This cheesy potato casserole is a family-favorite side dish – it’s simple, super creamy, cheesy, and a perfect side dish for your favorite protein and veggies. Cheesy potatoes (funeral potatoes) are a cozy, comforting, satisfying, crowd-pleasing side!
There’s nothing quite like a classic casserole when you want to add something super comforting to your table. I have shared recipes for protein-based million dollar chicken casserole and hamburger casserole. Now it’s the turn of what might be one of the best “side dish” casseroles ever: cheese potatoes!
I’m starting to think there is practically no bad way to enjoy potatoes. Whether transformed into creamy mash, potatoes au gratin, crispy parmesan stacks, or this super creamy, cheesy potato casserole – your whole family will be obsessed!
Plus, this cheesy potatoes recipe is simple to prepare, fairly budget-friendly, easily adjustable, and ready in under an hour. Serve it with your choice of veggies and protein for a satisfying meal. Oh, and it’s meal prep and freezer-friendly, too!
What are Funeral Potatoes?
Funeral potatoes (a staple at post-funeral meals) is a classic American casserole dish that’s known under about half a dozen different names, including cheesy potatoes, cheesy hash browns, great potatoes, cheesy hashbrown casserole, cheesy potato casserole, or party potatoes.
No matter which name you use, these baked cheesy potatoes are one of the ultimate crowd-pleasing offerings for potlucks, parties, post-funerals, Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, and any large family gathering.
This casserole traditionally combines cubes or shredded (hash browns) potatoes in a sauce made with cheese, onions, cream soup (or a cream sauce), and sour cream. That’s then topped off with a super buttery, crunchy crushed cornflake topping (or potato chip topping) and baked to comforting perfection.
Ingredients for Cheesy Potatoes
This easy cheesy potatoes recipe relies on just 6 simple, easy-to-find ingredients; 8 if you want to add a buttery, crunchy topping.
- Potatoes: I usually use fresh real potatoes (Russets work best), but frozen diced hash browns or shredded hash browns will also work (thaw them first).
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best.
- Cream of chicken soup: You can use store-bought (regular or reduced sodium) or homemade cream of chicken soup. Cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup will work as a vegetarian alternative.
- Dairy: This recipe relies on several dairy products to provide the perfect creamy texture, flavor, and cheesiness.
- Sour cream (OR Greek yogurt, for a subtle tang and to slightly cut the richness),
- Soft cream cheese (unflavored, for super creaminess),
- Cheddar cheese (use a sharp cheddar cheese and/or a little parmesan).
- The topping: (Optional) Combine breadcrumbs (or crushed Ritz crackers) and melted butter for a flavorful, crunchy topping. Crushed potato chips or cornflakes also work. Optionally, garnish with minced parsley and/or chives.
How to Make Cheesy Potatoes Casserole
First, preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes into 1/4-1/2-inch pieces and place them in a saucepan with cold water. Bring it to a boil, then allow the diced potatoes to simmer until fork-tender (usually 8-14 minutes, depending on their size).
If the pieces are much smaller, reduce the cooking time accordingly. If you’re using frozen hash brown potatoes, make sure they’re thawed and stir them directly into the cheesy sauce.
Then, drain the potatoes and leave them to cool slightly. Meanwhile, shred the cheddar cheese.
Next, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Then add the sour cream, cream cheese, soup, and half the cheddar cheese and stir well.
You may also want to season the cheese sauce with salt and black pepper, to taste.
To assemble the casserole, add the tender potatoes to the baking dish, pour over the cheesy sauce mixture, and mix well. Then sprinkle over the remaining cheddar. You can optionally add a crunchy topping, too (read below for the method).
Bake the cheesy potatoes in the oven at 375ºF/190ºC for 30-35 minutes or until the top is browned and bubbling.
Finally, allow the potato casserole to rest for a few minutes, then optionally garnish with parsley/chives, and serve.
You can also enjoy it for breakfast as a hash brown casserole, served alongside eggs and bacon/ sausages.
How to Make Cheesy Potato Casserole with Crunchy Topping
Combine your crushed crunchy ingredient (i.e., Ritz crackers, bread crumbs, or cornflakes crushed by hand in a Ziplock bag) with about two tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle that over the potatoes before baking.
Alternatively, crush potato chips directly over the casserole (no butter necessary) or use fried onions, like in a green bean casserole.
Do I need to Boil Shredded Potatoes First to Make Cheesy Potato Casserole?
If you’d prefer to make it with shredded potato (fresh or frozen hash browns), you can optionally boil it for 2-3 minutes to soften them and allow them to cook more evenly and in less time. However, it’s not necessary, as they’ll cook in the oven.
Can You Make Cheesy Potatoes Ahead of Time?
Like many casseroles, these party potatoes work wonderfully for meal prepping. Here are several ways to make ahead cheesy potatoes:
- You can cook the potatoes 2-3 days in advance and store them in an airtight container in the fridge, ready to assemble and bake the casserole as needed.
- Assemble the casserole (minus a crunchy topping if using one) in the baking dish and refrigerate for 1-2 days. When you’re ready to bake, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes and bake.
- Assemble the casserole (minus any crunchy topping), allow it to cool, then tightly wrap and freeze for up to three months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, bring it to room temperature, add crunchy topping, and bake. You can also bake the make-ahead cheesy potatoes from frozen, adding extra time.
Can You Freeze Leftover Cheesy Potatoes?
Once baked, the leftover cheesy potatoes will store well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or freezer for longer-term storage.
The leftovers freeze best without crunchy topping (as it will become soggy upon thawing). Tightly wrap the leftovers in clingfilm/plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Individual portions will reheat well in the microwave (1-2 minutes). Large amounts reheat best in the oven (covered with foil) at 350ºF/175ºC until piping hot (20-30 minutes).
If you try this easy cheesy potatoes recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Fabulous Cheesy Potatoes Casserole
- 3 lb potatoes 5 large Russet; or frozen diced hash browns or shredded hash browns (thawed)
- 1/4 cup butter melted; unsalted
- 7.7 oz sour cream 1 cup; or Greek yogurt
- 2.5 oz soft cream cheese 1/3 cup
- 12 oz cream of chicken soup 1 cup/1 can; OR cream of mushroom soup/cream of celery soup
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded, or others like Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, Gruyere, etc.
- Casserole dish 9×13-inch
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC and grease your baking dish.
- Peel and chop the potatoes into 1/4-1/2-inch pieces and place them in a saucepan with cold water. Bring it to a boil, then allow the potatoes to simmer until fork-tender (usually 8-14 minutes, depending on their size).If the pieces are much smaller, reduce the cooking time accordingly. If you're using frozen potatoes, make sure they're thawed and stir them directly into the cheesy sauce.
- Drain the potatoes and leave them to cool slightly. Meanwhile, shred the cheddar cheese.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Then add the sour cream, cream cheese, soup, and half the cheddar cheese and stir well.
- Add the potatoes to the baking dish, pour over the cheesy sauce, and mix well to assemble. Sprinkle over the remaining cheddar. You can optionally add a crunchy topping, too. For the topping, combine your crushed crunchy ingredient (i.e., Ritz crackers, breadcrumbs, or cornflakes crushed by hand in a Ziplock bag) with about two tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle that over the potatoes before baking. Alternatively, crush potato chips directly over the casserole (no butter necessary).
- Bake in the oven at 375ºF/190ºC for 30-35 minutes or until the top is browned and bubbling.
- Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes, then optionally garnish with parsley/chives, and serve.
- Use freshly grated cheese: Pre-grated cheese doesn’t properly melt in the same way.
- Stir well: Ensure the potatoes and sauce are thoroughly mixed before baking.
- Adjust the texture: You can use cubed potatoes or shredded potatoes (hash browns) – it just comes down to personal preference.
- If using frozen potatoes: Thaw them first; otherwise, they’ll add excess liquid to the casserole, and it may become soupy.
- Add 1-2 cups of vegetables – like frozen peas or corn, green beans, shredded broccoli, zucchini, etc.
- Add some onion – fresh and pre-sauteed or dried onion flakes.
- Mix in some shredded chicken, diced ham, or bacon for protein.
- Stir in some finely chopped green onions for little bites of freshness.
- If you want to add a little spice, stir in a can of green chiles, freshly sliced jalapeno, or chili/cayenne pepper. You could also serve it with hot sauce.
- Mix in a little seasoning like Cajun spice or Ranch seasoning to give the potatoes more flavor.