instant pot scalloped potatoes

instant pot scalloped potatoes

Introduction to Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes:

Firstly, the culinary world is constantly evolving, and one of the most significant advancements in home cooking in recent years has been the rise of the Instant Pot. This versatile kitchen appliance has transformed the way we approach cooking, offering a faster, more efficient method to prepare a wide array of dishes. In particular, among the many recipes adapted for this modern cooking tool, Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes stand out as a perfect example of revitalizing traditional recipes to suit today’s fast-paced lifestyle.

The Traditional Charm of Scalloped Potatoes

Historically, scalloped potatoes have long been a staple in many cuisines, particularly known for their comforting and hearty nature. Traditionally, this dish involves thinly sliced potatoes layered with a creamy sauce, often infused with cheese and baked to perfection. Consequently, the result is a rich, indulgent dish that’s both satisfying and versatile, making it a favorite for family dinners, holiday feasts, and everything in between. For more unique baking ideas, check out our Strawberry cake recipe.

The Instant Pot Revolution

Enter the Instant Pot. This multi-functional cooker has made it possible to enjoy dishes like scalloped potatoes with significantly less preparation and cooking time. The Instant Pot combines the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, and more, all in one appliance. This means you can now prepare dishes in a fraction of the time that would typically take hours in the oven, without compromising on flavor or texture. If you’re looking for more Instant Pot recipes, our Pumpkin Banana Loaf is a must-try.

The Magic of Pressure Cooking

The key to the Instant Pot’s efficiency lies in its pressure cooking capability. The Instant Pot dramatically reduces cooking times by cooking under pressure, ensuring deep infusion of flavors into the food. This method benefits dishes like scalloped potatoes greatly, as it achieves tender, flavorful potatoes fully infused with the creamy, cheesy sauce.

Adapting Scalloped Potatoes for the Instant Pot

Adapting the classic scalloped potatoes recipe for the Instant Pot involves a few adjustments. The basic components remain the same: potatoes, cream, cheese, and seasonings. However, the layering technique is slightly altered to suit the dimensions and cooking style of the Instant Pot. Additionally, the pressure cooking method requires less liquid than traditional baking, as there is minimal evaporation during the cooking process.

Ingredient Selection and Preparation

Choosing the right type of potato is crucial for the perfect Instant Pot scalloped potatoes. Varieties like Yukon Gold or Russet are ideal due to their texture and flavor profile. The potatoes are thinly sliced, ensuring even cooking, and layered with a mixture of cream, cheese, and spices. The Instant Pot then works its magic, cooking the potatoes under pressure to create a dish that is both time-efficient and deeply satisfying.

The Versatility of Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes

One of the great things about scalloped potatoes made in the Instant Pot is their versatility. This dish can be easily customized to suit different tastes and dietary needs. From the choice of cheese to the addition of various herbs and spices, there are endless possibilities for personalization. Moreover, for those with dietary restrictions, ingredients can be substituted to create gluten-free, dairy-free, or even vegan versions of this classic dish.

Recipe and Preparation:

Creating Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes is a delightful experience that combines traditional flavors with modern cooking techniques. Here’s a detailed guide to help you prepare this delicious dish.

Ingredients and Substitutes:

  • Potatoes: 2 pounds of thinly sliced Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes. For a healthier twist, try sweet potatoes.
  • Cheese: 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Gruyere or a mix of cheeses can add a unique flavor.
  • Cream: 1 cup of heavy cream. For a lighter version, use half-and-half or a plant-based alternative.
  • Broth: 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth for added flavor.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a pinch of nutmeg for classic seasoning. Feel free to add herbs like thyme or rosemary for a twist.
  • Butter: 2 tablespoons for richness. Use unsalted butter or a vegan alternative.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Potatoes: Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. A mandoline slicer ensures even thickness, which is crucial for uniform cooking.
  2. Layer the Ingredients: In the Instant Pot, layer the sliced potatoes, sprinkling each layer with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add half of the cheese between the layers for extra cheesiness.
  3. Add Liquids: Pour the broth and cream over the potatoes. The liquid should just cover the potatoes. If not, adjust accordingly.
  4. Cooking: Seal the Instant Pot lid and set it to manual high pressure for 1 minute. It will take about 10 minutes for the pressure to build up before the cooking begins.
  5. Quick Release: Once the cooking time is up, use the quick release method to release the pressure. This step is crucial to prevent overcooking.
  6. Add the Final Touches: Carefully open the lid and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. For a golden crust, transfer the potatoes to an oven-safe dish and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
  7. Serve: Let the scalloped potatoes rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken and the flavors to meld together.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Scalloped Potatoes

  • Potato Thickness: Ensure the potatoes are evenly sliced for consistent cooking.
  • Cheese Variety: Experiment with different cheeses for varied flavors.
  • Broiling: For a crispy top, don’t skip the broiling step.
  • Seasoning: Adjust the seasoning according to taste. Adding a layer of onions or leeks can add depth to the flavor.
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can be reheated in the microwave or oven.

By following these steps and tips, you’ll create a dish that’s not only comforting and delicious but also impressively quick and easy, thanks to the Instant Pot. Enjoy your creamy, cheesy, and utterly satisfying Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes!

Variations and Serving Suggestions

Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes are not only delicious but also incredibly versatile. Here are some creative variations and serving suggestions to elevate this classic dish to new heights.

Variations of the Recipe

  1. Cheese Varieties: Experiment with different types of cheese for a new flavor profile. Try combinations like Gouda and Parmesan, or add a bit of blue cheese for a tangy kick.
  2. Add-Ins for Extra Flavor: Incorporate crispy bacon bits, diced ham, caramelized onions, or sautéed mushrooms between the layers for added texture and richness.
  3. Herb Infusions: Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage can be layered in with the potatoes for an aromatic twist.
  4. Spicy Version: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, add a dash of cayenne pepper or some diced jalapeños.
  5. Vegan and Dairy-Free Options: Use almond or coconut milk instead of cream, and opt for vegan cheese alternatives to cater to dietary preferences.
  6. Gluten-Free Adaptation: This recipe is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

Serving Suggestions

  1. As a Side Dish: Serve alongside roasted meats like chicken, beef, or pork. It pairs wonderfully with grilled fish as well.
  2. With Vegetarian Meals: Complement a vegetarian main course, such as a lentil loaf or grilled portobello mushrooms, with these scalloped potatoes.
  3. In a Buffet Spread: A great addition to a buffet or potluck, these scalloped potatoes can be a hearty option in a spread of various dishes.
  4. Holiday Meals: Perfect for festive occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, where they can be served alongside turkey, ham, or lamb.
  5. Garnishing: Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, chives, or green onions for a pop of color and freshness.
  6. Comfort Food Night: Make a cozy, comforting meal by pairing it with a simple green salad and some crusty bread.
  7. Brunch Option: These scalloped potatoes can be a fantastic addition to a brunch menu, especially if you include bacon or ham in the recipe.

By exploring these variations and serving suggestions, you can adapt Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes to fit any meal or occasion, making them a versatile and beloved dish in any culinary repertoire. Whether you’re looking for a comforting side dish or a show-stopping addition to a special meal, these scalloped potatoes are sure to impress.

FAQs (Based on ‘People Also Ask’)

Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes are a popular dish, and naturally, many people have questions about preparing them. Here are some frequently asked questions based on the ‘People Also Ask’ section, providing valuable insights into this delicious recipe.

  1. Can I use any type of potato for Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes?

    • Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes are recommended due to their texture and flavor. However, you can use other types, like red potatoes or sweet potatoes, for a different taste and texture.
  2. How thin should I slice the potatoes?

    • Potatoes should be sliced uniformly, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using a mandoline slicer can help achieve consistent thickness, which is crucial for even cooking.
  3. Do I need to pre-cook the potatoes before putting them in the Instant Pot?

    • No, pre-cooking isn’t necessary. The Instant Pot will cook the potatoes thoroughly. Just ensure they are sliced to the recommended thickness.
  4. Can I make Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes dairy-free?

    • Yes, you can use plant-based milk and cheese alternatives to make this dish dairy-free. Almond, soy, or coconut milk can be good substitutes for cream.
  5. How do I prevent the potatoes from becoming too soft or mushy?

    • To prevent overcooking, use the quick release method immediately after the cooking time is up. Also, ensure the potato slices are not too thin.
  6. Can you make Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes ahead of time?

    • Yes, you can prepare them ahead of time and reheat them in the oven or microwave. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  7. What’s the best way to layer the potatoes and cheese in the Instant Pot?

    • Start with a layer of potatoes, season them, add a layer of cheese, and repeat. Ensure the top layer is cheese for a golden, bubbly finish after broiling.
  8. Can I add other ingredients like bacon or vegetables?

    • Absolutely! Feel free to add cooked bacon, ham, caramelized onions, or sautéed vegetables between the potato layers for added flavor.
  9. Is it necessary to broil the potatoes after cooking them in the Instant Pot?

    • While not necessary, broiling adds a deliciously crispy cheese top layer. If you prefer a softer top, you can skip this step.
  10. How can I thicken the sauce if it’s too runny?

    • If the sauce is too thin, you can use a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with a little cold water) and add it to the potatoes, cooking on the sauté setting until it thickens.

These FAQs cover a range of topics, from preparation tips to ingredient substitutions, ensuring that your Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes turn out perfectly every time.


In conclusion, Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes offer a delightful twist on a classic dish, blending convenience with rich flavor. By using the Instant Pot, you can drastically cut down on cooking time while still preserving the creamy, comforting essence that has made scalloped potatoes a beloved side dish.

This article has guided you through the nuances of choosing the right ingredients, the step-by-step process of preparation, and the versatility of the recipe with various adaptations. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner, a festive holiday meal, or simply seeking a comforting dish, these scalloped potatoes are sure to satisfy.

Remember, the key to perfect Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes lies in the thickness of the potato slices, the layering of flavors with cheese and seasonings, and the final broiling step for that irresistible golden crust. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cheeses, add-ins, and herbs to personalize the dish to your taste.

We hope this comprehensive guide inspires you to try making Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes and explore the many possibilities this versatile appliance offers. Happy cooking, and enjoy the delicious results of your efforts!

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