Funeral potatoes is the name of a traditional potato casserole that is popular in both the Rocky Mountain region and the Midwest regions of the United States. The dish is also known as hash brown casserole, cheesy hash browns, party potatoes, or even simply "those potatoes." The casserole is often served at church dinners, potlucks, or as a buffet side dish during after-funeral dinners.
The dish has become ubiquitous at these social gatherings, particularly among the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is easy to prepare and transport to feed a large crowd. Very little prep work is necessary since the recipe uses a bag of frozen shredded hash brown potatoes. This recipe ues sharp cheddar cheese, but it is also delicious when prepared with a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, or even just monterey jack cheese. Sometimes cubed ham, frozen peas, or broccoli florets are added. The recipe is flexible and can be suited to personal tastes and what ingredients are on hand.
Funeral potatoes are known for the signature crunchy topping. This version uses crushed kettle-cooked potato chips, but other versions use crushed cornflake cereal or crushed buttery crackers.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 (32 ounce) bag frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
- 2 cups kettle-cooked potato chips
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or 3-quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter. Add the onions and cook until the onions start to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the flour and stir to incorporate. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the milk and whisk until the lumps no longer remain. Slowly add the chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking continuously until smooth. Add the salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Allow the mixture to thicken, about 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream until melted and combined.
Add the hash brown potatoes and stir to coat.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
Place the potato chips in a zip top bag and lightly crush with your hands.
Sprinkle the potato chip crumbs evenly over the top of the potatoes.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until golden brown on top and bubbling around the edges, about 15 minutes more.
Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.