Scalloped Potatoes, Lightened Up

Most classic versions of this all-time favorite potato dish aren’t very figure-friendly, especially with boatloads of heavy cream and mounds of cheese. There are a few tricks to lighten things up—here’s how.

Provencal Potato Gratin

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Food Network

Tara Donne, Food Network

Most classic versions of this all-time favorite potato dish aren’t very figure-friendly, especially with boatloads of heavy cream and mounds of cheese.  There are a few tricks to lighten things up—here’s how.

The Culprits

Classic versions of scalloped potatoes contain cups of half and half or heavy cream, piles of cheese, some pats of butter and sometimes even bacon or ham. Here’s a breakdown of the calories and fat:

  • Heavy cream (per cup): 830 calories, 89 grams fat (remember, many versions call for TWO cups)
  • Half-and-half (per cup):  310 calories, 28 grams fat
  • Grated Gruyere cheese (per cup):  450 calories, 35 grams fat (again, many recipes call for two cups)
  • Butter (per tablespoon):  100 calories, 12 grams fat
  • Bacon (3 ounces): 450 calories, 36 grams fat

On top of the ingredients listed above, don’t forget the star ingredient — the potatoes, of course.  If the recipe serves 6, this would bring the calories to at least 550 and 40 grams of fat per serving.

Simple Swaps
There are several ways to lighten things up.  Here are some ideas:
  • Instead of heavy cream use a combination of whole and low fat (1 percent) milk. Using half-and-half will save you more than 50 percent of the calories over using heavy cream or use a combo of the two.
  • Instead of drowning your potatoes in cheese, use about 1 to 2 tablespoons per person. Choose Gruyere, Swiss or Parmesan -- a sprinkle goes a long way.
  • Instead of bacon or ham, choose Canadian or turkey bacon and aim for about 1/2-ounce portions per person or just skip the meat altogether.
Recipes to try:
TELL US: How do you lighten up your scalloped potatoes?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

Keep Reading

Next Up

5 Ingredients or Less: Eggs In A Basket

Also called “eggs-in-a-hole”, “birds nest,” “eggs-in-a-blanket” or “frog-in-a-hole”, this fun breakfast fave was served up to my kids on their first day of school. With less than 5 ingredients, it’s an easy and stress-free dish to cook up on a school day.

Farro with Cheese and Herbs — Meatless Monday

I'd like to introduce you to your new favorite grain, farro.

Fun With Fondue

Food Network's savory and sweet fondue recipes are quick-to-prepare snacks or light meals, so grab a fondue fork and start dipping. Get the recipes.

5 Calcium-Packed Delicious Dishes

Are you getting enough calcium? Turn to diet first to get your recommended daily dose of (or as much calcium as possible) before popping a calcium supplement. Here are 5 recipes to help you do so.

Meet the Macaroni and Cheese Made with 10 (Yes, Really) Cheeses

Believe it or not, Sunny's decadent recipe is both simple to make and easy on the wallet.

Casseroles 5 Ways

A one-stop meal, casseroles make an easy weeknight dinner (and next day lunch). But many recipes call for cups (yes, cups!) of mayo, cans of creamy soup or lots of heavy cream—you may as well have “911” on redial for the after dinner coronary. Here are our top 5 lighter casseroles that’ll keep your waist slim and your heart in tip top shape.

Pairing Cheese and Wine

Putting cheese and wine together successfully is a little more challenging than it might seem, although these simple tips will help ensure enjoyable pairings.

Halloumi — Off the Beaten Aisle

Sometimes called Greek grilling cheese, halloumi is just that — a dense cheese that holds its shape and won’t drip through the grates when grilled.

It's National Cheese Lover's Day! You Can Eat Cheese as Part of a Healthy Diet

It’s true: You can have your cheese and eat it, too, especially on this national food holiday.