cheeses for scalloped potatoes

11 Best Cheeses for Scalloped Potatoes  

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Are you in the mood for some mouth-watering potato dishes that will leave you dreaming about the perfect scalloped potatoes? However, are you sometimes unsure about which cheese to use as a topping for those deliciously sliced and layered potatoes? 

What are the best cheeses for scalloped potatoes? There are many options when deciding on what cheese to use in your scalloped potato dish, from Cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmesan, to flavorful options like blue cheese or pepper jack. 

This post provides a list of the best cheeses that you can use when making your scalloped potatoes. From creamy to sharp, we have cheese options that will be perfect for any palette. Keep on reading to find out more!

What Makes a Good Cheese for Scalloped Potatoes?

While potatoes are the star of the dish, cheese plays a significant role in making these potatoes creamy, flavorful, and delicious. Let’s take a look at what factors make a good cheese for scalloped potatoes.

1. Texture

When choosing cheese for scalloped potatoes, texture is a key consideration. The cheese must be able to melt evenly, creating a smooth and creamy sauce. 

A cheese that is too hard and doesn’t melt well will leave a lumpy and grainy texture in your scalloped potatoes. Good cheese options for scalloped potatoes include Cheddar, Gruyere, and Fontina.

2. Flavor

Another factor to consider is the flavor. You want a cheese that complements the potatoes without overpowering them. 

Sharp and aged cheddar cheese adds a nice tangy flavor to the dish, while Fontina cheese adds a nutty and buttery taste. Gruyere cheese provides a more savory and earthy flavor, perfect for complementing the potatoes’ richness.

3. Melt-ability

The cheese should have the right level of melt-ability to ensure even blending with the potatoes. 

A cheese that doesn’t melt well would leave pools of oil or clumps in the dish, which would result in an unpleasant texture. Mozzarella is a cheese that melts well and adds a creamy texture, making it an excellent option for scalloped potatoes.

4. Consistency

The consistency of the cheese is another important factor to consider. A cheese that is too runny would make the dish watery and saggy. 

On the other hand, a cheese that is too thick would create a lumpy and thick texture that isn’t very appetizing. Monterey Jack is an excellent cheese option to achieve the right consistency for your scalloped potatoes.

5. Complementary Cheese Pairings

If you’re looking for a twist to your usual scalloped potatoes recipe, consider elevating it by mixing different cheese flavors. For example, try mixing Cheddar, parmesan, and blue cheese for an extravagant and unique flavor experience.

6. Consider the Recipe

When choosing the best cheese for scalloped potatoes, it is important to consider the recipe

For example, if you are making a scalloped potato gratin that includes heavy cream or milk, you may want to choose a mild cheese like Monterey Jack to balance out the richness of the dish. 

On the other hand, if you are making a low-fat version of scalloped potatoes, you may want to add a more flavorful cheese like Asiago to make up for the lack of creaminess.

11 Best Cheeses for Scalloped Potatoes 

Cheese TypeKey Features
1.CheddarSharp, tangy; Melts well; Creamy, smooth; Adds distinct flavor and color
2.GruyereCreamy, nutty; Melts beautifully; Luscious, silky; Pairs perfectly with potatoes
3.ParmesanNutty, salty; Melts and browns on top well; Crispy; Creates a crispy top layer
4.FontinaButtery, nutty; Melts smoothly; Rich, decadent; Creates a creamy sauce
5.Monterey JackSmooth, mild; Melts well; Delicate creaminess; Subtle cheesy flavor
6.Blue CheeseBold, pungent; Soft, crumbly; Distinct tangy flavor; Best used sparingly
7.AsiagoRobust, nutty; Adds crunch; Semi-firm; Adds complexity without overpowering
8.Smoked GoudaSmoky, flavorful; Melts well; Decadent; Adds depth of flavor
9.ProvoloneMild, slightly nutty; Melts well; Smooth; Creamy and cheesy texture
10.SwissNutty, sweet; Creamy layer on top; Crispy; Complements creamy dishes
11.Pepper JackSpicy, mild; Melts well; Creamy, with a kick; Adds a little heat to the dish

1. Cheddar 

Cheddar is a versatile type of cheese that can add a distinct flavor and color to your scalloped potatoes. This cheese variety has a sharp and tangy taste, making it perfect for accentuating the savory flavors of the dish. 

cheddar

Cheddar melts very well, creating an excellent texture for your scalloped potatoes. It also adds a beautiful golden color, making the dish look even more appetizing. Cheddar cheese is an excellent cheese choice if you are looking for more in your scalloped potatoes.

2. Gruyere 

Gruyere cheese is a classic cheese variety that is often used in French cuisine. This type of cheese has a creamy and nutty flavor, which pairs perfectly with scalloped potatoes. 

gruyere

Gruyere melts beautifully, creating a luscious and silky texture that complements the dish well. The cheese adds depth of flavor and makes the dish richer. When grated, it melts into a velvety, golden brown on top of the potatoes.

If you want your scalloped potatoes to have a decadent flavor, use Gruyere cheese.

3. Parmesan 

Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese that can work wonders in your scalloped potatoes. This cheese variety has a nutty and salty taste that is perfect for adding a sharp flavor to your dish. 

parmesan

Parmesan is an excellent choice if you want your scalloped potatoes to have a crispy top. It can be grated and sprinkled over the dish before it’s placed in the oven, creating a lovely golden and crispy top layer. 

Parmesan cheese also pairs well with other flavors, making it a versatile cheese for scalloped potatoes. 

4. Fontina

For a rich and savory scalloped potato dish, Fontina cheese is an excellent choice. Fontina is an Italian semi-soft cheese with a buttery, nutty flavor and mild pungency. 

fontina

When melted, it becomes silky smooth and helps create a decadent sauce that coats the potato slices. The robust flavor of Fontina stands up well to the starchy potatoes, enhancing their natural flavor rather than masking it.

The high-fat content of Fontina also helps the cheese melt and brown beautifully under the broiler for a golden crust on top of the scalloped potatoes. With its distinctive taste and melt, Fontina is a perfect cheese for creating an indulgent scalloped potato side dish or main course.

5. Monterey Jack 

Monterey Jack cheese is a smooth and mild cheese that is perfect for those who prefer a subtle flavor. It is a semi-hard cheese that melts beautifully, making it a popular option in many dishes, including scalloped potatoes. 

monterey jack

Monterey Jack adds a delicate creaminess and a subtle cheesy flavor to the dish without overpowering the other ingredients. It is an excellent option if you are not a big fan of strong cheese flavors.

6. Blue Cheese 

Blue Cheese is a bold and pungent cheese that is not for everyone. It is a soft cheese with blue or green veins running through it, which is a result of the mold used during the cheese-making process. 

blue cheese

Blue cheese adds a distinct tangy flavor to scalloped potatoes that can enhance the dish’s overall taste. However, if you don’t love blue cheese’s strong flavor, so it is best used sparingly or as part of a cheese blend.

7. Asiago 

Asiago is an Italian cheese that is known for its robust flavor and semi-firm texture. It has a nutty flavor that is slightly sweet and is perfect for those who enjoy a more intense cheese flavor. 

asiago

Asiago also adds a crunchy texture to scalloped potatoes that is a welcome contrast to the dish’s creamy consistency. It is a great option if you want to add complexity to your scalloped potatoes without overpowering the other flavors.

8. Smoked Gouda 

Smoked Gouda adds a depth of flavor that regular Gouda just can’t replicate. The smoky flavor pairs well with the creamy potatoes, creating a truly decadent dish. 

smoked gouda

A smoked gouda scalloped potato recipe is perfect for a cozy night in or for impressing guests. The cheese’s distinct smoky flavor complements the savory notes of the potato dish, creating a well-rounded flavor profile. 

It’s best to choose a smoked gouda that is not too overpowering in flavor since we still want the potatoes to be the star of the show.

9. Provolone 

Provolone is a mild cheese that is perfect for those who don’t want their cheese to overpower the dish. It has a slightly nutty flavor that goes well with scalloped potatoes, creating a creamy, cheesy texture that is sure to please. 

provolone

Provolone melts well and has a smooth texture that blends with the potatoes, creating a beautiful golden crust on top. A provolone scalloped potato recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight meal or a family gathering.

10. Swiss 

Swiss cheese has a nutty and sweet flavor that makes it perfect for a scalloped potato dish that also contains lots of creams. When melted, Swiss cheese turns into a creamy layer on top of scalloped potatoes, giving you a crispy texture that will surely satisfy your taste buds.

swiss cheese

11. Pepper Jack 

If you like a little heat, then Pepper Jack is the cheese for you. The spicy cheese adds a kick to the otherwise rich and creamy dish. 

pepper jack

Pepper Jack has a milder flavor than other spicy cheeses, such as jalapeno cheddar, making it a good choice to add a little heat but don’t want to overpower the dish.

Classic Cheese Pairings for Scalloped Potatoes 

If you don’t want to settle for just one type of cheese, why not try a combination? Below are classic cheese combinations that you can try the next time you make scalloped potatoes. 

1. Gruyere and Cheddar 

For scalloped potatoes, a blend of Gruyere and Cheddar cheese creates a rich, savory flavor with a touch of nuttiness. Gruyere is a creamy Swiss cheese that melts smoothly and brings a buttery, toasted flavor. 

Sharp Cheddar adds a tangy bite and a hint of saltiness. Together, the two cheeses create layers of flavor as the potatoes bake and the cheese melts, seeping into each layer. 

The mix of Gruyere and Cheddar gives scalloped potatoes a gourmet boost in flavor that is hard to beat. By using two cheeses instead of just one, you create a more complex flavor with contrasting notes that highlights the comfort of baked potatoes.

2. Parmesan and Gouda 

Parmesan and Gouda are two excellent cheese choices for scalloped potatoes. Parmesan adds a savory, slightly nutty flavor with notes of salt and butter that pair wonderfully with potatoes. 

Gouda contributes a mild but distinctive sweet and caramel-like taste and a hint of smoke that provides depth and interest. 

The combination of Parmesan and Gouda creates an irresistible cheese flavor with a range of tastes and aromas that highlight the natural flavor of the potatoes in this classic dish.

3. Fontina and Cheddar 

For a delicious creamy scalloped potato dish, Fontina and Cheddar cheese are an excellent pairing. 

Fontina is a mild but flavorful cheese that melts beautifully and adds a nutty, buttery note. Sharp Cheddar provides a nice contrast with its tangy, aged flavor and creamy texture. 

The mix of the two cheeses creates an irresistible combination of flavors and a luscious melted cheese layer in the scalloped potatoes. 

With layers of thinly sliced potatoes, cream or milk, garlic, herbs, and a blend of Fontina and cheddar cheese, scalloped potatoes bake into a hearty and comforting side dish perfect for any occasion.

4. Blue Cheese and Gruyere  

For scalloped potatoes, using blue cheese and Gruyere creates an indulgent and savory dish with layers of flavor. 

Blue cheese adds a sharp, pungent tang that cuts through the richness of the cream. The nutty, buttery Gruyere provides a perfect complement, rounding out the flavors and adding a touch of umami. 

The combination of the two cheeses creates an irresistible mix of salty, creamy flavors that bake into the potatoes, infusing every bite with decadence. Using a mix of strongly flavored cheeses is a great way to create scalloped potatoes with complex, layered flavors.

5. Parmesan and Mozzarella

For a delicious Italian-inspired scalloped potato dish, using a blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses is a great choice. The mild, buttery flavor of mozzarella pairs wonderfully with the savory, umami-rich parmesan. 

When melted together, they create a gooey, creamy blanket over thinly sliced potatoes. The parmesan adds a nice salty, nutty element while the mozzarella stretches as you spoon it into the dish. 

Together, they create a decadent cheese topping that complements the simple potatoes for an easy side dish or main course with Italian flair.

Tips for Making the Perfect Scalloped Potatoes 

The key to making the perfect scalloped potatoes is using the right ingredients and cooking them correctly. Let’s take a look at some tips for making the best-scalloped potatoes.

1. Choose the Right Potatoes

The first tip for making the perfect scalloped potatoes is to choose the right potatoes. For this dish, make sure to use a potato that is starchy and holds its shape well when cooked. 

russet potatoes

Russet or Yukon potatoes are best for this dish as they have a high starch content and are perfect for scalloped potatoes.

2. Slice Potatoes Evenly

To ensure that your scalloped potatoes cook evenly, it is essential to slice them evenly. Use a sharp knife to cut the potatoes into thin rounds. Keeping the potato slices uniform in size will help the dish cook evenly.

slicing potatoes

3. Add Flavorful Ingredients

Making the perfect scalloped potatoes requires flavorful ingredients such as garlic, cheese, and cream. A mixture of heavy cream and grated cheddar cheese makes the perfect creamy and cheesy sauce for the potatoes. 

ingredients for scalloped potatoes

You can add other ingredients, such as onions or bacon bits, to give your dish additional flavor.

If you want the top cheese layer to be extra crispy, try sprinkling some breadcrumbs on top of the cheese. The breadcrumbs will add texture to the top cheese layer, 

4. Use a Quality Baking Dish 

Using a quality baking dish is important when making scalloped potatoes. A ceramic or glass baking dish (like this one from Amazon) is perfect for this dish as both materials distribute heat evenly. It would help if you also greased the dish lightly to prevent the potatoes from sticking.

baking dish

5. Best Cooking Method

There are two methods for cooking scalloped potatoes, baking, and stovetop. Baking scalloped potatoes in the oven is the most common. You can also make it on the stovetop, which is faster and easier, but the flavor of the dish is not the same.

cheesy scalloped potatoes

Related Questions

Will Scalloped Potatoes Thicken as They Cool?

Preferably, you need to let them cool for 15 minutes, which allows the cream sauce to thicken and the potatoes to set for easier serving.

Why Does My Cheese Curdle in Scalloped Potatoes?

The curdling is caused by high heat, which is hard to avoid in an oven. In order to keep the sauce together, tackle it before the dish goes in the oven.

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