This 1970's Classic Party Potato Casserole is baked hash browns in a creamy cheesy sauce with a crispy topping. Similar to Funeral Potatoes, Cheesy Potatoes and Scalloped Potatoes, they are all of the same recipe family. They were called "Party Potatoes" before they were called "Funeral Potatoes." This recipe is quicker and easier than it used to be. Now we have the ease of pre-shredded hash brown potatoes as a short cut.
"A Casserole just isn't a casserole without Campbell's." The Vintage Cook, Lanie Smith, 2023
Yes, I just made a world famous quote.
I glanced through one of my older cookbooks to see the variation of potato casserole recipes. No doubt, before there were Campbell's Soup laden casseroles, there were "Escalloped Potatoes."
Then & Now
Lucky for us, today we have hash browns all ready-to-go that have been flash frozen. Using pre-shredded frozen hash browns ---makes this dish more predictable and quicker than it used to be. It was originally called Party Potatoes because it served a larger crowd. Then it got the name "Funeral Potatoes" because it was often served at Funeral receptions with the meal at those gatherings. I don't know about you, but I prefer a Party rather than a Funeral! 🙂
The Soups Over the years, people have mixed and matched different combinations of "Cream Of" Soups. I really like the Cream of Celery and Potato combination because it is a subtle flavor and the chunks of potato from the soup make it extra hearty.
The Cheese I prefer to use a rectangular block of cheese and grate it myself with a grater box so that it's extra cheesy smooth, but a bag of pre-shredded and measured cheddar works great too.
The Topping The first casseroles were topped with bread crumbs, then we moved to crunchy or buttery crackers and for this recipe we use buttered corn flakes. Just be sure to really grind or bang up your cornflakes until fine. We don't want it to look like a box of cereal dumped on top. Even though that is what it is. 🙂
Side Dish or Main Dish? YES.
This recipe accompanies many main dishes like a baked ham, fried chicken, pork chops or bbq ribs. To make this a main dish, just chop up a ham steak into ½ inch cubes and stir it in before baking. Then you will have a Ham and Cheese Potato Casserole with a quick tossed salad and WHALLAH! Dinner will be complete.
The recipe I composed for you below, is in a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. It fills about ¾ way up. For a larger batch, simply double the recipe and double the width size of the pan or use two pans. The recipe below serves six people as a side dish. It's important to go wider not necessarily deeper. You would need to increase the baking time as well.
Party Potato Casserole
- 5 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
- ¼ cup finely diced onion
- 1 10.5 ounce can Cream of Celery
- 1 10.5 ounce can Cream of Potato
- 1 cup regular sour cream
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese 8 ounce block, grated.
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup crushed corn flakes measure after crushing
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour frozen hash browns into a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, with a spoon, stir together the onion, two soups, sour cream, cheese, and pepper.
- Pour soup mixture over the potatoes and stir well.
- Spray or coat baking dish with cooking spray or rub with oil.
- Spread mixture into baking dish.
- In a small bowl, add crushed corn flakes and melted butter. Stir. (You can use a blender or chopper, or place in a ziplock back and bang with a mallet or can until finely crushed.) Set aside.
- Cover casserole with aluminum foil. Bake for 50 minutes.
- Remove foil, sprinkle the corn flake mixture on top and continue baking uncovered an additional 10 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.