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.
But why 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?
how to make them
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. I’m actually doing the entire thing in a 12″ cast iron skillet which is amazing on so many levels (only dirtying one pan, fun/rustic presentation, stovetop to oven…if you want to learn more about why I love cast iron, check out this post.) Chop an onion and mince 2-3 cloves of garlic…
and saute until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
While the onions and garlic are sautéing, combine together the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, salt, and pepper.
Remove the pan with the garlic and onions from heat and add the thawed hash browns, the sour cream mixture, and the cheese…
Combine the ingredients well.
If you’re not baking this in the skillet, transfer the mixture to a 9×13″ baking dish.
to crunch or not to crunch
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.
(For the sake of nostalgia, here’s what these looked like back in 2011 when we originally published this recipe…)Print
Cheesy and comforting, this casserole is the perfect side dish for a holiday dinner (or a funeral.)
- 1 small-medium onion, diced
- 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1–2 tablespoons butter
- 1 28-30 ounce bag shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
- 1 16-ounce container sour cream
- 1 10-oz. can cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom) soup
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- OPTIONAL: Crushed cornflakes, seasoned bread crumbs, crushed potato chips, or crushed Ritz or saltine crackers
- Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet (or 12″ cast iron skillet), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat. Add the thawed hash browns, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, cheese, salt, and pepper and combine well. Add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
- If not baking in the skillet, spread the mixture into a 9×13″ (or similar) dish and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the casserole is hot in the center and the cheese is bubbly throughout. Serve as a main dish with a salad and fruit or alongside roasted ham, turkey, chicken, or beef. Makes 6-8 main dish or 10-12 side dish servings.