This Cheesy Potato Casserole features layers upon layers of thinly sliced potatoes, a creamy cheese sauce, and extra cheese on top! Easily my favorite potato side dish!
Cheesy Potatoes Side Dish
I grew up on scalloped potatoes (sliced potato casserole), either homemade or from a box. Homemade was actually semi-homemade and still one of my absolute favorite recipes from Mom.
The boxed version is vividly in my mind. I can totally remember the crisp dehydrated potatoes and that powder that would be turned into a cheese sauce!
Now I’m the one slaving in the kitchen to get dinner on the table and this is a recipe I’m sure my momma would love. It’s got butter, cream, sour cream and cheese. Yeah, it’s one of those you’d-better-eat-salad-the-rest-of-the-week recipes.
BUT YOU GUYS!! These potatoes are true love! They are just that good!
Let’s Chat About Tillamook Cheese
Tillamook, Oregon is one of the most beautiful places, and the Creamery should be on your bucket list. Yes, I know what I just said. But I’m not alone, people even get married at Tillamook.
They’ve totally revamped everything from the looks to the food, and you really will not regret a trip there. There’s truly something different about Tillamook products. Their cheese is made with experts who are continually sampling and testing to make sure that the cheese is perfect.
The milk comes from Oregon dairies that have the highest standards. (NO, REALLY. I’ve personally visited local Tillamook family farms many times and along with a veterinarian who explained everything and allowed us to ask 1 million questions.)
Look, our obsession is real. Our friends, neighbors and family are all obsessed too. No, really you should hear everyone text us that they can’t buy other brands now, lol!
I triple dog dare you to test the store brand against Tillamook.
- Buy a few cheeses
- Put them all on a big platter with numbers.
- Invite the neighbors over for a fun tasting.
- See who wins, and then cook up something cheesy — like this Grilled Cheese, or let everyone build their own.
Tillamook cheese is creamier, has better meltability (especially if you buy the Farmstyle Thick Cut Shredded Cheese), far superior in taste, and the texture is spot on when you take a bite (no weird crumbles in your mouth). I mean, I could go on and on, but you know I’m right.
So let’s get to the easy cheesy potatoes recipe. And yes, yes I did try it with other cheeses and guess what, the cheese sauce was not as good.
What’s Needed for Cheesy Potato Casserole?
To make this cheesy sliced potato casserole, you’ll need the following:
- Russet potatoes
- Yellow onion
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- Montreal chicken seasoning
- Sour cream
- Cheese (sharp cheddar, cheddar jack, and Parmesan)
How to Make Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Peel and thinly slice the potatoes, then set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then sauté the garlic and onion until softened.
- Sprinkle the flour and nutmeg into the saucepan, then stir in the broth, seasoning, and cream.
- Cook until thickened, then remove from the heat. Stir in 1 cup of each cheese.
- Assemble the cheesy potato casserole. You’ll lay down a layer of potato slices, then sour cream, then cheese sauce. Then sprinkle on a little of each kind of cheese.
- Repeat this layering process a total of three times, ending with a sprinkle of cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake until the potatoes are tender. Remove the foil in the last 20 minutes of baking so the cheese browns on top.
Can You Prep Cheesy Potatoes Ahead of Time?
You can totally prep this cheesy potato casserole ahead of time. Here’s what you do:
- Make the potatoes without the cheese on top and cover them in foil.
- Bake until halfway done.
- Set aside to cool and store in the fridge.
- The next day, add the cheese on top and bake until done. (This way, your bake time the day of serving is cut in half!).
How to Reheat Cheesy Potato Casserole
This cheesy potato bake should be reheated in a 350 degree F oven. I recommend covering it with foil so the potatoes don’t dry out.
How to Store Cheesy Potatoes
Leftover sliced potato casserole should be stored in the fridge wrapped in foil. It will last up to 3 days.
Why is My Cheese Sauce Lumpy?
Why did my cheese sauce curdle or become gritty? There’s a simple answer, you probably used low quality cheese and heated the mixture too quickly. A cheese sauce should have the cheese slowly added to a mixture that is simmering, not boiling. This causes your cheese to break down and you won’t have a silky sauce.
Will Cheese Sauce Thicken in the Oven?
You might be tempted to mix the cheesy potato casserole all together and let the heat of the oven thicken your cheese sauce, and while it will help a bit you really need to make your cheese sauce stove top first.
How to Make Cheese Sauce WITHOUT Flour
Because the cheese is the most important product you can actually use cornstarch instead of flour so it’s gluten free. Toss your cheese in the cornstarch before whisking it into the sauce.
What Are the Best Cheeses for Cheese Sauce?
You can really use any cheeses for a cheese sauce depending on what flavor you’re looking for.
Before we leave you with our favorites can we suggest that you pick stronger cheeses? A medium is great for a grilled cheese or turkey sandwich but in cheesy potatoes or macaroni and cheese you need something that won’t be lost in the cream.
Here are our favorites; we prefer to stick with thick cut shreds from Tillamook, a cheese sauce turns out better with that size and quality, but for those who aren’t able to get the shreds we still recommend Tillamook but just grate a loaf.
What Potatoes to Use in Cheesy Potato Casserole?
A potato casserole is best made with Russet potatoes, which will stand up to the baking time and sauce as well as release extra starches no help thicken things up.
If you’re just making potatoes and pouring the sauce over the top to eat versus layering you can use new potatoes, sliced in half and roasted. IT’S SO GOOD!
Tips for the Best Cheesy Potatoes
When making a cheesy potato bake like this one, there are three common problems home cooks (including us!) face now and then. Here are the solutions to the most common problems when making cheese potatoes:
- The potatoes are greasy: This is because you used an off brand, low quality of cheddar cheese. Not all cheese is made equally and so you want to look for Tillamook which has the highest quality for store bought cheese and will ensure that your sauce turns out cheesy, not greasy.
- The potatoes are not done all the way through: The potatoes were sliced too thick or not baked for long enough. You won’t hurt this dish by baking the full two hours, just keep the foil on until you’re ready to go so the top of the cheese isn’t ruined.
- The cheese sauce isn’t cheesy: It’s a quality and size issue here. Quality means the cheese has broken down and size does matter. When you want the gooey, cheesy, meltability thing going on you’re going to want to choose a Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Shreds bag as it melts down the absolute best!
More Potato Sides:
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Perfect Baked Potatoes
- The Best Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Cheesy Ham and Potato Bacon Casserole
- Instant Pot Green Beans and Potatoes
- Steakhouse Smashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Sweet Potato Stacks
- Herb and Garlic Roasted Potatoes
- Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes
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Cheesy Potato Casserole
- 5 Pounds Russet Potatoes , peeled and sliced thin
- 1 Yellow Onion , minced
- 8 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Dash Nutmeg
- 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (vegetable works too)
- 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Montreal Chicken Seasoning
- 8 Ounces Tillamook Sour Cream
- 2 1/4 Cups Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
- 2 1/4 Cups Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400°F and spray a 3qt baking dish with a non stick spray. Set aside.
- Peel and thinly slice potatoes, approximately 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over low flame then add onions and garlic. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes or until tender.
- Sprinkle flour and nutmeg over onion mixture, stir and cook for a couple minutes.
- Pour the broth into pan and stir, add salt and pepper, seasoning and heavy cream. Stir until thickened, remove from heat just prior to boiling and add a cup of each cheese, stirring to combine.
- Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in a sprayed baking dish, then add 1/3 of the sour cream and 1/3 of the cheese sauce over the potatoes.
- Top with 1/3 of the Parmesan, 1/3 cheddar jack cheese and 1/3 of sharp cheddar cheese.
- Repeat layering two more times, ending with cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan.
- Cover with foil and place in oven. Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until potatoes are tender.
- About 15 - 20 minutes prior to potatoes being done, remove the foil to brown the cheese. Remove from oven, let sit for about 15 minutes to bring the temperature down.
- Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley if desired.
- These potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
This is the perfect side for Thanksgiving Turkey or a delicious Christmas Ham, but no matter why you make them why don’t you show us! Tag #ohsweetbasil and #Tillamook on instagram and let’s see what you make! BONUS! We will choose some recipes to share on our channel!