This recipe for extra creamy scalloped potatoes and ham is my all-time favorite. This is the super creamy and curdle-free recipe.

Extra creamy, curdle-free scalloped potatoes and ham. The best I've ever had!

When’s the last time you had really good scalloped potatoes and ham?

Chances are, way too long.

Which is why you should plan on making this extra special recipe sometime soon.

This recipe is both extra creamy and curdle-free. I don’t make scalloped potatoes any other way. 

What Are Scalloped Potatoes?

Scalloped potatoes is a classic side dish or main course made by layering thinly sliced potatoes with a creamy seasoned sauce and baking until golden brown and bubbling. The potatoes become tender and flavorful, while the sauce forms a rich coating.

When ham is added, scalloped potatoes become heartier and meal-worthy.

Scalloped potatoes are often served at Easter and other holiday meals. 

Why This Is The Best Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Not every scalloped potato recipe is a winner. Scalloped potatoes are often under-seasoned. Sometimes they are burnt on the top and undercooked in the middle. And worst of all, sometimes the cream sauce curdles. A culinary travisty.

Here’s the deal:

There are two things that make these scalloped potatoes great:

  • They’re curdle-free: Curdled scalloped potatoes are not worth serving. But curdling is something that can happen so easily. This recipe avoids that problem and results in really tasty potatoes.
  • They’re extra creamy: The creamy sauce has a base of heavy whipping cream and other simple, low-cost ingredients. 

How To Make Curdle-Free Scalloped Potatoes

One problem that can arise when you’re making scalloped potatoes is curdling milk.

Why do scalloped potatoes curdle? 

The high heat at which they are cooked makes the proteins in the milk separate, or curdle.

But this can be avoided.

Extra-creamy scalloped potatoes (the curdle-free recipe)

Here are two tips for avoiding curdles in scalloped potatoes:

  • Use heavy whipping cream: Not only does heavy cream taste rich and indulgent, the higher fat content of the cream helps avoid curdling – something that is more apt to happen if you’re using 2 percent or skim milk. 
  • Use starchy potatoes: The use of high starch potatoes, like Russet, can help prevent curdling. 

Ingredient List

No trip to the specialty grocery store is necessary for this recipe. Here’s what you will need to make this recipe:

  • Russet potatoes: Russets are starchy potatoes that work really well in a scalloped potato recipe. In a pinch you can use Yukon gold potatoes – but russets will yield the best results.
  • Heavy whipping cream: This is a non-negotiable if you want both creamy and curdle-free scalloped potatoes. This will probably be the most expensive item on your shopping list for this recipe.
  • Milk: Additional milk is added to the cream sauce. Use 2 percent or whole milk.
  • Onion: This adds some extra flavor to the scalloped potatoes.
  • All purpose flour: This helps make the creamy sauce thick. Gluten-free flour will work for this recipe.
  • Ham: Buy a ham steak or cubed ham for this recipe. 

Learn how to make extra creamy, curdle-free scalloped potatoes and ham.

The Process

Scroll down for the detailed recipe. But here’s the process, in a nutshell:

  • Slice potatoes: You want very thin slices of potato. Use a mandolin slicer on its thinnest setting.
  • Combine heavy cream and flour: Whisk the heavy whipping cream and flour until no clumps remain.
  • Cook on stovetop: You’ll cook the potatoes, cream mixture, and onions on the stovetop over medium heat to start the cooking process before placing in the prepared baking dish and adding ham.
  • Bake: The potatoes in cream sauce are placed in a casserole dish and baked for about 50 minutes, until hot, bubbling, and golden brown.

An Affordable Side Dish – Or Main Course

This recipe is made using simple ingredients that are easy to find.

The recipe can be made with or without ham. Either is delicious. But the addition of ham will make the dish heartier and more meal-worthy.

You can buy a ham steak for less than $5.00 at ALDI – and you probably don’t have to use the whole thing. Freeze extras for future recipes.

Money-saving tip: Heavy whipping cream can be quite expensive, but overall this dish is quite affordable. Trader Joe’s sells shelf-stable heavy whipping cream for $1.29. I keep a few of these on hand for recipes and coffee.

Scalloped potatoes and ham: The extra creamy, curdle-free recipe. Click through for instructions!

Recipe Tips

  • Got leftover ham? This is the perfect recipe to use it up! You can also make ham salad, Hawaiian pizza or a cobb salad.
  • Need to buy ham? Look for a ham steak. I purchased a 1 lb. ham steak for about $3.50 at ALDI.
  • Onions add flavor: My mom’s trick for making flavorful scalloped potatoes is to add one chopped onion.
  • Slicing the potatoes: You can use a mandolin or food processor with a cutting attachment to slice the potatoes. The key is to slice the potatoes paper thin.
  • Add-ins: This recipe is perfect as is. But if you want to jazz your scalloped potatoes up, you could consider adding caramelized onions, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese or other types of cheese in the casserole or on top (sprinkle on the last 20 minutes of baking). 

Make Ahead Directions

Can scalloped potatoes be made ahead of time?

Yes. There are two options available if you’re looking to make this recipe in advance:

  • Unbaked: You can prep the potatoes and cream sauce and let the mixture sit in the casserole dish for up to 8 hours before baking. 
  • Baked: You can bake the scalloped potatoes, allow to cool and store in the fridge before reheating in the oven before serving. To reheat, bake for 20 minutes at 350F.

Leftover Ham Ideas

If you have leftover ham, why not repurpose it and make something new and delicious? Here are some easy recipes made with leftover ham:

Scalloped potatoes and ham: The extra creamy, curdle-free recipe. Click through for instructions!

Scalloped Potatoes And Ham

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Short on time? I've included directions to help cut down on baking time. This involves cooking the potato mixture over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes to begin the cooking process. This helps reduce the baking time.


  • 3 pounds Russet potatoes (about 6 to 7 small-to-medium potatoes)
  • 1.5 pints heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup 2 percent milk
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 pound ham steak, cut into cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Peel potatoes. Using a mandoline or food processor, slice the potatoes very thin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup cream and flour, until there are no lumps. Continue whisking in the remaining cream and milk. Add salt.
  3. Place potatoes, onions, and cream mixture in a large heavy saucepan. Turn on heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring gently and occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until mixture comes to a simmer.
  4. Stir in ham. Pour mixture into a large casserole dish. Bake for about 50 minutes, until top begins to brown. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before serving.

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