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Utah The Land of Funeral Potatoes and Lime Jello

Updated on November 18, 2015
elayne001 profile image

Ruth Kongaika was born in the Rocky Mountains and has lived most of her life in the South Pacific. She travels, gardens and writes.

Part of the Utah culture involves traditional comfort foods. It began when the Women’s Relief Society Organization of the Mormon LDS Church. With the theme of charity and ever ready to lend a hand to the sick or bereaved, the weighty casserole otherwise known as au gratin potatoes is a cheesy side dish of scalloped potatoes with a cornflake crust better known as funeral potatoes in Utah. You cannot buy this at a store, but the majority of Utah women could make it off the top of their head at a moment’s notice.

Funeral potatoes are not the only dish associated with Utah. Lime jello in several varieties can also be found at picnics, campouts, wedding receptions and even funerals. Utahns have found that you can mix almost anything in the jello before it sets up, including grated carrots and canned pineapple, marshmallows and cool whip, and canned fruits of all kinds. If you haven’t heard of frog-eye salad, that is another favorite.

How did these two culinary delights come to be associated with Utahns and a few surrounding areas? Most because Utah is known for having large families and they tend to have even larger gatherings made up of extended family members. They need plenty of food to fill up all the hungry tummies.

So, if you want to give funeral potatoes a try here is a basic recipe:

Frozen hashbrown potatoes (thaw in microwave) Some say Tatertots work too.

A couple cups of mild cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

A can of cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken soup or even cream of celery soup)

Lots of margarine and sour cream

Can add chopped onions for a real kick or dried onion flakes

And if you want to help the cardiologists out – add a few bits of crumbled bacon

Cornflakes or potato chips

In a large cake pan – mix the thawed hashbrowns with the cheese

Blend together the soup with sour cream

Stir together hashbrowns, cheese and soup/sour cream mixture

Cover with crushed potato chips or crushed cornflakes

You can put some more cheese on top if you like

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Warning: Do not eat this too often or you will find your clothes getting smaller. To help in this department, you can use fat-free margarine, sour cream and cheese, but it will definitely not taste as good.

Another great thing about funeral potatoes is that is can be fixed and frozen, and then brought out when it is needed – since funerals are unexpected. Or when guests show up uninvited, or hungry missionaries stop by. Only do not put the cornflakes on until right before you pop it into the oven.

Some say that they call it funeral potatoes because it can give you a heart attack.


Submit a Comment

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    That's a lot of potatoes Toni. Glad you stopped by. Merry Christmas.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    We sold about 300 roaster pans of these from BYU Food to go this season. They can't get enough of these in Utah

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Yes, The Sablirab, they are yummy, and my favorite jello is peach.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    The funeral potatoes sound good! Although, in terms of jello, I myself enjoy the red.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks for stopping by to comment on the funeral potatoes. You are right about lime jello, but it still is associated with Utah. Merry Christmas all.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Funeral potatoes are indeed delicious. I was the funeral luncheon chairman for three years once and that was on the menu we had for every funeral. I think that is still a very popular recipe mainly because everybody loves it. However I think that green jello is undergoing a decrease in popularity. Maybe there are too many other varieties of jello.

  • neysajasper profile image


    8 years ago

    Yumy!! will try this sometime.. looks yummy for tummy! :P

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    All that information was very interesting to me. Thank you for sharing.

  • LianaK profile image


    8 years ago

    Love both funeral potatoes and lime favorite comfort food while living here in Utah. Probably the reason for the extra pounds I have packed on :). Great hub!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks for your comments. Wishing and hoping you will have a Merry Christmas.

  • bat115 profile image


    8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    i might give this recipe a go soon.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Sounds good. I try not to eat the high calorie foods too often, but then it is Christmas and calories don't count then.

  • IzzyM profile image


    8 years ago from UK

    That sounds delicious, Elayne:) Must try it sometime..


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