Funeral Potatoes (Cheesy Potato Casserole)
If you have never heard of Funeral Potatoes, you are in for a treat! Potatoes mixed with sour cream, butter, white sauce (or a can of soup – I include instructions for both), and tons of cheddar cheese, then baked to perfection with a crunchy corn flake topping. It doesn’t get any better than cheesy potato casserole for holidays! Embrace your middle American roots!
For no good reason, I didn’t make it to the gym a single time last week. So last night I was determined to set everything up to make it easier for me to get out of bed in the morning. I laid out my exercise clothes, my shoes, my earbuds. I set my alarm for 5am…and 5:01, 5:02, 5:03, 5:04, and 5:05, just to make sure.
Then I woke up when it was dark, convinced that my alarm was about to go off any minute (does that every happen to you? It’s kind of amazing how our bodies are like clockwork sometimes.) We don’t have a clock in our room, I always set the alarm on my phone and put it in the bathroom to charge so that I have to get out of bed when it goes off.
So I’m lying awake in the dark, expecting my alarm to go off any minute. And I’m waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Finally I get up to go see if maybe I forgot to set it in the first place, and my phone says that it’s 2 in the freaking morning.
I think I gave myself anxiety about not missing my alarm so my body woke me up 3 hours early. Just to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Thanks a lot body??
Why are they called Funeral Potatoes??
I saw a while back that some company started selling pre-packaged Funeral Potatoes that you can buy in the frozen section of the store. Half their customers rejoiced (who could say no to an easier version of already the easiest side dish ever??) And the other half of the population revolted in disgust because they have no idea what they are. FUNERAL potatoes?? What does that even MEAN?? And your brain starts going weird weird places. Well come on now brain. Get a hold of yourself!
They are just cheesy potatoes, nothing more nefarious than that. They are a classic side dish to bring to funerals when you need to feed a lot of hungry sad people. Hungry sad people could definitely use some cheesy potatoes, I mean right? Also it is stupid easy, super fast to put together, feeds a ton of people, and is cheap to make.
I don’t know if it’s true that Funeral Potatoes originated from women who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ (Mormons), but that’s how the story goes. There’s even a significant number of people searching for “Mormon potatoes” on Google everyday, funny right?
I definitely got this recipe from my Aunt Shirley, so I suppose that seals it. Plus I’ve been eating this dish at church activities since I was a kid. It makes perfect sense that it would come from us. The women’s organization in my church (The Relief Society) is very good at taking care of things like funerals. (What I really mean is that we’re good at taking care of each other.) Who doesn’t want to be taken care of by method of cheesy potatoes?
How to Make Funeral Potatoes (Cheesy Potato Casserole)
Funeral potatoes are basically frozen hash browns, sour cream, cheddar, butter, and cream of chicken soup. Mix it all up and bake with some buttered corn flakes on top. You will be in crunchy cheesy heaven. (OR if you prefer, you can skip the condensed soup and make your own white sauce. I’ve included both recipes below.)
Dreamy potatoes from the frozen section, all ready to go. I’m so glad I didn’t have to peel, chop, and parboil you. I prefer the texture of Funeral Potatoes when the time has been taken to thaw the potatoes for a couple hours, but you can skip thawing if you want. See recipe for more notes.
I don’t really have a problem with cream of chicken soup, (have you ever tried Poppyseed Chicken Casserole?? It’s legit) but it’s true that I usually don’t have in on hand. I always have the ingredients for a simple white sauce though, which is basically what cream of chicken soup is. Using canned soup definitely makes it easier to throw together, and if you are making food for a funeral (or for a heck ton of people) I would say that’s the way to go.
(It took all of my willpower not to pour milk into this bowl and dig in. When was the last time you had a bowl of corn flakes??)
If you are feeding a smaller bunch for Easter (like your family) and you want your meal to be a little more gourmet, take the time to make your own white sauce. Both versions taste pretty similar, to be honest. I made several people taste test them and they could barely tell. It kind of just depends on how you feel about the flavor and ingredients of condensed soup. I’ve included details for both recipes below.
Can you freeze funeral potatoes?
Yes! Just don’t add the cornflake topping beforehand. Make it in a disposable pan so that your kitchenware isn’t being held hostage in the freezer. Cover well (I use plastic wrap and then foil.) and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer and let thaw on the counter for a couple hours before adding the cornflake topping and baking as directed. (Bake times will vary, but plan for at least an hour in the oven.)
Have you guys started planning your Easter menu yet? Check out my Easter recipes board on Pinterest for some ideas! You could also check out all my Easter content on the blog here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an AMAZING recipe for roasted lamb! If you have never roasted lamb before, this is your year. Do it for Easter and wow all your family! It is so good!
More cheesy side dishes you are going to love!
Gruyere Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin << these is one of my favorite Easter side dishes! So simple, so good.
Ultra Creamy, Cheesy, MAKE AHEAD Mashed Potatoes << this one has goat cheese and it’s boooomb (unless people don’t don’t say bomb anymore, in which case…it’s not ;)
Make Ahead Creamy Italian Mashed Potatoes << these use an Italian dressing mix. Such good flavor!
Literally the Best Mac and Cheese I’ve Ever Had << No joke. You will not be sorry.
Jalapeño Popper Cheesy Bread with Bacon << With a little kick to it
Cheesy Potatoes Foil Packs Recipe from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes Recipe from Rachel Cooks
Cheesy Potato Galette from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Funeral Potatoes (Cheesy Potato Casserole)12-16 adjust servings
If you have never heard of Funeral Potatoes, you are in for a treat! Picture this: diced potatoes mixed together with sour cream, butter, white sauce (or a can of soup - I include instructions for both), and tons of cheddar cheese, then baked to perfection with a crunchy corn flake topping. It doesn't get any better than cheesy potatoes for holidays! Embrace your middle American roots!
- 32 ounces frozen cubed hash browns
- 1/4 cup (half stick) butter
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 and 1/2 cups sour cream
For the white sauce
- 1/4 cup (half stick) butter
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the topping
- 1/4 cup (half stick) butter
- 3 cups corn flakes
- Note: The following recipe is for the homemade version making your own white sauce. If you want the recipe using a can of cream of chicken soup, see notes below!
- If you have time, open your package of frozen hash browns and put it in a colander over the sink. Let the potatoes thaw for 2-4 hours. If you let them thaw, the potatoes will turn out slightly softer. If you are in a hurry, you can add the potatoes to this dish completely frozen (I tried it both ways). The potatoes will be slightly more firm but they still taste great. I do recommend thawing if you have time.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray, or rub with butter.
- In a large bowl, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add the potatoes (thawed or frozen) and stir together to coat with butter.
- Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese (pack it well) and 1 and 1/2 cups sour cream.
- Make the white sauce: In a medium skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add 1/2 an onion, chopped. Let the onion saute in the butter for about 3-5 minutes, until they are starting to look translucent.
- Add 2 teaspoons garlic and saute for 1 more minute, until fragrant.
- Add 1/4 cup flour a little bit at a time, stirring constantly. (Incorporate the flour into the butter by stirring, then add a bit more, etc.) Once all the flour is added, continue to cook over medium heat for about 1 minute to cook out the "raw" flour taste.
- Slowly add 1/2 cup chicken broth, using the same method as before. Add a little bit while stirring constantly, and once it is incorporated, at more. Do the same thing with 1/2 cup milk.
- Stir the mixture until all the liquid has been absorbed. You should have a thick white sauce.
- Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Add the white sauce to the potato mixture. Stir it all together.
- Add the potatoes to the prepared 9x13 inch pan. Spread evenly.
- In a medium bowl, melt 1/4 cup butter.
- In a small bowl, add 3 cups corn flakes. Use your hands to crush them a little bit. It doesn't have to be perfect, some larger flakes is okay. Dump the corn flakes into the bowl with the melted butter (and wipe out the small bowl and put it back in the cupboard.) You could also crush the corn flakes in a ziplock bag if you prefer.
- Coat the corn flakes with butter and spread evenly on top of the potatoes
- Bake (do not cover) at 350 for about 40-50 minutes, until some of the corn flakes are starting to brown and it looks bubbly around the edges.
- Let sit for a few minutes to settle and then dig in! This goes really well with ham.
by The Food Charlatan
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