Potato stacks are the perfect side dish for a dinner party or holiday meal. They’re made with cream, fresh thyme, garlic, nutmeg, parmesan cheese, and potatoes. The crispy potatoes have a soft, creamy center piled with flavor.

potato stacks

What are Potato Stacks?

This potato dish is the star of any dinner table or holiday meal as it’s similar to scalloped potatoes. The edges of the potatoes become crispy from the metal muffin cups while the center is perfectly tender. Parmesan cheese is an excellent pairing with potatoes, and this dish is no exception. You can substitute your favorite type of melty cheese if you prefer.

If your oven is full of other holiday dishes, you can cook these crispy herb potato stacks in the air fryer or counter oven instead. Even though this side dish is made with humble potato, the flavor combinations in this recipe will have you making this dish again and again.

Looking for an easier potato side dish? Try our Cheesy Baked Mashed Potatoes or Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese.

muffin tin potatoes


You can find these simple ingredients in your local grocery store.

  • Heavy cream: Heavy cream gives the potatoes a creamy flavor and bakes without separating.
  • Thyme leaves: For best flavor, use fresh thyme. 
  • Garlic: Make sure the garlic is fresh and smells strongly of garlic for the best results.
  • Nutmeg: This is a wonderfully warm fall spice. 
  • Russet potatoes: Russet potatoes are ideal for making these potato stacks but you can also use another starchy potato instead. Some great options include Yukon gold potatoes or white, yellow, or purple potatoes. Don’t use small fingerlings or petite potatoes since they won’t hold up as well.
  • Kosher salt: Salt is important for potatoes to balance the starch. 
  • Black pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper adds flavor and a bit of spice.   
  • Parmesan cheese: This hard, strong cheese pairs wonderfully with potatoes.   
ingredients for potato stacks recipe

What’s the Best Way to Slice the Potatoes?

The beauty of these crispy potato stacks are the thin slices of potatoes that create these little mounds.

Mandoline Slicer: The best way to get your potatoes the perfect consistent slices is to use a mandoline slicer. This very sharp tool is used to make thinly sliced potatoes, other vegetables, fruit, cheese, or meat.

You do this by sliding the ingredient along the edge of the horizontal blade on the lowest setting. Be sure to use caution, as you can easily cut your fingers if you’re not careful.

Chef’s Knife: If you don’t have a mandoline slicer, you can use a chef’s knife instead. The safest way to do this is to cut a slice off the bottom of the potato to get it to sit flat on the surface. Keeping your fingers out of the way, make cuts as thin as possible with a sharp knife.

sliced potatoes in a bowl

How to Make Potato Stacks

Here are some brief instructions on how to make these cheesy stacks. You can find the full recipe below.

  1. Prepare a standard muffin tray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Warm together cream, thyme, garlic, and nutmeg in a small saucepan.
  3. Toss the potato slices with salt and pepper and layer them into stacks in the prepared muffin pan.
  4. Spoon the cream over each potato stack and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake until the potatoes are knife tender and golden brown on top.
  6. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and let sit. Run a knife around the edges to loosen up the stacks and carefully remove them to a serving platter.
potatoes with cream in muffin pan

Recipe Tips

Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure you get the best crispy parmesan potato stacks every single time.

  • Garnish! Top each potato stack with a sprig of fresh herbs for a beautiful presentation. 
  • Get the right size potatoes. Make sure you buy medium to small-size potatoes so they fit in a standard muffin pan.
  • No need to peel potatoes. In a hurry? Feel free to leave the skin on the potatoes before slicing them. Just clean the outside and scrub away any dirt.
  • Heavy cream is the key. Do not replace heavy cream with half and half or milk. It will not thicken during baking and you’ll end up with oily potatoes.


You can easily make this tasty side dish with your favorite ingredients. Here are some options you can try:

  • Use other fresh herbs like rosemary or oregano. If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs instead.
  • Melty cheese like gruyere cheese, Havarti, mozzarella cheese, comte, cheddar, asiago, or romano.  
  • Use your favorite seasonings depending on what you’re serving the potatoes with. Try using ginger, cardamom, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, or cayenne pepper. 
stacked potatoes

Other Ways to Cook This Dish

If you aren’t able to use your oven because it’s been taken over by the Thanksgiving turkey, you can also cook these potato stacks in an air fryer or countertop oven.

Simply prepare the potatoes as you normally would in the muffin tin and then pop it in the air fryer at 350 degrees and cook until the potatoes are soft all the way through.

Garnish potato stacks with more parmesan cheese after they come out of the oven for added richness and flavor!

How to Serve

You can serve this elegant side dish with sour cream, chives, or scallions.

You can also serve them for holiday dinner with dishes like:

recipe for potato stacks

Storing Tips

Refrigerate: Store these potato stacks in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. 

Reheat: You can reheat them in 30-second increments in the microwave until they’re heated through.

Freeze: To freeze them, make the stacks in the oven, allow them to cool completely, place them in a single layer in a container, and store in the freezer for up to three months. Potatoes might not have the same texture and taste when thawed.


Do I need to use heavy cream to make potato stacks?

You can make these potato stacks dairy-free with olive oil or bacon fat instead. They will not be as creamy but will have deliciously crispy edges.

What else can I top potato stacks with?

Besides topping them with fresh herbs, you can top them with cooked bacon.

How can I tell when the potatoes are done cooking?

Your fork or sharp knife should slide right through the stack with no resistance when they’re done baking.

Video: How to Make Potato Stacks

More Holiday Side Dishes

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Creamy Potato Stacks with Garlic, Thyme and Parmesan - made in a standard muffin pan, these potato stacks are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Super delicious side for any dinner party! | littlebroken.com @littlebroken

Potato Stacks with Garlic, Thyme, and Parmesan

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 40 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 12 potato stacks 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside, these creamy potato stacks are simple to make, delicious to eat, and really can’t be beat. It’s my new favorite way to serve potatoes for the holidays!


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 lbs. medium russet potatoes (about 4-5), peeled and sliced 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Special Tools


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray 12 cup standard muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small sauce pan, whisk together cream, thyme, garlic, and nutmeg. Bring to a slow simmer and remove from the heat. You want the cream just heated through. Discard the thyme.
  3. Toss the potato slices with salt and pepper and layer them into stacks in the prepared muffin cups, filling each one to the top but not over the top.
  4. Spoon cream over each potato stack, filling almost to the top. You will have a couple or so slices exposed. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are knife tender and golden brown on top.
  6. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen up the stacks and carefully remove them to a serving platter. Serve immediately.


  • Potatoes: Other starchy potatoes can be used instead, such as Yukon gold potatoes or white, yellow, or purple potatoes.
  • Cream: For best results, do not replace heavy cream with half and half or another milk alternative. In my experience, half and half will separate during baking, and potatoes turn out oily. 
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 potato stack
  • Calories: 164
  • Sugar: 1.8 g
  • Sodium: 251.7 mg
  • Fat: 11.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 35.2 mg

Recipe originally published November 2015