2/9/09

Funeral potatoes with less fat


If you're LDS like I am, you've probably eaten more than your fair share of funeral potatoes in your lifetime. They're nearly as ubiquitous as green jello. Not served only at funerals but still branded forever with that name, they're a convenient dish to bring to any gathering or potluck. A pan of cubed or shredded potatoes swimming in butter, sour cream, cream soup, and cheese, they're appealing to most people, easy to make ahead of time . . . and less than healthy.

Many versions of funeral potatoes (and everyone seems to have her own) are swimming in butter; you can see the grease floating on top. My mom has developed a version of this recipe with less fat that still tastes great. She's figured out that you don't really need all that butter, that regular cream soup doesn't have that much less fat than low-fat, and that low-fat sour cream works well but non-fat doesn't.

Here's my mom's recipe for funeral potatoes. Have you ever had funeral potatoes before? How often?


Funeral Potatoes

6 cups diced or shredded baked potatoes, or frozen hash browns (I leave the skins on)
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
1/2 soup can skim milk
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated onion
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
3/4 cup crushed corn flakes (optional)

Place potatoes in lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Combine soup, milk, sour cream, cheese, onion, salt, and pepper. Spread sauce over potatoes and mix up a bit. If you want a crunchy topping, combine melted butter and corn flake crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 30-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly throughout. If you use hash browns that are still frozen, you will need to increase the baking time.

My mom's notes: The original recipe used about a stick of butter, regular sour cream and a lot more cheese. You can use light cream of chicken soup, if you wish, but it doesn't save a lot of fat and calories. You can put the potatoes in the slow cooker on low heat before you go to bed. They should be ready to grate in the morning.

14 comments:

  1. Good morning, Mrs. Mordecai~

    I'm not LDS, but have been to a lot of potlucks. Would you believe I've never come across funeral potatoes--not even under an assumed name? (LOL) It's probably a regional thing. I grew up on the east end of Long Island. The closest I have come to is potatoes au gratin, I think.

    This recipe does remind me of recipes in the back of a novel I read once where the characters came up with an idea to serve only the kind of comfort foods found at funeral--which is a great idea in this economy, isn't it?

    I was interested in your comment about putting the potatoes in a slow cooker overnight. Do you mean putting them in skins and all, dry? That sounds great if if works. I like to make baked potato soup with leftover baked potatoes--but we don't often have leftovers!

    Kathleen

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  2. I make my funeral potatoes healthier than my mom did too :)


    But I have to say I've never had green jello at any church or family thing. The first time I ever had it was at my new mother-in-law's house this past year... LOL

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  3. Kathleen--

    I just scrub the potatoes, poke them with a fork in a few places, and toss them in the slow cooker on low overnight. So they'll be a bit wet from the washing, but you don't need to add water.

    It works great! My mom wraps them in foil, but if you don't mind a few crispier spots where the potatoes hit the bottom and sides, you don't need to bother.

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  4. Would you believe..all my years in the Church with all those early ancesters behind me and I'd never heard of funeral potatoes until I went on my mission. I LOVED them. But how many can you eat without turning into a very large beach ball. I think Snickers are less caloric. (Well...maybe not)

    Hmm...I want some right now. How many points is it on WW?

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  5. I have never seen, eaten, or heard of funeral potatoes. They sound very rich. We have a similar recipe that always comes to our potlucks at church, but it involves chicken and rice. It tastes good, but after 4 bites my stomach is not happy. I wonder if I tried some of your mom's lightening tips if that would help?

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  6. Thanks for the healthier recipe. I've eaten funeral potatoes more times than I can count. (love 'em too!) Funny story-we were at my husband's aunt's funeral in Utah, having our requisite "funeral potatoes" and a voice behind me said, "Would you like some more potatoes?" I looked up and it was Sister Grassli-the former general Primary President. I almost fell off my chair because where we live-we don't see the church "big wigs" that often. Of course that was a few years ago! LOL

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  7. I LOOOVVVVEEE these potatoes. They are a traditional part of Christmas Eve dinner and are too fattening to make other times of the year :)

    I use dehydrated potatoes like those found at Winco. Hydrate until soft and then use. I will try your less fatty version as my recipe sounds a lot like your mother's recipe.

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  8. Oh I am so excited to try this recipe. I love funeral potatoes, but hate all the butter that's in them. Thanks for posting this.

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  9. I love funeral potatoes! I don't think I've ever used butter in mine though. If we're not serving it with ham sometimes we'll add a little bacon, which I suspect negates the whole no butter thing *L*

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  10. Love, love, love funeral potatoes. I think what I love so much about them IS all the fattening ingredients. :o)
    But, I think I will give your lighter version a shot. Still sounds pretty good to me, and I think my one of my favorite parts is the smushed up corn flakes on top. I've also tried crushed Ritz crackers and potato chips!

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  11. I've never heard of them! They sound interesting, though - warm, cheesy, salty, gooey, and crunchy.

    Why lime-flavored jello? I understand the universal and comforting appeal of potatoes, but how what is the history behind lime jello?

    P.S. Have you tried jello made with tonic water or a sparking juice?

    Allison

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  12. Allison, green jello is a bit like a Mormon joke, because it shows up at so many of our potlucks. The worst version has shredded up carrots and cottage cheese in it--something out of the '60s. It's losing popularity because no one likes it, but it's still a bit of a standing joke.

    Once I made some clear jello with Perrier. It was really fun and different, much better than green!

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  13. I had no idea you could put veggies and dairy in jello! Learn something new every day.

    Allison

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