So we kind of have this unspoken rule around OBB that we don’t have recipes with Cream of Something soup in them.  And I totally adhere to that in my own cooking 99.9% of the time–it’s just not my thing, you know?  However, there are times and places and sometimes there are rules that need to be broken.  The time is now.  The place is here. I give you…Funeral Potatoes.

Believe it or not, “Funeral Potatoes” is not actually their technical name–it’s usually something like Cheesy Potato Casserole.  But these are often found served with ham on Easter dinner tables as well as luncheons following funerals which, shockingly, is how they got their name.

Since Easter is coming up and ham is often served at Easter, and since this is my favorite side dish for ham, I had to swallow my feelings about Cream of Something soups.  If you have a little extra time/motivation on your hands, you can always make Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup (make a half batch of the soup for the potatoes recipe), but honestly, these potatoes are so good and so easy and such great comfort food that I wholeheartedly recommend just popping open the can of soup.  C’mon, just one time won’t hurt, right?

So anyway…you’ll need a bag of shredded hash brown potatoes from the freezer section (thawed), a can of cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom if you’re going vegetarian), shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, an onion, a few cloves of garlic, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a little butter.

Preheat the oven to 350 and then, in a large skillet, melt a tablespoon or two of butter over medium heat.  Add a chopped onion and 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic and saute until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Remove the pan from heat and add the thawed hash browns…

some (okay, a lot of) sour cream…

the cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup…

and some (okay, a lot of) shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Toss in some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and then combine the ingredients well.  Spread them into a 9×13″ (or similarly sized) dish.

Now, there is a serious, relevant, and ongoing debate about whether or not Funeral Potatoes should have a crunchy topping.  I am firmly in the “no topping” camp–I love these because they don’t necessarily have to be served immediately and because they make awesome leftovers.  When a crunchy topping is involved, both of those virtues fly out the window because the topping gets soggy.  HOWEVER.  If you want a crunchy topping, you can add crushed cornflakes, seasoned bread crumbs, or even crushed saltines to the casserole before you bake it.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly throughout and the casserole is hot in the center.

You can serve this as a main dish (kind of like mac and cheese, right?) with a salad and fruit or serve it alongside pot roast, ham, or roasted chicken. The funeral is totally optional.

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