You might think the slow cooker is best at churning out dishes such as chili, stews and slow-braised meats but that’s only just the start. The useful appliance is equally good at assembling side dishes without too much effort. This recipe for scalloped potatoes is proof. Creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes are a side dish that no one can resist, and the slow cooker makes this traditional holiday side even easier. The simple hands-off method might even convince you to make this indulgent dish part of your weeknight dinner rotation.
If you happen to have a mandoline, this is the perfect place to use it. Using it to slice the Russet potatoes ensures thin and even rounds that will layer and cook evenly in the slow cooker. The potato rounds are layered with a decadent mixture of heavy cream, milk and not one but three types of grated cheese: Gruyere, Fontina and Parmesan. All three cheeses lend their own characteristics to the dish. Gruyere is nutty and sharp while Fontina is sweet and buttery and Parmesan is wonderfully salty and umami-rich.
After a few hours in the slow cooker, the potatoes will bubble with a wonderfully crispy, cheesy, golden-brown top. The only question that remains is what to serve them with. Classics like roast chicken, pan-seared steak and pork chops are all great choices, as are baked fish and sautéed shrimp. Or make these scalloped potatoes part of a vegetarian dinner by serving them with a crisp green salad and roasted vegetables.
- Nonstick cooking spray or softened butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- dried thyme, to taste
- 1 large shallot, minced, divided
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Fontina cheese, divided
- 8 teaspoons finely grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese, divided
Spritz the interior of a 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick spray or grease with butter.2.
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together cream and milk.3.
Place a layer of potato slices in the bottom of the slow cooker, making sure to overlap the potatoes and completely cover the bottom of the slow cooker. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Top with 1/4 of the minced shallots, 1/4 of the garlic, 1/4 cup Gruyere, 1/4 cup fontina and 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese. Pour one-third of the cream and milk mixture over the potatoes.4.
Repeat three more times — the final layer of potatoes will not be covered in cream and milk, but will be sprinkled with the salt, pepper, thyme, shallot, garlic and cheeses. Cover and cook on high for 4½ to 5 hours, until the top layer of cheese is crispy, browned, and bubbling. Serve immediately.