Funeral 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

Funeral Potatoes in a skillet

Funeral Potatoes

5 from 1 vote
Cheesy and comforting, this casserole is the perfect side dish for a holiday dinner (or a funeral.)

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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 9x13" (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.
Author: Our Best Bites
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I love this dish. I didn’t know it as “funeral potatoes” until my mid 20s, though. My mom’s recipe literally has about a pound of butter in hers!! So this one will be much healthier. (or that’s what I’ll tell myself!) I am also in the camp of the crunch on the top in the form of cornflakes, of course doused in more butter! I think I’ll try this recipe instead of mom’s this Easter. Thanks!

  2. I’ve seen a few variations of this recipe before. I seem to remember the last one I tried having you cook the hash browns before mixing it all up and putting in the oven. Do the potatoes get cooked enough in 60 min so they aren’t too crunchy and raw tasting? I hope so, because this would be a lot easier!

    1. As long as they’re completely thawed, they’ll be done in an hour. I agree, it’s way easier that way! 🙂

      1. I dont thaw the hashbrowns when I make it (which is often), and they’re still completely cooked, hot and delicious in an hour. But it’s true the real potatoes taste even better… 😉

  3. I adore funeral potatoes. I have a friend whose family calls them sunshine potatoes instead. Either way, they are delicious! I have made them in the crockpot before for the post-church lunch. I was actually really crunched for time so I mixed them up, put them into the crockpot, threw the whole thing in my deep freeze and then that night before I went to bed I threw them into the base and cooked them on low all night. It worked like a charm.

  4. I love this recipe but have to say it is so much better with fresh potatoes. Just boil, peel and shred and they have so much more flavor and the texture is divine! A little more work but since the rest of the recipe is so easy I think it is definitely worth it! Love your site and just got your cookbook…so great!

  5. Hahaha. I just got finished recommending your blog to a few friends during lunch, saying, “It has a good balance between easy and healthy. Like they don’t use canned soups.” I get back to my desk and see this recipe. Oops. At least it is easy and tasty.

  6. gotta love the classic funeral potatoes 🙂

    Also, I got your cookbook for my birthday and I am in love! Love your blog and the book . . . you guys are awesome!

  7. For the love of all that’s holy! I just gained five pounds reading your post! Love this dish. My mom would always end up cutting up leftover Easter ham and mixing it in with the potatoes.

  8. It’s so funny because last night I happened to stop on Paula’s Best Dishes on TV and she was making a version of funeral potatoes but with crushed potato chips on top. I thought, oh no, you need corn flakes. LOL. I just scrape them off on my leftovers. :o) I love these!

  9. This looks like my mom’s recipe, except she adds in green onions. I have to admit, cream of soups are like my best friend.

  10. Sorry…I still can’t do the cream of… soup LOL! I usually just add in some plain ole’ cream to ease the mixing. Yeah, not a low fat alternative, but it works. 😉 These are so good. Now I’m craving them!

  11. We call these “Texas Taters” and use Southern Hashbrowns (the cube-shaped kind) rather than grated. My college-age daughter asks for these EVERY time she’s home and we send a container mixed, but not baked, back with her every time.

  12. I take all the wet ingredients and melt them together in a pot and then pour over the potato mix. I know – another pan to wash but it seems to make the potatoes a lot creamier. And I am definitely a no topping person.

  13. We love these at our house too. I add a shake or two of rubbed sage into the mix…yummy!

  14. I love me some “Yummy potatoes” as we call them in our family, though I can’t do it with frozen hashbrowns, YUCK! Has to be freshly boiled potatoes grated! I grate them in my Bosch cheese grater but used to do it by hand because it’s that important! We also use a whole stick of butter and make sure those onions are golden brown, it gives the best flavor to it! I have used dried onion soaked in water for 10 minutes then saute and it well too if you don’t have fresh around. Can you tell this is my comfort food! LOL! So glad it made it on your site!

  15. Funeral Potatoes!!! LOL! We call this hashbrown casserole!!!!! Like from cracker barrel!!! I love it! French’s Fried Onions go well as the topping, too… lol 🙂

  16. I just found your blog yesterday after seeing your Mormon Moms in the Kitchen cookbook on Amazon, so I got a bit of a giggle seeing a funeral potatoes recipe here this morning. Funeral potatoes are the ultimate Mormon moms recipe. 🙂

    Seriously, though, I love these potatoes. I pretty much only have them on Christmas and Easter (unless there’s a funeral…), so they’re not only a comfort food but also associated with good times with my family. And they’re delicious! I use cream of celery soup in mine.

  17. Ha ha! Where I am from we call these wedding potatoes! They are so yummy whatever you call them!

  18. I love funeral potatoes! I get a craving for them at least once a month. I do use a topping, but it’s not crunchy, so it’s works well in the leftovers. We just melt butter and mix that with the corn flake crumbs and put it on top. I don’t like to use the shredded hash browns though. I prefer the cubed ones. I had a roommate that refused to use store bought hash browns, so when we made it, she insisted we boil the potatoes and shred them. It worked great.

  19. Until I started participating in the blogging world I had never heard this potato casserole called “Funeral Potatoes”. But even with the cream of ‘what?’ soup these potatoes are such comfort food to me!

  20. Love these potatoes, but I love to add a little bit of ranch to these it just gives it a little kick!! GREAT JOB on the new website I love it!!!

  21. “The funeral is optional” hahaha!

    1. I can’t believe you broke our cream-of-something soup streak.
    2. It’s totally worth it for funeral potatoes- and I wouldn’t use anything else, even homemade! The can is a must.
    3. My recipe is exactly the same except I include an entire stick of melted butter. Hahaha- that can only improve it, right?? lol

  22. These are seven million times better if you use fresh potatoes, boil them, cool them and grate them! Gotta love funeral potatoes. I talk about them on my blog a lot and people that aren’t from Utah have a hard time understanding how amazing they are!

  23. I put french fried onions in the mix and then on top just before they are done

  24. I don’t wait for a special occasion to make these yummy potatoes. For my family of 3, I will mix up a whole batch, bake 1/2 and put the other 1/2 unbake in a ziplock freezer bag. That way I have some for another dinner. When ready to use, just thaw and bake as usual. They are just as good.

  25. lol, this is a great recipe and I think that the canned cream of soup is okay in moderation, it really does add a lot of flavor easily and you can use the reduced fat/sodium kinds as long as you use the name brand and they’re still good. I use it in my easy pot pie recipe too. I also think it’s funny that you never thought of them for breakfast. We go down to SLC for work meetings every 3 months and we stay in a hotel right next to a Cracker Barrel, the first time I went there for breakfast I asked one of my coworkers who had been there before, what the hashbrown casserole was and her reply “do you know what funeral potatoes are?” lol, they are everywhere and yes everyone has their own version. A dear friend of mine always makes her version of scalloped potatoes for our Scout troops Christmas dinner, this last year she gave us the recipe and I think it’s very similar. Her’s are the only scalloped potatoes I’ve ever liked. I need to go find that recipe now…

  26. I’ve grown up on these! I’ve never used pre-packaged hashbrowns before. I’ve always boiled whole potatoes, cooled them, and then shredded. I can see how using pre-made would be a huge time saver though!

  27. I love potato casserole! Ours is pretty similar, with a few changes…we do use a crunchy topping (cornflake crumbs), but ours never gets soggy. I think it’s because we go the extra step and actually BUY a box of Cornflake Crumbs. Anytime I’ve tried crushing the cereal myself…it’s gross. But the boxed crumbs are perfect, and they stay crunchy even for a week after. We also mix the crumbs with melted butter before putting them on, so they get nice and toasted in the oven.

    The only other change is that we use green onions instead of yellow or white. They add a really great kick to the flavor. And you’re right…it’s the BEST side for a ham!

    1. We use cornflakes with the butter too! We don’t even crush them. I think it might be my favorite part of the casserole! I also sometimes throw in some cayenne, just enough that my kids don’t notice, and parsley from our garden.

    2. How did you ever discover they stay crunchy for an entire week? These never last past a couple of days at my house!