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Funeral Potatoes Recipe

There are many different types of funeral events and structures to honor someone who has passed away, but it’s quite common to host a funeral reception or celebration of life, where friends and family gather over food and/or drinks in a casual environment.

As funeral receptions grew more popular, several recipes became commonplace at these events. Due to the need to serve food to a large group of people quickly, dishes that were easy to prepare in advance and transport—and wouldn’t break the bank—were adopted. Funeral potatoes met all these criteria, and as a result, grew to become the best known funeral food, now served at many large events, not just funerals.

What are funeral potatoes?

Funeral potatoes (sometimes referred to as hashbrown casserole) are a warm potato- and cheese-based casserole dish, designed to serve large groups of people. While they originally became popular as a potluck item at funeral receptions (hence the name), they’re eaten as a side dish in many group gatherings today, particularly in the American Midwest.

Here's a recipe for funeral potatoes that's based on the classic style, topped with bacon for an added flavor kick.


Serves: 12
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

Kitchenware Needed:

  • Casserole dish
  • Large skillet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Large frying pan

Funeral Potatoes Ingredients:

  • 32-ounce bag of frozen, shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Cooking spray
  • 16 oz. smoked bacon

Funeral Potatoes Cooking Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

Starting the mixture
2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and melt the stick of butter.
3. Dice the onions, and add them to the butter. Stir occasionally, and cook them until soft, usually 3-5 minutes.
4. Pour the flour over the onions and stir it in thoroughly.
5. Add the milk and chicken broth, and stir or whisk the mixture until there are no visible flour lumps. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until it starts to thicken, then turn off the heat.

Adding cheese and potatoes
6. Stir in the cheddar cheese and sour cream. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
7. Add the potatoes and stir until everything is fully mixed together.
8. Grease the casserole dish with cooking spray and fill it with your potato mixture.

9. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil, put it in the oven, and let it bake for 20 minutes.
10. Remove the foil and and put the dish back in the oven until the top is golden brown, usually about 10 minutes.

Final touches
11. While the potatoes are in the oven, cook the bacon in a large frying pan until crispy. Lay on a paper towel to cool.
12. Once cool enough to touch, crumble the bacon into small pieces. As soon as the potatoes come out of the oven, sprinkle the bacon over the top of the pan.
13. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Scalloped Funeral Potatoes Recipe

If you prefer a different type of easily servable recipe, scalloped potatoes is an excellent choice. Scalloped potato casserole dishes are served warm, have thinly sliced potatoes and lots of cheese, and tend to be a favorite dish.

Kitchenware Needed:

9 x 13-inch casserole dish or baking dish
Kitchen knife
Cheese grater (if you prefer freshly grated cheese)

Scalloped Funeral Potatoes Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth or chicken stock (you can also use Better Than Bouillon and water for more flavor!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes or white potatoes, sliced around ⅛" thick
  • 2 cups of sliced cheddar cheese

Scalloped Funeral Potatoes Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F
  2. Grease your baking dish with cooking spray or butter
  3. Melt butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in flour, ensuring everything is covered and there are no lumps, cook for about 1 minute.
  5. While whisking, pour in the chicken stock or broth. Whisk until all ingredients are combined.
  6. Add in milk, season mixture with the salt, pepper, and thyme and continue whisking until combined.
  7. Cook for 2 minutes or until the sauce simmers and starts to thicken.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with half of the sliced potatoes.
  10. Add in half of the creamy mixture.
  11. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  12. Top evenly with the rest of the potatoes and the other half of the sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.
  13. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  14. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 25-30 minutes (or until the potatoes are cooked through).
  15. Sprinkle remaining teaspoon of thyme over top of the mixture and set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  16. Serve warm.
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Last updated June 15, 2022
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