Cheesy Funeral Potatoes — This casserole is creamy, CHEESY, and topped with crunchy Corn Flakes! It’s an easy side dish that feeds a crowd, so it’s perfect for potlucks, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and family gatherings. Just 10 minutes of active prep time make this one of the EASIEST casseroles ever! No funeral luncheon required to enjoy this comfort food family favorite!
What Are Funeral Potatoes?
Don’t let the gloomy name of this creamy, cheesy hash brown casserole put you off! Funeral potatoes are absolutely addictive and are perfect for any holiday or family gathering.
It’s a popular side dish that’s believed to have originated in Utah and is definitely NOT just for funerals or funeral luncheons!
Funeral potatoes are made with frozen hash browns, two types of cheese for extra cheesiness, and sour cream for creaminess, tang, and richness of flavor. Some recipes call for canned soup, but I can assure you there’s no condensed soup in sight in my recipe!
The buttery Corn Flake topping adds some much needed crunch to an otherwise rich, creamy, and cheesy casserole.
It’s a stick-to-your-ribs casserole that’s reminiscent of the hearty fare I grew up eating in the Midwest.
You can assemble the casserole ahead of time in about 10 minutes, then bake it off the next day just before serving. I love having recipes like this on hand for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas so that I can actually spend time with my family day-of and not be trapped in the kitchen cooking!
Make this quick and easy recipe for funeral potatoes for your next holiday party or family gathering. No one can say no to creamy, cheesy potatoes pulled straight from the oven!
Ingredients for Funeral Potatoes
A lot of funeral potatoes recipes call for cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup. And while I don’t mind using a cooking shortcut now and then like condensed soup, I much prefer using a mixture of milk, sour cream, and chicken bouillon to make the base of this casserole.
Otherwise this is a classic funeral potatoes recipe made with Corn Flakes and hash browns.
Gather the following ingredients:
- Hash browns (I use diced hash browns, but you can use shredded)
- All-purpose flour
- Sour cream
- Cheddar cheese
- Colby Jack cheese
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Chicken bouillon
- Corn Flakes
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Funeral Potatoes
When I say this funeral potato casserole is quick and easy, I mean it! It takes about 10 minutes to assemble the casserole, then your oven finishes the job for you. The recipe takes about 40 minutes total time.
Later in this post, I’ve provided make-ahead instructions for this cheesy funeral potatoes recipe.
For now, let’s review the basic recipe steps:
Step 1: Melt the butter in a large pan, then whisk in the flour to the melted butter.
Step 2: Add the milk and stir.
Step 3: Once the sauce begins to thicken, add the sour cream, cheeses, onion powder, garlic powder, chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper.
Full Fat Dairy Only
It’s important in this recipe, as is the case many recipes, to use full fat sour cream, full fat cheese, and use at least 2% milk – although whole milk is what I use.
Reduced fat dairy products don’t have the necessary fat to melt well, or at all, like reduced fat cheese. And lite sour cream is more water than fat which would render this recipe more like potato soup rather than a luscious casserole.
Step 4: Stir the hash browns into the sauce.
Step 5: Spread the hash brown mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Step 6: In a large bowl, crush corn flakes, add melted butter, toss, and then sprinkle the crushed cornflakes topping over the hash brown mixture.
Step 7: Bake until browned and bubbling around the edges before serving! Cooking time will of course vary a bit, just make sure to keep an eye on the Corn Flakes to make sure they’re not burning.
This funeral potato hash brown casserole can be assembled in advance and baked off just before you plan on serving it.
To make the casserole in advance, follow the recipe instructions as written but do NOT add the Corn Flakes topping.
Reserve the Corn Flakes until you plan on baking the casserole, otherwise they’ll become soggy as they sit on top of the hash brown mixture.
You can assemble the base of the casserole up to three days in advance.
I recommend making the topping just before baking the casserole.
Set Out Before Baking
If you’ve decided to prep this comfort food side dish in advance, take it out of the fridge and set the baking dish on your counter for about 30 minutes before baking. It will take a longer time than you think for a well chilled, large baking dish like this one to come up closer to room temp, which is what you want, before you pop it in the oven.
If you bake a cold cheesy potato casserole, it’ll take longer in the oven to bake through. But the Corn Flakes on top will be prone to burning. So better to start with a room temp (or close to it) baking dish.
Leftover funeral potatoes with Corn Flakes on top will last up to five days in the fridge. Wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap to keep the potatoes fresh.
You can also freeze baked casserole for up to 3 months, although a note that the cornflake topping does lose its crispness sitting on top of the creamy hash brown mixture.
Reheat leftovers gently in the microwave before serving.
You’ll want to use pre-packaged hash browns for this recipe. Both cubed (diced) and shredded hash browns will work, so buy whichever sounds best to you.
I typically buy frozen hash browns and then thaw them in the fridge overnight before making this recipe.
You can, but then this easy recipes starts to begin to be a lot more work! If you make hashbrowns regularly, then make and brown them like you normally would before carrying on with the recipe.
If you need to ask how to make homemade hash browns for the recipe, you are the person for whom frozen hash browns were intended. So use those!
Funeral potatoes are classically known to be made with hash browns rather than say mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, or any other kind of potato. Stick with hash browns for the classic recipe and tried-and-true results.
Yep! If you don’t have Corn Flakes on hand or don’t like them, you can replace them with crushed potato chips, crushed Ritz crackers, or even panko breadcrumbs if desired.
However, don’t omit the crunchy topping altogether, as that’s what makes funeral potatoes so special!
You can swap out the Corn Flakes for an equal amount of crushed potato chips, crushed Ritz crackers, or panko breadcrumbs. Use whatever you have on hand or what you like best.
This recipe also goes by the name of hash brown casserole or cheesy hash brown casserole.
Nope! The origins of funeral potatoes are unclear (although most people agree that they were invented in Utah), and while they may have started as a funeral-specific dish, they’re now served at family functions, holiday dinners, potlucks, and more.
I use shredded cheddar cheese and shredded Colby Jack because they both melt quite well and the flavors of both are just perfect for this easy side dish recipe. However, you can mix-and-match the cheese types a bit. If you want to try Monterey Jack instead of Colby Jack, that’s fine. Or shredded American or most any type of common shredded cheese blend, I’m sure everything will work out just fine.
Recipe Variations to Try
Classic funeral potatoes made with hash browns and Corn Flakes on top is my family’s favorite, but there’s definitely some wiggle room in the recipe if you want to change things up!
- Use different hash browns. For this batch, I used cubed hash browns, but shredded will also work.
- Add bacon. You’ll want to cook the bacon until crisp, then crumble into the casserole mixture before spooning it into the pan and baking. Hey, it’s extra protein, right!
- Swap out the Corn Flakes. Try using crushed Ritz crackers, plain potato chips, or panko breadcrumbs instead.
- Use different cheeses. I used cheddar and Colby Jack, but any soft, gooey cheeses will work. Or, use all cheddar or all Colby Jack!
What Goes with Funeral Potatoes?
The funeral potatoes go especially well with the following main dishes:
Other side dishes that go well with funeral hash brown potatoes include:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk (whole is what I use, 2% may be substituted), at room temp
- 2 cups full fat sour cream, at room temp
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, at room temp
- 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese, at room temp
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 32 ounces diced or cubed hash browns, from a frozen package that are thawed (shredded hash browns may be substituted)
- 3 cups corn flakes, crushed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish (or 2.5 to 3 quart baking dish) very well with cooking spray; set aside.
- Casserole – To a large saute pan, add the butter, and heat over medium-high heat to melt, whisk constantly.
- Add the flour and cook for 1 minute; whish constantly. Tips – Do not shortcut this step. First, you need to cook the flour or later on yoru casserole will have an odd raw flour taste. Secondly, this is a roux, which is what is used to help thicken the cream sauce and casserole later on, since we are not used any canned/condensed/cream-of style soups.
- Slowly add the milk; whisk constantly and continue to do so for about 1 minute, or until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.
- Add the sour cream and whisk to combine.
- Add both cheeses, all three seasonings, salt, pepper, and whisk constantly until the cheese has melted.
- Add the hash browns and stir to combine and coat evenly.
- Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan; set aside momentarily.
- Topping – To a large bowl, add the Corn Flakes. Tip – I crush the corn flakes in my hand, a heaping handful at a time. They don’t have to be in a fine dust or too small. Therefore crushing them in my hand is the fastest, easiest, and creates no extra dishes or appliances to wash.
- Evenly drizzle the melted butter over the cereal and toss to evenly coat, noting that it won’t seem like there’s quite enough butter, but it’s enough to just moisten some of the flakes, which is that’s needed.
- Evenly add the topping over the casserole.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the lightly golden browned and bubbling around the edges, or as desired. Tip – I rotate my pan once midway through for even baking and browning. All ovens vary, so just keep an eye on your casserole to make sure the corn flakes aren’t getting overly browned nor are burning.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Note that the Corn Flakes will not stay crispy on the leftovers or for anything that’s been frozen. They absorb the moisture from the cheesy potatoes below and that’s just the way it is. See below for make-ahead tips.
Make-Ahead Directions: To make this popular side dish ahead of time, say for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a family event, prep the recipe as written through Step 8. At that point cover it, and you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Although 24-36 hours would be more ideal. Take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you plan to bake it off. Preheat you oven, and while it’s heating up, make the topping as directed, sprinkle it over the top, and bake as directed.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 504Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 748mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 9g
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