What Are Funeral Potatoes, Anyway?

Though they have a somber name, funeral potatoes are truly the ultimate comfort food.

Mormon Funeral Potatoes - traditional potato hotdish, or casserole, un Intermountain West region of the United States.Shutterstock / Fanfo

If you’re not part of the Mormon community (or from the South or Pennsylvania Dutch) it’s understandable you might feel a twinge of sadness on hearing this casserole referred to as funeral potatoes. But this cheesy potato-based casserole is intended to make people feel good, no matter when or where it’s served. Just like these comforting funeral food recipes.

What Are Funeral Potatoes?

The basic recipe for funeral potatoes includes mixing frozen hash browns with cheese, sour cream, a can of cream of chicken soup, butter and chopped onion in a casserole dish, sprinkling it with buttered, crushed cornflakes and baking it until its bubbly and golden-brown delicious.

A Mormon Tradition

These potatoes got their name from because it has traditionally been served as a side during post-funeral dinners in the Mormon community. Specifically, the Mormon “Relief Society” was known to make and bring funeral potatoes to after-service meals since the dish is easy to make, can feed a crowd and the leftovers can be frozen, according to the Mormon publication, the LDS Daily.

In fact, funeral potatoes are such a staple of life throughout Utah due to the high Mormon population that the Utah State Fair even has an annual “Best funeral potatoes” contest. Past winners have gone above and beyond in terms of generating fun and excitement with the addition of surprising ingredients as jalapeños, corn and beans.

Check out some more recipes made with truly surprising ingredients.

How to Make It at Home

You don’t have to wait for a funeral to try your hand at funeral potatoes. For a classic version, there’s this recipe (which could just as easily have been called “funeral potatoes.” Or, do as the state fair contestants do, and amp up the creativity. For example, you can turn this Cheesy Hash Potato Casserole into funeral potatoes by topping it with a mixture of crushed potato chips and parmesan before baking.

Before you get cooking, make sure you check out this guide to picking the right potato.

Here are More Ways to Love Potatoes
1 / 100

Popular Videos

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.