Crock pot scalloped potatoes are the perfect easy side dish for a holiday meal. The cheesy potatoes bake right in the slowcooker and still get a golden brown edge. Serve them hot right from the crockpot on your buffet table.
If you're planning a special holiday meal for Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, you might be considering cheesy scalloped potatoes but worried about how to fit the prep work in to your schedule.
These Crock Pot scalloped potatoes are the perfect solution!
This make ahead recipe helps you get all the prep work out of the way and while the potatoes are slow cooking over several hours you'll have plenty of time to prepare the rest of your meal.
The best part?? Even though they are cooked right in the Crock Pot, my tricks help you get that delicious golden brown edge on the potatoes. And you can keep them warm on the buffet table by just adding a serving spoon to the bowl!
Why This is the Best Recipe
Whether it is a cozy dinner or a festive holiday meal, potato side dishes are an essential menu item! I think this is the best Crock Pot scalloped potato recipe because:
- Hands Off Cooking: There's a little bit of prep work involved but once the scalloped potatoes are in the slowcooker, there's nothing more you need to do until dinner time.
- Rich and Creamy: This cheese sauce can't be beat. It is smooth, filled with flavor, and gives the potatoes a perfect sauce.
- Golden Brown Edges: Yes, it is possible to get golden brown edges even in a slowcooker! Check out my tips below.
To make scalloped potatoes from scratch in the slowcooker, you'll need to have these ingredients on hand:
- Fresh Potatoes: I encourage you to buy russet potatoes, they have the perfect texture for this recipe.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese: See my notes on selecting the right cheese below
- Monterey Jack Cheese
- Heavy Cream: For a holiday meal, I suggest the heavy cream. It has the best texture for this slow cooking method.
- Chicken Stock
- Minced Garlic
- Dried Thyme
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Chives for garnish (Optional)
Best Cheese for Scalloped Potatoes
The cheese you buy for this recipe could make or break the final dish.
For a special holiday meal, it is worth your time to buy a brick of cheese and hand grate it with a box grater or food processor.
Pre-shredded cheese has an anti-caking agent that prevents the cheese from melting smoothly in the cream sauce.
When selecting your cheddar cheese, be sure that you buy one marked just sharp cheddar, not extra sharp cheddar. The extra sharp cheddar becomes grainy when it melts but regular sharp cheddar melts nice and smooth.
Prepare the Cheese Sauce
Start by peeling and slicing your russet potatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices. Add them to a large mixing bowl and stir in just 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream.
Cover the potatoes with plastic wrap and cook in the microwave on HIGH for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining heavy cream with the chicken stock, cornstarch, minced garlic, dried thyme, and salt and pepper.
Cover the cream with plastic wrap and when the potatoes are finished, cook the cream for 5 minutes on HIGH. Be sure to stir it halfway through.
Add the shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack to the warm cream sauce and whisk until smooth.
Pour the prepared cheese sauce over the prepared potato slices and gently stir them together. Be sure to separate all the slices so the cheese sauce can coat both sides of each potato.
Prepare the Crock Pot
To give the scalloped potatoes a nice golden brown edge, it is important to line the slowcooker pot with aluminum foil.
Fold a piece of aluminum foil in half and press it along the edge of the pot. There is no need to cover the bottom of the pot. You just want the ring of foil around the outside edge.
Spray the foil and bottom of the pot with cooking spray.
Pour the prepared potatoes and cheese sauce into the prepared Crock Pot.
Use your spoon to nestle the potatoes into a nice compact layer with an even top.
You won't be stirring the potatoes, how they are arranged in the slowcooker is how they will look when they are finished.
I used a fork to just gently nudge some slices into place so the top would look pretty when it was finished cooking.
Finally, cut a piece of parchment paper about the same size as the surface of the potatoes.
Rub softened butter over the entire surface of one side of the paper.
Press the parchment butter side down onto the surface of the potatoes. Smooth the paper into place.
Cook the scalloped potatoes in the Crock Pot:
LOW Heat: 4 - 5 hours
HIGH Heat: 3 - 4 hours
Make Ahead Tips
The scalloped potatoes can be kept warm on Low or "Keep Warm" settings for up to 2 hours.
This will buy you a little more time for your dinner preparations.
Remove the parchment paper from the scalloped potatoes.
Sprinkle chopped fresh chives over the top for a pretty garnish.
I suggest serving the scalloped potatoes directly from the slowcooker. I just set out a large serving spoon and let my family scoop their cheesy potatoes right from the Crockpot onto their dinner plate.
This is is such a great way to keep the potato side dish warm during a buffet dinner.
Main Dishes that Go with Scalloped Potatoes
This recipe pairs really well with so many different holiday main dishes:
Holiday Hams: Make my Crockpot spiral ham and you've got your main dish and an easy side that both cook right in the slowcooker! Otherwise, you could make my mustard glazed ham in the oven and then these potatoes in the Crockpot.
Roasted Pork Loin: Cheesy potatoes always pair well with a fall pork. I love my roasted pork loin with green peppercorn sauce.
Pulled Pork: Scalloped potatoes actually pair really well with barbecue pulled pork for a cozy dinner.
Roast Chicken: My roast chicken and vegetables does have potatoes in the mix but you could skip those potatoes and just double up on the carrots if you plan to make these scalloped potatoes instead.
More Slowcooker Side Dish Recipes
I love using my Crockpot to get a big holiday feast to the table easier.
Here are some more of my favorite slowcooker side dishes to use for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter:
Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes
- 3 pounds russet potatoes about 6 small potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream divided
- 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 4 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese be sure to use just regular "sharp cheddar" and not "extra sharp cheddar," see notes
- 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese see notes
- 1 tbsp butter
Prep the Potatoes and Cheese Sauce
- Place the peeled and sliced potatoes in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl. Add just 2 tablespoons of the cream and stir. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH for 8 minutes. Stir them once or twice as they cook.
- While the potatoes are cooking, line the Crock pot with an aluminum foil collar. See photos in post above for reference. Spray the entire bowl and foil with cooking spray.
- In a medium microwave-safe mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, the chicken stock, cornstarch, minced garlic, dried thyme, and salt and pepper.
- When the potatoes are done, transfer the plastic wrap to the bowl of cream and loosely cover it. Cook the cream for 5 minutes, whisking it half way through cooking.
- While the cream is cooking, shred the cheeses and set aside.
- When the cream is finished cooking, whisk it thoroughly to combine the cornstarch that may have settled on the bottom of the bowl. The mixture will quickly thicken with a minute or so of whisking. Add the shredded cheese to the bowl and whisk it in until smooth.
- Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and stir everything together. Be sure to separate each slice of potato so the cheese sauce can get in between all the layers. You may find a pair of forks or your fingers help this along.
- Pour the potato mixture into the prepared Crock Pot. Smooth the potatoes out into an even layer and adjust the slices so the top looks pretty. Use the back of a cooking spoon or spatula to firmly press down on the potatoes to ensure there are no large pockets of air.
- Spread softened butter over a piece of parchment paper. Lay it butter side down on top of the potatoes and press into place. Cover the slowcooker with the lid.
Crock Pot Cooking Instructions
- Low Heat: Cook the potatoes for 4 - 5 hours.
- High Heat: Cook the potatoes for 3 - 4 hours.
- When the scalloped potatoes are tender and cooked through, remove the parchment paper and foil. Sprinkle fresh chives or parsley over the top and serve directly from the slowcooker.
Notes about Cheese:I strongly recommend buying a brick of sharp cheddar cheese and a brick of Monterey Jack cheese and shredding them with a box grater by hand rather than buying pre-shredded cheese. For a holiday dinner, it will taste so much better and they will both melt perfectly into the warm cream sauce. You can reserve some of the cheese for sprinkling on the top of the potatoes if you like your scalloped potatoes very cheesy-looking, we just prefer the cheese mixed into the sauce. Do not use extra-sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe, it become grainy when it melts.
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