My Mom’s Cheesy Potatoes.
My mom’s famous cheesy potatoes are absolutely insane. Like a cozy, comforting potato casserole straight out of the 90s, these are a huge crowd pleaser and perfect for parties and holidays.
We’re throwing it waaaay back with a cheesy potato casserole today.
Everyone has cheesy potatoes, and these are mine. These cheesy potatoes are the epitome of a party recipe. These are party potatoes. Or some people even call them funeral potatoes. They are everything potatoes – because you can make them for any gathering and they just WORK.
This recipe is totally out of the 90s. And since we now have to wear jeans like we’re back in the 90s, why not make potatoes like we’re back in the 90s too?
When I say that you guys have asked for this recipe for years, I mean yearsssss. Pretty sure I have shared photos of this dish over on my crumbs section about a billion times, at our family gatherings, holidays, and everything in between. I’ve exchanged the recipe with many of you in email after you saw a picture on my blog or instagram.
I never thought I’d post it on the blog because just WAIT until you see the ingredients. I mean, this is like, straight-out-of-the-90s good. This is the recipe you find in your old church cookbook or the one that’s battered in your mom’s recipe box.
My mom has made these potatoes hundred of times in my life. Hundreds!
The other thing is that EVERYONE has a cheesy potato recipe. You know? I’m sure you have one, or your aunt does, or some family friend that brings them to every get together in the summer or around the holidays. There are so many versions and wow, wouldn’t it be interesting to figure out where they were first invented?
Pretty sure we can safely say they had to originate in the 80s or 90s given the ingredients. Oh yes.
Wait. First I should probably tell you the cheesy potato ingredients. You might want to partially cover your eyes when you read them. I can’t help but laugh! We have:
Frozen diced potatoes
Cream of Chicken Soup
I KNOW. Yes. Those are the ingredients. All nice and beige and white. I promise this makes for the best cheesy potatoes though. Swear.
Also side note: not only are these the ingredients but I’m pretty sure my mom used to only use margarine for it instead of butter. Don’t worry, she has since been converted.
So a few caveats.
This recipe uses super simple ingredients, but I wanted to post it EXACTLY how my mom has always made it because it is so popular with family and friends.
First, you can definitely add onions and even peppers to this. You use frozen potatoes, and there is a version that actually comes with onions and peppers. My mom never added any of these because my grandpa loathes onions with the fire of 1000 suns. I mean, there could not be an onion in sight!
My mom and I both agree that the addition of onions and/or peppers would be great. My sister-in-law has made them with the onion potato variety and says they are delicious.
The only bonus to zero onions is that these go over HUGE with all the populations: picky people and kids alike.
Second, the original (like way way way back original) recipe called for cream of mushroom soup, not cream of chicken. My dad loathes mushrooms, so my mom never used that. She uses cream of chicken instead.
It doesn’t make the potatoes taste like chicken and if there are any little chicken bits, no one is none the wiser!
So here’s how the potatoes happen!
- You want to use frozen potatoes. I’ve seen some people use hash brown style frozen potatoes – in fact, I think that’s what this original recipe called for a million years ago. My mom has always used diced potatoes – these exact ones – and we love them. They add more texture to the dish than the hash browns do.
- You melt the butter, then stir in the sour cream and can of soup. Then you fold in the potatoes.
- The whole mixture goes into a baking dish. Then you cover it with cheddar. This is not where it ends.
- Then, THEN, you cover it with crushed potato chips. I am not kidding!
- Finally, bake it for an hour or so. It gets so cheesy and creamy and melty, but the top is ridiculously crunchy and crispy. So savory.
Now here’s the thing. These are really the ingredients that you should use. I don’t suggest substituting anything, aside from what I mentioned above, like adding in onions or using cream of mushroom soup.
This is one of those old school casseroles where the packaged products yield the best results. They have exactly the amount you need. This is totally not a recipe to lighten up. Either go big on the cheesy potatoes or go home!
While this isn’t a recipe my mom ever made for dinner, she makes it for all sorts of parties and people lose their minds. It’s just SO good. So cozy, so comforting, so nostalgic. Tastes like casseroles from your childhood and makes for the best side dish at gatherings. It’s a must have for every recipe box.
My Mom’s Cheesy Potatoes
My Mom’s Cheesy Potatoes
- 2 pounds frozen diced potatoes, like Ore Ida, thawed
- 8 tablespoons salted butter
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 2 cups crushed potato chips, I like to use kettle cooked chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. To thaw the potatoes, I just stick the bags in the fridge overnight. Be sure to drain any liquid from thawing.
- Melt the butter in a large bowl - you can do this in the microwave or on the stovetop. Let it cool slightly.
- Whisk the sour cream and the soup into the melted butter until combined. Add a big pinch of salt and pepper. You can also add a sprinkle of dried parsley if you wish.
- Fold in the thawed potatoes. Fold and stir until the potatoes are completely incorporated and evenly distributed.
- Spread the mixture in the baking dish. Top with the grated cheddar. At this point, you can stick the dish (covered) in the fridge until you’re ready to bake, or you can bake right away.
- If baking right away, sprinkle the top with the crushed potato chips.
- Bake for 60 minutes. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Scoop to serve!
- This freezes great! Once you spread the mixture in the baking dish, seal it tightly with plastic wrap and foil, then freeze. To bake, let it thaw completely, then top with the cheddar and potato chips.
- Leftovers of this are also delicious - maybe even better than when it’s freshly made!
Did you make this recipe?
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52 Comments on “My Mom’s Cheesy Potatoes.”
Hi, I have made almost this exact recipe for years since my mother-in-law gave it to me – you are right, it is delicious and people rave over it! My recipe does not include crushed potato chips on top, and I am going to add those right away! (I can imagine that my favorite Jalapeno Kettle Chips would be amazing if my guests can handle some heat!!). My recipe includes one can of diced green chiles, which do add a little smoky pepper flavor. Highly recommend your recipe to anyone who wants to wow their guests!
i love that you have made it too!! thank makes me so happy lori!! xoxo
My mom and Gram make these potatoes but they use the kind with onions and peppers and top them with french fried onions! We have it on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and at funerals. This is one of my favorite recipes!
love topping them with crispy onions! great idea!!
This brings back so many memories! We do saute onions to add but that’s the only difference. Oh and this really is old school…my mom made this in the 70’s! Last time I made these was for a funeral (yep funeral potatoes!) thank you!
On a scale of 1 to Lisa Frank, the 90s energy of these cheesy potatoes is off the charts! Can you believe I’d never heard of any cheesy potato-casserole dish – let alone tried any – until I was 29?! Growing up in California with an Asian mom it was just never on our radar, but my Midwestern husband’s family fixed that right quick ;) my mother in law makes them almost exactly like your recipe, and while I change the heck out of it to make it healthier and more acceptable for a weeknight side dish…nothing beats the real thing!
Oh and the one difference with my MIL’s version is she adds Velveeta IN THE CASSEROLE. So very 90s!
hahah this is the most amazing comment ever. omg adding velveeta?! I can’t even imagine – it would be so deliciously cheesy.
Okayyy my mom makes this every time we have ham dinner! It is a long time favourite of mine. One difference is she uses cornflakes mixed with melted butter as a topping instead of potato chips. Mmm.
We have always used the crushed cornflakes w/butter as well —- so yummy! I use cream of mushroom and add the onions. Sunday dinner coming up, ham balls and potato casserole, can’t wait.
Can I have the recipe for your ham balls
I’ve made this and similar versions but my recipe called for the shredded hash brown mix. I know it’s on the back of at least one brand of these potatoes, maybe the refrigerated ones. I first had it at a party years ago and it was the one dish that everyone kept going back for until it was all gone!
Is the taste of sour cream strong? There are picky eaters in this house.
Funeral potatoes! These are called funeral potatoes where I live and I would eat them for three meals a day if that were allowed.
Hi Jessica, I’m in the UK and can’t buy frozen diced potatoes, could I make this with fresh diced? I’m desperate to try this! Thanks x
I have been making a version of this recipe for years, I use regular potatoes, I slice them like scallop potatoes, sometimes put a little onion in them, I mix a can of cream mushroom and can of cheddar cheese soup, I add some milk and sour cream, I guess at the amount of those 2 ingredients, 2 cups of cheddar cheese of your choice, I layer the potatoes, then sauce then cheese. Lastly sprinkle cheddar on top. You can use this recipe’s soup ingredients instead. I think you might have to add milk because of the raw potatoes. I make the frozen potato recipe just like this too.
I typically make these (with some onion and cornflake crumb topping) using the refrigerated hash browns. I was starting dinner once and when I opened my hash browns, they were had gone bad (moldy, I think). So I quickly grated some russet potatoes in my food processor, skins and all. They were so much better than with the store bought potatoes! And it took so little time to grate the potatoes.
Great tip, thanks Brenda, I’ll give that a go x
Wow, about half as many words or less, would if said the same thing. I’ve been making these for years, but prefer the hash browns. I also use the chicken soup. This recipe has been around for 40 years.
We’ve always called them funeral potatoes(here in Utah). My mom doesn’t use this exact recipe(never had it with chips on it, now I have to try it) but she adapted it to throw in the slow cooker so it would be ready when we got home from church. #1 comfort food.
The version I grew up with used cream of chicken and also mushroom and we topped with cornflakes (topped with butter that melts into the flakes.) Didn’t mix any butter into the potato mixture but used milk or cream instead. It’s interesting to see the different versions of it when I didn’t even know anyone else made such a thing. Oh, and it was called Potatoes for a Crowd for us. Seems it is a very flexible recipe.
I used Durkee onions on the top instead of potato chips. Delicious!
Can beans be added to the casserole?
I have made this casserole for years now. It’s a hit at every family function. I do things a little differently though. I use Frosted flakes instead of the chips 10 minutes before the casserole is done, and the melted butter (a few tbs) goes on top of the Frosted flakes before going back into the oven.
How are these at room temp? Want to make them and then take them to a family party but would prefer not to reheat them there. (And I think this is a recipe from the 1970’s!!)
Can you use the crockpot?
Recipe for Ham Balls:
2lbs ham ball mix (1lb ground ham, 3/4lb sausage, 1/4lb ground beef)
1 1/2c crushed graham crackers
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4c chopped onion
Combine all ingredients, form into mini loaves. Bake covered 30 min at 350. Remove foil, drain grease and cover with sauce, bake addtl 30 min. Sauce:
1/4c catsup, 1/4c water, 1/2c brown sugar, 1/8c vinegar and 1/4c dry mustard.
Hope you enjoy as much as we do!
Oh no I am making these right now and someone has eaten the chips. Can I use doritos? That’s all I have
i’ve never tried but i’m sure you can!
Can I substitute cream of bacon for cream of chicken soup?
Are you supposed to leave covered to bake? Recipe says to cover if refrigerating but is silent on how to bake.
no, bake uncovered. if they start to become too brown, you can tent with foil!
Would this be ok to prepare for someone to freeze?
And can I use shredded cheese that I already purchased instead of shredding myself?
Shredded cheese is shredded cheese. This is just some recipe from the 70’s. It’s not Gruyere cheese and Chateaubriand we’re talking about here. The answer to your question is YES – whatever shredded cheese you have.
I love this recipe. I think the potato chips on top are the kicker. I’m a grandma who has been making these since at least the 1980’s. Started out boiling the potatoes with a bay leaf, then shredding them on my box grater! At our children’s graduation parties, my friend was aghast and told me to try frozen hashbrowns. So much easier.
Will the potato chips get soggy if I cover and transport?
Wow soooo good! I did 90’s night for Father’s day this year because this recipe got me jazzed up to do it! I also did ribeye steaks, then homemade strawberry shortcake with macerated strawberries and good ‘ol Cool Whip. Yummmm!
Beings back alot of memories ,my mom made this for us all the time. Making it for our 4th of July party! Thanks
Great recipe but the only thing I add is a brick of cream cheese. WOW, it really makes a difference. Bonions & garlic are good too.
wow! this sounds amazing i will definitely try it.
Thank you so much for this!
I was short on the sour cream but I had a container of French onion dip…omg it was so good!
Just curious why none of the cheese gets mixed into the mixture? Would it hurt to mix some in as well?
I always mix the cheese in myself! It seems to make for cheesier potatoes, and you don’t risk getting a serving without cheese!
I don’t use onions, I use cream of onion soup, DELICIOUS! Potato chips are way better than corn flakes. And use butter, you can taste the difference! Yes use cream of chicken soup. I don’t salt this recipe as there is enough in the soups, chips and butter!
I dice a small onion and sauté in some butter and add to potato mixture. I also use cream of potato soup – can’t understand using cream of chicken. I skip the chips and add extra shredded cheddar on top. Easy and delish!
My mom made this as well but I think it started way back in the 70’s.
I like the idea of using the diced potatoes, my mom used shredded hash browns BUT never frozen (frozen hash browns would be mush). She used fresh Simply Potatoes brand found in the grocery fridge section.
Good reviews, good post!
Do you coat the potato chips in butter first?
I make mine with crushed corn flakes that have been sauted in butter for that final topping ( Post Toasties if you can find them works even better ! )
Won’t the chips burn if you don’t put butter on them?
The best cheesy potatoes I’ve ever made. I made the night before but did not top with the chips until I reheated on Christmas Day. The kettle chips on top was a huge hit.
My mom and I make these and are a huge hit!!!! Her recipe called for corn flakes on top. I was out of corn flakes so I substituted crushed up Triscuits. We prefer it that way now.