Cheesy, creamy, tender Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes made in a fraction of the time. Your dinner will never again have to wait for the crunchy oven potatoes to finish cooking!
Wow, this recipe seriously made me work. My family ate undercooked scalloped potatoes four nights in a row as I tried to figure this one out.
My mom has been asking me since last Christmas to come up with a quick and easy version for scalloped potatoes for two reasons:
- My mom happens to be a meat and potato type and likes the more classic meals
- She has too many bad flashbacks of undercooked potatoes in the oven, while every other dish is sitting on the counter getting cold. Anyone else experience this scenario?
I decided now was the time to throw together a cheese sauce, slice some potatoes, throw it in the Instant Pot and call it a home run.
In my mind, the way to go was to combine sliced raw potatoes and cheese sauce in a casserole dish and cook it up in the pressure cooker. I theorized that it would cook in a fraction of the time and free up the oven at the same time. Wrong – O.
I tried 30 minutes, 40, 50, 60, and still, the middle potatoes were undercooked. I was very aware I wasn't saving anybody any time on this one, but also knew that no one wanted a mixed casserole dish of overdone and underdone potatoes.
Little sis to the rescue . . . apparently, she's been making them forever and knew just the trick: Cook the potatoes in a steamer basket, not a heat absorbing casserole dish. Duh, why didn't I think of that?
Well, fifth time was the charm and I'm so psyched that my favorite Instant Pot Ham dish now has a creamy, cheesy best friend to sit next to, on my plate.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THESE QUICK AND EASY CHEESY SCALLOPED POTATOES IN THE INSTANT POT
- The potatoes go from raw to tender in less than 10 minutes. It takes over an hour in an oven!!!
- Easy homemade cheese sauce comes together in minutes to envelop your perfectly cooked potatoes in ooey, gooey love
- Thinly sliced onions in the cheese sauce make it reminiscent of a french onion soup cheese sauce. It would be amazing with just a big slice of Crusty Bread!
- This version just so happens to be lightened up so you can have your potatoes and still have room for your Ham, Cornbread, and Apple Pie too!
HOW TO MAKE A HEALTHIER CREAMY SCALLOPED POTATOES
A quick google search for scalloped potatoes will reveal that they aren't winning any prizes for being the healthiest dish on the block. I do love a good challenge though!
To keep my mama happy, these potatoes still needed to be creamy, flavorful, and decadent. Not to brag, but my mama said I nailed it. Here's how:
- Instead of the classic sauce of heavy cream and a few seasonings, I whipped up a quick roux flavored to the max with butter, onions, garlic, thyme, a good pinch of salt, and pepper
- For my liquids, I used a mix of chicken broth for extra flavor and skim milk to keep it lighter (any milk will work though)
- Then to get more bang for my buck, I stirred a handful of EXTRA sharp cheddar and let it melt into a dreamy, thick sauce. “EXTRA SHARP” is key here!
- For the topping, I skipped the 2 cups of cheese and went for a crunchy, buttery parm and panko mix.
Bam, healthy-er scalloped potatoes with all the flavor and creaminess you could ever ask for.
BEST WAY TO SLICE POTATOES THIN
You want the potatoes cut about 1/8th of an inch thick. I also use my food processor to cut the onions super thin, so they cook up quickly
BEST POTATO FOR SCALLOPED POTATOES
You want a starchy potato to add to the creamy, lusciousness of this dish. Russet and Yukon are the way to go here. I prefer Yukon for the added flavor and I like the soft, yet sturdy bite they lend.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST INSTANT POT SCALLOPED POTATOES
Once your potatoes and onions are thinly sliced, you are ready to start cooking.
Note: You'll notice in half of these pictures the sauce was made with white cheddar and the other half with orange cheddar. I did two different photo sessions and didn't realize I did this until I sat down to edit pictures, so sorry 🙂
- Make a roux: melt butter in the pot and saute onions until soft, add garlic for another minute
- Sprinkle in flour and stir for one minute
- Whisk in chicken broth and milk, simmer until thickened
- Add sharp cheddar cheese (orange or white will work)
- Simmer until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened enough to coat a spoon. Pour sauce into a bowl and cover to keep it warm.
- Add your water and steamer basket to the pressure cooker pot and arrange the sliced potatoes inside. Cook for 4 minutes then quickly release the pressure.
- Arrange half of the potatoes in a casserole dish
- Top with half the cheese sauce
- Top with the rest of the potatoes and cover them with the remaining cheese sauce
- Top with a mix of butter, panko, and parmesan
- Broil the cheese/panko mixture until browned and crunchy
- Serve nice and hot!
MAKE AHEAD SCALLOPED POTATOES
These potatoes can be made up to 2 days in advance. Layer them as directed in the recipe, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Cook at 350° F for 20 minutes or so, until heated through. Top with the panko parm mixture, then broil until browned.
I'd like to take a moment to somewhat sarcastically thank my husband and kids for getting through a challenging potato loaded week and for a mom and sis that never stopped believing that I could one day present them with a to-die-for scalloped potato dish.
We'll be taking a little break from this dish, but for all of you . . . dazzle your wonderful families with a creamy, cheesy bowl of absolute delight. Comfort food should make you feel good even after you eat it. These ‘taters do just that.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POTATOES AU GRATIN AND SCALLOPED POTATOES
Has this question ever boggled your mind? Here in Utah we throw another name into the bag and call them Funeral Potatoes as well. Well, I was curious, so I researched it and here's what I found.
- Classic scalloped potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes cooked in a cream sauce, typically without cheese, and topped with a breadcrumb topping
- Au Gratin Potatoes are also thinly sliced potatoes classically cooked in a cheese sauce (plus or minus cream) and only sometimes contain a breadcrumb topping
- Funeral Potatoes (according to the life experience of yours truly) are potatoes in any form, (sliced, cubed, shredded, frozen hashbrowns) that are baked in a swimming pool of shredded cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and canned cream of something rather sauce. Also quite delicious 🙂
VARIATIONS OF SCALLOPED POTATOES
- Sprinkle each layer of potatoes with diced or shredded ham – this is an amazing use for any leftover Instant Pot Ham
- Top with a handful of crumbled bacon or prosciutto
- Add a sweet potato to the mix. I've never tried this, but I saw this Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes recipe and I'm intrigued
- Eat the leftovers for breakfast with a poached egg and sliced sausage on the side
MORE RECIPES PERFECT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
- Instant Pot Ham
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Instant Pot Peppermint Cheesecake
- Instant Pot Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- Instant Pot Sweet Potato Casserole
TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT SCALLOPED POTATOES
Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes – Quick and Easy!
Lightened up creamy, cheesy Scalloped Potatoes made quick and easy in the Instant Pot
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 small onion thinly sliced or finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour (I use whole wheat)
- 1 cup milk (any kind, I use skim)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (white or orange)
- 2 pounds Yukon potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (1/8th inch)
For the Cheese Topping
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Select saute on the pressure cooker pot and add butter.
- When melted, add onions, salt, thyme, and pepper and saute until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir for 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in milk and chicken broth while whisking.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
- Add cheese and stir until melted and smooth.
- Pour cheese sauce into a small bowl and cover to keep it warm. Rinse out pot insert and return to the base.
- Add 1 cup water to the pressure cooker pot. Place a steamer basket inside.
- Arrange sliced potatoes evenly inside the basket.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a quick release.
- Poke potatoes with a fork to make sure they are tender. May need to cook for an extra minute if they aren't sliced thin enough.
- To a 1 1/2 quart or 11×7 casserole dish, gently layer half of the potatoes and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Pour half of the cheese sauce over top.
- Arrange the rest of the potatoes on top, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and pour the remainder of the cheese sauce over the top.
- Preheat the oven broiler.
- In a small bowl mix parmesan, panko breadcrumbs, salt, and melted butter. Sprinkle over top of the potatoes.
- Place under the broiler until topping is brown and crispy, 1 – 2 minutes.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.
- I prefer the onions cut into thin slivers, my kids prefer that they are finely diced so they kind of melt into the sauce, your choice!
- To make this even quicker I like to make the cheese sauce on the stove top as the potatoes cook in the pressure cooker. This means an extra pot to clean, but it is more efficient
- Make sure and use a sharp cheddar cheese for more flavor
- Cheese could be omitted from the cream sauce if desired, may need extra salt
- Make ahead option: cook potatoes for 3 minutes instead of 4, layer as directed above, cover, and refrigerate. Cook at 350° F for 20 minutes or so until heated through.
Keywords: Instant Pot Potatoes, scalloped potatoes, holiday food