Cheesy Potato Casserole (aka “Funeral Potatoes”)

I’ll never know why this dish got such a depressing name! Actually, I had never heard them called “Funeral Potatoes” until I moved to Utah. The recipe card in my ancient recipe file has the name of this delicious potato side dish listed as “Those Potatoes”, which quite frankly isn’t MUCH better! I suppose someone back in my family history was always asking for “those” potatoes because they couldn’t remember the name, or something like that, and the name sorta stuck. Pitiful really. lol.

So I am starting a campaign to get the name of this much-loved but badly-named potato recipe changed! Honestly, this is just TOO good a dish to have such a pathetic name!

I’ve come up with a few possibilities, but I’m going to need your help! Please take the short quiz at the end of this post and tell me which name you like the best! Once we have declared a winner then I will take out a full page ad in the New York Times (or the Thrifty Nickle) telling the world!

If you hate all of them, just leave a comment with your “better” one. ;-) We will prevail in righting this injustice to potatoes everywhere!

OK…back to food.

The reason I simply HAD to post this recipe today is because I have made it FOUR TIMES in the last 24 hours! I guess TECHNICALLY I’ve only made it TWICE…but each time a made a DOUBLE BATCH. So I stand by my original statement.
You see, these (those?) potatoes are pretty much a given at our extended family Easter dinner. Ham and “Those Potatoes” with a green salad and homemade rolls. That is the standard menu on Easter Sunday…and while it might not be terribly original, there is a certain comfort factor involved with sharing the same menu each Easter. At least we are pretty much guaranteed no surprises! Like Aunt Gertrude’s Olive and Pimento Loaf! haha…I totally made that up. We don’t even have an Aunt Gertrude. :-)

Anyway, back to the FOUR potato casseroles in TWENTY FOUR hours story. I made 2 large pans of “those” potatoes to take to my Mom’s house on Sunday. Not a big deal. I can practically make them with my eyes closed at this point in my life. The only snafu I ran across in the process was that the shredded potatoes I like to buy for this dish were completely sold out at the grocery store. I like the Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns that you can usually find in the grocery store next to the eggs and butter.

Since they are “fresh” and not frozen, they are my first choice when making this, but since they were completely sold out I went to Plan B, which involved a detour to the frozen food section of the store to buy frozen hashbrowns. Now HERE is where is gets SCARY!!! THOSE WERE SOLD OUT TOO! Apparently we aren’t the only ones who like “those” potatoes for Easter Dinner! I was close to panicking at the thought of having to boil and shred “real” potatoes because I simply hadn’t allowed enough time for that! (If I had “all the time in the world”, that would be my first choice…and one I have done more often than not). I had to formulate a plan….FAST! I considered my options: A) I could go on a reconnaissance mission throughout the store and see if I could eye a few bags of the precious spuds in someone else’s basket and cause some sort of distraction allowing myself time to relieve them of their stash. hmmm…maybe not. B) I could buy some Crinkle Cut Fries or Tater Tots and use them instead and hope nobody notices. Doubtful. C) I could pray for a miracle. This appeared to be my best bet at this point. But before I had a chance to get down on my knees in the frozen food aisle….my unuttered prayer was answered! I just happened to look at the bottom shelf of the frozen food case I was standing by and there, completely in the wrong place, were two beautiful bags of Ore Ida Hashbrowns! Some rude/wonderful person had apparently decided putting the hashbrowns with the brussel sprouts was a perfectly OK thing to do. Savages!

So, potatoes in hand (and on the lookout for possible potato thieves), I checked out with my ingredients and headed home and started cookin. Like I said, I can pretty much make these in my sleep, so the assembly and subsequent baking in the oven went smooth as silk. As did the transport in the back of my car on the way to Mom’s/Grandma’s house. Unfortunately there was a last minute monkey wrench thrown into the thus far flawlessly executed potato casserole operation. While the hubster and I each carried a pan of potatoes through the front door….ONE of the pans somehow flipped over and onto the floor. I’m not naming names here….but as I stood there STILL HOLDING MY PAN of POTATOES…SOMEONE ELSE proceeded to let loose with a stream of obscenities that would make a sailor blush! hahaha! Just kidding. SOMEONE actually showed a stunning amount of self control at this point…because I know SOMEONE really WANTED to curse! ;-)

After a few seconds (that felt like a few YEARS!) of awkward silence…there was suddenly a flurry of activity as people tried desperately to SAVE THOSE POTATOES! But alas, even the 10 second rule doesn’t really apply when the entire dish is dropped upside down onto an outdoor brick walkway. About the only thing to be done at that point was to get the garden hose out. Which SOMEONE did.

Looooooooooooooooooooong story short….the roughly 20 people in attendance all got a very “dainty” helping of those potatoes at this Easter dinner.

Fast forward to today. No. 2 son (who eats a gluten free diet) was bemoaning the fact he hardly got ANY of his favorite potatoes at Easter dinner. Poor baby. He suggested we have them for dinner today! I was about to tell him he’d be lucky to get a bowl of cereal for dinner after yesterday’s food drama….but then the soft, mushy, pushover side of me took over and I acquiesced. It’s awfully hard to say “No” to a kid whose diet is severely limited when he asks for a particular food dish. Especially when that kid is 16 (almost 17) and requires massive amounts of food to keep him going! So by making another DOUBLE BATCH of those potatoes…I was actually doing MYSELF a favor because I wouldn’t have to hear “There’s nothing to eat!” for at least a couple of days. ;-)

THAT, my friends, is how I ended up making this dish FOUR times in the last TWENTY FOUR hours. Which means…I don’t even have to look at my recipe card to type this out for you…and YOU now will have it to try for yourself. And trust me on this…if by some chance you haven’t ever had these (those) potatoes…you are in for a treat.

THOSE POTATOES (aka “Funeral Potatoes” but soon to be renamed something less depressing!)

1 Large Package of THAWED Ore-Ida Hash Brown Potatoes (or you can do it the old fashioned way and PEEL, BOIL, and SHRED them by hand…but why would you?)
1 can Cream of chicken soup -OR- substitute (1) 14 to 16 ounce can of chicken broth for gluten free -OR- 1/3 cup of Soup or Sauce Mix
1 16-ounce container of sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup crushed Corn Flakes + 2 Tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a saucepan melt butter and add soup/broth/mix, sour cream, cheese and green onions. Stir over low-medium heat until everything is melted and combined into a creamy sauce.

Spread THAWED hash browns onto the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour the creamy cheesy mixture over the top and spread over all the potatoes with a spatula. Sprinkle the melted butter and corn flakes over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the potatoes are hot and bubbly!

Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving (if you can hold back the hungry hoards!)

Now you know how GOOD it is…..let’s give it a name worthy of its’ AWESOMENESS! :-)

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Comments

  1. says

    You know, there is a simple (and delicious!) cake, “streusel cake”, which in the town where I went to school was only named “funeral cake” – because it was a standard cake to be served at funerals. I kind of like the name. ^^

    (My father calls it “relatives defense line cake” because feeding them this cake is the only way of keeping them peaceful.)

  2. Raegan Casto says

    Ive always heard it and called it hash brown casserole or cheesy hash brown bake, but I’ve always seen it with crushed corn flakes baked on top. Either way is delicious and always asked for at gatherings!

  3. Brooke says

    We call them Easy Cheesies in my family and we use crushed up potato chips for the topping instead of cornflakes. Makes them super yummy!

  4. Andria Lewis says

    I had always grown up calling them Nauvoo Potatoes, and so did other families in my city and ward in California! Not until I moved to Utah did I hear them called funeral potatoes! I’m sure the pioneers in Nauvoo didn’t actually make these, but I like the LDS reference nonetheless! My non-member friends call them Mormon Potatoes. Which I alo think is strangely accurate!

  5. says

    I grew up calling it Hashbrown Casserole. I didn’t hear it called Funeral Potatoes until we moved to Washington. We also often use the country-style potatoes instead of the shredded type. And being from NM, we often throw in some green chile too :) You just can’t go wrong with this dish!

  6. Amy says

    This is the exact same recipe I use to make Cheesy Potatoes. I make them for every potluck and family gathering, with the exception of Thankgiving when you have to have mashed potatoes. Oh, BTW I am not LDS I’m Baptist and my mom got them from the back of a Dell’s Potato package.

    • Jeanne says

      “Cheesy Potatoes” here too. Grandma didn’t like corn flakes so we didn’t have that on the recipe!

      • Amy says

        Cheesy taters in my world also….minus the soup or chicken broth. Just sour cream, cheese, butter, a little dehydrated onion, and whatever crunchy topping we had around the house. My mom always used the diced potatoes instead of the hash browns. :)

  7. Lorene says

    Yup. I had this dish requested too for Easter. My sister calls it “that potatoe thing you make”. I don’t put the corn flakes on top either. Just more cheese!!!! Yum.

  8. says

    They are called funeral potatoes for several reasons. First, they are easy and cheap to make, and feed a lot of people, so they are served at a lot of funerals. And second, that is the only time we ever eat them! I forget to make them for my family. Same with Jello! LOL

  9. says

    I can’t stop laughing at the Who’s Your Mama and Bomdiggity potatoes. I hope one of those wins! I think I will call them Bomdiggity Mama Potatoes.

    • Colleen H says

      I like your new name for them Dori!! I chuckled at those names as well =)

  10. Talia says

    This is our exact recipe too! We call them cheesy potatoes and like you, serve them EVERY Easter and not one person complains — they are that good! :)

    Oh, and I’ve made them three times in the last two days. We really like them!

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