A perfect side-dish or add ham to make the classic scalloped potatoes with ham. Either way, this is great comfort food you can now make in your crock pot.
I love potatoes but make them cheesy, creamy, and tender, then I will follow you home. This recipe is a crock pot adoption of my oven version of scalloped potatoes.
My oven recipe is very good, but it takes me longer to wipe up than I like. I have to pay attention, and it seems to eat up my time when I'm working on other components of the meal. So I don't do it often.
A crock pot recipe would seem to address some of those issues by time-shifting the work and if possible, simplify even more.
One thing I have against many crock pot recipes is that can of soup. I just don't like the idea or the taste. So mine is slightly more involved with making an easy roux-based sauce—slightly more work but worth it.
I read many crock pot scalloped potatoes recipes, but there were way too many cans of soup just dumped in lots of crock pots—nothing I would want to eat. A few looked ok, but I liked my oven recipe better. So it was conversion time.
My original recipe was based on food.com Scalloped Potatoes recipe. It still looked great, just not a crock pot recipe. A change here and a simplification there, and I had what I wanted. I will enjoy them over and over as long as my mandolin holds up.
Excellent. My wife is guarding the leftovers.
👨🍳Scalloped vs. Au Gratin
I call this scalloped mainly because, in my mind, that is what they are, but other terms apply. So, scalloped is anything baked in a casserole with a sauce with or without the cheese.
Au Gratin means grated and usually refers to cheese. So this recipe could be called Scalloped or Au Gratin or Scalloped Au Gratin.
All potatoes will cook about the same. The main difference will be the thick skin on Russets, and they will have a bit more starch. So Russets are an excellent choice here and what we usually use.
But other potatoes, like a Yukon Gold, would work great here. I would not use a small potato just because it will cause extra work for no real return.
If you use Russets, they should be peeled due to the tough skin. Thinner skin potatoes can be peeled or unpeeled.
Most people will use mild or sharp cheddar, but Monterey Jack or Gruyere would be nice also.
The Crock Pot Size
I like to use a large crock pot of 6-quarts or above. This will be a thinner casserole but allow more crispy top and edges. You can fit this in a 4-quart crock pot.
How Long to Cook
This takes about 8 hours on low and 4-5 hours on high. If you use a smaller crock pot or a double recipe, it can take a bit longer to cook.
Also, remember that crock pot varies a lot. Pay attention and cook to the endpoints of temperature and color, especially if you are cooking on high.
The potatoes are done when the edge turns crusty and dark brown - almost burnt. It is not; think of it as a scallop potato version of "burnt ends" from the BBQ joint. You will be tempted to end the cooking early but don't.
Remember, potatoes are done at 200+°. The texture was great, but it took 8 hours. You may only get to 190° in some crock pots, that is still good.
If your crock pot runs hot, then your edges may burn. So know your pot. But that very dark brown is tasty.
Storage and Reheating
Good refrigerated for 3-4 days and frozen for 3-4 months.
We much prefer this reheated in an oven, but a microwave works well, also.
You can easily make this Scalloped Potatoes with Ham. Just mix some well-trimmed ham in with the potato slices. Use about 3 cups of diced or sliced ham. That will be about ¾ to 1 pound of ham. But use more or less for your taste.
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🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
2 pounds of russet potatoes is about 5-6 medium potatoes.
Slice potatoes about ⅛ inch. I recommend a mandolin here. Here is my new Oxy mandolin. It is highly recommended. Let's be careful and not end up in the ER. Soak the potato slices in cold water until needed and then rinse and pat dry.
Start the sauce with 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When melted, add 3 tablespoon flour and whisk for a few minutes.
Add 1 ½ cup milk. Frequently whisk for a couple of minutes and add 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Bring to a light boil, and this will start to thicken in a few more minutes.
Remove from heat and add 1 ½ cup of shredded cheese. I used sharp cheddar. Whisk until smooth.
Layer half of the potatoes into a large crock pot that has been sprayed with PAM. Put them in individually, so they are not stuck together. Do not just dump them in.
Pour half the cheese sauce over the first half of the potatoes. Add the second half of the potatoes, then the rest of the cheese sauce.
Now give a light sprinkle of paprika. Cook on low for about 8 hours.
The edges will appear dark brown, but they are just crispy like the best part of many casseroles. The internal temperature should be 200+° if possible. Some crock pots will only get to 190° which is fine.
Be sure to let the casserole rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking to firm up before serving.
Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes
- 2 pounds potatoes - 6 medium russets. Pealed and cut into ⅛ inch slices.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 12 oz milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese - or cheese of choice
- sprinkle paprika - optional
To Make It Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
- 3 cups ham - sliced or diced. More or less is fine.
- 2 pounds of russet potatoes is about 5-6 medium potatoes.
- Slice potatoes about ⅛ inch. I recommend a mandolin here. Soak the potato slices in cold water until needed and then rinse and pat dry.
- Start the sauce with 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When melted, add 3 tablespoon flour and whisk for a few minutes.
- Add 1 ½ cup milk. Frequently whisk for a couple of minutes and add 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Bring to a light boil, and this will start to thicken in a few more minutes.
- Remove from heat and add 1 ½ cup of shredded cheese. I used sharp cheddar. Whisk until smooth.
- Layer half of the potatoes into a large crock pot that has been sprayed with PAM. Put them in individually, so they are not stuck together. Do not just dump them in. Add ham with the potatoes if you are using ham.
- Pour half the cheese sauce over the first half of the potatoes. Add the second half of the potatoes, then the rest of the cheese sauce.
- Now give a light sprinkle of paprika. Cook on low for about 8 hours.
- The edges will appear dark brown, but they are just crispy like the best part of many casseroles. The internal temperature should be 200+° if possible. Some crock pots will only get to 190° which is fine.
- Let the casserole rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking to firm up before serving.
My Private Notes
- This needs a 4 quart or bigger crock pot but I suggest a 6 quart to get more crispy edge.
- A half recipe works in a 3-quart crock pot.
- Use the potatoes you want but Russets are standard and work well but they should be peeled. Other potatoes with thinner skin do not need to be peeled.
- Try to use a mandolin to cut the potatoes. It works much better. BUT PLEASE BE SAFE.
- Put the potato slices in one at a time to prevent sticking. Also, be sure to soak, rinse, and pat dry the potato slices.
- Cheap generic cheese can separate from long cooking. If you have this problem, use a better cheese.
- You can add diced or sliced ham with the potatoes. About 3 cups is a good amount but a bit more or less is fine. That is ¾ to 1 pound.
- The endpoint of cooking is the color of the top and edges along with 190+°. but 200+° preferred. That should take about 8 hours on low and about 5 on high.
- REMEMBER CROCK POTS VARY A LOT, especially older crock pots. So pay attention to the endpoints. Do not burn the edges, dark brown is good, burnt is not.
- If it finishes early, just turn off the crock pot and keep covered. It will stay warm a long time.
- Good refrigerated for 3-4 days and in the freezer for 3-4 months. Reheat is nicer in an oven but microwave is OK. Be sure it is thawed if frozen.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published January 9, 2017. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.