Make Cheesy Potato Casserole with fresh potatoes, sour cream, soup, green onions, & lots of cheddar cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly for an easy side.
Cheesy Potato Casserole may also be known as Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, Cheesy Hash Browns, Funeral Potatoes, Mormon Potatoes, or Au Gratin Potatoes. Whatever you call it, they are a perfect side dish for any holiday like Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.
Growing up, we ate them often for Family dinners on Sunday. If you only eat cheesy potato casserole on holidays, I highly encourage you to make them throughout the year! There’s no reason to deny yourself of this goodness! Seriously, do it!
Cheesy Potato Casserole Ingredients
As the name suggests, we’ll be using potatoes for this casserole. We’ll also be using cheddar cheese, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, green onions, and salt and pepper. An optional ingredient is butter, but I’ll talk more about that below.
What potatoes are best for a casserole?
When it comes to potatoes, almost any kind of potato will work for this recipe.
- For a classic casserole, choose peeled russet potatoes for a fluffy thick texture.
- To skip peeling, go for thin skinned potatoes like Yukon gold or red potatoes.
- If you are short on time, use diced or shredded hash brown potatoes (30 oz) in place of boiling your own potatoes.
My dad taught me to make this dish using fresh potatoes. So, I have peeled a lot of potatoes in my lifetime. They can take more prep work, but the flavor is so worth it in my opinion. So, nine times out of ten, I use fresh potatoes.
What cheese is best for the casserole?
For the cheese, I don’t deviate from the classic, and I use cheddar cheese. I prefer to use either a mild or sharp cheddar cheese. While I love the flavor of extra sharp cheddar cheese, it can be drier. So, I tend to stick with either the mild or sharp varieties.
Additionally, for the creamiest potatoes, be sure to grate your own cheese. Prepackaged cheeses are often covered with starch that prevents the cheese from melting as well. Plus, the flavor is so much better if you grate it yourself.
I also like a LOT of cheese. So, I use more cheese than most recipes call for. Especially because I like to add an extra layer during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. It gets all gooey and bubbly, and you are guaranteed to get cheese in every bite.
Do you add onion?
Get ready for a tangent: Have you ever seen that meme that goes, “Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are the main reason I have trust issues.” Well, I feel the same way about Cheesy Potato Casserole. Unless, I know who made it, I have a hard time trusting it. One of the main reasons is onions.
If you’ve been read some of my other posts, you know I like the flavor of white and yellow onion. I really do. However, if there is even a hint of texture to the onion, I will gag when eating it. To me, the flavor of raw onion is way too sharp, and it completely overpowers the other flavors.
I’ve tried several cheesy potato casseroles that use white onion. To me, it seems the onion never gets fully tender. So, gagging inevitably happens. To compensate for this, my dad always uses onion powder in place of the raw onion. However, it seemed like something was always missing. It wasn’t until I tried my mother-in-laws’ potato casserole that I realized what it was.
My mother-in-law uses green onion in her casserole, and it is the perfect onion flavor without the gross raw texture. It’s such a simple swap, but she’s made the best cheesy potato casserole I’ve ever had.
So, the moral of that long story is, if you want a mild onion flavor, use onion powder. (That’s also a great option for kids who hate onion). Or, for a great onion flavor without the texture, use green onion.
Cheesy Potato Casserole Prep Tips
Because I like to use fresh potatoes, it does take more time to cook. To speed up baking time, I parboil the potatoes. This will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to cook the casserole. Plus, potatoes need a lot of seasoning! By parboiling them, it allows more seasoning to get into the potatoes.
Growing up, there was a lot of argument in our house about the texture of the potatoes. We always diced them small. But my mom prefers a firmer potato, and my dad likes them more tender. Another thing I learned from my mother-in-law’s version, is that I like them more tender. So does my hubby.
So, for our perfect texture, I cut the potatoes in fairly large chunks. Then, I parboil them until a fork goes through the potato easily. Next, I roughly mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Mostly, I’m breaking up the large chunks of potato to keep some texture. But some of the potato will be more finely mashed which gives a creamier texture.
If you want a richer potato casserole, you can add butter as you mash the potato. Most of the time, I leave out this step. For me, the cheese, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup has enough richness, it doesn’t need butter. But, if you do add it, I will take the cheesy potato casserole over the top!
You can prepare this dish in advance and it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. When ready to eat, remove them from the fridge. Then, bake as directed in the recipe.
Want More Cheesy Casserole Ideas?
If you are a cheese lover like me, you will love my recipes for Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake and Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese! These are two of my favorite cheesy recipes on the blog.
You make also like my Tator Tot Casserole that’s made with pantry ingredients.
Or to check out all my casserole recipes, click here.
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Cheesy Potato Casserole
- 2 lbs Potatoes (about 5-6 medium Russets, or 10 small Red Potatoes)
- 1 10.5 oz Cream of Chicken, Canned
- 2 cups Sour Cream
- 1/4 cup Butter Melted (Optional)
- 1/2 cup Green Onion Chopped (about 4-5 stalks)
- 2 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese Shredded (10 oz)
- Salt and Pepper
- Peel potatoes, and cut into about 1" pieces. (If using red potatoes, it is optional to peel the potatoes. Just make sure you scrub and rinse them well with water).
- Add potatoes to a large pot. Add just enough water to cover the potatoes. Add 1 tsp salt. Bring the water to a boil, and cook the potatoes on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until a fork goes easily into the center of each potato.
- Drain the potatoes and add back to the pot. Roughly smash the potatoes (and butter, if using) with a potato masher.
- Add remaining ingredients (reserving 1 cup of cheese), and mix into potatoes. Taste the potatoes for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add potato mixture to a casserole dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until everything is warmed through, and the sides are bubbly. Add remaining 1 cup of cheese, and continue baking for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.