Cheesy Funeral Potatoes From Scratch

Adapt this recipe to suit your time, needs, and preferences: frozen shredded potatoes can be substituted for fresh, and canned cream of chicken soup can be substituted for homemade.

  • Prep time: 35 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes (about 3 large or 4 small potatoes)
  • 8 tablespoons of butter, divided
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped (about a cup)
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, finely chopped (about a 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups homemade cream of chicken soup (store-bought will also work)
  • 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2  cups panko bread crumbs


1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x8 baking dish.

2 Parboil the potatoes: Scrub the potatoes clean, but leave the skins on. Place them in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 10 minutes.

Turn off heat and let the potatoes sit in the hot water for another 10 minutes. When ready, you should be able to pierce the potatoes with a fork, but still feel slight resistance. Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle.

If making the potatoes ahead, cool to room temp, cover, and store in fridge for up to 3 days.

Funeral Potatoes - poach the potatoes

3 Meanwhile, cook the onions and peppers: In a medium skillet, melt 5 tablespoons butter, cook the onions and bell pepper until the onions are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Set aside.

Funeral potatoes - onions and peppers

4 Peel and shred the potatoes: Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, score them along their equator with a paring knife. Twist each side in opposite directions to remove skin. The skin should pull off easily. If any bits of skin remain, trim them off with a knife.

Shred the potatoes using a food processor fitted with the shredder disk, or shred them by hand using the large holes on a cheese grater.

Funeral Potatoes - Remove potato skins Funeral Potatoes - Shredded Potatoes

5 Assemble the casserole: Transfer shredded potatoes to a large bowl, and mix with the cooked onions, pepper, cream of chicken soup, cheddar cheese, sour cream, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper.

Stir until thoroughly combined. Spread into casserole dish.

Funeral Potatoes Ingredients - cream of chicken soup, potatoes, red peppers Funeral Potatoes with real Potatoes - mixed with cheese

6 Toast the breadcrumbs: In the same pan where you cooked the onions, melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the panko and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir to coat.

Toast panko, stirring frequently, until it takes on a golden hue, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the potatoes.

Funeral Potatoes - crunchy panko topping

7 Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. When done, the potatoes should be bubbling around the edges, and the panko top will be golden.  

8 Cool for 10 minutes, then spoon onto plates.  

Funeral Potatoes Recipe - finished potatoes

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  • Kristi

    The recipe looks great, and I will try it soon. I wanted to comment that “Funeral Potato’s” are not similar at all to the British famous Cottage Pie. Cottage Pie is similar to Shepard’s Pie, made with ground beef, or lamb, bathed in a rich, thick sauce, and diced carrots, onion, and peas, then topped with whipped potato’s. Not the same as your recipe. Thank you!!

  • Louise

    I haven’t tried it yet but do you mix the canned cream of mushroom soup with the milk first before using it or not?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Louise! Emma here, managing editor. No need to add milk to your cream of mushroom soup. Use it as is in this recipe. Enjoy!

  • Kathryn

    This recipe is amazing! I made it for my family Easter dinner and everyone enjoyed them so much. I would like to know if anyone has a carb count per serving (or even better, carbs per ounce so we can go by weight)??

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Kathryn! Emma here, managing editor. So glad you liked the recipe! For the carb count, I’d recommend using an online nutritional calculator like this one. Thanks!

  • Sherri Shackelford

    These potatoes will have you have lurking outside of funeral homes hoping for a Wake. This recipe is a little fussier than a can of Campbell’s and a bag of Ore Ida, but totally worth the effort. As Summer states, prep ahead of time and you’ll be fine. Use your giant Tupperware bowl for mixing–the one we all use for Chex mix – this batch makes a lot. My 8×8 pan was at capacity. Make them for dinner, and warm them up with a side of eggs the next morning. Or add cubed ham and call it a meal. If you don’t have panko, go to the store and buy some. Cornflakes should only be used for cornflake Christmas Wreaths and nothing else.


    • Summer

      Hi, Sherri! I’m so glad you liked them, and they were worth the extra effort!

  • Rene

    I add a 7 oz. can of green chilis and a large can of shredded white chicken to mine.


    • Summer

      Yum! That sounds delicious!

  • Sharon

    Thanks for including the weight for the potatoes! We are empty nesters far from family, and I think I will cut this in half and bake in a small loaf pan. Now I won’t have to wait for company to come to serve these. I’ve never gone to the trouble of shredding the potatoes after they are cooked, just slice them and otherwise follow the recipe as written. Thanks again. Make these for Easter as a surprise for my better half. Love your site. Sharon

    • Summer

      Hi, Sharon! Happy to help! I hope you have a great Easter.

  • Jim

    AKA `Cottage Pie` in the UK .

    • Summer

      Hi, Jim! That’s a variation of the name I hadn’t heard before. Thank you for sharing!

  • Tara Kelly

    I love your unique idea for funeral potatoes. It’s just that I’m a little conscious about my weight and try to keep my calorie consumption to a minimum. I’m a little worried about the amount of cheddar cheese that you have added. I think I’ll put 1 to 1.5 cups. I know it wouldn’t taste as good as yours but enough to make me happy.

    • Summer

      Hi, Tara! Thank you! Funeral Potatoes are pretty adaptable. I think they will still taste great with 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Let us know how it goes!

  • William

    We always called them “Dead Spread” taters.

    • Summer

      Hi, William! Thanks for sharing!