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Ready or Not #53: Funeral Potatoes

I had no idea what a proverbial can of worms I opened when I wrote about Shepherd’s pie. Everybody has their favorite way of making it and even different names for it (Hamburger Plop? What kind if name is that?!) Everybody is quite ready to defend his or her favorite recipe.

Well, if you think that is controversial (if a casserole can be controversial), then just wait until we talk about this week’s subject – Funeral Potato Casserole. I am not an expert on this dish because, now you may not believe this, but I have never, ever, made a Funeral Potato Casserole in my whole life. I did have the opportunity once to make it for a church function, but I didn’t have the time and so my husband made it for me.

The ingredients sound good – potatoes and sour cream, can’t go wrong there. One of my favorite versions of Funeral Potatoes (I said that I hadn’t made it, not that I hadn’t eaten it) is made with Tater tots and potato chips (you just can’t over do the potatoes). I have also had it with Corn Flakes, saltine crackers, and even Wheaties on top (they just look like a darker corn flake, right?) Some people make it with pre-cooked hash browns, and others make it with boiled potatoes. You can grate them, mash them, or dice them. It’s all good, I know this because I haven’t eaten a bad Funeral Potato Casserole yet.

I have solicited three of the best cooks I know to share their version of this multi-use, food storage friendly, filling, and very satisfying casserole. You can try these recipes and then take it from there and come up with your own favorite recipe. After finding your favorite version, I’m not adverse to taste testing it for you and giving my seal of approval. Bon Appetit (I’m assuming that means “good eating.” I don’t speak French.)

1. Funeral Potatoes (Gaye Cook)

- Fill a 9×13 casserole dish with grated potatoes (frozen or freshly cooked)

- Drizzle 1/2 cube melted butter on potatoes.

- Salt and pepper to taste


1 can cream of chicken soup,

1 cup milk

1 to 2 cups of grated cheese

green onions to taste (including green tops).

Pour over the potatoes and mix carefully. Top with buttered corn flakes* (there is no good substitution). Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit uncovered for 45 minutes. Don’t wait for a funeral to try it; they are best when eaten while you’re healthy.

*Hint for the corn flakes….buy a large bag of inexpensive brand of flakes and before opening the bag, break up the flakes with your hands. After opening the bag, add 1 cube of melted butter and mix together. Freeze the remaining flakes that you don’t use by sealing the cereal bag and putting it into a freezer bag and popping it into the freezer. Voila! you have the topping ready for the next few casseroles.

2. Funeral potatoes (Karen Haskell)

- 12-15 tennis ball size or a little smaller, red potatoes

- Boil until tender. Peel potatoes and then grate potatoes into dripper pan.

In a saucepan:

melt ½ cube of butter

add and mix 1 small container of sour cream

add and mix 1 can of cream of chicken soup.

Then add:

Grated cheddar cheese (I don’t measure so make it look good) about 1- 1 ½ cups Chop up some green onions (probably 4-5),

Stir the creamy mixture into the potatoes. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees Farenheit until heated through.

(Please don’t gross me out and put corn flakes on top, or potato chips yuck!! If you need to add extra calories use a whole cube of butter and more cheese not the crunchy crap on top!)

Also, I would never use fake potatoes as in frozen hash browns. If you are going to eat comfort food, it needs to be real!

3. Funeral potatoes (Kathy Rawson)

- 6-8 medium Russet potatoes - boil and grate into a 9X13 inch pan.

In a saucepan, combine the following and heat until melted and mixed:

o 1 can cream of chicken soup,

o 1/3 cup green onion, sliced,

o 1 ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated,

o 1 pint sour cream

o 1 cube of butter or margarine.

Pour sauce over the top of the potatoes. Top with Corn Flake crumbs and drizzle 2 tablespoons of melted butter on top. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 45 minutes.

There you have it – three terrific cooks and three different, albeit wonderful, very different philosophies as to what makes a funeral potato casserole taste great! Now, go make them and compare each recipe and find your favorite. Eat to your heart’s delight and enjoy every mouth full!


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