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Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes

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Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes are classic comfort food. This version has a generous amount of creamy sauce and is topped with sharp cheddar cheese. We love to serve this side dish with ham or a roast for Christmas and Easter meals!

Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes in a white casserole dish, next to a gold and white serving spoon, viewed from overhead.

Whether you call this dish scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin, one thing is certain – they are amazingly delicious. We love to use a pressure cooker for scalloped potatoes for two reasons: first, it comes together more quickly than traditional oven-baked scalloped potatoes, and second, you’re guaranteed to have evenly cooked potatoes every time.

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Ingredients

Below is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes. See the recipe card below for all the details!

  • Russet potatoes – perfect for scalloped potatoes because the starchiness of this variety will help thicken the sauce and the longer, more uniform shape makes them easier to slice. You can substitute with Yukon Gold potatoes.
  • Vegetable broth – you can also use chicken broth if the dish doesn’t need to be vegetarian. The broth provides the liquid for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, while giving flavour to the sauce.
  • Seasonings – we use a mix of dry mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and thyme.
  • Milk – to give volume to the sauce
  • Melted butter and flour – whisked in after pressure cooking to the thicken the sauce. This is my less messy version of a beurre manié, like I use in my Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie.
  • Sharp cheddar – for amazing, tangy, savoury flavour. You can also use regular cheddar if that’s what you have on hand.
Ingredients needed to make Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes, viewed from overhead.

How to make it

First, pour the broth into the insert, then add the dry mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and thyme.

Next, evenly layer the peeled and sliced potatoes into the steamer basket, then place the basket in the pot over the broth.

Step one: broth and seasoning in the Instant Pot, then step two: sliced potato rounds in a steamer basket in the Instant Pot.

Pressure cook on High for 1 minute, then let the pressure release naturally for 2-3 minutes before quick releasing the remaining pressure. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 °F and grease a 2.5-quart baking dish.

Once the pressure is released, carefully remove the steamer basket with the potatoes and set aside. Leave the liquid in the pot and turn on the Sauté function to low. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer.

Whisk together the melted butter and flour until smooth, then whisk it into the broth mixture. Continue to stir until thickened, about a minute, then stir in half a cup of cheese and transfer the liner from the Instant Pot to a heat-safe surface.

Melted butter and flour mixed together in a white bowl, over a photo of the finished sauce in the Instant Pot insert.

Layer half the potatoes into the casserole dish (carefully, the potatoes are soft!), then pour on half the sauce and sprinkle with a half cup of grated cheddar. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, sauce and cheddar.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling around the edges. Optionally, you can broil for an additional 5 minutes until the top is turning golden brown.

Scalloped Potatoes in a white casserole dish, top with sharp cheddar, before going in the oven.

Tips for Success

  • Soak peeled and sliced potatoes in cold water during prep. This will help prevent the starch in the potatoes from oxidizing and turning that black/brown/grey colour.
  • Use a steamer basket. I tested this recipe without the steamer basket, but the potatoes at the bottom get very overcooked and are hard to remove from the liquid. The basket makes it a breeze to transfer the potatoes out of the pot.
  • Don’t skip the 2-3 minute natural release. We tested this with just 1 minute of cooking time then quick release, but a few of the potato slices were a bit too hard. The short natural release solved this problem!
  • Be gentle with the cooked potato slices. It can be tricky to transfer the cooked potatoes to the casserole dish and it’s totally fine if some of the pieces break because you’re covering it with sauce anyway. It’s a small price to pay for the guarantee of perfectly cooked potatoes!
  • Remove the sauce from heat as soon as it is cooked. Use the low sauté setting and remove it from heat right away so that it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the liner. You may see the “HOT” message on the screen once you thicken the sauce – not to worry, as long as you continue to stir while it’s still over the heat and remove it from heat promptly after stirring in the cheese.

Variations

Add diced ham. This recipe is a great way to use leftover ham. You can use 1-2 cups of diced cooked ham and layer it into the casserole.

Omit the cheese. If you prefer to use a simple cream sauce, just leave out the cheddar! You’ll want to taste the sauce and adjust the the salt before layering it with the potatoes, because you’re losing the saltiness of the cheese.

Top with breadcrumbs if you’d like an extra crispy topping!

Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes being scooped out of a white casserole dish.

How to thinly slice potatoes

The fastest way to uniformly cut quarter-inch slices of potato is to use a mandoline. Be sure to use the guard that comes with the mandoline and/or use a protective glove while slicing. If you don’t have a mandoline, simply use a sharp chef’s knife; it will just take a bit longer!

How to make ahead

You can assemble this potato casserole up to 3 days ahead of time. Follow the recipe as stated until it’s assembled, but instead of baking, cool to room temperature, then tightly cover and place in the refrigerator. The day of your meal, bake at 375 °F covered with foil for about 25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the internal temperature reaches 165 °F, then broil for 5 minutes uncovered to brown the top.

How to reheat

Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake at 350 °F for about 30 minutes or until completely heated through to an internal temperature of 165 °F.

A serving of scalloped potatoes on a stack of white plates, in front of an Instant Pot and the casserole dish.

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Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes in a white casserole dish, next to a gold and white serving spoon, viewed from overhead.

Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes

Laura Lawless, BASc
Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes are classic comfort food. This version has a generous amount of creamy sauce and is topped with sharp cheddar cheese. We love to serve this side dish with ham or a roast for Christmas and Easter meals!
5 from 1 vote
Servings 6
Calories 412
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Inactive time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth (can sub chicken broth )
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped)
  • 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and ¼-inch slice (see note 1 for prep tip)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter, melted (salted or unsalted)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups freshly grated sharp cheddar (divided)

Instructions
 

  • Add the broth, dry mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt and thyme to the Instant Pot insert. Layer the sliced potatoes in the steamer basket and place it in the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid, set the vent to sealing and pressure cook on manual High pressure for 1 minute (your Instant Pot model may have a "Pressure Cook" button rather than a "Manual" button). It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 °F and grease a 2.5-quart casserole dish.
  • At the end of pressure cooking time, allow the pressure to release naturally for 2-3 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure. Remove the steamer basket with the potatoes and set aside. Do not drain the liquid.
  • Turn on the Sauté function to the low setting (see note 2 if you're not sure how to do this) and bring the broth to a simmer. Whisk in the milk. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter and flour, then gradually whisk this mixture into the liquid. Simmer for about a minute, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and has a smooth texture. Turn off the Sauté function, then stir in half a cup of grated sharp cheddar until melted. Remove the insert from the Instant Pot and place it on a heat-safe surface.
  • Carefully layer half the potato slices into the casserole dish, top with half the sauce and a half cup of grated cheese. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes, sauce and cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges. Optionally, broil for up to 5 minutes until the top is turning golden brown.
  • Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.

Notes

  1. Potato prep tip: Place the peeled and sliced potatoes in a large bowl of cold water right after you slice. This will prevent the starch in the potatoes from oxidizing and turning an unattractive grey/brown/black colour. 
  2. How to adjust Sauté setting: depending on your Instant Pot model, you either press the Sauté button multiple times until you see it’s set to low on the screen, OR you press the Sauté button, then the “adjust” button until it’s set to “less”. 
  3. To make ahead: assemble up to 3 days ahead of time. Instead of baking, cool to room temperature, cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. The day of your meal, bake at 375 °F covered with foil for 25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the internal temperature reaches 165 °F. Broil uncovered for 5 minutes to brown the top. 
  4. To reheat: Cover with foil and bake at 350 °F for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F.   
  5. Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure. 
  6. This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models. 

Equipment

Instant Pot (6qt)
Mandoline
Steam Basket
Box Grater

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 485mg | Potassium: 1095mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 564IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 288mg | Iron: 3mg
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Portrait of Laura Lawless in a green sweater standing in front of white shelving filled with food photography props.

Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Alicia Gobin says:

    5 stars
    Very easy to follow recipe. Cut down the time of scalloped potatoes but did not sacrifice the flavor. Best scalloped potato from scratch recipe. A family favourite!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Alicia! Thanks for leaving a review!