Scalloped Potatoes VS Potatoes Au Gratin
For years, I thought that scalloped potatoes were the same as potatoes au gratin. Turns out, there is a technical difference between the two dishes.
Scalloped Potatoes = potatoes cooked in cream.
Potatoes Au Gratin = potatoes baked with cheese.
I like both a milky base AND the slightly crunchy cheese topping. Therefore, I bring you the beautiful baby born from both: Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin!
Now, even though I'm cutting down on milk and cheese after discovering my body does NOT like dairy, I feel lucky knowing I'm not allergic and it won't kill me to have a little. So when I do have dairy, I want it to be GOOD. This dish makes it totally worth it.
Normally, you'd use full-fat heavy cream in scalloped potatoes. I've made this with heavy cream in the past, and more recently, with 1% milk, and it's truly just as creamy and delicious for me with the 1% milk. So that's why I've used 1% milk in this recipe. If you want to go for full cream,by all means, knock yourself out.
If you are dairy free, you can most definitely make this with dairy-free alternatives, such as almond milk or soy milk (I wouldn't use coconut milk in this recipe) and vegan cheese.
Baking dish options
I have made this recipe in one big round baking pan before, but I prefer baking them in smaller individual portion sizes. I feel like this helps give every bite an even amount of layered textures of crisped cheese with soft potatoes. Because trust me: you're going to want that delicious au gratin slight crunch in every bite.
The baking dishes seen here are actually 5" round ramekin dishes at Cost Plus World Market, but you can honestly use almost any shallow, round porcelain baking dish. These round au gratin baking dishes would work well, or these cute creme brulee ramekin sets would do. - and they come in some great colors!
Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin
- Lightly grease four small baking dishes with butter, set aside.
- Mix together grated mozarella cheese and grated cheddar cheese in a small bowl, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add milk, butter, paprika, ½ tablespoon sage, and garlic. Bring to a low boil, then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, arrange one layer of potato slices so that the bottom of each baking dish is covered, allowing the slices to slightly overlap each other in a fan formation.
- Remove milk mixture from heat. Pour a small amount, about 3 tablespoons, evenly over the first layer of potato slices.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of the mozzarella and cheddar cheese mixture over each serving.
- Repeat with another layer of potatoes, milk mixture, and cheese. Depending on the size of your baking dishes, you may have enough for a third layer.
- Once your potatoes reach the top of the baking dish sides, add your final layer: evenly sprinkle each serving with a layer of parmesan cheese.
- Place the baking dishes onto a large baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, just until the top layer crisps into a golden color.
- After removing from the oven, allow the potatoes to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
These Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin would go so well with many dishes, including these:
Or, with a classic, hearty chicken recipe that I am excited to share with you very soon . . . stay tuned!
How do you like your potatoes?
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