Potato Casserole aka Funeral Potatoes

If you insist on making Funeral Potatoes, then you need a good recipe. I think that my Aunt Stella’s recipe is probably the best I have tasted. You will notice that NO frozen hashbrowns are present in the casserole. She boils, peels and shreds red potatoes. This makes such a huge difference in the outcome of your dish. Something else that will make your funeral potatoes taste better is using cream of chicken soup opposed to cream of mushroom soup (vile). I promise you your casserole will taste better and the color will be more appealing.

The most recent funeral I attended served a potato casserole in which the frozen shredded hashbrowns were still frozen. Not a good taste. At my Grandmother’s funeral my potato casserole had “rotten” cheese used to prepare it. The smell was worse than the taste. With that in mind, remember to use a good quality sharp cheddar cheese. A good quality cheese will melt nicely without curdling.   With that said, let's make funeral potatoe.

The ingredients for potato casserole.  Notice the "real" potatoes.  No boxed frozen shreds in my casserole.

First you want to boil or steam the red potatoes.

I like to use a scewer to test the potatoes.  When the potatoes are not longer hard, but soft.  Remove from the heat.

Drain off the water and allow to cool completely before peeling.  If you don't let them cool, you will burn your fingers.

Peel the red potatoes. 

Grate the cooled potatoes.  Look at that awesome grater.  It is just like the grater that my Grandmother used to use.  It has very large grates.  It's awesome.  I found it in an antique store for about $5.  What a find.

That is one huge pile of spuds.

Place the grated potatoes in a HUGE bowl.

Here are the players for the sauce.  I forgot to picture the 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.  DO NOT forget the salt.

In a medium size saucepan, add the sour cream and cream of chicken soup...glop.

Add the butter, onions and salt.

Stir the mixture until you have a nice creamy...um...glop.  Bring to a simmer. 

Add the shredded cheese.  I'm using a nice sharp white cheddar cheese. 

Stir the mixture together.  Remember the cheese does not have to melt all the way.

Stir 2/3 of the glop over the shredded potatoes and gently stir the two together.  You don't want to be rough with this because the potatoes will break up and I don't think you want that to happen.

Spread the potato mixture in a large buttered baking dish.  Check out this dish.  It's Emile Henry.  It's made in France.  Awesome bakeware. 

Story:  I went to France to visit my daughter, who was going to school in Paris.  We went into a cooking store and found a HUGE Emily Henry baking dish.  Larger than this red one.  It was beautiful and the cost, believe it or not, was just as beautiful so I bought it.  When my husband saw that I had purchased this huge dish, he informed me that it wouldn't fit in my suitcase and that he was NOT going to carry it around for me.  I informed him that I had NEVER asked him to carry it.  I lugged that gorgeous dish on a train and through the subway system and then onto an airplane.  I still have it and it was worth every heavy step.  Some day I'll let you see it.

Spread remaining 1/3 glop onto the potato mixture.

Smooth over the potatoes.

Time for the crunchie topping.  Take 1 cups cornflakes and two tablespoons melted butter.

Put the cornflakes in a ziplock bag.

Take a rolling pin and crush them.

Pour the melted butter into the bag of crushed cornflakes.

Shake the bag to mix the butter and cornflakes together.

Sprinkle over top of the potato mixture.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the potatoes are bubbling.  I like to put the baking dish on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Just in case it bubbles over.  This way my nice clean oven doesn't get messy.

Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes before serving. 

Here you have it!  Potato casserole.  The first recipe completed in our throw down.  Next....

Potato casserole aka Funeral Potatoes

4 lbs Red potatoes
¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
½ lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons salt


1 cup crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons melted butter.

Wash, boil, cool, peel then shred the potatoes. Set aside. In a medium-saucepan mix and heat the butter, soup, sour cream, onion and salt. Cook until butter is melted and sauce in smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. The cheese does not have to be completely melted. Stir 2/3 of the mixture into the shredded potatoes. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with corn flake topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes uncovered.

To make the topping, mix crushed corn flakes with melted butter. Reserve for potato casserole topping.


  1. Steven Barton4/3/10, 11:54 PM

    Just in time for Easter!

  2. I didn't know we had a family recipe for funeral potatoes. The last time I had to make funeral potatoes I forgot to buy corn flakes so all I had on hand on a Sunday was panko, so I buttered them, and they were awesome. The only good part of the dish. Anyhow, I was wondering if you were taking requests? Since I moved here I have not made a decent chocolate chip cookie. This whole altitude thing has been hard for me. I need help.

  3. hahaha - I've used Rice Krispies before. Anything works that will give it a crunch. Matt suggested Frosted Flakes or cap'n crunch. I know what you are talking about with altitude. It's a huge issue. I have a chocolate chip cookies recipe that really works. I made a new oatmeal cookie recipe (for Matt) and they were a total bomb. I forgot to make altitude adjustments. Send me your e-mail and I'll forward this recipe. I'll do some recipes for us folks that are almost a mile high.

  4. These look fabulous! The only thing that would make it even better would be to make your own cream soup base....since you've already gone above and beyond with those potatoes. :) The recipe that works for me is: 1/2 cup butter, 6T flour, 2c milk, 2 cubes chicken bouillon (or 1 c heavy cream & 1 c chicken broth). Tastes so much better than canned soup! I found you through Pinterest....I just tried your unbelievable bread recipe and it turned out AWESOME & it was so easy! Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your tip on making your own cream sauce. This recipe happens to be a staple at most of my church functions. I'm not going to lie...I hate it. I don't use "cream of anyhing". Your recipe will help this recipe quite a bit. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I remember this delectable dish, but with frozen hash browns. i can't wait to make it with real potatoes! Wonder why red instead of russet or yukon gold? Also I don't like chicken, why nor cream of mushroom? Your thoughts, Janet? BTW this is the best blog ever!!!

    1. I have had this recipe made with several variations depending on who is making the dish. You can use any potato you would like. I just happen to like reds, but russet and yukon work just as well. Same goes for the soup I have had it with cream of mushroom...just not a fan. Just make it the way you like it. Thank you for you comment and compliment. You're the best.

  6. Being a resident of Utah, you become a connoisseur of funeral potatos. This is the best recipe for funeral potatos. Recently at a funeral, and there were 3-4 differnt servings none matched this one. Regradless, in Utah it isn't a proper send off without them

    1. BAHHHHH!!! That's for the fun comment. I loved the "proper send off"...so true. I'm so glad your funeral potatoes were the best. I think it's all in the butter and red spuds. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I have trouble knowing when the potatoes are cooked just enough. I seem to overcook and wind up with mushy potatoes. Any secrets to knowing when to stop cooking the potatoes?

    1. Hmmmm. Cook them just until the edges begin to bubble and the topping is a bit brown. Make sure the center is nice and hot. Hope this helps.

    2. I believe she's asking how to determine when the PREBOILED potatoes are at the right stage without being overcooked.

    3. I generally just poke them with a wooden scewer. When the screw goes in easily and they are no longer hard, I drain them. You may want to undercook yours slightly, if you are having troubles with them being mushy.

  8. Thanks for this recipe! My mom has a recipe that uses Cheddar Cheese soup instead, and frozen hash browns. Very yummy! However, I'm overseas and can't find the frozen potatoes, so I needed a recipe to do it from scratch! So glad someone has the guts to post one!

  9. This is a delicious recipe! I looked it up again in preparation for an Easter dinner. Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Your welcome. Thanks for commenting.

    2. Hi - it's "unknown" again. :) I'm wondering if the recipe calls for 1 cup corn flakes or 1 1/2 cups corn flakes. I see both listed in the post, and I can't remember what I've used in the past. Thanks, again! (this time I'm making it for a family reunion)

    3. Thanks for catching the error. It's one cup. However, you can use 1 1/2 cups if you like a lot of crunch on top. Have fun at that family reunion.

  10. Do you think this could be 'baked' in a crockpot instead of the oven? If so, any thoughts on that?

    1. I have not tried this in a crockpot. I suppose you could...I'm not sure exactly how long it would cook. Until it's bubbling I guess.

  11. I live in Norway and I have been feeling a bit homesick lately. This was like having a taste of home (but better, don't tell my mom!!). I'd only ever had these (known as Cornflake Potatoes in my hometown in Western New York) made with frozen, cubed hash-browns and less soup and even though it's a lot more work with the red potatoes, it was worth it! This recipe is fantastic and I will make it again! When it came out of the oven my Norwegian husband said "Cornflake potatoes...only in America..." but he LOVED them!

    1. I'm sorry you are homesick but you made me laugh about wanting "cornflake potatoes". My best friend's mom was from Norway. Many of my childhood memories are the wonderful smells coming from her kitchen. I hear Norway is beyond beautiful. I'm happy you were able to make something from home. These are a joke around my house and a staple at Mormon funerals and any holiday. I have told my family if they serve funeral potatoes at my funeral that I will haunt them all!