Basic Scalloped Potatoes With White Sauce

scalloped potatoes
These scalloped potatoes are made with a simple basic white sauce. Diana Rattray
  • 75 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 55 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
Ratings (30)

These scalloped potatoes are baked with a basic seasoned white sauce. The potatoes are gently simmered in the sauce before the casserole is baked. 

Scalloped potatoes are very versatile. The casserole lends itself to many possible add-ins. Chives or green onions tops add some color to the casserole, or saute onions in the butter before you add the flour. And the scalloped potatoes make a hearty main dish with the addition of cheese and diced ham or bacon.

See the tips and variations for some preparation tips, substitution suggestions, and ideas for add-ins.

What You'll Need

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups milk
  • 6 cups thinly sliced potatoes

How to Make It

Heat the oven to 375 F,

Butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. When the butter is hot, stir in flour. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir the milk, salt, and freshly ground black pepper into the sauce. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Taste and adjust the salt, to taste.

Add the sliced potatoes to the sauce. Cover and simmer over low heat for 8 minutes.

Do not boil.

Transfer the potatoes and sauce the prepared  baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

This recipe for scalloped potatoes makes enough for 6 to 8 people.


  • Use a mandoline or food processor fitted with a slicing disc to make uniform thin slices of potatoes.
  • Some varieties of potatoes are better than others in scalloped potatoes. For the best texture, use Yukon Gold, round white or red potatoes, or long whites. 


  • Add 1 extra tablespoon of butter to the saucepan; saute 1/2 cup of chopped onions in the butter until translucent. Add the flour and continue with the recipe.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sliced green onions to the sauce along with the sliced potatoes.
  • Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the sauce; add the potatoes and continue with the recipe.
  • Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole about 10 minutes before it's done. 
  • To make this a main dish, add about 1 cup of diced ham to the sauce and top the casserole with some shredded cheese about 10 minutes before the casserole is done.
  • Cut a large clove of garlic in half. Rub the baking dish with the cut sides of the garlic to give the scalloped potatoes subtle garlic flavor. Butter the baking dish as directed.

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