cook it quicker as this will result in a split sauce.
Delight your family and friends with a rich and comforting Cheesy Potato Bake this week. It can be made the day before making it the perfect side for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner too. Oh, and don’t forget IT TASTES INCREDIBLE.
More Potato Recipes You’ll Love
Easy Cheesy Potato Bake
- 1.4 kg (3lb) desiree potatoes (notes)
- 75 g (2.5oz) bacon roughly chopped
- 1 large clove garlic crushed
- 3 large spring (green onions) sliced (notes)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup plain (all purp) flour (notes)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup thickened (heavy) cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves discard stems (notes)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- 2 cups (200g / 7oz)) lightly packed grated cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.
- Peel the potatoes and use a sharp knife to slice them very thinly (no more than 3-4mm thick). Place them in a large saucepan of water, and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and drain. Set aside.
- Combine the cream and milk in a small jug and set aside.
- Add the oil and bacon to the same pan and saute until just starting to brown.
- Add the onions and garlic and saute for a minute to soften a little before adding the butter.
- Once the butter has melted add the flour. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds.
- Slowly drizzle in the stock while continuing to stir until the flour is totally dissolved into it.
- Turn the heat down to low-medium, slowly add the cream and milk while whisking. Immediately add the thyme, salt and pepper. Keep stirring until it starts to thicken and bubble a little.
- Place about 1/3 cup of sauce in the base of a casserole dish and spread around.
- Now add layers, 1/3 of each in this order: potatoes, sauce, cheese (so you finish with cheese)
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until bubbling and just starting to turn golden on top.
- If you want it a little browner on top, place it under an overhead grill / broiler for 2-3 minutes. No longer as the heat may cause the sauce to curdle
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
- Desiree, russet or yukon gold potatoes are best
- You can use 1 small leek in place of the spring onions if you prefer.
- What if the sauce curdles? This can happen if the oven temperature was too high or it baked too long. It is still edible and tastes great but just doesn't look as pretty.
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