Creamy and cheesy potatoes are topped with buttery corn flakes and baked until they are warm and bubbling. A perfect recipe for parties, holidays, family gatherings, and potlucks! I have ideas for healthier substitutions and variations that guarantees this will stay on your menu rotation.
Funeral potatoes? Why are these called that? As I’m sure you can guess, it’s because they are/were often served at funerals. Because they are warm and comforting, easy to make ahead, and can be baked in the church oven while the service is going on (you church ladies know what I’m talking about!), they have long been a favorite comfort food across the country.
Try using some of my suggested variations and substitutes to add a bit more nutritional value and interested to this favorite and add it back to your menu plan.
All of these ingredients are easily found at Aldi or your favorite grocery store, no fancy ingredients needed!
- Diced frozen potatoes. Sometimes you will see this recipe featuring shredded hashbrowns but don’t be fooled…the TRUE potluck version always uses diced potatoes. In fact, “back in the day” I wouldn’t use the frozen version and would dice my own potatoes. Frankly, the frozen version is just as good. I love using the southern variety with the extra addition of peppers and onions. For some added nutrition throw in chopped cauliflower and mix it with the potatoes.
- Sour Cream. You can try lightening up this recipe by subbing plain Greek Yogurt for the sour cream. These are sometimes referred to as Heart Attack Potatoes and I’m sure you can guess why. A few substitutions will help lighten up the recipe.
- Shredded Cheese. Cheddar cheese is the traditional cheese variety in this recipe. Try subbing in another hard or semi-hard and creamy in texture for the cheddar.
- Can of Cream soup (see recipe notes for how to make a sauce to skip needing the canned version). Usually I use cream of chicken or mushroom. Either works just fine. Or make your own sauce and skip the canned variety altogether! This also reduces the salt content!
- Butter. The butter is important to create that buttery, crunchy, cornflake topping this recipe is known for. To try to get a similar taste without all the butter try sprinkling the cornflakes on top of the potatoes and spraying lightly with your favorite cooking spray. It won’t be the same but you will get a bit of that buttery crunch without all of the fat.
- Corn Flakes. Corn flakes and butter create the BEST topping. And best of all, corn flakes are gluten free. Some recipes might use potato chips (skip the butter) instead but, frankly, that isn’t authentic. The REAL funeral potatoes must have cornflakes.
Substitutions to improve nutrition:
Unfortunately, this recipe can only have minor substitutions without sacrificing the integrity of the flavor. But even those minor substitutions can make a difference. Give them a try the next time you are dying to have this potluck favorite!
- Add in diced cauliflower or sweet potato with the potatoes for added nutrition without sacrificing flavor. I do this often in my mac & cheese!
- Sub plain Greek Yogurt for the sour cream.
- Reduce the amount of cheese and sprinkle in a bit of nutritional yeast to keep that cheesy flavor.
- Skip the butter in the topping and, instead, spray the cornflakes with cooking spray.
- Or, if your diet can better handle salt rather than fat, skip the cornflakes and butter and use crushed potato chips.
- Mix in a bit of chopped spinach or kale for added nutrition.
- Chopped mushrooms hide nicely in this recipe especially when using cream of mushroom soup (have you tired my homemade cream of mushroom soup?) rather than cream of chicken.
- Make your own sauce rather than using the canned variety. Use almond or cashew milk, if needed, for dairy-free diets.
- Dairy-free margarine instead of butter can be used to keep this dairy-free (as well as making your own sauce).
How to make:
- Combine melted butter, sour cream, cream soup, salt, and onion powder with the shredded cheese and thawed diced hash browns.
- Spread in greased casserole pan.
- Mix the melted butter and crushed cornflakes together.
- Spread on top of the potatoes.
- Bake in the oven until bubbling and brown.
How to make ahead:
Funeral potatoes can easily be made ahead even up to 1 month before you need them. Simply prepare the casserole and, prior to adding the cornflake topping, cover with aluminum foil and put it into the freezer for up to 3 months. Do not freeze it in a glass pan! In fact, I like to freeze it in freezer bags and simply dump the freezer bag into a pan when they thaw. When ready to bake, simply unthaw overnight, add the cornflake topping, and bake as directed. YUMMY!
How to keep leftovers:
As if you’ll have any :). These store up nicely in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for about a month. However, when reheating the cornflakes on top won’t remain as crisp. Add some freshly crushed cornflakes on top, some french fried onions, or simply enjoy them as is.
If you haven’t tried the many variations of this recipe, do so! Once you’ve mastered this basic recipe the world is your oyster. Well, at least the world of casseroles. Here are some of m y personal favorite variations…
- Ham & Swiss. Sub swiss cheese for the cheddar, add diced potatoes, and throw in a bit of paprika. So good! Serve this up with some eggs for brunch.
- Reuben. Sub provolone or swiss cheese for the cheddar, stir in a cup or two of sauerkraut, add chopped ham or corned beef, and use rye croutons instead of the cornflakes. Drizzle with Thousand Island before serving.
- Pizza. Sub tomato soup for the cream soup. Mix chopped basil, pepperoni, and diced tomatoes.
Funeral Potatoes Recipe
- 1/3 cup butter melted
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 can cream of chicken soup see recipe notes for creating your own sauce & skipping the canned soup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 24 ounces frozen diced hash browns cubes, not shreds, thawed
- ½ cup butter 1 stick, melted
- 3 cups corn flakes slightly crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1/3 cup of melted butter, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, salt, and onion powder. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and thawed diced hash browns.
- Pour the mixture into a 9×13 inch glass baking dish greased with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ½ cup of melted butter and crushed corn flakes. Stir until the corn flakes are coated in the butter. Spoon the corn flake mixture over the casserole.
- Bake the casserole uncovered for 45 minutes until it is bubbly and golden brown around the edges. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.