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Wilma's Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

This recipe produces a quick and easy, creamy scalloped potato dish.  Wilma added ham for protein, but you could skip it for a side dish.  She also suggests adding Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan cheese or mustard to change up the flavor.  I like a bit more spice, so I suggest 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper.  But whatever you choose, following this recipe will give you a family-size dish of creamy, cheesy potatoes, with a crunchy crust.  Enjoy, and thanks Wilma!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Scalloped Potatoes
Servings: 12 one-cup servings
Author: Don Herman


  • 4 cups Raw Potatoes sliced
  • 1/3 cup Onion minced
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk see notes
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese grated
  • 3/4 lb Cooked Ham
  • Paprika for color


  • Peel and slice potatoes and place in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.  Drain.

Cheese sauce

  • Melt butter in skillet.  Add onion and saute until translucent.  Add flour, and stir until the flour is cooked and you smell a nutty aroma - about 3 minutes.  Slowly add the milk, stirring until thickened.  Do not boil.  Gradually stir in the cheese until melted and smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and other seasonings as needed.
  • In a greased 2 quart casserole or 13X9" baking dish, alternate the layers of potatoes and ham, while splashing with the cheese sauce.  End with the sauce on top, and sprinkle generously with paprika.
  • Bake at 350F for 1 hour.


What is "scalded milk"?  Do I need it for this recipe?
Scalded milk is just milk that's been heated to just below boiling.  Back in the day, using unpasteurized milk (like milk straight from Wilma's cow on the farm) was a problem in recipes that required thickening.  An enzyme present in unpasteurized milk would prevent that.  If you're using pasteurized milk (and most people do these days), there's no need to scald it for this recipe.
HOWEVER, in baking breads or pastries, scalding the milk performs another function, and this may not hold true.  Check out the notes in my other posts on baking bread to find out why you might want to go ahead and scald your milk before using it.