‘Funeral Potatoes’ is the grim name of a very delicious casserole that is renowned in parts of the U.S. I’m not sure why I had never heard of funeral potatoes until recently when The Idaho Potato Commission asked if I’d be interested in developing my own unique funeral potatoes recipe for them. At first I was slightly taken aback by the name but when I realized they were referring to a casserole of shredded potatoes and melted cheese, I said “yes!”
The dish comes from Utah and mid-mountain Western United States, developed and made popular by members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints and it is sometimes called Mormon Potatoes or Mormon Funeral Potatoes. This cheesy hash brown casserole, often topped with crunchy buttered cornflakes, is a popular side dish at church luncheons and dinners that follow a funeral. The ultimate comforting casserole that’s and easy to throw together is just what’s you want for a somber occasion that you can’t plan too much ahead for.
But don’t think for a minute that funeral potatoes is only for funerals.
Cheesy shredded potato casserole is a wonderful side dish for Christmas, Easter or any occasion where scrumptious potatoes are called for. And not everyone calls these by their unfortunate title. They’re also know as: Party Potatoes, Wedding Potatoes, Potluck Potatoes, Church Potatoes, cheesy potato casserole, hash brown casserole, cheesy hash brown casserole, patio potatoes, Cottage Potatoes, Celebration potatoes, Sinful Potatoes, Fun Potatoes (fun, short for fun-eral) and, with some irony, “potatoes to die for.”
The typical funeral potatoes recipe contains packaged frozen hash browns, canned cream of chicken soup, sour cream, shredded cheese, and buttered cornflakes for the topping. I know what you’re thinking. The name of this dish and the nature of the ingredients…. I like to think of these kinds of dishes as a special treat – the way you might think of dessert. A guilty pleasure and worthwhile splurge….
….and my Spanish Inspired funeral potatoes recipe is lighter and healthier than the norm, made with fresh Idaho potatoes and no canned soup or sour cream. I’m not a fan of processed foods or of adding unnecessary fat to a dish that is just as good or even better without.
Here’s How to Make Spanish Inspired Funeral Potatoes with Chorizo and Smoked Paprika
Boil whole Idaho russet potatoes for 30 minutes. Cool them in the fridge and then grate them, skin and all, with a box grater or food processor. Sauté chopped red bell pepper, onions, garlic and chopped chorizo sausage. Add it to the potatoes along with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, chopped scallions, salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
Mix everything up and spread it into a casserole dish. Top with Panko and Parmesan, and bake for 40 minutes.
These potatoes are out of this world delicious, tender with vibrant Spanish flavors, melting cheese, crunchy topping – totally irresistible.
I tested the recipe several times before I was satisfied so there was a stretch where I served them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and nobody in my house minded one bit! By the way, they’re great with fried eggs on top. We had them that way for dinner with a salad.
I felt compelled to call these ‘funeral potatoes’ but I actually think ‘heavenly potatoes’ would be a better name.
Here’s the recipe for Spanish Inspired Funeral Potatoes with Chorizo and Smoked Paprika. If you try this recipe I hope you’ll come back to leave a rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think!Print
Spanish Inspired Funeral Potatoes with Chorizo and Smoked Paprika
This cheesy shredded potato casserole recipe is an update on classic Funeral Potatoes, amped up on flavor with spicy chorizo, smoked paprika and sweet bell peppers, and made lighter and healthier with no canned soup and yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
- Yield: 10 side dish servings
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Spanish American Fusion
- 3 pounds of Idaho russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped (3 cloves)
- 4 ounces of smoked chorizo sausage, finely chopped
- 8 scallions (1 big bunch) trimmed and thinly sliced
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt whisked with 1/4 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon mild smoked paprika
- Panko Parmesan Topping:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Add potatoes to a large pot of boiling water. Boil for 30 minutes. Cool potatoes in the fridge for at least two hours or as long as two days.
- Make The Panko Topping: Melt the butter in a microwave save bowl or in a small saucepan. Stir in the panko and parmesan. Toss to well, to coat. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Oil or butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Grate the potatoes into a large bowl using the largest holes on a box grater or the shredding disc on your food processor. No need to peel the potatoes. There are lots of nutrients in the skin. Remove any large pieces of skin that don’t make it through the grater.
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet. Add onion, pepper, garlic and chorizo. Sauté over medium-high heat for 7 minutes or so until the vegetables have softened and the chorizo is just starting to brown. Scrape vegetables and chirozo into the bowl with the potatoes. Add scallions, cheddar, yogurt, paprika, salt and black pepper. Toss to combine and spread mixture evenly into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the Panko topping evenly over the casserole. Bake for 35-45 minutes, uncovered, until it the casserole is golden brown and hot.
- Calories: 290
- Sodium: 707mg
- Fat: 14g
- Saturated Fat: 7.5g
- Carbohydrates: 32.4g
- Fiber: 2.9g
- Protein: 11.9g
- Cholesterol: 36mg