I am 99% certain there is nothing better than the combination of gruyere, thyme, and potatoes. Especially when comfort food is top of mind.

While crispy potatoes are definitely a fan favorite, there’s something magical about scalloped potatoes. Their cheesy, creamy sauce and melt-in-your-mouth potatoes are unbeatable.

Square baking dish with baked scalloped potatoes next to spoon.

This recipe is loved on holiday tables, at Sunday family dinners, and whenever you need just a little extra cheesy-carby-goodness in your life.

You’ll love that this recipe is fairly easy to make. It requires a little bit of time to slice the potatoes, and then to bake to golden perfection, but it’s relatively hands-off and can be made ahead of time for special occasions.

Ingredients and Substitutions

We can all gather around and love that this recipe has simple ingredients that deliver loads of flavor, comfort, and creamy goodness.

Since they are pretty straightforward, there aren’t many substitutions, but I will list a few where relevant, in case you need to adapt given what you have on hand (or can find at the grocery store).

Bowls of ingredients for gruyere scalloped potatoes on wood tray.
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes: small, waxy yellow potatoes are perfect for this recipe! They are buttery, and their small size provides perfect potato rounds to stack in a baking dish. Their thin skin softens up while baking, and therefore you don’t need to peel them before making this recipe (YES!).
    • If you do need to substitute, you can try Russet Potatoes (although I would recommend peeling those), Fingerling Potatoes, or Red Bliss Potatoes.
  • Yellow Onion: an aromatic we couldn’t make potatoes without! You could also use shallot, however, keep in mind that shallots need less time to cook until tender.
  • Garlic: of course, garlic is a must with these flavor combinations!
  • Flour: to make a roux for our sauce. You could use gluten-free flour to make this recipe gluten-free, although I haven’t extensively tested this. Be sure to let us know if you do!
  • Vegetable Stock: it’s part of our creamy sauce that coats the potatoes. If you don’t need to keep this recipe vegetarian, you can also substitute chicken stock.
  • Milk: again, part of our creamy sauce! I recommend using whole milk for the most luxurious texture, but you can use what you have on hand.
  • White and Black Pepper: I love using a hint of white pepper for a hint of unique flavor. It’s slightly pungent, and warm. If you’re not a fan, you can omit and use black pepper to your tastes.
  • Thyme: this fresh herb is a delicious pairing with gruyere cheese. If you don’t have fresh, you can substitute dried thyme, just be sure to halve the amount since it will be more potent.
  • Gruyère Cheese: the ultimate star, this Swiss cheese is nutty, salty, and slightly sweet. It has a luxurious texture and flavor. If you need to substitute cheese in this recipe, I recommend using Emmental, Jarlsberg, or Raclette cheese as they are most similar.
  • Parmesan Cheese: to round out the cheesiness, it pairs so well with the flavors of this recipe!

Scalloped vs. Au Gratin Potatoes

Let’s clear the air before we get cooking. Scalloped potatoes or au gratin potatoes?

It seems nowadays the two are used interchangeably, yet there are those of us that still adhere to hard-and-fast rules between the two dishes.

There are many variations of these two recipe types, yet both are essentially layered potatoes cooked in a casserole dish.

Scalloped potatoes sometimes have cheese, au gratin potatoes often do. Scalloped potatoes always have a cream sauce, and sometimes au gratin potatoes do.

You can read more about the overall differences between potato gratin and scalloped potatoes via Taste of Home if you’re interested. But really, at the end of the day, they’re both absolutely delicious and whatever you want to call them, they need to be on your table!


How to Make Scalloped Potatoes

In a few simple steps, this potato side dish will be baking and the scent that wafts through the house will have your taste buds watering!

Step 1: Prepare the Cream Sauce

This scalloped potato recipe uses a cream sauce infused with onion and garlic for the ultimate flavors!

Saute the aromatics in butter, then stir in the flour. Be sure to let it cook down for a minute or two before adding the vegetable stock, additional spices, and milk.

I recommend starting to salt the sauce with the onions, adding bit by bit in layers, to bring out the most flavor from each component of the recipe. Be sure to taste test as you go, remembering that the cheese will add a good amount of salt to the overall sauce, too.

Let the sauce simmer to thicken, being careful to not aggressively boil it so the milk doesn’t burn. Then, remove the mixture from the heat and it’s time to assemble!

Thinly sliced potatoes in bowl.

Step 2: Assemble the Scalloped Potatoes

It’s time to layer! Begin with a layer of thinly sliced potatoes (we’re going to talk about the importance of the thin slice in a minute).

Once the potatoes cover the bottom of the baking dish, pour on half of the cream sauce. Then spread on a layer of shredded gruyere cheese and parmesan cheese.

On top of the cheese will be our next layer of potatoes. Then, again, pour the remaining cream sauce on top, and the rest of the gruyere cheese. That’s it! Our potato dish is ready for the oven.

Step 3: Time to Bake

For the first half of the baking process, cover the casserole pan with aluminum foil. This helps prevent the cheese from cooking too quickly before the potatoes are done.

About halfway through, remove the foil and continue baking until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Prepare to start salivating as the delicious scent of gruyere, thyme, garlic, and onion begins wafting throughout your house. It’s incredible!

Step 4: Serve

Once the potatoes are cooked, let them cool slightly before serving. This helps the sauce set up, and helps prevent the dreaded burning of your mouth from irresistible hot cheese.

Sprinkle on the remaining fresh thyme for garnish, and enjoy!

Side view of gruyere scalloped potatoes after baking.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Use a mandoline to slice the potatoes! This is the easiest way to ensure your potatoes are thin enough to cook through while baking and to ensure they’re sliced evenly. I love this hand-held one. It’s easy to store and use, however, any kind will do!
  • Shred your own cheese! Hands down, I will always advocate for shredding your own cheese, especially in recipes where the cheese needs to melt evenly into a sauce. Many prepackaged shredded cheese types come with an anti-caking agent which makes it difficult for the cheese to melt smoothly into the sauce. Use a box grater or food processor to make this easier to do. It’s totally worth it!
  • If you want crispy edges, consider using a cast-iron skillet to make this dish!
Scoop of potatoes in baking dish.

What to Serve with Scalloped Potatoes

There are endless possibilities when it comes to what to pair with scalloped potatoes. I like to think of this as a fancy scalloped potato side dish recipe, making it a favorite around holiday tables. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, it’s no surprise when they make their appearance.

But this recipe isn’t just for the holidays.

It’s special and elegant enough for those, sure, but it’s also easy enough to make Sunday family dinners feel extra special. Or when you need some comfort food.

They are excellent served alongside rosemary salmon and roasted broccolini. For meat-eaters, they are a match made in heaven with sous vide roasts, grilled steaks, or roasted chicken.

To keep it entirely vegetarian, they are excellent with whole roasted cauliflower, or as a side for broccoli butternut squash soup.

More Potato Side Dish Recipes to Love

FAQs

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the scalloped potatoes in the baking dish, then cover and place the pan in the fridge. I wouldn’t recommend doing this more than a day in advance. Potatoes can tend to turn grayish when exposed to air, however, I haven’t had issues with preparing the dish this way in advance. Remove the pan from the fridge 20-30 minutes before baking so it has time to warm up (you don’t want to put a cold pan in a hot oven!).

What type of pan is best?

I recommend a casserole pan or a 9×9 baking dish for a thicker result. However, you can also use a 9×13 baking dish, which will be thinner and require a little less cooking time. A 12-inch cast-iron skillet also works, and gives you more crispy edges!

Can I use chicken stock?

Yes, you can. The recipe won’t be vegetarian anymore if you do so, but you can if you don’t need it to be vegetarian.

Can I use sweet potatoes?

While I haven’t tried this myself, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to if that’s your preferred potato! I would peel the potatoes since they have thicker skin, and you may need to cook longer depending on the thickness. We would love to hear if you try this!

Can I double this recipe?

Absolutely! Bake it in a 9×13 pan for approximately the same time.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

Casserole dish with scalloped potatoes and a spoon taking a scoop.
4.99 (62 ratings)

Get the Recipe Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes

Elevate your next meal with these cozy, comforting, cheesy Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes! They are luxurious and indulgent! The nuttiness of gruyere cheese, creamy buttery flavor of the Yukon Gold potatoes, and warm, fragrant fresh thyme make an irresistible combination! This is one side dish recipe you will be making over and over!

Ingredients

Instructions
 

  • bowl of thinly sliced potatoes.
    Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9×9 baking dish with butter. Thinly slice the potatoes using a mandoline.
    4-6 large yukon gold potatoes
  • In a large stockpot or sautee pan, melt butter. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, adding a pinch of salt to begin layering in the flavor. Add garlic and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes. Then stir in the flour and continue to stir for 1-2 minutes to ensure the flour does not burn.
    3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/2 cup yellow onion, 4 garlic cloves, 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Whisk in the vegetable broth until combined, then whisk in milk. Add any remaining salt as needed, white pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme. Bring cream sauce to a simmer and continue to lightly simmer for 4-5 minutes, being careful it doesn't boil. Remove from heat.
    1/2 cup vegetable stock, 1 cup whole milk, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • casserole pan with layer of sliced potatoes.
    Layer half of the potato slices at the bottom of the greased baking dish for the first layer.
  • cream sauce on top of sliced potatoes
    Pour over half of the cream sauce on top. Sprinkle ¾ cup of the shredded gruyere and ½ cup of parmesan on top of the first layer of cream.
  • cheese on top of potato layers in pan.
    Layer the rest of the potato slices in the pan and pour the remaining cream sauce on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of gruyere on top of the finished dish.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, until cheese begins to turn golden brown and potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. The sauce should also be bubbly.
  • Let cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining thyme. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • 9×13 baking dish will also work, just reduce the cooking time by 5-10 minutes as it will be thinner and need less cook time.
  • Dried Thyme: to substitute dried thyme, use 1 teaspoon in the cream sauce and omit the garnish.
  • *Look for cheese specifically labeled vegetarian, if needed.
Calories: 181kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 388mg, Potassium: 91mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 481IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 326mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

This post was originally published in March 2016. The photos were updated and republished in October 2018 and 2021; no changes were made to the original recipe.