Funeral Potatoes

CATEGORIES: Meatless, Oven Baked, Potatoes

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.

Our Best Bites Cheesy Funeral Potatoes

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.

Cheesy Funeral Potatoes Ingredients
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…

onions and garlic

and saute until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

sauté onion and garlic

While the onions and garlic are sautéing, combine together the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, salt, and pepper.

ingredients in bowl

Remove the pan with the garlic and onions from heat and add the thawed hash browns, the sour cream mixture, and the cheese…

ingredients in skillet

Combine the ingredients well.

mixed ingredients in skillet

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.

Baked Cheesy Funeral Potatoes

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.

Cheesy Funeral Potatoes Up Close

(For the sake of nostalgia, here’s what these looked like back in 2011 when we originally published this recipe…)

Cheesy Funeral Potatoes from Our Best Bites

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Funeral Potatoes in a skillet

Funeral Potatoes


Cheesy and comforting, this casserole is the perfect side dish for a holiday dinner (or a funeral.)


  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.



  1. If you need to make your own hash browns, I would recommend boiling the potatoes a bit first. If you grate raw potatoes, they turn color rather quickly and tend to taste gummy. If you grate potatoes that are boiled until they are about half cooked, they grate easily, you don’t need to squeeze out the water, and they are fluffier. Just my 2 cents.

  2. YUMMY potatoes!

    that’s what MY family calls this delicious treasure. I might just have to volunteer myself to make these for Easter this year.

    I am seriously drooling right now – as in, all over my keyboard.

    now i’m super hungry! hehe

  3. I love this recipe and often add bits of bacon or ham to it to make it more of a main dish. I always top mine with crushed ritz crackers.

  4. I just made these yesterday and wrote a post for Tablespoon about them. So funny! They are good. I’m not sure if funeral potatoes is just Mormon lingo or not but that’s what we call them!

      1. This recipe is called “hash brown casserole” in my neck of the woods here in NW Kentucky. They are on a lot of restaurant menus in this area.

  5. LOVE! I make these all the time. There my husband’s favorite.(they’re a great I-want-something weapon) My recipe only has 1 cup of sour cream, but increases the butter to 1/2 a cup! YUMMY!! Oh, and I never use canned cream of chicken soup either. I make my own substitute…it taste a lot better and I know what’s going into it. 🙂
    I think these are on the menu for this week…I’m needing a new sewing machine. 😉

  6. Oh my… these are one of my favorite potato dishes. We like them with extra “crispies”. Meaning, we like to let the edges and top get extra browned and crunchy! Topping is optional for me to. It’s great along side a grilled steak too!

  7. Hi- we can’t get frozen shredded has browns in the UK. They look like grated potato with the excess water squeezed out- but are they raw or cooked? I guess with the over cooking I could do this with grated raw potato, what do you think? Thanks!

    1. Perdita–Yep, they’re just grated potatoes! 🙂 You can just parboil a few potatoes, peel them, push them through a food processor, then push out all the extra water. If you try it, let us know how it works! 🙂

      1. I have made these with boiling the potatoes then running them through the food processor. It was delicious but not worth the extra time. You have to be sure to let the potatoes completely cool prior to grating them. With the time it takes to boil, peel and clean up the food processor I find it’s a lot easier to buy a cheap brand of shredded potatoes because there is not that much flavor improvement for the extra work (and I was using fresh from the farm Idaho potatoes)

      2. I saw a super interesting way to par-cook shredded potatoes (thanks Lucinda Scala Quinn!) that ALSO prevented them from turning pink while you were shredding great piles of them. Shred them into a bowl of really HOT (not boiling, but close) water, then when they’re all shredded drain them and squeeze out the excess water.

    2. Hi there!
      I’m in the UK and I make Funeral Potatoes regularly! I used to parboil the potatoes and then grate them – such a faff! And SO MESSY!! Now I buy McCain’s Frozen Hash Browns and just let them thaw before I use them. They come in portioned ‘patties’ (like if you buy them for breakfast in McD’s!), but once they’re defrosted, I crumble them up with my fingers!

      It works like a treat! :o)

    3. You need to cook them. You can boil whole potatoes for about an hour or until tender the whole way through, run cold water over them and let them cool. Peel and grate. Or I have used left over baked potatoes that you peel and grate as well. You will need about 10 potatoes.

    4. I’ve made this for years by baking the potatoes in the microwave and then grating them on a cheese grater. Personally, I think it tastes much better with the home-cooked potatoes than with the packaged hash brown potatoes.

    5. My best advice is to par cook (whether boiled or in the microwave) and cool the potatoes before shredding. This makes them easier to shred and eliminates the raw potato taste.

    6. I used to make these without frozen hash browns, I boiled whole potatoes until done, then grated them . If you do this you only have to cook them about 20-30 minutes.

    7. You can cook them for a shorter time because they will finish cooking in the oven. But I never like them raw, they turn brown. Hope yours turn out and Merry Christmas.

  8. Oh- I could eat an entire pan of these myself!! Here is my topping two-bits. My mom, in a desperate situation, ended up throwing Honey Bunches of Oats on top and it has become our family’s secret weapon. So crunchy and yummy! Also, my MIL boils potatoes and then chunks them. Super yummy that way too! Now I can’t wait for Easter!!

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