Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe


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This cheesy potato casserole (also known as party potatoes or funeral potatoes) is the best quick and easy holiday side dish. Tender, fluffy potatoes are coated in a creamy, cheesy sauce, and that’s all topped off with the most delicious crunchy topping. It’s so delicious and versatile that it’s also perfect to serve any time of year for any family meal!

Cheesy Potato Casserole

This cheesy potato casserole is perfect for a cozy family dinner at home, a potluck with friends, or a large gathering like a holiday dinner. The creamy, cheesy potatoes with the crispy, bacon-infused cornflake topping are always a hit. Plus, the fact that it can be made ahead of time or customized to taste makes it a go-to recipe for me.

These funeral potatoes are the ultimate loaded, cheesy, and oh-so-delicious side dish that will have everyone at your dinner table coming back for seconds. It’s creamy, has a perfect consistency, and is packed to the brim with flavor.

The tender russet potatoes are combined with a blend of melted butter, tangy sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, and Parmesan. It’s all flavored with a hint of garlic, a sprinkle of paprika, a touch of onion, and crispy bacon for a smoky kick.

The topping of this casserole might be my favorite part. It’s a crunchy cornflake topping that is golden brown and gives an amazing contrast to the creamy potato mixture underneath. Trust me, the combination of the creamy potatoes with the crunchy topping is a match made in heaven.

Party potatoes make the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving turkey. I love serving it with our turkey tenderloins or this boneless turkey breast roast. Don’t forget the cranberry sauce! I always serve it with cranberry relish or this canned cranberry sauce recipe. It even tastes amazing with boneless prime rib roast, this air fryer prime rib, or this Christmas chicken for Christmas dinner. Finish it all off with this delicious and super popular chocolate pie for the perfect holiday meal!


Russet Potatoes: Russet potatoes are the best choice for this casserole. Their starchy and fluffy texture lets them absorb the flavors of the other ingredients well, resulting in a flavorful and delicious dish.

Unsalted Butter: Unsalted butter is used as the base of this dish. It adds depth of flavor and helps create a golden brown and crispy topping.

Sour Cream: Sour cream brings a tangy flavor and creamy texture. It helps balance out the richness of the cheeses and adds an interesting depth of flavor.

Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese is great for a casserole because it melts well and gives a beautiful, creamy consistency to the dish.

Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese is added for a punch of salty umami flavor.

Whole Milk: Whole milk contributes to the dish’s creamy texture, making it rich and satisfying.

Yellow Onion: Onion brings a savory depth and sweetness to the casserole, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dish.

Garlic Powder: Garlic powder provides a wonderful aroma and flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly.

Paprika: Paprika imparts a smoky, slightly sweet flavor that elevates this casserole.

Salt & Pepper: These basic seasonings enhance the flavors of the other ingredients in this dish.

Cayenne Pepper (optional): Cayenne pepper adds flavor to the casserole, though it is optional. It doesn’t really add any spice at the amount listed, so if you want spice, feel free to kick it up a notch!

Bacon: Crumbled bacon introduces a smoky, savory dimension to the casserole. It pairs perfectly with the potatoes and cheese. If you cook the bacon at a lower temperature (medium-low to low) the fat will render without while keeping the meat tender, resulting in melt-in-your mouth bacon. If you prefer crispier bacon, it’s better to cook it at a higher temperature.

Cornflakes: Crushed cornflakes form a crunchy topping that contrasts wonderfully with the creamy potato mixture beneath.

Fresh Chives: Fresh chives add a pop of color and a fresh flavor to the casserole. They also make for a beautiful presentation.

The labeled ingredients for cheesy potato casserole.

Alternative Ingredients

  • If you don’t have russet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes are an excellent substitution.
  • You can replace the sour cream with plain whole milk Greek yogurt.
  • Try adding some cooked chicken or diced ham to make it a complete meal in itself.
  • You can also add half a Tablespoon of Sumac. Sumac is a spice that is popular in the Middle East and it goes extremely well with potato dishes. It adds an earthy bright tone along with a nice color to the dish.
  • For vegetarians, you can leave out the bacon.

How To Make Party Potatoes

Prepare the Potatoes: Begin by peeling and cubing the russet potatoes. Place them in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a gentle boil. Once they are fork-tender, drain and set aside. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Create the Cheese Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted unsalted butter, sour cream, part of the shredded cheddar cheese, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, whole milk, finely chopped yellow onion, garlic powder, paprika, ground black pepper, fine sea salt, and optional cayenne pepper. Stir these ingredients together until well-mixed.

Mixing together melted butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, milk, onion, and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.

Combine Potatoes and Cheese Mixture: Gently fold the cooked potatoes into the cheese mixture, ensuring that each potato cube is well-coated.

Adding and folding in the cut potatoes to the wet cheese mixture until combined.

Prepare the Casserole Dish: Transfer the coated potato mixture into a greased baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar cheese.

Pouring the cheesy potato mixture into a casserole dish and then topping with the remaining cheddar cheese on top.

Prepare the Topping: In a separate bowl, combine the crushed cornflakes and crumbled cooked bacon. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the layer of cheddar cheese in the baking dish.

Mixing together bacon and cornflakes in a large mixing bowl.

Bake the Casserole: Place the casserole in a preheated oven. Bake until the top is golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Baking the potato casserole and then garnishing with fresh chives on top.

Finish and Serve: Once the casserole is baked to perfection, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest before serving. For a fresh and colorful garnish, sprinkle chopped fresh chives over the top. Enjoy! See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.

A finished potato casserole with a thick layer of cheese on top in a casserole dish.

Pro Tips

  • Freshly Grate Your Cheese: This really makes a difference! Freshly grated cheese melts more smoothly than pre-grated cheese, which can be coated with anti-caking agents.
  • Don’t Overcook Your Potatoes: You want them to be fork-tender, but not too soft. Overcooking them can result in a mushy casserole.
  • Allow the Casserole to Rest: Let your casserole rest for a few minutes before serving. This gives it time to set and makes it easier to serve.
  • Customize to Your Liking: Feel free to add in other ingredients you love. Green onions, bell peppers, or even some diced jalapenos for a kick would be great additions.
  • Use Quality Ingredients: Since this dish uses relatively few ingredients, make sure they’re all high quality. It really makes a difference in the flavor.

What Is The Difference Between Scalloped Potatoes And Cheesy Potatoes?

Scalloped potatoes and cheesy potatoes, while similar, have a few key differences. Scalloped potatoes are typically made with a cream-based sauce and are baked in layers with onions. They may or may not include cheese. On the other hand, cheesy potatoes, also known as au gratin potatoes, must include cheese, often layered with the potatoes and also sprinkled on top. The cheese used is typically a sharp variety like cheddar.

A close up of scoop of a cheesy casserole showing the inside texture.

What Are Funeral Potatoes Made Of?

Funeral potatoes, also known as party potatoes or cheesy potatoes, are a beloved comfort food. They are typically composed of hash browns or cubed potatoes, a creamy mixture often made of cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and cheese, along with a crunchy topping like cornflakes or potato chips. The ingredients may vary, but the result is always a warm, comforting dish that’s perfect for feeding a crowd.

Slow Cooker Instructions

You can also make this casserole in a slow cooker. I’d recommend swapping the milk for evaporated milk though. Simply layer the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. Just remember to wait to add the cornflake topping until just before serving, so that it stays nice and crispy and doesn’t get soggy.

An overhead image of a freshly garnished serving of potato casserole.

Can I Make This Casserole Ahead of Time?

Yes, this casserole is perfect for preparing ahead of time. You can assemble the casserole, cover it, and refrigerate it for up to one day before you plan to bake it. When you’re ready to serve, just add the cornflake topping and pop it in the oven. You’ll probably need to bake it for 5-10 minutes longer since it’s starting from a colder temperature. It’s a great way to reduce stress when you’re preparing for a large meal or gathering.

How Do You Freeze Cheesy Potato Casserole?

This casserole can be frozen for up to 2 months. Assemble the casserole, but do not put the cornflake topping on top. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before you bake it. Just before you’re going to pop it in the oven, add the cornflake topping, then follow the instructions below and bake as instructed.

How Do You Reheat Funeral Potatoes?

Simply cover the dish with foil to prevent the top from burning and place it in the oven until it’s heated through. If you find that the topping isn’t as crispy as you’d like, you can remove the foil for the last few minutes of reheating.

An angled image of a potato casserole with a scoop on a large serving spoon.

Why Are Cheesy Potatoes Called Funeral Potatoes?

The name “Funeral Potatoes” comes from the tradition of serving this dish at post-funeral luncheons. It’s easy to make in large quantities, and it’s a comforting and hearty dish.

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A Pinterest pin image with a picture of cheesy potato casserole with title text at the top.

Casserole Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other casseroles. Some reader favorites are:

Yield: 8 servings

BEST Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe (Party Potatoes)

BEST Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe (Party Potatoes)

Cheesy potato casserole (funeral potatoes or party potatoes) is the best holiday side. Tender potatoes, cheesy sauce, and a crunchy topping.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 4 cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes (approximately 4 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided*
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese*
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a bit of heat)
  • 1 cup crumbled cooked bacon (approximately 8 slices)
  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (optional, for topping)


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Place the peeled and cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the potatoes for about 10-12 minutes or until they are fork tender, but not too soft. Drain the potatoes and set them aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, sour cream, 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, whole milk, chopped onion, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper (if using). Mix together.
  4. Gently fold the cooked potatoes into the cheese mixture, making sure that the potatoes are evenly coated.
  5. Transfer the potato mixture to the greased baking dish and spread it out evenly. Top the mixture with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the crushed cornflakes and crumbled cooked bacon. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the cheddar cheese layer.
  7. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is bubbly.
  8. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh chives.


*I recommend using freshly grated cheese because it melts more smoothly than pre-grated cheeses. Pre-grated cheeses are coated in an anti-caking agent which makes the texture gritty when they melt.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 32.4gCarbohydrates: 26.2gFiber: 1.5gSugar: 3.6gProtein: 15.4g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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The next time you’re looking for a delicious and comforting holiday side dish, try making this cheesy potato casserole, it’s really the best ever party potatoes recipe!

2 thoughts on “Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe”

  1. Just a question:

    Why must I use UNSALTED butter but add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt? Why can’t I just use the salted butter I already have and leave out the sea salt?


    • Hi Bob, Different brands of butter vary wildly in how salty they are. Using unsalted butter makes it easier to guarantee the best results when I’m writing a recipe for people all using different brands to get consistent results. You can absolutely use salted butter, and then add any more salt to taste if it’s needed. Hope that helps! -Alexa


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