cheesy goodness. [scalloped potatoes & ham]

October 13th, 2011 by | comments

By Sue

My mom, Sue, is behind multiple recipes posted on my blog, but for some reason, I haven’t featured her on here yet. I find this really odd, particularly because she taught me everything I know today in regards to cooking and baking.

While visiting home last weekend, she made her version of my grandma’s renowned scalloped potatoes and ham. She altered the recipe a bit, but it still has the rich, hearty flavor with melt-in-your-mouth gooey cheese.

This meal will always hold a special place in my heart because it reminds me of my grandma, Doris/Mickey/Maxine–oh, just call her grandma/grammie/grams. I have fond memories of her making this dinner for my family when we lived in Ohio. Fifteen years later, we still ask that she make it every time she visits us in California. At 82-years-old, the woman can still make some mean scalloped potatoes and ham!


6 large Idaho or russett potatoes, peeled and sliced finely using madoline

3/4 cup Jarlsberg, shredded and packed

3/4 cup Havarti, shredded and packed

3/4 cup Dubliner Aged White Cheddar, shredded and packed

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter

8 tbsp. flour

3 cups low-fat milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 medium sweet onion, finely diced

1 boneless Hormel quarter ham (sliced), then cut into bite-sized pieces

Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Great a 2-quart oblong casserole dish.

Melt butter in medium heavy saucepan with flour over medium heat, letting mixture cook 2-3 minutes. Add milk and heavy cream and cook until thickened, about 7-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add three cheeses and stir until melted. Remove pan from heat.

Peel potatoes then transfer to bowl of water, to prevent discoloration. Using a mandoline, slice three potatoes. Place potato slices form the three potatoes in bottom of the casserole dish. Top with half of onion and ham. Pour approximately half of cheese sauce over meat and potato layer. Slice remaining three potatoes with mandoline, then repeat layering process with the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle any extra shredded cheese on top of casserole.

Place dish on middle rack of oven with a foiled cookie sheet on the rack below. Cook approximately 30 minutes, or until cheese has browned, then tent with foil for the remaining 45 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.

// share //
  • This sure brings back memories of my childhood too! I have have ham and scalloped potatoes in years. Thank you for the reminder of such a wonderful comfort food. I think this will be our simple dinner on Sunday!

  • Oh. My. Yum.

  • I just love those browned bits, this looks so delicious. I’ve had trouble making a similar dish, mine is always runny. Thanks for sharing, I’ll be using this recipe:)

  • I am with smidge, i love those overdone bits.. I cannot make this like my MIL does, Mine is always too dry, so maybe i SHOULD take a better look at this recipe.. I love it and am NOT ALLOWED it for another week at least!! ha ha ha c

  • You certainly have cookining in your blood! This dish looks amazing – I’m keeping it for a special occasion!
    Mary x

  • Allow me to walk you through my brain viewing those pictures, oooh, mmmm, ohhh, mmmm, mmmm, ohhh. Higher thought can be overrated. Speaking of thoughts, at first I thought you were calling your mom out for not keeping up with your posts! Doh!

  • egg me on

    Ooey gooey cheesy goodness is right! Times 100! Your mom should be so proud, which I’m sure she already is. Great post!

  • That looks dangerously good! I love anything with cheese and potatoes =)

  • I could never say no to scalloped potatoes. Especially scalloped potatoes with ham!!! Or bacon….mmmm….

  • This is feel-good home cooking at it’s best. I love potatoes and ham together.

  • I absolutely love scalloped potatoes and your recipe here, with 3 cheeses and ham, is making me hungry! Great recipe!

  • I love scalloped potatoes, but I don’t eat it often enough to verify a purchase of that fun mandelin!

  • —Caroline,
    This is the ultimate comfort food.
    It brings me all the way back to Easter at Grandma Pearl’s house.
    You Rock! Seriously. X

  • I love this. It looks and sounds divine! Jarlsberg, Havarti, and Aged White Cheddar… WOW!!!

  • This looks like the perfect cold night food to cuddle up with! Good job grammie.

  • This recipe reeks of German goodness to me…love it!

  • I’ve been missing my grandma today…I love this post Caroline! Everything about it – the story, the cheesy goodness, the ham, the potatoes. A wonderful comfort food. I just may make this for our next family gathering. I’ve been looking for a good new cheesy potato recipe. :)

  • Love your blog!

  • Oh yum, cheesy goodness there! Have a super weekend :)

  • Oh the cheese is just calling me. I haven’t had scalloped potatoes in such a long time. But I think it’s time I do and I will make certain to try this recipe when I get ready to make it. Delish!

  • This looks like perfect comfort good. And just the type of thing a grandma would bring to the table. Thanks Sue! :)

  • Mwaaah, ham, cheese, potatoes – it’s like the perfect comfort food. Glad to see another mandoline user. Way too few people have these. First time I used mine I sliced off half my finger-nail because I decided to be a “tough-guy who doesn’t need a finger guard” – d’oh :p

  • I mean talk about southern and comforting and down right delicious. I really don’t have any other words but AMAZING

  • Family recipes are the best – it always amazes me how one dish can bring out all sorts of memories of a person, place, or time. And this one looks almost decadent in it’s cheeziness.

  • I can feel the love in this! Ultimate comfort food and your memories make it even more special. My son would absolutely love this! And, I’m sure I’ll be dipping my fork into this too!!

  • That’s a great comfort food!

  • This dish looks so universally good! I cannot imagine anyone who wouldn’t like it. I must make it one day! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  • Oh. My. This looks so good. Anything with Ohio roots is bound to be delicious…right? :)

  • I’m already a fan of your grandma! She’s so cool making this at 82 years old. I want to be a grandma like that one day…. :-) It must be nice to raise a daughter who enjoys cooking and now granddaughter… I love potatoes and this type of food is very comforting to me..

  • I’ve not even had breakfast yet and I’m imagining eating a plate of this cheesy goodness and being in heaven! I love eating traditional dishes from recipes passed around the family. These must have tasted even better made for you by your mum.

  • How can anything in the world look this good?! Thanks Caroline’s mom! The cheese browned and oozing is the best picture ever. My daughter will go CRAZY for me adding ham…such a fab idea.

  • I haven’t had scalloped poatoes for so long! Although I made a cauliflower cheese tonight…actually it was an overload of a tris of cheeses! Your family recipe looks great!

  • I could go for some of this right about now.

  • What a hearty and delicious looking dish. Love that it comes from your grandma and that she still cooks for you?! How wonderful is that…

  • Scalloped potatoes are the best! Thanks for sharing your recipe – they look so yummy! :-)

  • Great grandma you have, indeed it is unusual for an 82 yr old to make good food. That looks so rich, so cheesy, i love it

  • Kim

    A mess of cheese – I love that! You seem to really love cheese :D

  • This looks AWESOME! Well done.

  • Love Grandma’s recipes, they have the best recipes! This looks delicious and very flavorful. I bet I could get my 5 year old to eat this, can’t wait to try it!

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