Scalloped potatoes are a classic comfort food that can be enjoyed year-round.
One of the essential ingredients in this dish is cheese, which adds a creamy and savory flavor to the potatoes.
However, not all cheeses are created equal when it comes to scalloped potatoes.
The right cheese can take your dish to the next level, while the wrong cheese can leave you with a gloopy mess.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the best cheese for scalloped potatoes and providing you with some alternatives to try out.
Whether you’re a fan of traditional cheddar or want to experiment with something new, we’ve got you covered.
So, let’s dive in and discover the perfect cheese to take your scalloped potatoes to new heights.
What Makes a Good Cheese for Scalloped Potatoes?
Scalloped potatoes are a classic comfort food that can be made with a variety of cheeses. However, not all cheeses are suitable for this dish.
Here are some characteristics that make a good cheese for scalloped potatoes:
- Flavor: The cheese should have a rich and bold flavor that complements the mild flavor of the potatoes. A cheese with a strong flavor can add depth and complexity to the dish. Some popular options include cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmesan.
- Texture: The cheese should have a good texture that allows it to melt easily and create a creamy consistency when combined with the potatoes. Cheese that is too dry or crumbly may not melt well and can result in a lumpy texture. Soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert may not work as well as they tend to turn greasy when melted.
- Meltability: The cheese should melt smoothly and evenly. Some cheeses may separate or become greasy when melted, which can ruin the texture of the dish. Good melting cheese options include Fontina, Gouda, and Monterey Jack.
- Complementing flavors: The cheese should complement the other ingredients in the dish. Some cheeses pair well with certain herbs, spices, or vegetables. For instance, blue cheese pairs well with thyme and rosemary, while Gouda goes well with nutmeg and paprika.
- Personal preference: Ultimately, the best cheese for scalloped potatoes is the one that you enjoy the most. Experiment with different cheeses to find the one that suits your taste buds the best.
By keeping these characteristics in mind, you can select the best cheese for your scalloped potatoes and achieve the perfect creamy and savory dish.
The Top 5 Cheeses for Scalloped Potatoes
There are several cheese options available for scalloped potatoes, but here are the top five:
- Cheddar: Cheddar is a popular choice for scalloped potatoes due to its sharp and tangy flavor, and its ability to melt smoothly. It pairs well with bacon, onions, and garlic.
- Gruyere: Gruyere cheese has a nutty and earthy flavor that complements the mild flavor of the potatoes. It melts smoothly and adds a creamy texture to the dish. It pairs well with ham, thyme, and nutmeg.
- Parmesan: Parmesan cheese has a strong and salty flavor that can add depth to the dish. It is a hard cheese that can be grated and sprinkled on top of the potatoes to create a crispy layer. It pairs well with rosemary, garlic, and black pepper.
- Fontina: Fontina cheese has a mild and buttery flavor that can melt easily and create a smooth and creamy consistency. It pairs well with mushrooms, onions, and sage.
- Monterey Jack: Monterey Jack cheese has a mild and creamy flavor that can melt smoothly and create a silky texture. It pairs well with green chilies, cumin, and chili powder.
These cheeses can be used on their own or in combination with each other to create a unique and delicious dish. Try out different variations to find the perfect flavor for your taste buds.
10 Alternatives to the Top 5 Cheeses
If you’re looking to mix things up and try something different, here are 10 alternative cheese options to use in scalloped potatoes:
- Blue cheese: Blue cheese has a bold and tangy flavor that can add a unique twist to the dish. It pairs well with thyme and rosemary.
- Asiago: Asiago cheese has a nutty and tangy flavor that can add depth to the dish. It pairs well with garlic and sage.
- Smoked Gouda: Smoked Gouda cheese has a smoky and creamy flavor that can add a unique dimension to the dish. It pairs well with ham and onions.
- Feta: Feta cheese has a tangy and salty flavor that can add a sharpness to the dish. It pairs well with spinach and red peppers.
- Provolone: Provolone cheese has a mild and buttery flavor that can add a creaminess to the dish. It pairs well with garlic and oregano.
- Swiss: Swiss cheese has a nutty and sweet flavor that can add a richness to the dish. It pairs well with ham and potatoes.
- Pepper Jack: Pepper Jack cheese has a spicy and creamy flavor that can add a kick to the dish. It pairs well with jalapenos and onions.
- Boursin: Boursin cheese has a creamy and garlicky flavor that can add a unique twist to the dish. It pairs well with parsley and chives.
- Cotija: Cotija cheese has a salty and crumbly texture that can add a crunch to the dish. It pairs well with cilantro and lime.
- Chèvre: Chèvre cheese has a tangy and creamy flavor that can add a sharpness to the dish. It pairs well with thyme and rosemary.
These alternative cheese options can be used on their own or in combination with the top five cheeses to create a unique and delicious dish. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new.
Tips for Making Perfect Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese
Making perfect scalloped potatoes with cheese requires attention to detail and a few key tips.
Here are some tips to help you create a delicious and creamy dish:
- Slice the potatoes evenly: Slice the potatoes into even pieces, about 1/8 inch thick. This will help them cook evenly and prevent the dish from being lumpy.
- Use a good quality cheese: Use a good quality cheese that melts well and has a rich flavor. Avoid using pre-shredded cheese, which often has added ingredients that can affect the texture of the dish.
- Layer the ingredients: Layer the potatoes and cheese evenly in a baking dish. This will help the cheese melt evenly and create a creamy texture throughout the dish.
- Add seasoning: Add your favorite herbs, spices, and seasonings to enhance the flavor of the dish. Popular options include garlic, thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, and black pepper.
- Use a cream or milk: Use a cream or milk to create a creamy sauce for the dish. This will help the cheese melt evenly and create a smooth texture. Some recipes call for using chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of milk, so choose the liquid based on your preference.
- Cover the dish: Cover the baking dish with foil to prevent the cheese from browning too quickly and to ensure that the potatoes cook through.
- Bake at the right temperature: Bake the dish at 375-400°F (190-205°C) for about 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
By following these tips, you can create a delicious and creamy scalloped potatoes with cheese that your whole family will love.
What is the best potato to use in scalloped potatoes recipes?
The best potato to use for scalloped potatoes is the russet potato. It has a high starch content and low moisture content, which makes it perfect for creating a creamy and smooth texture.
What are some favorite ingredients to add to scalloped potato recipes?
Some favorite ingredients to add to scalloped potato recipes include shredded cheddar cheese, shredded parmesan cheese, and bay leaves. Other ingredients such as bacon, garlic, onions, and herbs can also add delicious flavors.
Do you have any top recipes for scalloped potatoes with cheese?
Yes, we have some top recipes for scalloped potatoes with cheese. You can try our classic recipe with cheddar cheese or experiment with different cheese combinations such as Gruyere and Fontina.
Can I use mashed potatoes instead of sliced potatoes in scalloped potato recipes?
While mashed potatoes may work in some recipes, they are not recommended for scalloped potatoes. The dish requires sliced potatoes to create the layered effect, which is key to the dish.
How do I make the best scalloped potatoes recipe?
To make the best scalloped potatoes recipe, start by selecting the right potato and cheese combination. Slice the potatoes evenly and layer them with the cheese and other ingredients. Use a cream or milk to create a creamy sauce and bake at the right temperature until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Why does my cheese curdle in scalloped potatoes?
Cheese curdles in scalloped potatoes due to high heat exposure or adding cold cheese to hot liquid. To prevent this, always bring your liquid to a simmer and then add your cheese slowly while stirring continuously. If the heat is too high, the cheese may break down and curdle.
Does scalloped potatoes contain cheese?
Yes, scalloped potatoes usually contain cheese, although it is not a requirement. Cheesy scalloped potatoes are a popular variation of the dish and are made by layering thinly sliced potatoes with cheese and other ingredients before baking.
What does scalloped potatoes pair well with?
Scalloped potatoes pair well with a variety of main dishes such as roasted chicken, grilled steak, and baked ham. They also pair well with vegetables such as green beans or roasted asparagus.
How do you keep cream from curdling in scalloped potatoes?
To prevent cream from curdling in scalloped potatoes, always heat the cream slowly over low heat and do not let it boil. You can also temper the cream by adding a small amount of the hot liquid to the cream before adding it to the dish. This will help to bring the temperature of the cream up slowly and prevent curdling.
Why are my scalloped potatoes bland?
Scalloped potatoes can be bland if they are not seasoned properly or if the cheese used does not have a strong enough flavor. To add more flavor to your dish, try adding additional herbs and spices such as garlic, thyme, or rosemary. You can also experiment with different cheese combinations to find one that is more flavorful.
Should I serve scalloped potatoes as a main dish or a side dish?
Scalloped potatoes are typically served as a side dish rather than a main dish. They are rich and creamy, making them the perfect complement to a variety of main dishes such as roasted chicken, baked ham, or grilled steak. However, you could also enjoy them as a vegetarian main dish by adding additional vegetables such as spinach or broccoli to the recipe. Ultimately, how you serve scalloped potatoes is up to you and your personal preference.
Why use russet?
Russet potatoes are a popular choice for cheesy potatoes because of their high starch content and low moisture content. This makes them perfect for creating a creamy and smooth texture when cooked. When baked, the starches in the russet break down and thicken the cream or milk used in the recipe, creating a rich and velvety sauce that coats the potato slices. The end result is a silky smooth texture and delicious flavor that make for the perfect side dish. While other varieties of potatoes can be used in scalloped potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or red potatoes, they may not produce the same creamy texture as a russet.
In conclusion, scalloped potatoes are a beloved dish that can be made even more delicious with the right cheese sauce.
The preferred potato for this dish is the russet potato due to its high starch content that creates a creamy and silky texture. Cheesy scalloped potatoes are the ultimate comfort food that can be made with a variety of cheese combinations to achieve the perfect balance of flavors and textures.
A professional chef might recommend using a blend of cheeses to create a unique and unforgettable dish. Whether you prefer the classic cheddar or want to experiment with something new, there are plenty of cheese options to try. So, gather your ingredients and start making your own cheesy scalloped potatoes today!
The Best Cheese for Scalloped Potatoes
- Monterey Jack
- Blue cheese
- Smoked Gouda
- Select your favorite cheese.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a cheesy scalloped potatoes recipe in 30 minutes or less!