See that pan full of creamy, cheesy potatoes? Those are real scalloped potatoes, not the fake, dried-up tater imposters you buy in a box. Allow me to point out what’s wrong with that picture: dried up potatoes…in a box. It’s just not natural.
Obviously, the appeal of anything store-bought is the convenience factor. But are those few minutes you save really significant when you consider a) the disgusting amount of artificial ingredients and preservative in that box and b) how many moons better the homemade stuff tastes? Sometimes, you’ve got to weigh your pros and cons to make the best decision. And in this case, I think a few extra minutes of prep time is more than worth the utter deliciousness made from fresh, real ingredients that scratch-made scalloped potatoes offer.
I never used to be crazy about scalloped potatoes; I much preferred my taters fried, mashed, twice-baked, or oven-roasted. However, after trying this recipe, my feelings have changed. I love me some scalloped potatoes!
This is pure potato decadence. The sauce is rich, creamy, and plentiful. It’s infused with fresh thyme to produce such soulful flavor. Then, the tender potatoes and the smooth cream sauce are layered with two kinds of cheese. We’ve got Sharp Cheddar for its wonderful flavor and Gruyere for a little something special. It’s that ooey gooey cheese and the golden brown top layer that really take these over the top. I had several heaping scoopfuls, because it was just too good to stop.
These Cheddar & Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes are the pinnacle of comfort food. They’re so rich and cheesy, each spoonful warms you like a blanket on a cold night. This dish is a classic, one you’ll be happy to welcome to your dinner table. So please, for the love of Gruyere, throw out that craptastic boxed imposter in your pantry!
If you ever think about going for the box again, I will personally bop you upside the head. The good news is, it won’t have to come to that, because once you try this recipe, you won’t ever want the boxed stuff again.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- You can use just about any cheese you like in here. A Gruyere-Fontina mix would be delightful, or perhaps go all White Cheddar.
- Use fresh garlic. The flavor of powdered will never compare. You might as well go back to the box!
- Same goes for the thyme.
- This is a dish you can assemble ahead of time then bake when you’re ready for dinner.
- This make A LOT of taters! Cut in half if you’re serving 3 or less people. My family of four barely got through half.
Cheddar & Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming subsides, about 1 minute. Add onion and saute until it turns soft and begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cream, milk, thyme, salt, pepper, and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a light simmer, and cook until potatoes are almost tender (paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potato slice with some resistance), about 15 minutes.
2. Remove and discard thyme sprigs. Pour half the potato mixture into a 3-quart dish and sprinkle with half the cheese. Then pour the remaining potatoes on top and sprinkle with the rest of these cheese. Bake until the cream has thickened and is bubbling around sides and the top is golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.