Home Food Easy, Cheesy Funeral Potatoes – Without Canned Soup

Easy, Cheesy Funeral Potatoes – Without Canned Soup

Easy, Cheesy Funeral Potatoes – Without Canned Soup

Funeral Potatoes may sound like a depressing dish, but this cheesy potato casserole recipe is nothing but delicious! Hashbrown potatoes are coated with a creamy, cheesy sauce and baked with a buttery, crunchy cornflake topping to create an irresistible potato casserole that everyone loves!

Funeral potatoes dished out on white plate next to fork.

This is one of those recipes that you have to scratch your head and say, how did this name ever stick? The reality is that this cheesy hash brown potato casserole was and remains one of the most popular dishes to bring to a potluck. Seeing as many churches have potluck funeral luncheons, the name Funeral Potatoes came about and stuck. 

While I don’t care for the name, the dish is downright delicious and it is easy to see why Funeral Potatoes are a favorite recipe to bring to a potluck. Just like mashed potato casserole, they are an easy make-ahead friendly potato side dish that everyone loves!

But there is no need to reserve this cheesy potato hash brown casserole for potlucks. It is the perfect holiday side dish paired with Glazed Ham or Instant Pot Ham.

Reasons to Love this Funeral Potatoes Recipe

  • No Canned Soup. No cream of chicken soup, no cream of mushroom soup, no cream of celery soup! Instead, this recipe whips up a super easy, homemade version of cream of chicken soup, leaving the excess sodium and preservatives on the shelf. 
  • Easy Recipe. Even when you take into account the time it takes to make the homemade sauce, this potato casserole comes together with minimal prep. 
  • Superior Taste. Made with sauteed onions, butter, milk, and seasoned just right, the creamy sauce that coats the hashbrowns is so much better than anything canned. 
  • Crowd-Pleasing Dish. For this casserole to be given the name Funeral Potatoes because it was so wildly popular at potlucks, that alone tells you how loved this hash brown casserole is.

Notes on Ingredients

Ingredients for hashbrown funeral potatoes labeled on counter.
  • Hash Brown Potatoes: Use shredded or cubed frozen and thawed hashbrown potatoes for this casserole.
  • Onion: Adding a yellow onion to the mix really adds a nice savory flavor to the hashbrown casserole.
  • Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup: To make a homemade version of cream of chicken soup, you will need butter, all-purpose flour, milk, chicken stock, seasoned salt (or regular salt), and pepper. It really only takes minutes to make and elevates the flavor in this cozy potato casserole.
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream and potatoes are a match made in heaven! The sour cream adds a nice creamy element to the Funeral Potatoes, as well as cuts through a bit of the richness. Use full-fat or reduced-fat sour cream, not fat-free as the consistency is different.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter for making the base of the casserole and for tossing with the cornflakes, to control the sodium.
  • Cornflakes: Be sure to use cornflakes, not frosted flakes. You don’t want a sweetened topping to your casserole.

Recipe Modifications

  • Make it Gluten-Free. To make this recipe gluten-free, replace the all-purpose flour with 1:1 gluten-free flour. Kellogg’s Cornflakes sold in the United States are not gluten-free but several brands have options for gluten-free cornflakes.
  • Keep it Vegetarian-Friendly. Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth for a delicious vegetarian-friendly hashbrown potato casserole. 
  • Change Out the Topping. Use butter crackers, such as Ritz Crackers in place of the cornflakes.
  • Skip the Onion. If you are short on time or don’t have an onion on hand, skip sauteeing the onion and instead add 1 teaspoon of onion powder to the hashbrown casserole base.
  • Use Canned Soup. If you don’t care to make your own cream of chicken soup, use one 10.5-ounce can of cream of chicken soup in place of the butter, flour, milk, chicken broth, and seasoned salt in the base of the hash brown casserole. You will still need butter for the cornflake topping.

How to Make Homemade Funeral Potatoes

The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step One: Saute the onion. Sauteeing the onion in melted butter will help to soften the onion, enhance its natural sweetness, and add a nice flavor to the potatoes.

Saute pan with melted butter and minced onion.

Step Two. Prepare Cream of Chicken Soup. I promise this is super easy and takes just about 5 minutes from start to finish. Add flour to your sauteed onion and melted butter to form a roux. Then slowly whisk in stock and milk, season, and simmer until thickened. I go ahead and add the cheese now as well so that it melts, but that is not necessary, as the cheese will melt into the casserole as it bakes.

Saute pan with cream sauce next to wire whisk.

Step Three. Make the Cornflake Topping. Keep it simple and place your cornflakes in a large resealable storage bag. Gently roll them with a rolling pin to lightly crush them. Then add the melted butter right to the bag and toss to coat the cereal with the butter. One less dish to clean up!

Hashbrowns in bag with rolling pin off to side after lightly crushing the cornflakes.

Step Four: Assemble the Funeral Potatoes. Combine the homemade sauce, cheese (if you haven’t already added it), sour cream, and defrosted hashbrowns together until creamy and well combined. Add that mixture to a buttered casserole dish and then top it with the cornflake topping.

Side by side photo of hashbrown potato casserole before and after adding cornflake topping.

Step Five. Bake. Bake until warmed through and bubbly. Then be prepared to enjoy the creamiest, cheesiest, most delicious hash brown potato casserole AKA Funeral Potatoes.

Wooden spoon dishing out funeral potatoes from large white baking dish.

Serving Suggestions

Funeral Potatoes are a delicious side dish to bring to a potluck, party, or yes, even a funeral luncheon. However, they also make a fabulous holiday side dish. I love serving these cheesy hashbrown potatoes with the Glazed Baked Ham, Instant Pot Ham, Roasted Turkey, Instant Pot Turkey Breast, and New York Strip Roast.

Make Ahead Instructions

You can get a jump start on these funeral potatoes, by assembling the hash brown base of the casserole up to 2 days in advance. You do want to wait to add the cornflake topping until right before baking so that it stays nice and crunchy.

To prepare Funeral Potatoes in advance, prepare the casserole up to adding the cornflake topping. Cover your baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours. When ready to bake, remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature as the oven preheats to 350 degrees F. Prepare and add the cornflake topping to the hasbrown potatoes. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the casserole is warmed through and bubbly.

More Delicious Potato Casserole Recipes

If you tried this recipe for Funeral Potatoes, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.

Funeral potatoes dished out on white plate next to fork.

Funeral Potatoes

These Funeral Potatoes are cheesy hash brown casserole topped with crunchy cornflakes, creating a delicious, creamy side dish!