Why Are My Scalloped Potatoes Still Hard?

Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by Lauren Beck

There are a few reasons why your scalloped potatoes may still be hard even after cooking them. One reason could be that you did not cook them long enough. Potatoes need to be cooked thoroughly in order to become soft. Another reason could be that you did not use enough liquid when cooking them. Potatoes need to be covered in liquid in order to cook properly. If you did not use enough liquid, the potatoes will not have cooked properly and will still be hard. Finally, it is possible that your potatoes were too old and not as fresh as they should have been. Older potatoes will take longer to cook and may never become fully soft even after cooking them for a long time.

What Causes Scalloped Potatoes to be Hard?

There can be a few reasons why your scalloped potatoes are still hard. Maybe you didn’t bake them long enough, or perhaps you need to adjust your recipe. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why scalloped potatoes can be hard.

Not Enough Liquid

When making scalloped potatoes, it is important to use enough liquid. This is because the potatoes will release starch as they cook, and this starch will thicken the liquid. If there is not enough liquid to begin with, the finished dish will be overly thick and the potatoes will be hard. Additionally, make sure to cook the dish long enough. Scalloped potatoes should be cooked until they are very tender.

Potatoes Not Cut Thinly or Evenly

Scalloped potatoes are potatoes that have been thinly sliced and then layered in a dish with milk, cream, and cheese. They are usually baked until tender. One of the most common problems with scalloped potatoes is that they are not cut thinly or evenly enough, which can cause them to be hard.

Another problem is that the potatoes are not cooked long enough. They should be cooked until tender, but not so long that they fall apart.

Finally, scalloped potatoes can be too dry if there is not enough liquid in the dish. Be sure to use enough milk or cream to cover the potatoes completely.

Wrong Type of Potato

There are three main types of potatoes — russet, red, and white — and each type has different qualities that make it better for certain dishes. For example, russets are better for baking and red potatoes are good for boiling. When it comes to making scalloped potatoes, you want to use either russet or white potatoes.

Russet potatoes have a high starch content, which gives them a fluffy texture when cooked. White potatoes also have a high starch content, but they’re not as dense as russets. This makes them a good middle ground between russets and red potatoes. Red potatoes have a lower starch content, so they tend to be more watery and mushy when cooked.

How to Prevent Hard Scalloped Potatoes

homemade scalloped potatoes

There are several reasons why your scalloped potatoes may be coming out hard. It could be that you’re using the wrong type of potato, you’re not pre-cooking the potatoes, or you’re not using enough liquid. Let’s go over each of these potential problems so you can learn how to make perfect scalloped potatoes.

Use Enough Liquid

If your scalloped potatoes aren’t cooked through, it’s likely because you didn’t use enough liquid. Potatoes are absorbent, so they’ll soak up all the liquid in the dish if there isn’t enough to go around. Make sure to use at least 2 cups of liquid for every 2 pounds of potatoes. You can use milk, cream, broth, or a combination of any of these liquids.

Cut Potatoes Thinly and Evenly

One of the best tips on how to prevent hard scalloped potatoes is to cut the potatoes thinly and evenly. If the potatoes are not cut evenly, they will cook at different rates and some will be overcooked and hard while others will be undercooked and still hard. Ideally, you want the potatoes to be about 1/8-inch thick. A mandoline slicer is the best tool for this job, but you can also use a sharp knife.

Use the Right Type of Potato

The best type of potato for scalloping is the Yukon Gold potato [1]. These potatoes are the perfect size and have just the right amount of starch to make them creamy when cooked. Other types of potatoes, such as Russets, will not produce the same results.

In addition to using the right type of potato, you must also make sure that they are properly cooked before baking them in the oven. Potatoes need to be boiled until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork. If they are not cooked properly, they will not be able to absorb the cream and will still be hard after baking.


After trying different methods and varying cook times, we have come to the conclusion that the best way to cook scalloped potatoes is to preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, cook for 25 minutes uncovered, then turn the oven off and let the potatoes sit in the hot oven for an additional 5-10 minutes. This allows the potatoes to cook through without becoming mushy or overcooked.


Lauren Beck
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