If you’re looking for a warm, comforting side dish, cheesy potatoes are for you. Creamy, tender potatoes baked in a cheesy sauce until bubbly and golden.
If you love potatoes and cheese, this is the ultimate potato casserole. It’s perfect for serving with ham, chicken, pork, or beef. Heck, I even eat it just on its own without a protein. It’s warming, filling, and the best comfort food side dish there is – hearty and homey but delicious enough to serve to company.
What are cheesy potatoes?
Cheesy potatoes are potatoes that are cooked until tender and then baked in a creamy cheese sauce. The potato casserole gets bubbly and hot and the top becomes golden and delicious. Cheesy potatoes are similar to scalloped potatoes but with diced potatoes and a thicker sauce. They’re also a lot easier to make!
There are a ton of cheesy potato recipes out there that use canned condensed soup as the base but making your own cheese sauce is simple and so much more satisfying.
What makes them so good?
Potatoes are the perfect cozy comfort food and when you pair them with a creamy, cheesy sauce, they are just indescribable. Think of steamy, warm, and fluffy potatoes in a savory gooey cheese sauce that has garlicky-onion flavors and a hint of sour cream tang. SO GOOD.
How to make cheesy potatoes
- Cook the potatoes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the potatoes until fork tender, then drain well.
- Make a roux. While the potatoes are cooking, make a roux by melting butter in a saucepan. When it’s melted, add in the flour and spices and stir until everything comes together.
- Add the milk. Pour the milk in slowly, stirring so the sauce is smooth and creamy. When you’re done adding in the milk, let the sauce come to a simmer so it thickens up.
- Melt the cheese. Add the cheese and some sour cream and stir until melted and creamy.
- Stir in the potatoes. Add the drained potatoes and mix everything up. Sneak a bite or five!
- Bake. Put the potatoes in an oven safe dish and top with cheese, bake until bubbly then dig in.
What are the best potatoes for cheesy potatoes?
There are only two kinds of potatoes that are perfect for cheesy potatoes: Yukon golds (my absolute favorite) and Russets.
Yukon golds are perfect for cheesy potatoes because they’re slightly starchy, beautifully yellow, and have a rich buttery potato taste. They’re a dense potato with a thin skin, and when you use them, you get a more luxurious casserole.
Russets (or Idaho) potatoes are those big potatoes with the dusty skin that most people use for baked potatoes. These are also excellent for cheesy potatoes: fluffy, dry, and starchy, when cooked right. Russets are the more mild potato of the two potatoes I recommend and if you’re a fan of lighter, fluffier potatoes, they make a cheesy potato with a more delicate, fall apart texture.
- Yukon golds: dense, buttery, rich, more potato flavor, sauce won’t be as thick but the potatoes will hold their shape.
- Russets: light, delicate, fluffy, mild potato flavor, will thicken the sauce, but fall apart more.
If you want the best of both worlds, you can use a mix!
What kind of cheese for cheesy potatoes
Classic is cheddar with it’s familiar orange glow, but you can also switch it up and use any kind of melty cheese. Some cheeses that will work are: Swiss, marble, Tex-mex, Parmesan, Gruyere, mozzarella, harvarti. Any melty cheese will work great.
Do you need to peel the potatoes
That’s completely up to you. There are a lot of nutrients in potato skins and it’s an extra step but I actually do like to peel them just so all the potatoes have the same texture. If you’re a fan of potato skins, just give them a good scrub and leave them on.
What size pan
You’ll want to use a 2 quart (8 cups) baking or casserole dish. It can be an 8×8 inch or 11 x 7 inch. As long as it is an oven safe dish with 8 cups capacity, you’re good to go.
What to serve with cheesy potatoes
Cheesy potatoes are the perfect make ahead side – you can make the entire dish and hold off on baking OR you can go ahead and bake the dish before hand and then warm it, covered in foil, in a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 15-30 minutes.
How to store
Wrap the potatoes tightly and keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days.
How to reheat
Simply reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through or warm covered in foil, in a 350°F oven until heated through, about 15-30 minutes.
I cannot wait for cheesy potato season, cheesy potatoes are life!
PS – Pro tip, I love adding things on top afterwards, sliced scallions, everything bagel spice, Tajin, or even an extra dollop of sour cream and bacon bits!!
Cheesy potatoes are hearty and homey and delicious enough to serve to company.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Peel and chop the potatoes into 1.5-2 inch chunks. Place in a pot and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium high heat and let simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork tender, 13-15 minutes. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When melted, stir in the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and dry mustard, until smooth and incorporated.
- Pour the milk into the pan in a thin stream while whisking, until smooth. Keep on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, 3-5 minutes. Add half of the shredded cheddar and the sour cream and stir until melted and creamy.
- Add in the drained potatoes, mixing until coated. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the cheesy potatoes into an oven safe dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove, let cool slightly, and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving
Calories 336 Calories from Fat 191
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 13.2g83%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.