Funeral Potatoes may sound like a depressing dish, but this cheesy potato casserole recipe is nothing but delicious! Hashbrown potatoes are coated with a creamy, cheesy sauce and baked with a buttery, crunchy cornflake topping to create an irresistible potato casserole that everyone loves!
This is one of those recipes that you have to scratch your head and say, how did this name ever stick? The reality is that this cheesy hash brown potato casserole was and remains one of the most popular dishes to bring to a potluck. Seeing as many churches have potluck funeral luncheons, the name Funeral Potatoes came about and stuck.
While I don't care for the name, the dish is downright delicious and it is easy to see why Funeral Potatoes are a favorite recipe to bring to a potluck. Just like mashed potato casserole, they are an easy make-ahead friendly potato side dish that everyone loves!
Reasons to Love this Funeral Potatoes Recipe
- No Canned Soup. No cream of chicken soup, no cream of mushroom soup, no cream of celery soup! Instead, this recipe whips up a super easy, homemade version of cream of chicken soup, leaving the excess sodium and preservatives on the shelf.
- Easy Recipe. Even when you take into account the time it takes to make the homemade sauce, this potato casserole comes together with minimal prep.
- Superior Taste. Made with sauteed onions, butter, milk, and seasoned just right, the creamy sauce that coats the hashbrowns is so much better than anything canned.
- Crowd-Pleasing Dish. For this casserole to be given the name Funeral Potatoes because it was so wildly popular at potlucks, that alone tells you how loved this hash brown casserole is.
Notes on Ingredients
- Hash Brown Potatoes: Use shredded or cubed frozen and thawed hashbrown potatoes for this casserole.
- Onion: Adding a yellow onion to the mix really adds a nice savory flavor to the hashbrown casserole.
- Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup: To make a homemade version of cream of chicken soup, you will need butter, all-purpose flour, milk, chicken stock, seasoned salt (or regular salt), and pepper. It really only takes minutes to make and elevates the flavor in this cozy potato casserole.
- Sour Cream: Sour cream and potatoes are a match made in heaven! The sour cream adds a nice creamy element to the Funeral Potatoes, as well as cuts through a bit of the richness. Use full-fat or reduced-fat sour cream, not fat-free as the consistency is different.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter for making the base of the casserole and for tossing with the cornflakes, to control the sodium.
- Cornflakes: Be sure to use cornflakes, not frosted flakes. You don't want a sweetened topping to your casserole.
- Make it Gluten-Free. To make this recipe gluten-free, replace the all-purpose flour with 1:1 gluten-free flour. Kellogg's Cornflakes sold in the United States are not gluten-free but several brands have options for gluten-free cornflakes.
- Keep it Vegetarian-Friendly. Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth for a delicious vegetarian-friendly hashbrown potato casserole.
- Change Out the Topping. Use butter crackers, such as Ritz Crackers in place of the cornflakes.
- Skip the Onion. If you are short on time or don't have an onion on hand, skip sauteeing the onion and instead add 1 teaspoon of onion powder to the hashbrown casserole base.
- Use Canned Soup. If you don't care to make your own cream of chicken soup, use one 10.5-ounce can of cream of chicken soup in place of the butter, flour, milk, chicken broth, and seasoned salt in the base of the hash brown casserole. You will still need butter for the cornflake topping.
How to Make Homemade Funeral Potatoes
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step One: Saute the onion. Sauteeing the onion in melted butter will help to soften the onion, enhance its natural sweetness, and add a nice flavor to the potatoes.
Step Two. Prepare Cream of Chicken Soup. I promise this is super easy and takes just about 5 minutes from start to finish. Add flour to your sauteed onion and melted butter to form a roux. Then slowly whisk in stock and milk, season, and simmer until thickened. I go ahead and add the cheese now as well so that it melts, but that is not necessary, as the cheese will melt into the casserole as it bakes.
Step Three. Make the Cornflake Topping. Keep it simple and place your cornflakes in a large resealable storage bag. Gently roll them with a rolling pin to lightly crush them. Then add the melted butter right to the bag and toss to coat the cereal with the butter. One less dish to clean up!
Step Four: Assemble the Funeral Potatoes. Combine the homemade sauce, cheese (if you haven't already added it), sour cream, and defrosted hashbrowns together until creamy and well combined. Add that mixture to a buttered casserole dish and then top it with the cornflake topping.
Step Five. Bake. Bake until warmed through and bubbly. Then be prepared to enjoy the creamiest, cheesiest, most delicious hash brown potato casserole AKA Funeral Potatoes.
Funeral Potatoes are a delicious side dish to bring to a potluck, party, or yes, even a funeral luncheon. However, they also make a fabulous holiday side dish. I love serving these cheesy hashbrown potatoes with the Glazed Baked Ham, Instant Pot Ham, Roasted Turkey, Instant Pot Turkey Breast, and New York Strip Roast.
Make Ahead Instructions
You can get a jump start on these funeral potatoes, by assembling the hash brown base of the casserole up to 2 days in advance. You do want to wait to add the cornflake topping until right before baking so that it stays nice and crunchy.
To prepare Funeral Potatoes in advance, prepare the casserole up to adding the cornflake topping. Cover your baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours. When ready to bake, remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature as the oven preheats to 350 degrees F. Prepare and add the cornflake topping to the hasbrown potatoes. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the casserole is warmed through and bubbly.
More Delicious Potato Casserole Recipes
- Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole
- Mashed Potato Casserole
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- Homemade Scalloped Potatoes
- Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole
If you tried this recipe for Funeral Potatoes, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
For the Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for greasing baking dish
- ½ large yellow onion minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 1 cup milk any fat percentage
- 1 ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese fully thawed
- ½ cup sour cream
- 26 ounces shredded or diced hash browns thawed
For the Topping
- 3 cups cornflakes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 baking dish with a bit of butter.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a large heavy-duty saucepan. Once melted, add the minced onion and cook until the onion has softened about 4-5 minutes. Be sure to stir often. Whisk the flour into the butter and onion mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for a full minute.
- Slowly whisk in the chicken stock to the roux. Once the stock is fully incorporated, whisk in the milk and season with seasoned salt and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling gently, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until smooth. Stir in the sour cream.
- Add the thawed hash browns and gently fold the mixture together until well combined. Transfer the hash brown mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
- Place the cornflakes into a large storage bag, and gently crush them with a rolling pin. Add the melted butter to the bag and toss to combine the cornflakes with the butter. Sprinkle this topping evenly over the casserole dish.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until hot and bubbly around the edges. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.