Saturday, April 2, 2016

Creamy, Cheesy "Funeral Potatoes"

Funeral potatoes...wait, what? What kind of  name is that for something to eat?! This cheesy potato casserole originated as a side dish, commonly served at after-funeral potlucks, by the Mormons-- and that's how this recipe got its name. Traditionally, it's made with hash brown or cubed potatoes, with canned cream soup, cheese and sour cream. This recipe is one that doesn't use canned cream soup, and you'd be surprised how easy it is to make your own. 
The first time someone made this dish, it was love at first bite.  It's no secret that potatoes are my carb addiction (next to home baked bread).  I made this side dish, on Easter Sunday,  to serve with an Atlanta Brisket and with Texas Roadhouse Rolls.  Everyone had seconds (and some had thirds, though I shall not name them to keep their dignity intact). 

Over the years, my food shopping has evolved into skipping the  canned soups section (with the exception of low-sodium chicken or beef broth)-- and that includes onion soup mix.

I've discovered that you can easily make your own canned cream substitutes by making a roux of butter, chicken broth and flour.  It's quite easy, actually, and it doesn't take much time at all. Once the roux has thickened, you turn off the heat and add some freshly grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar cheese), and sour cream.  Give all of this a nice stir, and add one bag of shredded hash browns.

Once all that creamy, cheesy, potato filling is poured into a buttered casserole dish... you need to add a buttery, topping to give that awesome crunch.  Oh. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, too.  It makes a big difference.  I used crushed kettle chips, but crushed corn flakes are equally delicious.

Cover the casserole with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15-25 minutes more (the casserole should be hot and bubbly, and slightly browned around the edges).  Allow it to cool for 15 minutes and serve.

TASTING NOTES:  Who doesn't love a twice-baked potato?  This is a cousin of my twice-baked potato casserole.  There is a slight tang, from the sour cream.  If you're not a fan of sour cream, then cut back about half.  I would think you could switch around your cheeses preferences,but I found that the Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar were perfect. Shredded has browns are good, but the next time I have a potluck, I'll buy cubed potatoes. I think they would make a great substitute. I'm definitely going to use corn flakes, as well. That's a great choice!

I am focusing on limiting how much "comfort food" I eat, so I resisted the temptation to eat more than a heaping serving spoonful.  The rest of my family, and guests, kept raving about how delicious this is. Yes, I know the feeling. (Whistful sigh.) Once in a while, it's good to indulge in a delicious casserole recipe.  This one is definitely worth the indulgence. Five stars!!  This is a perfect dish to bring to a potluck.  If you do, be prepared to be asked for the recipe. 
Recipe source: The Pioneer Woman

A printable recipe card is at the very bottom of this post. Keep on scrolling!

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Big Dude said...

Looks good Debbie - we made them the other day after seeing them on Pioneer Woman, but we substituted French onion dip for the sour cream, similar to a tater tot casserole we've made. Really liked the dish.

Wave Watcher said...

Hi Debby,
Thanks for giving a name to this potato dish. I have made a version of these, sometimes using the refrigerated hash browns, and sometimes cooking my own potatoes. What I really love about your recipe is that you do NOT use canned soups! I had quit making some of the recipes that call for canned soups, but you have changed that by making recipes easy without them. I love potatoes almost any way you fix them, too. Hasselbacks to impress guests, or even crash potatoes are some of my favorites, too. Thanks for this recipe!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Larry, what a great idea! French onion dip would definitely add a great savory kick to the potatoes.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Hi, Wave Watcher! Just the other day, I was thinking about making crash potatoes again. That post needs new photos, and they are fantastic. Yes, I have moved away from canned soups. I just can't get myself to buy them, when it can easily be made from scratch.

Liz said...

I've always called these "football potatoes." We would make up several pans of triple recipes to feed the team on the night before special football games. The guys always scarfed them down. Now I make them up, separate them into small portions and freeze them for my husband and me. They are also good topped with French fried onions.

Debby Foodiewife said...

That's a perfect name, Liz! French fried onions would be a terrific topping, too. Thanks for stopping by, to leave a comment.

Sue/the view from great island said...

I'm putty in your hands, Debby --- this is pure comfort --- and the kettle chip crust?? I'm dying!

Faye Beal said...

Can anyone recommend how effective it would be to make these one day and heat them up the next. Thinking about Easter lunch and no time when I get home from church