Ever had Funeral Potatoes before? This is a cheesy, creamy, spoonable potato casserole — an ideal side dish for a potluck supper or other large gathering.

Funeral potatoes are usually made with sour cream, condensed cream of chicken soup from a can, frozen shredded potatoes, and a cornflake or bread crumb topping. This makes a delicious casserole, certainly, but I wanted to try making a version from scratch using homemade ingredients.

 

WHERE DO FUNERAL POTATOES COME FROM?

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

However, nearly every region of the U.S. its own version of this potato casserole under a different name. They’re sometimes called cheesy potatoes, hash brown casserole, church potatoes, or party potatoes, among other names.

Wondering where the name “funeral potatoes” comes from? This creamy comfort food received the funeral nickname because it’s an easy dish to serve a crowd, and it’s often made for an after-funeral meal or given to a grieving family.

FUNERAL POTATOES FROM SCRATCH

While part of this recipe’s charm is its ease — tear open a bag of frozen hash browns and a bag of shredded cheddar cheese and then stir them together with a can of cream of chicken soup and few scoops of sour cream — I wanted to make a version from scratch.

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

My finished from-scratch recipe for funeral potatoes has a creamy texture and a rich flavor, studded throughout with nice bits of chicken. I even made a traditional version with frozen hash browns and canned cream of chicken soup for comparison. While it reminded me of the potatoes of my youth, this from-scratch version won hands down.