Creamy Scalloped Potatoes with Thyme

A baking dish of scalloped potatoes.

When my extended family gets together for a dinner,  everyone participates by bringing a dish.


My grandfather, Bem Bem, normally is in charge of the roast.  RoseMarie makes a mean ratatouille.  Katrina handles dessert — she does it so well


Me?  I’ll make a few dishes, but I’m always asked to bring the scalloped potatoes.  This may seem pretty pedestrian, but sometimes basic is just what we need.  Something familiar and homey.  These scalloped potatoes are simple, but they deliver.

scalloped potatoes

While they are synonymous with big family gatherings — they are also perfect for more intimate  suppers.  I’ve served them in buffet-style casseroles as well as individual ramekins.  This recipe is versatile.

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scalloped potatoes

It adapts to all seasons and goes with virtually any protein.  I’ve served them with rack of lamb, oven roasted ham, various incarnations of pork tenderloin,  even grilled veal chops and fish.  To me, this simple preparation elevates the humble spud to “special-food” status.  You don’t get the same ooh’s and aah’s from a plain baked potato.

scalloped potatoes

Use the slicing attachment on your food processor or a mandoline to make quick work of slicing the potatoes.  Layer the potatoes, onions and bechamel ending with the last of the sauce and a few pats of butter.

I cover with foil for the first part of the baking, so it doesn’t get too dark on top, then reduce the  heat and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender and beautifully enveloped in the herbed bechamel.

Scalloped potatoes on a baking sheet.

Sometimes simple is best and these scalloped potatoes really taste like home.    There’s no cheese in this recipe (but I’ll look the other way, if you want to toss in some shredded gruyere).

More potato side dishes you’ll love:

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3.87 from 23 votes

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes with Thyme

Thinly sliced potatoes in a creamy, herb-spiked béchamel sauce. It’s what you want on your holiday table!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bechamel, potatoes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6


  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon butter divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves chopped fresh
  • 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium onion diced


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place a saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Using a whisk, swirl the butter around in the pan until it’s almost melted. Add the flour and stir briskly to incorporate the flour and butter. Sprinkle in the mustard and salt and continue to cook for one minute over medium heat. Whisk in the milk and continue to stir, until the liquid comes to a rolling boil. Constantly stir and scrape the bottom of the pan while the sauce continues to cook and thicken, about 1 minute. Stir in the thyme leaves and black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Spray an 8×8″ baking dish with vegetable spray. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the béchamel (milk mixture) into the bottom of the dish.
  • Sprinkle lightly with onions. Arrange potatoes in the bottom of the dish, overlapping as you go. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the onions. Pour 1/4 of the béchamel evenly over the potatoes. Continue layering in the same manner: Potatoes, onions, béchamel; potatoes, onions, béchamel. Finish with a layer of potatoes, topped by the last bit of béchamel.  Dice the last teaspoon of butter and dot over the top of the casserole.
  • Place baking dish onto a rimmed baking sheet. Spray a piece of tin foil on one side with vegetable spray. Tent the foil over the potatoes and place into the hot oven. Set timer for 45 minutes.
  • After timer goes off, reduce heat to 350 degrees and remove the tin foil. Continue to bake for an additional 45 minutes.
  • Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.


this recipe can be doubled.


Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 765mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 20.5mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 5.3mg

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  1. 5 stars
    I sometimes use both yams and Yukon gold alternating rows. So so good !! Just follow the rest of the recipe. Tastes as good as it looks

  2. Foley Dyson says:

    Lisa, what thickness do you cut the potatoes? 1/8 in or 1/4 in? I’m hoping to make this for a Christmas dinner I’m hosting.

    1. You should be fine anywhere from 1/8-1/4″. By hand, I can cut them thinner… but if I’m honest, I use the slicing mechanism on my Cuisinart food processor a lot. It cuts about 1/4″ thick and it works well in this recipe.

  3. Do I need to alter the cooking time if I double the recipe and put it into a 9×13? Thanks for the recipe!

    1. No you should be ok with the same cooking time.

  4. I love that your recipe doesn’t have cheese! Have you ever made it with idaho potatoes instead of yukon gold? Do you think it would turn just as well with the Idaho potatoes?

    1. Yukon Gold are a happy medium between waxy potatoes and the Idaho. That said, yes, I think the Idaho would be just fine. I like Idaho for mashing — they tend to be fluffier, but I’m sure they’d work here too. Please let me know how you like them!

  5. 5 stars
    wow these scalloped potatoes look seriously good, I need to make these for my boyfriend, he would love them

  6. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says:

    5 stars
    Scalloped potatoes remind me of my mom, she used to make them a few times a year for holidays or special celebrations. Your version looks so delicious! I love that beautiful white sauce with the garlic and thyme.

    1. My Mom would make them too — it’s definitely a classic recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    Simple is best! You can never go wrong with comfort food and those scalloped potatoes look very comforting. And bonus if you have side that goes with everything.