Loaded scalloped potatoes is a decadent twist on this classic casserole dish, loaded with tender potatoes, smoky bacon, and a crispy cheese crust.
This is the perfect side dish to serve for any special occasion. You can certainly expect this next level comfort food to be a new family favorite.
What are they?
The name "scalloped potatoes" refers to how the potatoes are thinly sliced. A traditional scalloped potatoes recipe features thinly sliced potatoes baked with milk-based sauce. Although not required, meat such as ham, or in this recipe bacon, is often added to this casserole.
Scalloped potatoes are similar to an au gratin potatoes recipe, but au gratin potatoes feature more cheese. Admittedly, this loaded scalloped potatoes recipe also includes cheese. However, I would define au gratin dishes as being the heaviest on cheese.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Yukon gold potatoes - Russet potatoes can be substituted, but waxy potatoes such as Yukon gold and red potatoes hold their shape better when cooked.
- All-purpose flour - When combined with the bacon grease, this forms a roux, which is the thickener for the sauce.
- Milk - Heavy cream can be substituted.
- Sour cream
- Bacon - I prefer regular-cut bacon for this recipe. Thick cut bacon can absorb too much moisture and get gummy
- Fresh chives - Green onions can also be substituted.
- Sharp Cheddar cheese - You can substitute medium or mild cheddar cheese, but sharp cheddar will have the most pronounced flavor.
- Salt and black pepper - I use Kosher salt for my measurements and recommend fresh ground black pepper.
How to make it
To make this loaded scalloped potatoes recipe, you will first need to prep your ingredients, which includes thinly slicing the potatoes. The easiest way to slice your potatoes quickly and evenly is to use a mandoline. However, a shape knife will work fine.
Cook bacon until crispy in a large frying pan set over medium heat on the stovetop. Then remove the bacon from the skillet, drain on paper towels, and crumble into small pieces once cool enough to handle.
Reduce the stovetop to low heat and leave ¼ cup of bacon fat in the skillet (butter can be added if you need more fat). Sprinkle flour into the fat and whisk continually for two minutes to prevent the flour from scorching.
Next, the milk can be added. However, it is important to only add a few splashes at a time while stirring to ensure it incorporates evenly.
I recommend using the warmed sauce to temper the sour cream prior to adding it so it doesn't curdle. Place the sour cream in a small bowl, and ladle the hot cream sauce into it while stirring together. Once the sour cream is warm, then it is safe to combine it with the creamy sauce in your skillet. Finally, add the bacon crumbles, cheese, and chives and pour everything into a large bowl to combine with the potato slices.
Pour the potato mixture into a prepared baking dish and bake covered in aluminum foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 45 minutes to allow a golden brown crust to form on top of the potatoes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes then serve.
Storing & Reheating Leftovers
Leftover loaded scalloped potatoes can easily be reheated in the microwave in individual servings. However, to reheat an entire pan, it is best to cover them with aluminum foil and place them in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until warmed through.
Any leftovers should be kept in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week.
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Loaded Scalloped Potatoes
- Large skillet
- 9x13 Baking Dish
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (sliced ¼” thick)
- 12 ounces bacon (reserve ¼ cup rendered bacon grease)
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, then remove and crumble once cool enough to handle.
- Leave ¼ cup of bacon grease in the skillet and set the heat to low. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk for two minutes. Slowly add splashes of milk, while still whisking, until all milk has been added.
- Place sour cream in a medium sized bowl and then temper it with the warmed sauce by stirring in a few splashes of sauce at a time until the cream has transformed into a warm liquid, then combine entirely with the sauce.
- Add cheese, bacon pieces, chives, salt, and black pepper to the cream sauce, then pour over the potatoes in a large dish. Toss gently to ensure the potatoes are fully coated, then pour everything into a 9x13 baking dish and spread into an even layer.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is golden brown.
- Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and serve.
This recipe was originally published on November 5, 2020.