Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes

published Mar 25, 2021
christmas
Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes

Cooking sliced potatoes under high pressure tenderizes them in a fraction of the time, meaning you can sit down to homemade scalloped potatoes in just 30 minutes.

Serves4 to 6

Prep5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
scalloped potatoes in a baking dish garnished
Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

When I was growing up in the ’80s, Betty Crocker’s boxed scalloped potatoes were on regular dinner rotation at my house. I remember devouring the potatoes and leaving everything else on my plate — they were that good.

When I was old enough to cook my own meals, one of the first things I sought to make was from-scratch scalloped potatoes. But I was very quickly hit with the reality that proper scalloped potatoes would require at least an hour to make. Who has time for that? Certainly not me.

That’s where the miracle of the Instant Pot comes in. Cooking the potatoes under high pressure tenderizes them in a fraction of the time, and you can make the cheese sauce directly in the Instant Pot, too. Once combined, the creamy, cheesy potatoes only need five minutes in the oven to bake, leaving you with the most delicious scalloped potatoes in just 30 minutes. Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes in 3 Simple Steps

  1. Slice and cook the potatoes. You’ll start by cutting the potatoes into 1/4-inch rounds. Don’t slice them any thinner, or they’ll disintegrate and burn under pressure. Add them to the Instant Pot along with water, garlic, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper, then cook on High for just 1 minute. As soon as the cook time is up, carefully release the pressure and transfer the potatoes to a broiler-safe baking dish. It’s okay if some potato pieces remain in the pot — the starch will help create a slurry that will thicken your cheese sauce.
  2. Make the cheese sauce. Return the insert to the Instant Pot and set it to Sauté. Melt the butter, then stir in cream or half-and-half and grated cheddar cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy.
  3. Bake and broil. Gently stir the cheese mixture into the potatoes and bake until the cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbly, about 5 minutes. Finish by broiling until the cheese on top is dark golden-brown all over. Let the potatoes cool so you don’t burn your mouth (this also allows the cheese sauce to thicken).

Although you can’t go wrong with the classic recipe I’m sharing here, feel free to make it your own by topping it with toasted breadcrumbs or panko, or adding cooked ham, cooked bacon, or caramelized onions or shallots to the potatoes when you add the cheese. Serve alongside your favorite protein or vegetables.

Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes

Cooking sliced potatoes under high pressure tenderizes them in a fraction of the time, meaning you can sit down to homemade scalloped potatoes in just 30 minutes.

Prep time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    water

  • 6 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt , divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 8 ounces

    cheddar, Gruyère, or Comté cheese, divided

  • 2 pounds

    russet potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2/3 cup

    heavy cream or half-and-half

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 tablespoon

    finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375ºF. Meanwhile, pressure cook the potatoes.

  2. Measure 1 cup water in a liquid measuring cup. Mince 6 garlic cloves. Add the garlic, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme to the water. Grate 8 ounces cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 2 packed cups).

  3. Peel 2 pounds russet potatoes. If using a mandoline, place it over a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Cut the potatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds directly into the pressure cooker. If using a knife, cut the potatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices and transfer to the pressure cooker. Add the water mixture and stir to combine.

  4. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for for 1 minute. It will take 10 to 12 minutes to come up to pressure.

  5. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to an 8x8-inch or other 1-quart broiler-safe baking dish (a few slices of potato left behind in the insert is okay).

  6. Turn on the highest Sauté function on the pressure cooker. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to the potato cooking liquid. Once the butter melts, add 2/3 cup heavy cream or half-and-half and bring to a simmer.

  7. Add 1 cup of the cheese, 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk to combine and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy, about 2 minutes. Pour over the potatoes and gently mix to combine, making sure the sauce gets in between the potato slices. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese.

  8. Bake until the cheese on top is melted and the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Broil until the cheese is deeply browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken before serving. Garnish with finely chopped chives if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.