The Best Cheesy Potato Casserole
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The Best Cheesy Potato Casserole

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This is truly the best cheesy potato casserole in the world. It’s at least 50 years old and going strong. In Utah, this recipe is also known as “funeral potatoes”. The reason is when we have a funeral in Utah, typically we serve lunch to the family of the deceased. It’s a time to remember the good times with family and friends with a meal being served to those in attendance.

I’m usually asked to make my infamous chocolate cake as a dessert for those special lunch meals. In case you missed this post, try this Best Chocolate Cake Ever. Okay, back to the cheesy potatoes. This dish has frozen hash browns, sour cream, butter, shredded cheese, and cream of chicken soup, and is topped off with your favorite version of frosted flakes.

I’d be surprised if we all didn’t have our own family recipe for cheesy potatoes. Where I live (Utah), we not only serve these cheesy potatoes at funeral lunches, but also at church activities, neighborhood parties, family reunions, and regular family meals. They really are yummy and so easy to make, so I decided to show you how to make them today using some frozen hashbrowns, and also using dehydrated potatoes.

Kitchen Items You May Need

I must say my mouth is watering just thinking about these! First, let’s talk about preparing your dehydrated potatoes for use in the recipe.

Ingredients

  • Shredded Potatoes: Potatoes are a nightshade vegetable and are grown for their starchy edible tubers.
  • Sour Cream: Used to add more flavor to the cheesy potatoes. It has a 20% fat content. The cream is mixed with a lactic aid that creates that sour taste we all love! It also helps to thicken the cream.
  • Cream of Chicken Soup: A savory and smooth creamy chicken soup made of chicken stock, seasonings, small bits of chicken, celery, and cream.
  • Butter: Helps to keep the potatoes from crumbling; prevents the water from evaporating, which creates moist and soft cheesy potatoes.
  • Grated Colby Jack Cheese: A very smooth, moist, and mild cheese. It is the perfect choice for this cheesy potato casserole due to its melting capabilities which helps to combine all of the ingredients together.
  • Frosted Flakes or Corn Flakes: The perfect topping! Use Frosted Flakes for a sweeter crunch and Corn Flakes for a more mild yet savory crunch. You are also welcome to use a cracker of choice or other topping.
The Best Cheesy Potato Casserole

The Best Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe

Step One: Gather the Ingredients – Preheat Oven

Preheat your oven to (350°F) = (176°C). Gather all of the ingredients so you’re ready to make the recipe.

Ingredients

Step Two: Crush the Frosted Flakes

Crush the Frosted flakes in a bag. Note that you can use another cereal or even your favorite cracker you feel would be a good fit flavor-wise. You may be wondering why I use Frosted Flakes. I get it. One day many years ago, we were out of cornflakes and crackers. The only cereal we had was Frosted Flakes. So we crushed the yummy cereal and now we only use them. I’ve heard from readers that they like crushed potato chips too. I guess the topping you add could be made from dozens of crunchy things you like.

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Crush The Frosted Flakes

Step Three: Combine the Ingredients

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Combine the ingredients

Step Four: Stir Until Smooth

Stir the ingredients until smooth.

The Best Cheesy Potato Casserole

Step Five: Scoop the Mixture Into The Pan

Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan with cooking spray and scoop the mixture into the pan or baking dish.

Scoop into pan

Stir Six: Bake as Directed

I crush the frosted flakes and sprinkle them over the casserole. Bake at (350°F) = (176°C) degrees covered with foil for 1 hour, or until bubbly.

Sprinkle Frosted Flakes On Top

Finished Product

Whether you use frozen hash browns or dehydrated potatoes from your pantry or the store, this recipe will prove to be one you’ll grow to love and serve. When our extended family visits, there are two recipes I always have to make, these cheesy potatoes and cream chipped beef on toast. I used to think they came to see their grandma, now I wonder if it isn’t so they can enjoy my meals!

The Best Cheesy Potato Casserole

The Best Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe

5 from 7 votes
The Best Cheesy Potato Casserole
The Best Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
Author: Linda Loosli
Ingredients
  • 12 cooked and shredded potatoes or 30 or 32-ounce bag of frozen hash browns
  • 1 pint Sour Cream
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/4 cup Butter, melted
  • 2-3 cups Cheese-shredded
  • 1 cup crushed Frosted Flakes type cereal
Instructions
  1. Gather all of your ingredients. Preheat your oven to (350°F) = (176°C).

  2. Crush the Frosted Flakes in a bag. Note: You are welcome to use another cereal or favorite cracker, if desired, in place of the Frosted Flakes. The Frosted Flakes give the casserole a sweet flavored topping that is delicious and pairs well with the other ingredients.

  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Except for the Frosted Flakes and butter, set them aside).

  4. Stir the ingredients until smooth.

  5. Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan with cooking spray and scoop the mixture into the pan or casserole dish.

  6. Bake at (350°F) = (176°C) degrees covered with aluminum foil for 1 hour or until bubbly.

Frosted Flakes Topping
  1. Combine the melted butter and crushed Frosted Flakes, you will sprinkle these on the casserole before baking or add them to the baked casserole, for the last 15 minutes of baking.

How do I store the leftovers after baking them?

I store them in an airtight Tupperware-type container for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze the leftovers?

The nice thing about this recipe is it does make a lot. Our family usually finishes off the recipe, but if you have leftovers, place them in an airtight container for freezer storage. They will be good for 2-3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator, and bake them covered as directed to heat them through.

Can I use a different cheese?

Yes, I have used plain cheddar cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and even spicy Jack cheese once. The spicy Jack cheese I had to grate it by hand. It was delicious! I know people who use Swiss cheese in this recipe. You could also sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top for a cheesy crust.

For a bolder flavor, you could add different types of cheese, such as smoked gouda or sharp cheddar cheese. This recipe is so versatile.

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Can I use a different shape of potatoes?

I have used the small 1/2-inch frozen potatoes as well. Any shape works. The shredded hashbrowns are the ones that most people in Utah use. When I was younger I boiled potatoes, now I buy them frozen and shredded.

What type of potatoes should I use for this recipe?

You can use any type of potato you prefer, but russet potatoes work best because they have a fluffy texture when cooked.

Are there any variations that could be made to this recipe?

I really love the recipe as is! But if you are interested in adding some additional ingredients or making any variations, I would recommend any of the following.

  • Substitute the traditional potatoes for sweet potatoes for a sweeter taste.
  • Top with crushed Cornflakes, Ritz crackers, or bread crumbs.
  • Use cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup instead of cream of chicken soup.
  • Add diced jalapenos for a spicy kick.
  • Add cooked bacon or ham for added flavor and protein.
  • Top the casserole with crispy bacon pieces for an added crunch.
  • Add a pinch of nutmeg, paprika, or thyme for an added depth of flavor.
  • You could add some minced garlic to the melted butter.
  • Melt some Velveta cheese to make a creamy cheese sauce in place of the shredded cheese.

The options are endless!

Is this cheesy potato casserole gluten free?

The Frosted Flakes or Cornflake topping in this recipe is most likely NOT gluten-free. If this is a concern in your family, I would recommend eliminating the cereal topping or using a cereal or cracker that is certified gluten free. As with any food allergy, I would highly recommend reviewing the ingredients on any product that you use in this recipe, or on any other packaging, if you decide to add or substitute any additional ingredients.

What can I serve with these cheesy potatoes?

How To Use Dehydrated Potatoes For Cheesy Potatoes:

All you do is open a container or package of dehydrated potatoes, no slicing or peeling and let them sit in water covered for about 45 minutes. Drain and they are ready to use. Just reconstitute the dehydrated ones as directed on the container and you’re ready to go.

I promise your cheesy potato casserole will be totally consumed at your next get-together! Although not listed as an ingredient, you can sprinkle a little green onion on top to add some extra flavor. With the potatoes, soup, Frosted Flakes, and other ingredients listed below, this really is a tasty recipe. Sometimes I’m tempted to serve it on its own without any meat portions, particularly when I serve it to friends who lean towards vegetarian meals.

Potatoes tend to make you feel full, and with the cheese and other items included you have a meal most all family members will be asking to be repeated pretty often. We’ve also made these in a series of pans and frozen some for future meals.

You can take them out of the freezer the night before you plan to serve them. Let the ingredients defrost, then place the covered pan in the oven. Be ready to pass out the recipe.

You’ll note that the recipe calling for frozen hash browns is the same as the dehydrated version, just without any rehydration steps, just time to thaw the frozen potatoes.

Final Word

Let me know if you decide to make this one and only best cheesy potato casserole! recipe. It really is the perfect side dish to serve at any family gathering or special occasion. We love to serve it for Easter or Christmas dinner. It is always a hit with any crowd!

It’s funny how certain foods can be attached to an ethnic group or location, even to the point they are called “signature foods.” Examples might be Chicago or New York pizza, Philly and their cheesesteak sandwiches, and San Francisco’s famous sourdough bread. I’m not aware of another place where people are likely to make this cheesy potatoes recipe like they are here in Utah. Utah also became famous for its green jello with carrots when the Olympics were held here in 2002.

Let’s spread the word by serving this at your next company party, neighborhood dinner, or family reunion. You’ll get rave reviews and have a new “family favorite” you can serve anytime. Let me know how it was received by your hungry guests. May God bless this world. Linda

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35 Comments

  1. Ohhhh! This looks so good! It reminds me of a chicken casserole we have often here in the south but with less chicken and hashbrowns! I LOVE ANYTHING HASHBROWNS! Will definitely be trying this tonight and may even fix a triple amount when I go over to my cousins’ farm for the yearly planting. We all bring two dishes, one for lunch and one for dinner, as this takes 27 of us all day! But we don’t mind because we come together as a family to get it done and celebrate at the end of the day with a HUGE buffet of homecooked goodness! I know that no one has ever brought this dish so I will try it out next weekend. I am sure that they will all love it!

    1. Hi Ravenna, oh my gosh, you have a family yearly planting!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing this! Talk about a blessing to do work together and reap the rewards together. Plus, a huge budget! SQUEAL! All home-cooked goodness! Love this! Linda

      1. 5 stars
        Yes, we do. That farm has been in my cousins’ family for 200 years, and the rule is, “if you want from the farm you work on the farm.” A rule my uncle put into place 30 years ago. This rule was for everyone not only to learn but to understand and appreciate what it takes to farm. This has been one of my favorite family traditions ever since I could remember. The next time I go (after this weekend) we will be planting 15 acres of corn and 5 acres of potatoes…now, that’s a whole lot of hashbrowns and frosted flakes! lol

        1. Hi Ravenna, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! Oh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this family tradition! What a blessing to all who work on the farm! This comment gives me chills, that the Patriarch made the rule 30 years ago!! AND the family is still working the farm! That is a lot of hashbrowns and frosted flakes! LOL! Good job!! Linda

  2. We just had these yesterday! They have been a family favorite for many years (although we skip the crunchy topping and just add more cheese). I chuckled when you mentioned leftovers… we never have any leftovers!

  3. 5 stars
    When I moved to Utah, after twenty years in Asia, I was horrified by the name of this dish. I asked DD why anyone would call it “Funeral Potatoes” she t old me the same thing you did. I tried the recipe and loved them! If I have any left-over potatoes, I add diced ham and that is dinner the next night. I’ve gilded the lily sometimes and use fried onion instead of cornflakes.

  4. Love to make this casserole. When I was growing up it was called Dead mans Casserole. Have no Idea other than it was a simple thing to put together for a wake.

  5. 5 stars
    This sounds so good! We are big potato eaters. LOL Almost any way they’re fixed is good. And cheese? Anything with cheese is so much better.

  6. Hi All,
    Our community prepares this one, or something very lose to it fairly often for church functions, that involve a plate meal.
    I +other family have dietary intolerance, to milk ingredients…can use butter, and i can make own “cream of ” and ..use lactose free milk-w/limits and sub for milk(water, cornstarch +sugar) in recipes with substitutions-..which are function very close to commercial. The more ingredients one substitutes in a recipe the less a recipe becomes what one first started with.. Does anyone have a non dairy version of something similar that is savory? adding diced chicken or ham would help…
    Does anyone have a sub for the cheese and/or the sour cream?.. oh yeah , no soy either.can’t use tofu.. Thanks…

      1. Linda, Thanks, that is what i was hoping for…I have thought of nutritional yeast- it is not easily available here, but possible to get right now… I have NEVER used it.(anyone have tips on using it? . is one thing i need to get in…
        There are many of these similar recipes that use milk ingredients for bulk..for example eggplant casserole,W/ effective subs it would open up a full flavor palate for many people. I know i am NOT the only one with this issue.
        Milk is easy to sub… a cup of cool water minus 2 tbsp water, 2 tablespoons corn starch and a teaspoon or two of sugar (depending on the recipe, for some recipes a tablespoon of cornmeal can be added for extra thickening.)

        1. Hi Denise, I know I went to a class that taught how to substitute nutritional yeast instead of cheese. I gagged on it. It’s just me. I sure hope you find a substitute that is edible. Linda

      2. Non dairy coffee creamer can be used with some hot water for milk. For sour cream, yogurt, plain. For cheese, Nutritional Yeast tastes kinda like cheese.

  7. I have made these twice in the last 2 weeks for funerals here. Another recipe that I have made and is a family favorite is Flourless Chocolate Cake from King Arthur Flour. It is a hit every time and is really good with whipped cream and fresh berries on top. Be sure to use good chocolate and you won’t need the espresso powder it calls for. We do not drink coffee, so good chocolate is a must for my baking. I get it at KAF as well. You would neve know that there wasn’t any flour in it.

    1. Hi Cheryl, oh my gosh, I remember a flourless cake. This is a great recipe to make for funeral luncheons. Now, I want to make a flourless cake with whipping cream and fresh berries!! Yum! Linda

  8. 5 stars
    These potatoes are a favorite in my house. We call them cheesy potatoes at home, but at church they are called funeral potatoes. I didn’t want my grandkids to think I was being morbid! LOL

  9. hello Linda! I love this recipe. Could you use something other than Cream of Chicken soup. After living in the last shelter I have a big disgust of Chicken. Only problem is I used my hash browns yesterday and still haven’t gotten to the store after my surgery; which I’m doing pretty good at walking around the apt an an the stairs pretty good. Hope you’re well. TTYL.

    1. This one seems easier to make, and no chicken. I’ve downloaded it and will try it soon. Thanks so much. You’re a doll.

  10. Lactaid makes milk, sour cream, cottage cheese and ice cream. I, too am Lactose intolerant and was glad to find these products. I hope they will make cheese very soon. I hope this helps my Lactose intolerant friends.

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