These Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes are easier than any scalloped potatoes that I have ever made previously.
I am a potato lover to the extreme. I once received a potato as a Christmas gift. So, to say my devotion runs deep would be accurate.
The Perfect Scalloped Potatoes
I grew up on boxed scalloped potatoes, aka “au gratin” if we’re being French about it. They were on a fairly regular rotation as a side dish. So, when I grew up and started making scalloped potatoes for myself from scratch, I discovered that they can be tricky to execute perfectly. For me, it’s important for the potatoes to be soft, but still hold their sliced form. I like them to have a healthy dose of cheese sauce, but not turn into potato soup. This recipe for Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes takes out all of the guess work and gives you the best scalloped potatoes I can personally recall.
The Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is what makes this recipe work. You could also do this in a standard pressure cooker. But, don’t think about trying it in the slow cooker. You will end up with gummy mashed potatoes, best suited for wall caulk.
The most laborious part of this recipe is simply preparing the potatoes. Be sure to wash them, peel them and slice them. It is important how thinly you slice them. Don’t go paper thin. I suggest somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch. That’s the right thickness for them to retain their sliced form through the cooking process, but become soft enough to melt in your mouth.
Then, all you need is one minute (yes, one minute!) on the Instant Pot on the manual pressure cook setting. 1 minute, plus the time to heat up and to instant release the pressure and the potatoes are cooked. No messing with testing them with a fork monitoring the stove. After multiple rounds of testing, 1 minute with 1/4 inch thick potatoes and they’re perfect.
Then, remove the potatoes to a pie plate or other pyrex dish, leaving any reserved juices and little bits of potatoes in the Instant Pot. Toss in the remaining ingredients to the Pot, reserving some of the cheese for topping off the final dish, and stir until mostly smooth. Next, pour all of that cheesy sauce over the potatoes in the pie dish and push the potatoes around to evenly distribute the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and broil it in the oven for 6 to 10 minutes, or until you get that beautiful bubbly browned cheese effect.
If you want to prep these a day ahead of time, I suggest preparing them up until the point of broiling them. But, instead of broiling, cover the dish and refrigerate. Then, an hour before you want to serve them, take them out of the fridge to let the chill come off of them. Then heat your oven to 350 and bake for 12 minutes, then turn to broil and let them go until the top is nice and bubbly brown (approx 5 minutes).
- 7 - 8 small potatoes (2lbs), peeled and sliced ¼ in thickness
- 1 cup vegetable broth (I make mine with Better Than Bouillon)
- 3 tbs heavy cream
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 oz shredded sharp white cheddar (2 oz reserved for top)
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- Place sliced potatoes into the Instant Pot with 1 cup of vegetable broth and cook on the manual pressure cooker setting for 1 minute. (standard pressure cookers, 1 minute on HIGH).
- Instant release the pressure once the timer expires.
- Preheat the oven on BROIL
- Transfer the potatoes from the Instant Pot to a pie plate or other oven-safe dish leaving any cooking liquids in the Instant Pot. *There will not be a lot of liquid in there, but what does remain should be enough.
- Add the remaining ingredients (reserving 2 oz of cheese) to the Instant Pot and set to "Saute" and stir until smooth.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes in the dish and toss to evenly distribute the cheese sauce.
- Top with reserved cheese.
- Broil in the oven for 4 - 6 minutes until the top of the potatoes are bubbly and browned.