The Best Places to Eat 'Mormon Funeral Potatoes,' One of the Greatest American Triumphs

Commonly served after LDS funerals, this cheesy potato casserole is the ultimate comfort food.

Mormon Funeral Potatoes
Photo: Courtesy of Spoke & Steele

If you've ever encountered Mormon funeral potatoes, you can attest that the salty, crispy, cheesy casserole is one of the most oddly satisfying creations that exists in America — nay, the world. The likelihood you've eaten them, however, is slim, as funeral potatoes are mostly an Intermountain West thing. But we believe that the dish should be a staple at every family and holiday gathering.

I was introduced to the dish by my then-husband, who grew up in Salt Lake City eating it at large family gatherings — he prepares it a few times a year when a carbs splurge is in order. My initial reaction was likely the same as yours: What the hell are funeral potatoes? Are they only served at funerals? Why such a morbid name? In a nutshell, funeral potatoes are a cheesy potato casserole made with frozen hash browns (sometimes fresh ones, if you're fancy like that), cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup, lots of cheese, lots of butter, lots of sour cream and then cornflakes sprinkled on top for a nice crunch.

Funeral Potatoes
Jenn Rice

"Try it before you diet," chef Tyson Peterson, originally from Salt Lake City, says of the dish that's most commonly served after LDS funerals or at family events. "Even if you're not from that faith, in Utah they're still called 'Mormon Funeral Potatoes' and have only positive connotation. They are perfect for any get-together, as they're customizable and feed many people easily." Others believe the dish was also served in earlier times to people who were close to death. "Either way, the origin sounds a little morbid, but I assure you, if you have not had the pleasure of pairing a chargrilled cut of beef with a hearty portion of funeral potatoes, you are missing out," says Leah Rose, owner of Hoof & Vine.

While traditionally served at family gatherings, chefs are getting creative with the dish around the country. Here are a few places to find them out West:

Hoof & Vine

Simply called "funeral potatoes," Salt Lake City's Hoof & Vine serves a version that consists of shredded potatoes, creamy mushroom soup, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bread crumbs mixed together and topped off with more cheddar cheese and crumbled cheesy crackers — and then baked to "ooey gooey cheesy goodness perfection," says Rose. "The decision to add funeral potatoes to our menu was a no-brainer for us," she adds. "One, it's a dish that people who visit our restaurant already know and love, or it creates a fun conversation at the table (usually from out-of-town guests). And two, why wouldn't we want to feature something so decadent, loaded with creamy cheese and potatoes? When you think steak, you think potatoes, and we wanted to stray away from the traditional steak house baked potato and give our guests something a little more fun and inherently Utahan."

Hoof & Vine
Courtesy of Hoof & Vine

Fat Jack's Burger Emporium

The Mormon Burger at Salt Lake City's Fat Jack's Burger Emporium has been a huge hit, and it's just what you're imagining: funeral potatoes piled atop a juicy burger. "When we were opening Fat Jack's, we wanted to incorporate some of the 'pop' culture," says chef/owner Brittni Bonomini. "The secret to our funeral potatoes is bacon grease from our all-natural Applewood smoked peppered bacon," she adds, along with local Utah sour cream, scallions, and garlic.

The Mormon Burger
Courtesy of Fat Jack's

Garage on Beck

Salt Lake City's Garage on Beck, a hip dive bar and watering hole, serves three types of funeral potatoes: classic, fiery ("baptized" in hot oil), and veggie, all made with Idaho russet potatoes. Served alongside Utah ranch (and a local beer), there's no denying the deliciousness of deep-fried potato casserole balls.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles