Take a break from the ordinary baked potato or slaving over thinly sliced potatoes for the perfect homemade potato au gratin. This spicy creamy potato bake is loaded with fresh vegetables, herbs, spices and of course cheesy goodness. It is satisfying, crispy around the edges, and creamy on the inside.
This recipe was not planned as I usually do with most of my recipes. It came about because, due to health reasons, I had to eat soft foods for awhile and I was getting tired of cottage cheese, yogurt and eggs. So I decided to give this a try. My goal was to make something savory that everyone would enjoy and I didn’t want to spend all day making it.
Why I grate my potato
I didn’t want to go through the hassle of slicing and neatly layering potatoes in a baking dish. So I went old school and pulled out my grater. Grating (shredding) the potatoes was much quicker and easier than cutting or adding to a food processor which would still require some cutting. Potatoes have a lot of water so they grate up easily.
How to keep cut potato from turning brown
Raw potatoes, once cut will start to oxidize (turn gray/brown). So to prevent oxidation, you need to act quickly. Before I cut or shred my potatoes, I have a large bowl of cold water ready to go. Once cut, shredded or sliced, I submerge them in the cold water and leave them until I’m ready to use. This also helps to remove some of the starch. Here are a few other tricks
- Wait until the exact time in the recipe before cutting the potatoes. You can peel and slice the potatoes right before you’re ready to cook them.
- Use a glass mixing and baking dish. According to the Idaho Potato Commission, metal or aluminum causes oxidation to happen much faster.
Make it your own
Like I said earlier, this recipe came about by accident (a happy accident) so I used the ingredients that I had on hand. You can have fun and make your own substitutions.
- Milk – I used milk in the recipe but heavy cream is a richer, creamy substitute. It may not be as healthy but if that’s what you have then have at it.
- Cheese – I used Havarti Cheese (my fav) because that’s what I had laying around in my fridge. This recipe will also be great with Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack. These will all give it a sharper more pungent taste.
- Spicy – Scotch bonnet pepper might be spicy for some but it does add to the flavor. If you’re not a fan of hot spicy you can skip the scotch bonnet all together or use a smaller amount.
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram. Comment below with your feedback and if you made any substitutions. Also check out my Instagram page for a short video of how I made this recipe. Here are the ingredients and instructions.
Spicy Creamy Potato Bake
- Shallow baking dish (i'm using a 8×12 baking dish about 2 inches deep)
- 1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes -grated or shredded and soaked in cold water
- 1 Small Sweet pepper -chopped
- 1 Small Scotch bonnet pepper -finely chopped
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic -chopped
- 2-3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme -leaves only
- 2-3 Stalks Scallions -chopped
- 1 Small Red Onion -chopped
- 6 oz. Havarti Cheese -grated or shredded (see list for substitutes)
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Sour cream
- 1 Cup Milk (or heavy cream) -room temperature
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Black pepper
- 1 Tbsp Butter (for greasing baking dish)
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Pour potatoes through a strainer to drain water. Next place potatoes in a clean kitchen dish towel or strong paper towel and pat dry or use a twisting motion to squeeze out excess water
- In a large mixing bowl add potatoes, sweet pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme leaves, garlic, scallion, onion, sour cream, havarti cheese, milk, salt and black pepper. Mix until combined
- Grease baking dish with butter and pour in mixture
- Level out the top and add Parmesan cheese
- Bake at 375°F for 45-55 minutes (uncovered). Cover loosely with foil if the top starts to brown before it's done
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving