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Funeral Potatoes

Here in Utah, there are few dishes that are more mocked… and secretly loved, than Funeral Potatoes.  I think they had some other name once upon a time, since I doubt anyone creates a dish, then names it anything so Debbie Downer as Funeral Potatoes.

When someone dies, it is a tradition that after the funeral and graveside services, the family returns for a meal made and served by the women of the neighborhood.  Since Funeral Potatoes are delicious and so easy to make for a large crowd, they became a staple at large gatherings and potlucks.  And I think someone noticed along the way that there was rarely a funeral without this potato casserole… so Funeral Potatoes they became.

They were also a staple at my large family parties when I was a kid.  One of my aunties (or another) could be counted on to bring Funeral Potatoes.  I loved them as a kid and I still think they are deliciously awesome now.  They are good old comfort food.

If you are a foodie… you may want to skip my post today.  This dish contains Cream of Chicken Soup (or Mushroom if you prefer vegetarian) and Corn Flakes.

Start with hashbrown potatoes.  You can bake and cool russet potatoes, then grate them.  Or you do what I did, and buy preshedded hashbrown potatoes.  Buy the kind that are not browned.

I was making four times the recipe last week.  A wiser person would have made it in smaller batches, but I quadrupled the recipe in one LARGE bowl. At 2 pounds of potatoes per batch for a whopping 8 pounds of potatoes,  it was a great workout for my biceps.

Here is the other reason this dish tastes good- 2 cups of cheddar cheese.  I prefer sharp.  If that looks like more than 2 cups, it’s because it’s 8 cups!  That’s quadruple for you.

Since I was making such a big batch, I forgot to take a picture of the “sauce” ingredients together in a bowl.  I was also crying my eyes out over my very strong grated onions.

In a separate bowl, add 1 can of Cream of Chicken soup, 1 pint of sour cream (I never said this is low fat!), 1/2 cup of grated yellow onion, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.  Stir ingredients together until well combined.

Fold into the potato and cheese mixture, until well combined.

Place 1 -1/2 cups of cornflakes in a bag and crush them with a mallet or rolling pin.  I tend to like the no name brands of cornflakes better, since they are more crunchy.

Pour 1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter over the cornflakes and stir well.

Press the potato mixture evenly in a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Top with cornflake mixture and spread out evenly.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

These potatoes are best served warm, but can be served at room temperature.  They are crunchy, cheesy and delicious.  You can choose to leave off the cornflake top, but I love the added texture and crunch.

Don’t wait for a funeral to try these yummy, crowd pleasing potatoes.  If you take them to a potluck, you don’t even need to mention their name ; ).

Here’s the recipe:

Funeral Potatoes

2 pounds hashbrown potatoes (unbrowned)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 pint sour cream
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup (Cream of Mushroom soup can be substituted for a vegetarian option)
1/2 cup grated yellow onion (or minced very fine)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cup crumbled corn flakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl combine cornflakes and butter.  In a separate bowl combine other ingredients.  Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Top with cornflake mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

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17 Responses to “Funeral Potatoes”

  • We grew up calling them Nauvoo Potatoes until we moved to Utah. Slowly we started referring to them as Funeral Potatoes until my dad, who has spent some of his career as a mortician, said he didn’t like them being called Funeral Potatoes. Now the names are used interchangeably. :) I love these potatoes. We’ve done a few variations with them. You can use O’Brien potatoes (hashbrowns with red and green peppers in them) or you can use bread crumbs rather than the cornflakes if you don’t have any cornflakes on hand. Whatever it is–funeral potatoes are delish!

  • Jenn:

    I love these too – I know them as Schwartie,s Potatoes or Schwartz potatoes. We use mushroom soup and cubed hashed browns. I haven’t made any in years – thanks for the inspiration on a cold and dreary day!
    Jenn

  • Teresa:

    We Catholics have that tradition, too. I think it’s pretty common for many faiths!

  • Sharon Scott:

    I’ve made this dish for years and it’s a favorite with family and friends!! It’s funny that you call them funeral potatoes. In our circles here in Iowa, we call them Party Potatoes. :)

  • My grandma always made these for family gatherings. Someone usually ends up making them now that she’s gone. We call them Cheesey Potatoes. They are delicious!

  • kathy:

    In the south this is hashbrown casserole. We love it no matter what it is called! I’ve nver topped it with anything. That is a nice crunchy surprise.

  • Jan:

    I have the exact same recipe from my Mothers collection, but hers is called Potatoes Delicious :-)

  • Patricia:

    Thank you for the recipe and the idea of using your own baked potatoes. The dish is in the oven as I am writing. Only one differnce, no corn flakes soI am trying crushed potatoe chips. If this doesn’t work we can scrape them off. Oh, ham sounded good so that went in the oven also. Now back to sewing.

  • Rachel:

    My mom has made this for years! We call it Hashbrown Bake. Can’t wait until Thanksgiving because she usually makes it!

  • Paula:

    I laughed out loud when I read what you call these potatoes. At our house we named them “heart attack” potatoes because all those ingredients could cause you to have a heart attack….butter, sour cream, grated cheese…..funny! Now we could eat the Heart attack potatoes and have them served at our funeral.

  • Shantel:

    I must try these! Looks delish!!!

  • Risa:

    I make these too, but with Velveeta cheese. I got the recipe from my cousin, and she called them “Church Potatoes” and she couldn’t remember why they were called that.
    I made them for some friends from Texas who were visiting, and in his thick Texas drawl, he said “These potatoes are so good they should be against the law…” So ever since then, we call them “Illegal Potatoes”. :)

  • Tori:

    We call these Cheesey Potatoes in my big family.
    They’ve been at every fall, and winter gathering in my family since I can remember.
    I don’t like to use the canned soup, so I’ve put in a substitute with a recipe for homemade condensed cheddar cheese soup!
    That makes it extra cheesey, but insanely good. My one cousin who was helping me make them put panko on top with crush Ritz crackers! He’s 11 and didn’t want to tell me that we were out of cornflakes so he came up with a substitute. Which worked out very well, all my aunts changed their recipes for that topping and the soup recipe with the title “to add more love”

  • Janet:

    While living in Idaho and Montana, they were also called ‘funeral’ potatoes. Since I don’t like that name, we call it “Cowboy Spud Bake”. Usually don’t have cornflakes on hand, so we just top it with some of the grated cheese from recipe. Can use 1/2 plain yogurt with 1/2 sour cream.

  • Caedwin:

    Since there’s only 2 of us, I’m wondering if you can freeze the leftovers?

  • Deana:

    We also have these potatoes in Alberta, Canada. They taste great with baked beans as well as anything else you may want. Love the different names that are coming up. We know them as funeral potatoes but my kids call them Cheesie Potatoes except my one son always called them Cheesie Pot. Couldn’t understand why till I looked at my recipe card and I had abbreviated potatoes into pot. That’s how some names come to be I guess.

  • Lori:

    I have had many variations of this great recipe also. We also changed the name to party potatoes since we serve them at so many family dinner parties!

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