Potatoes, cheese, butter, and cream… guaranteed to be delicious, right? Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes are one of the easiest (and cheesiest) side dishes when you want a decadent side dish for all your favorite entrées without heating up the oven. Best of all, scalloped potatoes only take a few minutes of prep and can be made in the slow cooker in as little as a few hours.
What is the difference between scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes?
Depending on who you ask, scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes could be considered practically the same dish. Scalloped potatoes refer more to the shape and layering of the dish, while “au gratin” is a French term roughly meaning to grate something like cheese or breadcrumbs. So, “au gratin” dishes indicate that they have a browned or crunchy topping.
Traditionally, many scalloped potato dishes are made with a creamy, buttery sauce only but with this slow cooker recipe, we are combining the best of both worlds with cheesy melted layers AND topping.
Heads up… this isn’t a calorie-light side dish, but I can guarantee you it will be 100% worth it! Although you can make some dairy-free swaps if needed, I recommend the original recipe for ultimate cheesy deliciousness.
- Potatoes – Russet potatoes work well for layering in the slow cooker since they are starchy enough to hold their shape and not get too mushy. By the time they are finished, the texture will break down enough to absorb all of the creamy liquid and flavors but still hold the layers.
- Sauce – Here’s where the magic happens! Use heavy whipping cream, chicken broth for extra flavor, melted butter, and a bit of cornstarch or tapioca flour to thicken the mix.
- Seasoning – Use a simple, tasty blend of my easy Homemade Italian Dressing Mix and a bit of salt.
- Cheese – You’ll need grated parmesan (this melts easily and will be mixed in with the sauce), and your preferred shredded cheese for the au gratin topping and layers. I used a mix of mild and sharp cheddar for a melty, rich combination!
How To Make Scalloped Potatoes In The Slow Cooker
Spend a few minutes prepping and assembling and then let the slow cooker do the rest!
Tip: I don’t recommend prepping the ingredients much earlier than you plan to cook them simply because the potatoes can tend to brown quickly once peeled and sliced.
Begin by peeling and slicing potatoes very thin. Keep the slices as similar as possible for even cooking and texture.
Next, mix together the cornstarch (or tapioca flour) with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Add this mixture to the heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, melted butter, grated parmesan, and seasonings and mix all until combined.
Layer ⅓ of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Then, top the potatoes with ⅓ of the sauce mixture. Add ⅓ of the shredded cheese over that.
Repeat the layers two more times!
Finally, cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Be sure to use a 5-quart or larger slow cooker to ensure proper cooking.
Scalloped potatoes are the perfect base to change up flavors and add extra toppings as desired. If you’d like to make this a heartier dish, add leftover cooked ham, chopped bacon, or cooked ground meat into the layers of potatoes. I like to use chicken bone broth for added protein, flavor, and nutrition, but you can also swap it out for vegetable broth if you need a vegetarian option.
You can get as fancy as you like with the cheese additions! Try a bit of roughly-grated gruyere, gouda, or asiago cheese in the mix for sharp and decadent flavors.
Tips for Making The Best Scalloped Potatoes
- Be sure to slice your potatoes evenly, about ¼ inch thick. This ensures they cook evenly and in the right amount of time for the portions of liquid in the recipe. The potatoes should be fork-tender once finished.
- No one wants “soupy” scalloped potatoes! If you notice extra liquid in the slow cooker, the potatoes probably need to cook a little longer. Also, you can always add more cornstarch or tapioca flour slurry if the sauce is too thin.
- Mix the sauce thoroughly prior to pouring over the potatoes to prevent separation of ingredients.
- The salt and the mild and sharp cheese mixture bring in lots of flavor and keep the recipe from being too bland. However, you can always add a bit more seasoning if needed.
- Once the potatoes are finished, turn off the slow cooker to prevent them from overcooking and becoming mushy.
What to Serve With Scalloped Potatoes
I daresay these are delicious enough to eat entirely on their own (yes, they’re just that tasty). However, if you prefer a more balanced meal, try some flavorful protein entrees that will pair well with cheesy potatoes!
Some entrées that can feed a large table of guests – or provide lots of leftovers – are Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Rosemary and Garlic or Slow Cooker Whole Roasted Chicken. Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pork Chops is another hearty option that pairs well with potatoes. Round out your meal with a colorful veggie like Oven Roasted Carrots or Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic.
Storing and Reheating
Store leftover scalloped potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe simply because the combination of dairy and russet potatoes will not maintain the same texture very well once reheated from frozen.
Simply reheat in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. Enjoy for the next day’s lunch or dinner with a protein and veggie or topped with other ingredients!
Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes FAQs
- What type of potatoes are best for scalloped potatoes? Russet potatoes are best for this recipe because the starch will break down and help thicken the sauce while also absorbing the liquid into the potato slices.
- Can you put raw potatoes in the slow cooker? Yes, this recipe is designed to be cooked with raw potatoes. If needed, place the raw potatoes in a bowl and cover with cold water while preparing the other ingredients. This can help prevent browning prior to cooking.
- Can scalloped potatoes be made dairy-free? You can make this recipe dairy-free by subbing a non-flavored, unsweetened dairy-free milk (such as cashew or almond, etc.) but you will need to add more thickener to the sauce. In addition to making a swap for the butter, you will also need to use dairy-free shredded cheese. Keep in mind that dairy-free cheeses won’t melt as smoothly.
- How can I make the dish more rich in protein? For extra protein, add chopped bacon or ham, or pre-cooked ground meat to the mixture. Or, you could serve the potato dish with a scoop of pre-made shredded pork, chicken, or beef.
Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes
- Slow Cooker
- potato peeler
- 3 pounds russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca flour
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons melted butter slightly cooled
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon homemade Italian dressing mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 oz shredded cheese I used a mix of mild and sharp cheddar
- Peel and slice potatoes very thin
- Mix together cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water until smooth
- Add this mixture to cream, broth, butter, parmesan, and seasonings and mix until combined
- Layer ⅓ of the potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker
- Top with ⅓ of the sauce mixture, then ⅓ of the cheese
- Repeat twice
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing since it will not reheat well with the same textures.
- Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove.
- Scalloped potatoes are cooked when the potatoes are fork-tender, the cheese is fully melted, and the liquid is absorbed in the potatoes.
- You must use a 5-quart or larger slow cooker for these to cook properly.