Funeral Potatoes

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Cheesy, delicious Funeral Potatoes: a staple for potlucks or holiday celebrations! Frozen hash browns are tossed in an irresistible cream sauce and baked to gooey perfection with a crisp, crunchy potato chip topping.

Love potato side dishes? Us too! You’ll go crazy for our Au Gratin Potatoes, Smashed Potatoes, or Baked Potatoes. (a “secret” method makes these potatoes in half the time!)

Is There Another Name For Funeral Potatoes?

Yes! This casserole dish is also known as cheesy potatoes, hash brown casserole, cheesy hash browns, party potatoes, or great potatoes. This traditional potato hot dish (or casserole) is popular in the American Midwest and Intermountain West.

Overhead image of Funeral Potatoes

Are Funeral Potatoes A Utah Thing?

This cheesy potato dish originated in Utah! And, as a native to Utah I’m well accustomed to Funeral Potatoes. And while, gratefully, I haven’t attended too many funerals, I have had my fair share of these potatoes. So I can say truthfully this recipe for Funeral Potatoes is the absolute best I’ve ever had!

While they’re often served on a holiday table, you’ll also be sure to find them at just about any gathering of people in Utah. Or elsewhere, for that matter!

This side dish is pure, cheesy comfort food — packed with shredded potatoes, a luscious cream sauce, and a crispy-crunchy topping — what’s not to love?!

QUICK TIP

Funeral Potatoes–the delicious side dish with the curious name–got their name for good reason. When a friend passes away, there is often a dinner held after the funeral. Various friends or church members pitch in dishes, and these potatoes are a crowd favorite. They often appear at funerals…and people started referring to them this way!

Process shots-- images of the shredded potatoes being thawed

What Funeral Potatoes Are Made Of

Frozen hash brown potatoes make up the base which is a nice shortcut (no need to wash, peel, or shred potatoes).

Typically, this recipe calls for canned condensed soup, but we prefer making the cream base from scratch. Not only does it taste way better, but it’s not too much more work and you’ll know exactly what’s in your dish.

And finally: a crispy, crunchy, and salty topping of kettle potato chips, melted butter, and Parmesan cheese. Another option (and perhaps the most traditional way to prepare Funeral Potatoes) is with Corn Flakes. But, we prefer the kettle chip topping! Pick your crunch!

Process shots of Funeral Potatoes-- images of the butter, garlic, onion, seasonings, and flour being added to a pot and being sautéed

What Kind Of Potatoes Go In Funeral Potatoes?

This Funeral Potatoes recipe calls for prepared, frozen hash browns!

We’ve tried many different types of hash browns and our favorite remains plain and shredded, not seasoned or cubed.

Ore-Ida® has been a favorite in testing (not sponsored).

QUICK TIP

If you’d prefer to make Funeral Potatoes with fresh potatoes, try out our Cheesy Potatoes recipe instead!

Process shots-- images of the creamy base ingredients being cooked together

How To Make Funeral Potatoes

  • Start by setting out the hash browns to begin thawing. I like to pop the bag in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute to start the process. The less frozen, the better they bake!
  • Prepare the cheesy cream sauce. We start with a roux (butter plus flour) and gradually add in some milk and chicken broth. Once the sauce is nice and thick, we mix in some cheese–creating the perfect creamy, cheesy sauce to bathe the hash browns in!
  • Stir everything together and transfer to a 9×13-inch pan, cover with foil and bake.
  • Add the topping: Mix crushed chips with butter and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole and bake again!

Process shots of Funeral Potatoes-- images of sour cream being mixed into the sauce and then the sauce being poured over the hash browns

Making Funeral Potatoes For A Crowd

These potatoes were invented to feed a crowd! In fact, I have personally made these potatoes for over 100 people. Here’s how:

  • Each cheesy casserole feeds about 12-15 people (as a side dish). So, to make funeral potatoes for 100 people, make seven of these casseroles. Prepare the topping ahead of time as well, but don’t add it to the potatoes yet. Store it separately in air-tight bags in the fridge for up to a day.
  • Before baking, set casseroles out on the counter for about an hour to come up to temperature. Then cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until hot. Remove foil, add topping and bake until topping is golden and cheese is bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. 

Process shots-- images of the topping being made

VARIATIONS

Variations

  • We created this Funeral Potatoes recipe without corn flakes, but we’ve tested it with them as well. Use equal amounts (2 cups) crushed cornflakes instead of potato chips if desired. A panko or breadcrumb topping is also an option here; again 2 cups of panko is perfect.
  • To make Funeral Potatoes with chicken (similar to Chicken Divan), either serve some grilled chicken on the side, or mix through some diced rotisserie chicken. I’d add the chicken after the initial bake time right on top of the hash browns and below the crunchy potato-chip topping.

Process shots of Funeral Potatoes-- images of the topping being sprinkled on top and baking it again

Funeral Potatoes FAQs

1What are Funeral Potatoes?

Funeral potatoes are a cheesy potato casserole made with frozen hash browns and loads of cheese. The casserole is topped with a crunchy topping — corn flakes, potato chips, crumbled crackers, or bread crumbs.

 

2Why are they called Funeral Potatoes?

Funeral potatoes get their name from their association with funerals. Being the ultimate comfort food and easy to prepare and transport, these potato casseroles are a popular dish to bring to gatherings after funerals and other potluck events.

The are also sometimes called “church potatoes” as they are a popular dish at various religious get-togethers, particularly throughout Utah and the Midwest.

3Who invented Funeral Potatoes?

While no one knows for sure who created this dish, it has been attributed to a women’s organization (called the Relief Society) within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

4Who likes Funeral Potatoes?

This dish originated in the Midwest and Intermountain West areas, but has spread across the country. You’ll find these potatoes at funerals (hence the name), potlucks, gatherings, holidays, etc. They’re pure comfort food!

5At what temperature do you bake Funeral Potatoes?

This recipe for Funeral Potatoes calls for the oven to be set at 350 degrees F. This will ensure tender potatoes on the inside and the perfect crunch on the top.

6What cheese should I use in Funeral Potaotes?

We use these two cheeses in this recipe:

  • Sharp Cheddar — or extra sharp. Sharp (and extra sharp) indicates a more aged cheese that will deliver a richer and more pungent flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese. This cheese adds such a nice savoriness, saltiness, and complementary flavor to the Cheddar. It also adds a final layer of “seasoning” to the dish.

Images of the freshly baked Funeral Potatoes

STORAGE

Can You Freeze Funeral Potatoes?

Yes, you can freeze this casserole! Prepare as directed, but leave off the topping. Cover tightly and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Add an extra 5-10 minutes to initial bake time, adding the topping after that first bake.

Storing Leftovers

These potatoes store well for about 5-7 days in the fridge, but the potato chip topping will soften and become soggy. If you don’t intend on finishing the entire casserole in a day, only add topping to what will be used at one time.

Up close overhead image of the Funeral Potatoes

What To Serve With Funeral Potatoes

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Funeral Potatoes

5 from 4 votes
Cheesy, delicious Funeral Potatoes: a staple for potlucks or holiday celebrations! Frozen hash browns are tossed in an irresistible cream sauce and baked to gooey perfection with a crisp, crunchy potato chip topping.
Print Recipe

Funeral Potatoes

5 from 4 votes
Cheesy, delicious Funeral Potatoes: a staple for potlucks or holiday celebrations! Frozen hash browns are tossed in an irresistible cream sauce and baked to gooey perfection with a crisp, crunchy potato chip topping.
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword funeral potato recipe, funeral potatoes, funeral potatoes recipe
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 -15 (as a side dish)
Chelsea Lords
Calories 447kcal
Cost $5.67

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 bag (28-32 oz) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose, white flour
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups (6 oz) 175g freshly grated sharp cheese (Note 1)
  • 1 cup sour cream (Note 2)
  • 2 cups kettle-cooked potato chips (Note 3)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (Note 4)
  • Fine sea salt & pepper

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside. Pull the hash browns out of the freezer; microwave in the bag for 30 seconds. Dump into a strainer set in the sink to thaw a bit while preparing the rest of the dish.
  • SAUCE: Melt 6 tbsp. butter to a large pot over medium-high heat. Once melted, add in diced onions, garlic, and seasonings to taste (I add 1 up to 1-1/4 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper, but add to preference). Stir occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir constantly for 1 minute -- don't let it brown. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking briskly and constantly to keep the sauce smooth. Gradually add in the chicken broth while whisking.
  • SAUCE CONT.: Bring mixture to a boil and let boil for 3 full minutes. As mixture is coming to a boil, stir frequently and then stir constantly as it boils. After 3 minutes, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, simmering until nicely thickened, about 3 minutes (Note 5). Remove pot from heat and let cool for 2 minutes. To the pot, gradually add in the Cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring gently to melt. Add in the sour cream and mix through until smooth.
  • BAKE: Finally, add in the hash browns and stir until coated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • TOPPING: While the potatoes are baking, prepare the topping. Add potato chips to a large bag. Seal without air and crush to coarse crumbs with the bottom of a frying pan or with a rolling pin. Measure to get 2 cups and add to a bowl along with Parmesan cheese. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and drizzle over potato chip mixture. Stir to coat.
  • BAKE AGAIN: Remove the foil, sprinkle the topping evenly over the potatoes, and continue to bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top and bubbling around the edges, about 15-20 more minutes. Broil for 1 minute if desired. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy promptly!
  • STORAGE: These potatoes store well for about 5-7 days in the fridge, but the potato chip topping will soften and become soggy. If you don't intend on finishing the entire casserole in a day, only add topping to what will be used right away.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Cheddar cheese: Grate the cheese fresh; already-grated packaged cheese will give the sauce a powdery texture and won't melt as nicely. (Pre-grated cheeses have a powder coating to keep shreds from clumping in the bag.)
Note 2: Sour cream: We recommend full-fat (low-fat/fat-free can occasionally break the sauce).
Note 3: Potato chips: This is our favorite topping, but you can also use 2 cups crushed corn flakes or 2 cups panko breadcrumbs.
Note 4: Parmesan cheese: Packaged grated Parmesan (in the can) is very salty and won't melt as nicely in this recipe. We highly recommend grating a block of Parmesan cheese on the small holes of the grater for ultra-fine cheese shreds. Alternatively, use finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Note 5: Thickness check: The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Lift up the spoon and immediately trace a line across the back of the spoon with your fingertip. If the line retains a clear track, the sauce is thick enough. If not, the sauce needs to be cooked a bit longer.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 514mg | Potassium: 521mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 816IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 372mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of funeral potatoes before! This looks so good though! I have to try them for dinner this weekend, thank you!

  2. If I plan to cut the recipe in half, do I bake for the same amount of time as the full recipe? Can’t wait to try these, they look so good!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve been making the previously posted recipe for funeral potatoes for a few years now (requested every thanksgiving by the in-laws) so I’m sad to see it’s changed. I’m always down to mix it up so I hope this holds up, it has big shoes to fill!

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