The Best Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

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These vegan scalloped potatoes taste like creamy, cheesy, garlicky layers of potato pillows that melt in your mouth! No dairy needed for this gourmet, flavor-packed holiday side dish!
Prep 50 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Total 2 hrs 20 mins
5 from 16 votes

While mashed potatoes might be the most popular holiday potato recipe, these Vegan Scalloped Potatoes are my absolute favorite holiday potato recipe.

They are basically creamy, cheesy, garlicky potato pillows melting in your mouth, and I want to sing from the rooftops “This dish is amazing! Make it now!”.

Unlike many standard scalloped potato recipes (e.g., bland), this one is packed with so much good flavor, from caramelized onions and an herb-infused béchamel sauce, to a little chili heat and loads of savoriness.

Bonus: while these potatoes are certainly comfort food, you can eat a good amount of them without feeling weighed down. They’re dairy-free, vegan, nut-free, and easy to make gluten-free and soy-free.

Table of Contents
1. Why this recipe works
2. Ingredient notes
3. Step-by-step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. Frequently Asked Questions
6. Recipe card with notes

cheesy vegan scalloped potatoes in casserole pan with slice being lifted up by a spatula

Why this recipe works

Gourmet flavor

Most traditional scalloped potato recipes are heavy on the dairy but skimpy on the flavor. It’s just potatoes; a roux from butter, flour, and milk; salt and pepper; and (sometimes) cheese.

Rest assured, these vegan scalloped potatoes have been supercharged with flavor using a few techniques.

flavor tips for scalloped potatoes

  • Herb-infused milk. Instead of using plain milk, I simmer the milk with a bundle of fresh sage, thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf (a bouquet garni), along with a touch of nutmeg, cayenne, peppercorns and salt. The infused milk is so much better.
  • Add aromatics to the roux. Adding a diced onion (and garlic) to the buttery roux makes a HUGE difference, infusing each bite with the savory sweetness that only caramelized onions can bring.
  • Amp up the savoriness. Some classic recipes contain cheese, an umami-rich ingredient. To bring deep savory flavors to the forefront, I use (a) a generous amount of nutritional yeast, which adds an incredible cheesy flavor; (b) white miso, which lends a more complex savory flavor; and (c) optionally, vegan parmesan, which takes the dish over the top.

Perfectly cooked potatoes

One of the most common complaints about scalloped potatoes is that they don’t cook evenly: some potatoes are super soft, others a bit crunchy and undercooked.

Why this happens: The potatoes are sliced too thick (1/4″) and/or (2) the dish is cooked for just 1 hour.

In our first three tests, we baked the dish for 1 hour, and all three had some undercooked potatoes, especially the version with 1/4-inch thick slices.

Do this instead: (1) Slice the potatoes 1/8″ thick. This is SO easy and quick with a mandoline. We use this inexpensive handheld mandoline and it ensures even thickness on each slice.

(2) Bake the dish longer: first, covered with foil for 1 hour (to prevent burning and enable steaming), then uncovered for 20 minutes (or up to 30 minutes).

closeup shot of cheesy vegan scalloped potatoes in casserole pan topped with chives

Ingredient Notes

Yukon gold potatoes. These have great potato flavor and are starchy but not overly so, so you end up with flavor-forward, saucy scalloped potatoes. In contrast, Russet potatoes have little flavor and absorb a lot of liquid, so they eat up the sauce and it turns dry.

Full-fat oat milk. We had the best results with a full-fat oat milk, like the one from Oatly or the creamy oat milk from Califia.

Substitute: A creamy cashew milk would also work. But we think soy milk is too naturally sweet (even the unsweetened varieties) and almond milk is not creamy enough.

Fresh herbs. A trio of sage, thyme, and rosemary infuse the milk with a deep herby flavor. Around the holidays, many grocery stores will sell these three herbs together in a package called “poultry herbs.”

Substitute: If you don’t have all three herbs (sage, thyme, and rosemary), just use one or two.

Vegan butter. Scalloped potatoes are typically made with butter, and vegan butter works like a charm here, adding rich buttery flavor.

Substitute: You can use extra virgin olive oil instead.

Nutritional yeast. A half cup sounds like a lot, but remember we have 4 pounds of potatoes! The natural glutamate in nooch will really amp up the savoriness in this dish. We don’t recommend substituting this!

Onion and garlic. These amp up the flavors in a traditional roux and make this dish 10x better (we tried a version without them and were underwhelmed).

Dijon mustard. Adds an ever-so-slight tang that cuts through the rich creaminess of this dish. 

cheesy vegan scalloped potatoes in casserole pan with slice cut out

Step-by-step instructions

Add the milk, bouquet garni (fresh herbs tied together with kitchen twine), nutmeg, cayenne, peppercorns, and salt to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and gently simmer on low for 7-8 minutes. Strain the milk, discarding the aromatics and herbs.

Make the sauce. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion in a bit of vegan butter until fully golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the rest of the butter and cook the garlic and red pepper flakes for 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the flour and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes until it’s a bit pasty.

Gradually pour in the infused milk, whisking as you go.

Simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until it has thickened, then whisk in in the nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, and miso.

Layer half of the potatoes (peeled and sliced 1/8″ thick) in a greased 13×9″ (33×23 cm) baking pan in an overlapping fashion, about 3 layers. Season the potatoes pretty well with salt and pepper.

Add half of the sauce on top.

Spread the sauce out to the edges using a silicone spatula.

Add the remaining half of the potatoes in overlapping layers, and season with salt and pepper.

Add the remaining half of the sauce on top of the second layer of potatoes and spread out.

Top with vegan parmesan cheese, if using.

Bake at 400ºF/205ºC for 1 hour, covered with foil. Uncover the foil and rotate the pan by 180º. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is deeply golden brown and potatoes are fully softened.

hands with yellow oven mitts placing a pan of vegan scalloped potatoes down on a brown table.

Top with a bit of flaky sea salt and chopped chives. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

slice of vegan scalloped potatoes topped with chives on green plate

Tips for making vegan scalloped potatoes

Use a creamy plant-based milk.

We need to replace the high-fat content of whole milk, and I found the best option was full-fat oat milk (we love the one from Oatly or the creamy oat milk from Califia).

Yukon Gold Potatoes are the best for flavor and texture.

As mentioned earlier, Yukon gold potatoes have more potato flavor than Russets and have just the right amount of starch.

In our test, the version with 100% Yukon Gold potatoes was noticeably more flavorful and saucier than the version with 50% Russets & 50% Yukon Gold.

Slice potatoes with a mandoline.

The key to perfectly baked scalloped potatoes are thin slices, 1/8″ (.3 cm) thick.

To speed up prep time and ensure uniform slices that bake evenly, a mandoline is your best best.

We use this inexpensive handheld mandoline and it works like a charm (affiliate link). If you don’t have one, you can try the slicing disc of your food processor if it slices thinly enough (or slice by hand, but it is more time consuming).

Let it rest!

If you immediately slice into this dish, it’ll burn your mouth. So there’s that. Also, the flavors still need a bit of time to meld together.

Plus, resting the dish thickens it and “sets” those casserole-like layers. This is especially important when using Yukon Golds, as they have a higher water content than Russets and need time to rest

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make vegan scalloped potatoes gluten-free?

Just use a gluten-free all-purpose flour in the roux (we like King Arthur’s). Or you could try using half the amount of cornstarch (2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons).

What brand of vegan parmesan do you recommend?

Our favorite is from Follow Your Heart! It’s sold at Sprouts, Whole Foods, Vons, Foodtown, Target, and smaller specialty stores. It doesn’t have a weird artificial taste and melts SO good in this recipe.

I don’t have vegan parmesan. Can I still make these?

Yes, definitely! Even without the parmesan, this dish still looks remarkably cheesy and bubbly on top when removed from the oven, and thanks to a generous amount of nutritional yeast, it has some pretty good cheesy vibes.

I don’t have kitchen twine to make the bouquet garni. What can I do?

Just add the herbs to the milk and strain the milk as instructed. The twine just makes it easier to fish out the herb bundle at the end.

Can I omit the miso to make this soy-free?

Yes. You’ll miss out on some savory complexity of flavor, but this dish still has a lot of flavor going for it. Also, be sure to use a soy-free vegan butter.

Can I use Russet potatoes instead?

We recommend Yukon Gold potatoes for the best flavor and sauciness. That said, you can use half Russets and half Yukon Golds and it’ll still be good (just don’t use all Russets – they will absorb a lot of the sauce and make this dish much drier).

How do I store and reheat leftovers?

Store leftovers, once cooled, in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Transfer to a heatproof baking dish or food storage container, cover with foil, and reheat at 350ºF/175ºC for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Can I make vegan scalloped potatoes ahead of time?

Sure, you can bake them up to 3 days in advance. Once cooled, cover the baking dish tightly with foil (or use a pan that has a lid) and refrigerate.

On the big day, cover the pan with foil and bake at at 350ºF/175ºC for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are warmed through. For a crispier top, remove the foil after 20 minutes and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.

How can I turn this into a main dish?

Grab your favorite vegan sausage (I like Beyond Meat hot Italian and Field Roast Italian) and brown it in a pan. Layer it on top of the potato layers before adding the sauce! If you do this, reduce the salt in the sauce.

What should I serve with scalloped potatoes?

If it’s a big holiday meal, this Vegan Wellington would make an epic pairing! Or, a stuffed winter squash, like this Creamy Lentil Stuffed Butternut Squash or Wild Rice Stuffed Squash.

For something lighter, a green salad or some steamed or roasted broccoli, asparagus, or green beans would be great. For a heartier salad, try this Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad, or just peruse this list of 30 sublime salad recipes.

If you have my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook, the Lemony Asparagus with Gremolata, Garlicky Broccoli, Sicilian-Style Chard, Sweet and Spicy Braised Red Cabbage (all in chapter 4) would be nice veggie choices!

closeup shot of cheesy vegan scalloped potatoes in casserole pan

Looking for more vegan holiday side dishes?

cheesy vegan scalloped potatoes in casserole pan with slice being lifted up by a spatula

If you love these Vegan Scalloped Potatoes, please be sure to rate and review them below! Your feedback is always so valuable :)

The Best Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

5 from 16 votes
These vegan scalloped potatoes taste like creamy, cheesy, garlicky layers of potato pillows that melt in your mouth! No dairy needed for this gourmet, flavor-packed holiday side dish!
Prep Time: 50 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Serving size: 10 to 12

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes*
  • 1 large sprig of sage (8 to 10 leaves)
  • 8 to 12 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups (720 mL) full-fat oat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (or freshly cracked black pepper)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter or extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium-large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 8 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • cup (42g) all-purpose flour**
  • 1/2 cup (35g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste, at room temperature***
  • ½ cup to ¾ cup vegan parmesan (optional but recommended)****

For serving

  • flaky sea salt
  • 1 big handful of chopped chives

Instructions

  • Peel and wash the potatoes. Dry well. Use a mandoline to slice them ⅛” (.3 cm) thick.*****
  • Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Grease a 13×9” (33×23 cm) square baking dish with a bit of oil on the bottoms and up the sides.
  • Make a bouquet garni: tie your sage, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf in kitchen twine. If you don't have twine, leave herbs loose.
  • In a medium saucepan, add oat milk, bouquet garni, nutmeg, cayenne, peppercorns and salt. Bring to a simmer and then turn heat to low and gently simmer for 7 to 8 minutes. Once cooled, strain over a sieve and save the infused milk; discard herbs & aromatics.
  • In a deep 10 or 12-inch frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegan butter or olive oil over medium-high heat. Once melted or hot, add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Stir fairly frequently until the onion is fully golden brown, about 15 minutes. This is key for that deep savory caramelized onion flavor!
  • Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter or oil. Once melted, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is golden and aromatic, stirring frequently.
  • Add in the flour and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes to cook the flour into a paste. Gradually pour in the infused milk, whisking as you go to prevent clumping. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking often, for 3 to 5 minutes, until creamy and thick but pourable (it should coat the back of a spoon).
    Add in the nutritional yeast, mustard, and miso, and whisk until smooth. The sauce should be quite thick at this point. Take off the heat.
  • Add half of the potatoes to the bottom of the prepared baking pan in overlapping layers (it took us 3 layers to go through half of the potatoes). Season the potatoes pretty well with salt and pepper. Top with half of the sauce and smooth it out evenly to the edges with a silicone spatula.
  • Add the remaining potatoes and season again with salt and pepper. Top with the rest of the sauce. Take a silicone spatula and and scrape any sauce stuck on the sides down into the potatoes (this prevents burning). Scatter the vegan parmesan evenly over the top, if using.
  • Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the sauce is bubbly around the edges. Remove the foil and rotate the pan by 180º.
    Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until a fork inserted all the way to the bottom gives no resistance and the top is a bit browned. If they're not quite tender, bake for another 10 minutes.
    Note: The top should be nicely browned by now, but if not, you can briefly stick it under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes (watch closely!).
  • Sprinkle it with a bit of flaky salt and top with the chopped chives. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing. It will thicken more as it rests.

Notes

*We prefer Yukon Gold potatoes for the most flavor. You can also do 2 pounds of Yukon Golds and 2 pounds of Russets, but I don’t recommend doing only Russets. It’ll end up dry.
**To make gluten-free, use a GF all-purpose flour blend or half the amount of cornstarch (2 TBSP + 2 tsp). 
***Keep the miso at room temp so it’s more pliable and easier to incorporate into the sauce. 
**** Our favorite vegan parmesan is from Follow Your Heart. It tastes great and melts wonderfully. 
*****This is the mandoline we use. It’s inexpensive and works amazingly well. It makes the job of slicing 4 pounds of potatoes rather quick. If you have a food processor slicing disc that goes down to 1/8″, you could also use that. 

Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 746mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 438IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 2mg

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36 comments on The Best Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

  1. Abbie

    5 stars
    Oh my god – these were incredible! So much more flavorful than a typical scalloped potato recipe and a total hit with the family!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Abbie!

  2. Jenn

    5 stars
    Again, made this a long time ago during the fall and winter months…I can’t recall the last time I had scalloped potatoes but goodness me this was delicious!

    Definitely making again!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Jenn!

  3. Sarah Wade

    5 stars
    WOW WOW WOW! This dish was outstanding. I’ve always been a fan of scalloped potatoes, but this is just next level. Makes me feel sad for everyone out there eating other scalloped potatoes. These are top tier, best ever, take to the in-laws level good. It was a good amount of work, but you laid out the steps so clearly and that helped so much. Cannot wait to eat these again and again!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Sarah. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  4. Barb C

    5 stars
    You knocked it out of the park with this recipe Nisha!! Gravy is scrumptious and so flavor able..

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Barb. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  5. Joanne

    5 stars
    I made this for Christmas. I had fresh sage but all the other herbs and spices were dry. I just dumped them all in the milk, then strained them out to make the roux. But I followed the directions exactly (other than the bouquet garni). I didn’t think there was enough sauce, or that just two layers of it were going to penetrate all of those potatoes, and it was way too thick. BUT, (oh, me of little faith) it was fabulous! Tender, tasty, sublime! I’ve been reheating leftovers for lunch and it’s delish. Thanks for the great recipe, Nisha!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Joanne. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  6. Araya

    5 stars
    Loved it! thank you, i would have never tried this but the way you went step by step and talked about the journey was what got me started and interested to try it out. Mustard and miso really added the depth of flavor to this dish! It was super soft, and creamy, with crunch from the edges and the bit of the top. And of course, it was delicious!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Araya! We’re glad you loved the scalloped potatoes!

  7. Hanna

    5 stars
    Made this today and i am amazed! I had scalloped potatoes loads of times at my grandmas and moms and those are way better and vegan :)) I’m in love. definitely gonna make this again. Thanks for all the work you put in for this!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hanna, So glad to hear you loved this recipe! You’re so welcome for writing it :)

  8. s

    5 stars
    I used the sauce part for a pot-pie with all the veg odds and ends I had left in the fridge and it worked so well! Tastes even better the second day.

  9. Sarah D

    This was heavenly! Such a deep savory, lovely, intoxicating dish. We made it with the mushroom Wellington and around the dinner table on repeat… “this is so good!” It did take some time to prep… but food that tastes great takes time. I love that it’s not a throw together in 20 minutes dish. I will reserve it for special dinners.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      That’s so great to hear, Sarah! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  10. dory la dame

    5 stars
    Amazing! I only had russet potatoes and saw the note about it only later or else I would’ve made twice the amount of sauce. I also swapped half the potatoes with rutabaga as I had to use it up. I used dried herbs, cos it’s just impossible to get fresh ones and it was still amazing!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Dory, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  11. Heather Roffey

    5 stars
    Made this for Christmas dinner. As advertised, potato pillows that melt in your mouth. I really appreciate the extra details of Nisha’s recipes. For example, oiling the inside of the 13 x 9 dish allowed the little potato pillows to jump onto my spatula with no resistance. The mandoline was a huge time saver and made every mouthful homogenously scrumptious. I was a bit worried that I did not have enough onion roux because I was unable to spread it to the sides of the dish for the middle and top layers. However, the final creation was perfectly browned and the lack of roux on the edges was inconsequential. Salted chocolate tart for dessert completed our Rainbow Plant Life Christmas dinner.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Heather. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  12. živa

    5 stars
    Thank you for this great recipe, my family loved it, I did however have to use at least double the amount of oatmilk to make enough sauce. I could not find full fat oatmilk at the store so I just used regular and maybe that had something to do with it!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe, Živa! And interesting, we’ll have to look into that. Thanks for letting us know!

  13. kelly

    What if we can’t find fresh herbs?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Kelly, you can use dry herbs but you’ll need to use much less because dried herbs are significantly more potent. Use 3/4 tsp dried sage, 2 1/2 tsp dried thyme, and 1/4 tsp dried rosemary. Enjoy!

  14. Gretchen

    5 stars
    Turned out amazing and I loved the flavor of it. Before, I’ve never been a fan of scalloped potatoes because they were always so boring and bland. Your recipe is a game changer :)

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so happy to hear that, Gretchen! Thanks for trying the potatoes!

  15. Marie

    Hi! I really want to try this recipe and was wondering; Is it possible to substitute fresh herbs for dried herbs? Thank you!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Yes, Marie! You can use dry herbs but you’ll need to use much less because dried herbs are significantly more potent. Use 3/4 tsp dried sage, 2 1/2 tsp dried thyme, and 1/4 tsp dried rosemary. Enjoy!

  16. Tania

    What brand of nutritional yeast do you use? I tried another recipe for scalloped potatoes that included a similar amount of nooch and it was awful. I used Sari. So I’m gunshy now of using it and wonder if the brand you use would taste better.

    1. Nisha

      Hi Tania, it could be the brand! I like using Bragg’s, Anthony’s, or Frontier Co-op brands.

  17. Dana Lawlor

    Hi! This sounds amazing and really want to try for Xmas. Can I make in advance and reheat? Oven space is at a premium!! Thanks so much

    1. Kristen

      From the FAQ above: Can I make scalloped potatoes ahead of time?

      Sure, you can bake them up to 3 days in advance. Once cooled, cover the baking dish tightly with foil (or use a pan that has a lid) and refrigerate. On the big day, cover the pan with foil and bake at at 350ºF/175ºC for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are warmed through. For a crispier top, remove the foil after 20 minutes and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Dana, yes you should be good to make it a day ahead! Sorry for the late reply!

  18. s

    5 stars
    I had everything on hand and tried it (with some added eggplant slices) and it was SO GOOD. I’ll make it for Christmas :D

    just an FYI you wrote “uncovered” instead of covered in the first dark box where you write about slice sizes.

    1. Smriti

      I am planning to make this for Christmas lunch this year as well. Thanks for leaving a comment- feeling motivated and excited now!

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