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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes (With Bacon & Apples)

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5 from 3 votes

Scalloped potatoes are a fan favorite for any crowd! But this cheesy version is loaded with bacon AND apples?! Top-notch.

The cheese and cream settle in between each layer of thinly sliced potatoes allowing the potatoes to really soak in the flavors when baked. Plus, the added apple yields the perfect touch of sweetness combined with the smokiness of bacon and a hint of nutmeg for just a breath of warm spice. If you are worried about the dish tasting too rich, allow me to introduce the shallots. The shallots cut through the richness and help pull the entire dish together. These cheesy scalloped potatoes are crispy and golden on the outside, decadent in the middle…what a masterpiece. 

Cheesy scalloped potatoes are simple, comforting and a tasty side for holidays, family dinners or any special occasion in between! Looking for a speedier potato recipe? Check out these Smashed Potatoes that are crispy morsels of heaven.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Cheesy scalloped potatoes are a classic dish made with thinly sliced potatoes layered and baked with a white sauce and cheese. The best part? Potatoes, specifically Russets, soak up a lot of sauce when cooked, allowing them to become incredibly flavorful with every single bite. This alone is a crowd-pleaser, however, I just couldn’t stop there! You’ll find that I layer in a slice of apple every three potatoes for a pop of sweet, honey-like tartness. The bacon then adds a smoky, meaty contrast that is truly unstoppable when put altogether.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Ingredients

  • Large Russet potatoes – Russet potatoes are light and fluffy when cooked and are known to absorb seasonings and toppings really well! Use Yukon Golds if preferred. 
  • Honeycrisp apples – Honeycrisp apples are a unique combo of honey-like flavor and tartness. 
  • Shallot – shallots add texture and a bit of sweet astringency. 
  • Gruyère – Gruyère is a firm and dense cheese that has a beautiful creamy consistency when melted. It is known for its rich and nutty flavor!
  • Bacon – bacon is savory, salty, and smoky all at the same time! When has adding bacon ever been a bad thing?
  • Heavy cream – heavy cream is velvety smooth and rich in flavor. 
  • Italian parsley – Italian parsley adds brightness and freshness. 
  • Ground nutmeg – ground nutmeg adds subtle warmth. 
  • Black pepper – black pepper adds a touch of heat and peppery flavor.

What Potatoes Are Best For Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes?

Yukon Golds and Russets are the best potatoes for this cheesy Scalloped potatoes recipe! Here are a few key differences between the two potatoes: 

  • Yukon Gold potatoes are naturally buttery and have a slightly sweet flavor. They also become slightly creamy when cooked.
  • Russet potatoes are higher in starch resulting in a light and fluffy texture when cooked. Plus, they absorb seasoning and toppings super well making each bite of these cheesy scalloped potatoes delicious. As a bonus, they also hold up really well during the baking process. What a great combo of flavor absorbance and texture! I prefer these potatoes for cheesy scalloped potatoes.

Scalloped Potatoes Vs Potatoes Au Gratin

Why is there so much confusion about the differences between scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin? Mainly, it’s because they are very similar! Here are some of the differences:

  • Classic scalloped potatoes consist of sliced potatoes baked in a creamy white sauce and traditionally do not contain any cheese sauce or cheese. 
  • Potatoes au gratin typically has cheese sprinkled between the layers resulting in a cheese sauce (instead of a white sauce), and is sometimes made with layers of both onions and potatoes!
  • Cheesy scalloped potatoes combine the best of both worlds by using a white sauce in addition to cheese!

How To Make Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Learn how to make cheesy scalloped potatoes with bacon and apple! Full instructions in the recipe card; this is an outline!

  1. Sauté.

    Sauté diced bacon in a pan until just cooked. Drain. Set aside.

  2. Layer.

    In your skillet, begin on the outside and layer potato slices so they overlap just slightly. Try to layer them vertically (long-side up).

  3. Place.

    Place an apple slice between every third slice of potato.

  4. Completely layer.

    Continue with this ratio of 3:1, potato-to-apple, until you reach the middle of the skillet.

  5. Mix.

    In a separate bowl, mix ½ cup cheese, heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper together.

  6. Drizzle.

    Drizzle the mixture throughout the skillet with the potatoes.

  7. Bake.

    Bake in a 350℉ oven for 30 minutes.

  8. Sprinkle.

    Sprinkle the remaining cheese, bacon and shallots on top.

  9. Bake more.

    Bake for an additional 35-45 minutes.

  10. Garnish.

    Garnish with chopped parsley and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Make-Ahead Instructions

Can you prep this recipe in advance? Absolutely! For make-ahead cheesy scalloped potatoes, fully bake the potatoes in the skillet, let cool completely, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When you are ready to serve, heat in a 400℉ oven for 10-15 minutes or until hot.

Storage

  • Store: allow the cheesy scalloped potatoes to fully cool before covering with foil and placing in the refrigerator. The potatoes will keep for 3-4 days. Make sure to keep them in the original skillet!
  • Freeze: I don’t recommend freezing cheesy scalloped potatoes. The cream unfortunately doesn’t freeze well.
  • Reheat: reheat in a 400℉ oven for 10-15 minutes or until hot.

More Potato Recipes You’ll Love!

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes (With Bacon & Apples)

Scalloped potatoes are a fan favorite for any crowd! But this cheesy version is loaded with bacon AND apples?! Top-notch.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fall, winter
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 703kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Equipment

  • Mandolin (optional)

Ingredients

  • 3 large russet potatoes peeled and cut into paper thin slices
  • 2 honeycrisp apples or substitute granny smith apples, cut into quarters and then paper thin slices
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère less expensive substitutions include jarlsberg or emmental cheese
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ pound bacon diced
  • 1 shallot cut into paper thin slices
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Sauté diced bacon in a pan until just cooked. Drain and set aside.
  • In your oven safe, nonstick 8” skillet, starting on the outside of the pan, layer potato slices so that they slightly overlap. Since the potato slices are ovals, I like to layer them vertically (long-side up) so the potatoes stick out the top of the pan a bit. The natural juices of the potato should allow the slices to easily stick to the pan and each other!
  • Place an apple slice between every third slice of potato. The ratio of potato-to-apple should be roughly 3:1.
  • Continue layering potatoes and apples this way until you reach the middle of the pan. It will take a while, but it’s worth it! Watch the video below for step-by-step help.
  • In a bowl, mix together ½ cup cheese, heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle mixture throughout the skillet.
  • Bake at 350℉ for 30 minutes.
  • At 30 minutes, sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese, bacon, and thinly sliced shallots on top.
  • Bake for an additional 35-45 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Video

Notes

  • It’s highly recommended to use a mandolin to cut potatoes, apples and shallot into paper thin slices!
  • Cut potatoes and apples last minute, or else they will turn brown.
  • Depending on how you layer the potatoes and apples and the exact size of your pan, you may need a bit more or less of each ingredient than listed above!
  • I use an 8 1/2-inch oven safe, nonstick skillet for this recipe, so I recommend using a skillet that size for accuracy! You can use a different size nonstick skillet but the amount of ingredients and cooking times will vary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 703kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 633mg | Potassium: 972mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1125IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 396mg | Iron: 2mg
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2 Comments

  1. Jeff Ellis
    May 30, 2023 / 1:02 pm

    Thanks for this recipe. Made it last night. Tried to double the recipe & use a 12″ pan. Tired put fairly well. I may need to bake it just a touch longer. But its very good. And I will go with the smaller amount next time – I think if everything sits up higher it may brown up a bit more on top – and prob not need as much time.

    WHAT MANDOLIN are you using, and does it have different blades? > Mine has a lot of plastic & I’d like a better one now that I am using it more.
    thanks!!

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