Want vegan funeral potatoes are creamy and naturally dairy free? The “cheese” sauce is made with raw cashews, nutritional yeast and other flavors that lend a tangy flavor. Top it off with (vegan) buttery Cornflake topping and you’ve got a creamy cheesy potato casserole that you can proudly dish up and serve.
Why Are They Called Funeral Potatoes?
If you’ve found this page because of a google search for funeral potatoes, then you probably already know what I’m talking about. If you don’t know what funeral potatoes are, then chances are you’ve never been to Utah. That’s right, funeral potatoes – otherwise known as cheesy potatoes – or sour cream potato casserole in the other 49 states – is kinda a Utah thing.
Growing up in Utah, one thing you could count on at a funeral beside LOTS of cousins and green jello, was Funeral Potatoes! Of course, we had funeral potatoes at non-funeral events and holidays…and Sunday dinner too. But for some reason, the name stuck!
If you are looking for a non-dairy cheesy potato casserole, then this recipe for vegan funeral potatoes won’t disappoint. It doesn’t include any of the fake vegan cheeses, but it does include all of the flavors.
The ingredients that give this cheesy potato casserole an authentic sour cream and cheese flavor are (affiliate link) nutritional yeast (not the same as baker’s or brewer’s yeast), white miso paste, mustard powder, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.
What Makes the Vegan Funeral Potatoes Sauce Creamy?
(Affiliate Link) Raw cashews are soaked and blended to give this vegan cheese sauce and rich creamy taste and feeling on your tongue.
With that said, you MUST disclose to anyone eating this dish that it contains nuts. Nuts aren’t normally found in a cheesy casserole and so you must let people know. Never try to “pass off” vegan food. Put a big sign near the dish indicating that it contains nuts. You should also say “dairy -free”. They’ll get the idea.
If you can’t find raw cashews you can use regularly roasted. You’ll need to soak for a lot longer though. Overnight would be best. Try to find unsalted nuts. If not, then double rinse well to remove the salty taste.
Tips and Suggestions
Read this section for some pro tips and suggestion to make your funeral potatoes as awesome as mine!
- Saute the onion in a non-stick pan with vegetable broth. Watch the pan carefully though to make sure it doesn’t dry out and scorch. Add in more broth if necessary.
- Make sure the onion is very wilted and soft before combining with the potatoes. It will not soften up much in the over. Crunchy onions are not good in this casserole.
- Make sure most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan. Take a paper towel and dry out any excess liquid.
- The turmeric powder and sweet paprika are used for color only. Neither adds much flavor. The dry mustard is used for flavor. Do not leave it out.
- You’ll use 10 cups of diced potatoes. You may cook and dice your own. I prefer to buy frozen breakfast potatoes. I need to use more than one bag though – but not quite two. Save the rest and cook them up for breakfast served with my Sausage Tofu Crumbles and Smokey Tomato Tahini Sauce.
When you pour the liquid over the potatoes, it will be quite runny. Don’t worry, it will thicken while cooking and cooling.
- Cook uncovered for 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is up, take out of the oven and sprinkle on the cornflake topping. Return to the oven and cook for another 30 minutes.
- I like to use crushed corn flakes I can buy in the store. They are quite finely crushed though. If you like your cornflake a little chunkier then you can crush your own to control the size.
- I have learned that Kellogg’s Corn Flakes are potentially not vegan because of the unknown source for vitamin D3. Other brands might work so read your labels. If you are unable to find corn flakes that meet your ethics, you can use panko bread crumbs (just check the label), or my personal favorite – Ritz Crackers.
Things I found helpful in making this recipe (affiliate links):
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Creamy Vegan Funeral Potatoes You'll Be Proud to Serve
Potato Onion Base
- 10 cups diced potatoes This will be 1 1/2 bags frozen diced breakfast potatoes
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth more to keep pan from sticking
Creamy Vegan Cheesy Sauce
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews soaked
- 3 cups cashew milk unsweetened
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup crushed cornflakes
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper OPTIONAL
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Soak the 1 ½ cup raw cashews in hot water for about 30 minutes.
- Dice onions.
- (If frozen, thaw potatoes in the refrigerator overnight. If they aren't thawed, you might need to add to the cooking time.)
Potato Base Onion Base
- While the cashews are soaking, line a non-stick pan with vegetable broth. Saute diced onions till they are quite soft and have even browned some. Carefully watch the pan so that it doesn't dry out and burn. Add in more broth if necessary. When the onions are finished, turn off heat and set aside. (The pan should be liquid-free at this point. Soak up any extra liquid.)
- Spray a 9x13 casserole dish. Add in 10 cups of diced potatoes. I use about one and a half bags of diced breakfast potatoes.)
- Fold in the sauted onions and set aside.
Creamy Vegan Cheesy Sauce
- Put soaked and drained cashews in a high speed blender along with cashew milk, lemon juice, vinegar, miso paste, cornstarch, salt, turmeric powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, sweet paprika, and nutritional yeast. Blend on high for a few minutes or until cashews are well blended and sauce is creamy and smooth.
- Pour evenly over the potato onion mixture and cook uncovered in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. You will add the cornflake topping and cook longer.
Cornflake Topping (see notes)
- Melt 3 Tablespoons vegan butter in a microwave safe bowl for about 30 seconds. Add in the salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (optional). Stir to mix thoroughly.
- Stir in the cornflakes and mix well.
- After the potatoes have cooked for 30 minutes remove from the oven. Sprinkle the cornflake topping evenly.
- Return to oven and cook for another 25-30 minutes. The potatoes will be tender and the topping lightly browned.
- Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken on standing.