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. I needed this one last week when I was requested to make these for….a funeral luncheon.

    I will squirrel this recipe away for the next time. Or, maybe just make it for a non-funeral event. 🙂

  2. YUM! I personally prefer cubed potatoes over the hashbrown style, so if someone can’t find the hashbrowns or doesn’t have time, try that. They seem to have more substance…both really are SO good though!

  3. Do you think these would work in a slow-cooker?

    I received my OBB cookbook last week and my family LOVED the bacon wrapped chicken kabobs. But really, how can you not love something wrapped in bacon?

      1. I’ve done them in the crockpot before…I can’t remember how long though (I know not all day, maybe 4 hours on low?). The come out great. They do come out a little moister (soupier) when cooked in the crockpot. So if you like the crispy brown edge and crispy toppings stick with the oven.

      2. I do them in the crockpot for 4 hours on high. I also prefer them to be made with potatoes o’brien!!!! It makes such a huge difference. The plain potatoes taste kind of bland now, by comparison. I would skip the onion step. I just dump it all in a big bowl and stir it up. I’m actually making this tonight for dinner. It is the main thing by adding cubed black forest ham chunks to it. SOO good!

  4. These potatoes are one of my husband’s favorites!! I usually make them for Easter, but also for Father’s Day. Breakfast on Father’s Day. My husband always wants them served with french toast and sausage, it’s his favorite meal!!

    I sometimes make a version with shredded cooked potatoes instead of frozen hash browns (not because I have a problem with convenience foods–trust me) and they are very good also!!

    Hope you girls are doing well. xoxo 🙂

  5. I had NO IDEA these were the famous Funeral Potatoes! I only tried them a few years ago when a coworker brought them to our company Christmas party & I fell HARD for them!

    The first time I made them myself I popped open a can of cream of celery by accident and decided to use it– it’s all I’ve used since. I also LOVE topping them with French’s Fried Onions. When I store leftovers I blend it all together and it just makes an extra oniony flavor– not soggy.

    1. I agree, cream of celery all the way! cream of chicken is just yuck, imo, and cream of mushroom gives a much different flavor. but cream of celery is perfection! Though I say the more corn flake topping the better! lol

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