Cheesy Funeral Potatoes From Scratch
Cheesy Funeral Potatoes From Scratch

Cheesy mourning potatoes without canned soup or frozen shredded potatoes? Yes, that is possible! Here’s everything you need to know, from chopping up the potatoes to adding the crunchy topping.

In this recipe

  • Origin of the funeral potatoes
  • Where does the name come from
  • Why Scratch is better
  • chopping the potatoes
  • Prepare the soup
  • Best topping
  • Best pan size
  • progress

Have you ever had Funeral Potatoes? This is a cheesy, creamy, spoonable potato casserole – an ideal side dish for a potluck dinner or other large gathering.

Where do mourning potatoes come from?

Funeral potatoes are often associated with Southern and Mormon cultures, particularly the Auxiliary Society of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a women-led organization founded in 1842 dedicated to serving those in need).

However, almost every region of the United States has its own version of this potato casserole under a different name. They are sometimes referred to as cheese potatoes, hash browns, church potatoes or party potatoes, among other things.

How did the mourning potato get its name?

Wondering where the name “funeral potatoes” came from? This creamy comfort food earned the funeral nickname because it’s a simple dish to serve to a crowd, and it’s often prepared for a post-funeral meal or given to a grieving family.

Burial potatoes from scratch

While part of the charm of this recipe is its ease — rip open a bag of frozen hash browns and a bag of shredded cheddar cheese, then stir them together with a can of cream of chicken soup and a few scoops of sour cream — I wanted to make an execution completely new.

I wondered if using homemade soup, fresh potatoes and fresh ingredients would make a difference. It did.

My ready made burial potatoes recipe from scratch has a creamy texture and rich flavor peppered with lovely chunks of chicken throughout. I even made a traditional version with frozen hash browns and canned chicken soup for comparison. While it reminded me of the potatoes of my youth, this version won from scratch.

The best way to shred the potatoes

I tried several ways of preparing the potatoes before deciding on my final choice including shredding and squeezing potatoes with moisture, shredding potatoes Not Squeeze potatoes and onions, chop (a latke-making trick that keeps the potatoes from turning gray) and par-cook the potatoes with the skin on, peel, then chop in my food processor.

Ultimately, the parboiled potatoes were the winner. The same par-boiling technique is used by restaurant chefs to create fries with a fluffy center and crispy exterior—here it intensified the overall creaminess of my hash brown casserole. The shredded potatoes combined easily with the other ingredients and gave it a creamy texture while holding its shape.

You can also par-cook the potatoes up to 3 days in advance without worrying about the potatoes drying out or oxidizing (which turns potatoes gray). Just chill them and store them in the fridge with the skin on, then shred them up the day you want to make the casserole. The skin on cold potatoes doesn’t come off as easily, but gentle pressure with a knife still works quickly.

Make cream of chicken soup from scratch

I ended up coming up with an entirely separate cream of chicken soup recipe that you can use for those funeral potatoes or any recipe that calls for cream of chicken soup.

Taking a cue from the classic gumbo, this recipe starts with a roux, a combination of fat and flour that helps thicken soups, intensify flavor and keep the fat from separating from the other liquids in the soup. The darker the roux, the spicier the soup, but how dark you get is entirely up to you.

To add flavor to the soup, I use the rendered fat from chicken thighs to make the roux, and then also use the thighs themselves to make a quick homemade chicken broth. The results are exceptional, making a soup worth eating as a meal in its own right.

This soup base is definitely the most labor intensive part of making funeral potatoes from scratch. To break the chores, make the soup ahead of time and refrigerate for up to four days. (Note that I don’t recommend freezing as freezing and reheating can affect the texture.)

Panko makes the best crunchy topping

Panko won the topping test – never again will a cornflake touch a potato casserole in my house.

Panko makes a consistently crunchy topping and eliminates the step of crushing the cornflakes into crumbs. In contrast, the cornflake topping I tested had inconsistent flake sizes depending on how well I shredded them, which toasted some pieces and made others chewy.

The crispy panko topping also reheated beautifully, while the cornflakes topping was just so-so.

The best pan for a family batch of mourning potatoes

Most potato casserole recipes call for a 9 x 13 inch pan because the idea is to feed a crowd. But when you want them for dinner for a family of four, a 9″ x 13″ pan feels like too much.

As written, this recipe fits in an 8″ x 8″ pan, but you can easily double it to feed a crowd and bake it in a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Make-Ahead Funeral Potatoes

You can make the cream of chicken soup up to four days in advance and pre-cook the potatoes up to three days in advance.

You can also make the whole dish up to three days in advance, except for the breading. Simply spread in the casserole dish, cover with cling film and store in the fridge. When ready, open the casserole, sprinkle over the panko crumbs and cook according to the recipe.

I do not recommend freezing the casserole, either baked or unbaked, as freezing and thawing can cause the fat to separate and curdle the texture.

More great potluck casseroles

  • Chicken Noodle Casserole
  • Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
  • Beef Noodle Casserole
  • Baked ziti
  • Chorizo ​​Mac and Cheese

Cheesy funeral potatoes from scratch

preparation time
35 minutes

cooking time
45 minutes

total time
80 minutes

8 servings

Adjust this recipe to suit your time, needs, and preferences: Frozen shredded potatoes can be substituted for fresh ones, and canned chicken mousse soup can be substituted for homemade ones.


  • 1 1/2 lb red potatoes (about 3 large or 4 small potatoes)

  • 8th tablespoon butterdivided

  • 1/2 big Onionfinely chopped (about a cup)

  • 1/3 Red pepperfinely chopped (approx 1/2 Cup)

  • 2 cups self-made Cream of Chicken Soup (Bought also works)

  • 2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese

  • 1 Cup sour cream

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Saltdivided

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven and prepare the casserole dish:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8×8 baking dish.

  2. Pre-cook potatoes:

    Scrub the potatoes clean but leave the skins on. Place them in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Let cook for about 10 minutes.

    Turn off the heat and let the potatoes soak in the hot water for another 10 minutes. When done, you should be able to pierce the potatoes with a fork but still feel some resistance. Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle.

    If you prepare the potatoes in advanceallow to cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the onions and peppers:

    In a medium skillet, melt 5 tablespoons butter, cook onions and peppers until onions are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Put aside.

  4. Peel and grate potatoes:

    Once the potatoes are cool enough to touch, score them along their equator with a paring knife. Twist each side in opposite directions to remove the skin. The skin should peel off easily. If any pieces of skin remain, cut them off with a knife.

    Shred the potatoes using a food processor fitted with the shredding disc, or shred them by hand using the large holes of a cheese grater.

  5. Assemble casserole:

    Place the shredded potatoes in a large bowl and toss with the cooked onions, bell peppers, cream of chicken soup, cheddar cheese, sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

    Stir until everything is well mixed. Spread in a casserole dish.

  6. Toast the breadcrumbs:

    In the same pan you used to cook the onions, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the panko and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to coat.

    Toast panko, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle evenly over the potatoes.

  7. Bake and cool:

    Bake for 45 minutes or until done. When done, the potatoes should be bubbling around the edges and the panko top should be golden.

    Let cool for 10 minutes, then spoon onto plates.

nutritional information (per serving)
493 calories
31g Fat
41g carbohydrates
14g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!