Last Saturday I was a judge at the Utah’s Own Funeral Potato Cookoff at the Downtown Salt Lake Farmer’s Market.
funeral potatoes fyün-rəl pə-ˈtā-tōz : a baked cheesy potato casserole often served at family gatherings and luncheons following funerals.
I know they make similar potato casseroles around the country, but in Utah we jokingly/fondly call them Funeral Potatoes. Utah’s Own and the Salt Lake Ladies Who Lunch teamed up to host this fun event.
I consider myself somewhat of a Funeral Potatoes expert. Not only have I made this delicious comfort food numerous times, I have also help serve it at many funerals and gatherings held at our church. The ladies working in the kitchen are always amazed at the wide variety of funeral potato recipes the members bring, and of course, we often have the opporunity to sneak a little taste.
The recipe I usually make is one passed down to me from my sister-in-law and they have crushed potato chips on top. The winning recipe at the Utah’s Owns Funeral Potato cookoff used panko crumbs for a crispy topping.
The winning recipe also used homemade cream of chicken soup in her potatoes, which I’m sure added that little bit of extra creamy, deliciousness that took her potatoes to first place. The next time I make funeral potatoes, I’m giving Jessica’s recipe a try. The next time you need to feed a crowd some delicious comfort food, you should try them too.
Here’s Jessica’s winning recipe:
Utah’s Best Funeral Potatoes
- 1 32 oz. package freshly shredded hash browns
- 2 cups cream of chicken soup recipe below or 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
- 2 cups of shredded Monterrey and Cheddar cheese
- 2 cups Meadow Gold Sour Cream
- ½ cup of diced onion
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup of Meadow Gold Unsalted butter divided
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
Cream of Chicken Soup:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium Spanish onion chopped
- 2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
- 3 medium carrots chopped
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 ¾ cups cooked diced chicken
- 3 cups Meadow Gold heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper to tastes
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º. Melt ½ cup of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is translucent.
- Remove from heat. Add the hash browns, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, cheese, salt and pepper and combine well. Add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
- Spread the mixture into a 9 x 13 (or similar) dish. Mix the panko with ½ cup melted butter and top the mixture.
- Bake for 40 minutes covered with foil. Uncover and bake for an additional 5- 7 minutes or until golden brown.
Cream of Chicken Soup:
- Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 12 minutes.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes more. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil while whisking constantly.
- Tie the parsley springs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the soup. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the heavy cream into the soup and season with pepper to taste. Remove and discard the herb bundle. Divide among soup bowls, sprinkle the top of each bowl with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
mmmm…I love me some “Mormon” potatoes (as we call them in my LDS family!) This version does look scrumptious!
Love the Panko idea! Somehow it’s the best finishing touch to so many things. How fun you could judge such a unique contest! Nobody better qualified than you…
Oh, I do so absolutely love blogs and writing where I learn more about a place’s culture as intertwined with its food! I’ve never heard of funeral potatoes before, and while this dish is beyond the capabilities of my poor lactose intolerant soul, I do so think it looks scrumptious!
Deeba Rajpal (@vindee)
That looks mighty delicious…yum yum! Love the intriguing name as well. Sorry I’m still missing GF!
Wow, this sounds like quite the recipe! No onder it’s served at funerals… it sounds so comforting!
I was curious when I saw the title of your post …..’Funeral Potatoes’. Never
heard of this before. Looks a bit like Shepherd’s pie.
Lauren from Lauren's Latest
How did you get to be a judge? That sounds like my kind of gig!
Hi Lauren! I helped arrange the contest and volunteered to judge. It was a lot of fun. You’ll have to do it some time.
Fun name, lol What a fun event and so cool you were a judge. Love the addition of homemade chicken soup!!
Hahaha! We call ours “Mormon Potatoes”
Ok, this Tennessee girl keeps seeing Utah Funeral Potatoes everywhere and is going to have to make them to see what they are all about!
That looks great Barbara! Have never heard or tried funeral potatoes- sure sounds interesting!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
Woohoo! Great job mum being the judge! I’ve heard of funeral potatoes but didn’t realise what they were. This looks delicious 😀 xxx
WOW never heard of this but sounds fabulous and so rich. I am going to have to try this one day.
what an interesting name – but I am sure good for any occasion 🙂
How fun for you to be a judge, Barbara! My late mom made these potatoes at every holday meal since I was a teen, and of course we have continued the tradition because they’re delicious! The only difference is that she did not add onions and used crushed corn flakes on top. Oh, and canned cream of chicken soup:) We call it simply, potato cheese casserole.
Wow! That is one good recipe, I can tell. This would have to be in the gourmet catagory. Can’t wait to try it.
Love this recipe. Just stumbled it. I am sooo addicted to SU! LOL
Cheesy potatoes are my favorite! In Ohio we never called them funeral potatoes but I think that name is sorta funny 🙂
You got to be a judge? How fantastic. I love the crazy way you folk refer to things. Seriously a funeral potato. :))) So it’s like a potato bake right?
Anna – I always think of you Aussies that come up with the great names. It’s a cheesy, creamy potato bake usually with a crispy topping. So good!
Claire @ Claire K Creations
It looks like the perfect comfort food!