At every family get together you can almost guarantee that you will find a dish of Hash Brown Casserole on the serving table. Although some people refer to them as Funeral Potatoes, they are also a popular side dish served at Easter, Christmas, at picnics and pot lucks.
Although they are referred to by various names, I am sure that you are familiar with this classic recipe. You will most often find it in cooked in a rectangular casserole dish.
And with just one look you will recognize the layer of either crushed cornflakes or butter crackers that are layered on top. Underneath, you will find diced or shredded potatoes that are heavily coated in a creamed based sauce and a thick layer of cheese.
They have become so popular because it is a great side dish that can compliment any meal. From your Easter ham to your Thanksgiving turkey dinner, potatoes are sure to be on the table in some form.
And although you might think of a Large Batch of Mashed Potatoes for these types of meals, when you are making dinner for a crowd, options are always welcome.
But don’t just think of serving these potatoes around the holidays. They make a fantastic side dish to serve at a barbecue dinner, along with homemade corn bread and green beans.
And don’t forget about those work pot lucks, baby showers, and game watching parties. They are a crowd favorite for just about any occasion, even after a funeral.
So how did hash brown casserole become known as funeral potatoes? The answer is quite simple.
Most churches have a volunteer food committee. Each member of the group is responsible for making a dish to bring to the church banquet hall after a funeral.
The gathering of food is to provide a complete meal for the family and friends of deceased loved ones after the funeral. And because this recipe was extremely easy to make and is a favorite among many, it is one of the most popular side dishes that is made for this occasion.
Therefore, the term funeral potatoes was born. However, because I make this recipe for multiple occasions, I prefer to call the dish hash brown casserole.
Although now that I think about it, maybe I should call them pot luck or party potatoes. Anything sounds better than funeral potatoes!
What Type Of Potatoes To Use
The most common question that I get asked about this recipe is what type of potatoes should be used. You can use either a bag of frozen shredded hash browns or frozen diced potatoes. Either way, this Hash Brown Casserole is a hit at every function.
You can even add a little more flavor to this recipe by using a bag of Western diced potatoes. These are frozen potatoes that also have diced peppers and onions in the bag as well.
Because this casserole is most often served at a large function that provides plastic utensils, I find it best to make it with shredded potatoes and not the diced potatoes. That way you can easily eat it with a fork or a spoon.
Although I use a bag of store-bought, frozen hash browns you can certainly make this with a few Russet potatoes. Simply par-boil 6 medium size, whole potatoes for 8-10 minutes.
Then let the potatoes cool and shred them with a box grater or food processor. Then add them to the recipe as instructed.
No Creamed Soup Required
What sets this recipe above any other Hash Brown Casserole is that it does not require any condensed creamed soup. Most Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole recipes will include at least one can, if not two cans of condensed cream of chicken and/or cream of cheddar soup.
And as we all know, canned soups are filled with sodium and aren’t the healthiest choice. So instead, this recipe uses a thickened mixture of low-sodium chicken broth and whole milk.
This simple combination gives the potatoes a creamy texture without the worry of the excessive salt content and unwanted preservatives.
And to make it a touch healthier, you can decrease the volume of cheese that is used in this recipe and skip the crunchy coating that goes on top. And if you are really trying to decrease calories, substitute Greek Yogurt for the sour cream.
Although, the recipe as written below is my absolute favorite and a crowd pleaser.
Hash Brown Potato Casserole Recipe
*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.
- Frozen cubed home fries or hash browns, thawed
- Butter, unsalted
- Sweet yellow onion
- Garlic, minced
- All-purpose flour
- Chicken broth, low-sodium
- Whole milk
- Sour cream
- Shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
- Green onions, sliced
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Crushed butter crackers or corn flakes
- Butter, unsalted
The first step in making this Hash Brown Casserole is to preheat the oven and coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. In a medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat.
Once the butter has melted add the diced onions and cook until softened. Then add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, or just until fragrant. Be sure not to cook the garlic too long or let it turn brown because it will become bitter tasting.
Next, add the flour and whisk. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour in the broth and milk.
Continue to whisk until the mixture is thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the thawed potatoes to the saucepan with the sauce and stir. Then add the sour cream, cheese, and diced green onions. Stir until well combined.
Pour the coated hash brown potatoes into the prepared casserole dish. Smooth out the potatoes so that they are in an even layer. Set the dish aside and prepare the topping.
Mix together the crushed crackers or corn flakes and butter until evenly moist. Spread the mixture on top of the potato casserole.
Then place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for one hour. You will know when it is done when the liquid around the sides are bubbling and the topping is beginning to turn light golden brown in color.
Mary and Jim
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Hash Brown Casserole – aka Funeral Potatoes
A delicious cheesy potato casserole made without canned soup, that is known for being served at holiday meals or for family functions.
- 1 (30 ounce) bag of frozen cubed home fries, thawed
- 3 tbsp butter, unsalted
- 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion diced small
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ½ Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, low-sodium
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
- 3 green onions sliced
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (or any brand) or cornflakes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
- In a medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted add the diced onions and cook until softened.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the flour and whisk for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- While whisking, slowly add the broth and milk. Continue to whisk until thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat.
- Add the thawed potatoes to the saucepan with the sauce. Add the sour cream, cheese, and green onions.
- Stir until well combined and pour into the prepared baking dish.
- Mix together the crushed crackers and butter until evenly moist. Spread on top of the potato casserole.
- Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and lightly golden.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 278mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.