Recipe: Low Fat Scalloped Potatoes

Side Dish Recipes, Vegetable Recipes

By: Deborah Murphy, MS, RD, LDN

Creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes are a classic side dish for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Our low fat scalloped potatoes recipe gets a healthier makeover by using reduced fat cheese and milk that tastes just as delicious as the traditional version.

No holiday gathering feels complete without a cheesy potato dish like scalloped potatoes on the table. Made from thinly sliced potatoes that are coated in a creamy sauce and baked until deliciously tender with a golden brown layer on top – there is a lot to love!

However, many creamy potato dishes are often pretty heavy too thanks to full fat cheese, sour cream, and/or heavy cream. For our low fat scalloped potato recipe, we swapped full fat cheese with reduced fat cheddar, and halved the amount of milk and butter typically needed for this dish. 

Even with the healthier swaps to reduce the fat to just 6 grams total fat per serving, you’ll be surprised how creamy and delicious this tastes! (In case you are ever wondering – the general rule of thumb for low-fat foods: for every 100 calories, it should have 3 or less grams of fat.)


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    What are Scalloped Potatoes?

    Scalloped potatoes is a classic comfort food dish made from thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy sauce made from half and half or milk. The sauce is often infused with garlic, onion, and/or herbs. 

    Scalloped potatoes are often confused with another similar dish: au gratin potatoes. Both dishes consist of thinly sliced potatoes in a rich sauce, but an au gratin has shredded cheese in the sauce and is topped with breadcrumbs. However, the classic definition of scalloped vs au gratin potatoes is often ignored (guilty!). Regardless, both dishes are creamy, rich, and oh-so-delicious. 
    This is a classic holiday dish, but our version makes it healthy! If you struggle with your diet over the holiday season, check out our 10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain.

    Ingredients You’ll Need

    • Potatoes: we like to use Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe because they get so tender when baked and there’s no need to peel them. Russet potatoes are also a good choice, but you’ll want to peel them before slicing. 
    • Butter, Flour, Milk, and Chicken Broth: use this combination of ingredients to create a creamy roux sauce for the potatoes. Using some broth in this creamy sauce helps reduce the overall calories without sacrificing flavor. 
    • Cheddar Cheese: we like to use white cheddar cheese for this easy scalloped potatoes recipe, but you can use a yellow cheddar as well. To lighten up this recipe, use a reduced fat cheese. If you don’t like cheddar, you can also use gouda or parmesan cheese.
    • Thyme: this is optional, but we love the subtle herby flavor that a little bit of fresh thyme or dried thyme adds to this dish. 
    • Salt and Pepper: A dash of salt and ground black pepper round out all the flavors.

    How to Make Low Calorie Scalloped Potatoes

    top view of low calorie scalloped potatoes two images showing sauce mixture and potatoes pre-baked
    • Make a Roux: melt butter and saute your thinly sliced onion in an oven safe skillet over medium heat until translucent. Stir in the flour and seasonings and cook for a minute to remove any flour-y taste. Stir in the milk and broth to create a creamy sauce. Once you have a thick sauce, finish by stirring in the cheese just until melted. 
    • Slice Your Potatoes: thinly slice the potatoes by hand with a chef’s knife or use a mandolin. You want to try and get as uniform pieces as possible to ensure even baking. Try to slice potatoes to about 1/8 inch thickness.
    • Bake: toss the sliced potatoes and sauce together in a large bowl and transfer back to the oven safe skillet or an 8×8 casserole dish. Bake covered for about 40 minutes and then 20 minutes uncovered or until golden brown and potatoes are tender.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Are the Best Potatoes for Scalloped Potatoes?

    We like to use either Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes for this easy scalloped potato recipe. If using Yukon gold potatoes there is no need to peel them which saves an extra step.

    What Oven Temperature Do You Use for Scalloped Potatoes?

    We found that 375 degrees Fahrenheit was a good temperature for baking scalloped potatoes. You want the oven to be hot enough to cook the potatoes without the top getting overly browned. Cooking at the right temperature also ensures that the cream sauce doesn’t curdle.

    How Long Do You Bake Scalloped Potatoes?

    If you are wondering how long to make scalloped potatoes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, we found that our potatoes were perfect after 40 minutes covered, plus another 20 minutes uncovered.

    Can Scalloped Potatoes be Made Ahead of Time?

    Yes! Just bake the scalloped potatoes and then let them cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until warmed through.

    What to Serve with Low Fat Scalloped Potatoes

    If you are looking for a few dishes to serve with these delicious scalloped potatoes, here are a few of our favorite main dish options. We love serving this recipe as a side dish with these Italian turkey meatballs or our grilled turkey recipe

    Looking for a festive drink pairing? Try these Low-Calorie & Festive Holiday Cocktail Recipes.
    If you are making these potatoes for Easter, we recommend pairing it with our delicious pineapple glazed ham steaks. If ham isn’t your favorite, we also recommend this spicy grilled pork tenderloin.

    Total Time: 90 minutes


    • 1 tablespoon light butter
    • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
    • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • ¾ cup whole milk
    • ¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
    • 4-5 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced (about 1 ½ lbs)
    • 1 ¼ cups reduced fat white cheddar cheese (about 3 oz)


    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
    2. Add butter and thinly sliced onion to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. Saute until onion is softened and translucent.
    3. Stir in the flour, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the half and half and vegetable broth stirring until a thick sauce forms.
    4. Add ¾ cup of the shredded cheese and stir until melted.
    5. Add cheese sauce to a large bowl and stir in the sliced potatoes. Transfer back to the oven-safe skillet or an 8x8 inch baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are fork tender. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

    Nutrition Information Per Serving

    Serving Size: 5

    Calories: 233

    Protein: 12 gram(s)

    Fat: 6 gram(s)

    Carbohydrates: 32 gram(s)

    Fiber: 4 gram(s)

    Sugar: 4 gram(s)

    From the kitchen of:

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