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The Best Funeral Foods: 21 Easy Potluck Recipes for a Crowd

These comfort food recipes will help take one thing off the minds of your loved ones during a difficult time.

By: Jamie Garcia, Editor,
Updated December 02, 2020
The Best Funeral Foods 21 Easy Potluck Recipes for a Crowd

Funeral foods are best described as easy, comfort food recipes you can make and take with you to a funeral, wake, or other gatherings after someone has passed as a gesture of compassion and support. Casseroles are one of the best options out there when it comes to food for funeral receptions, so we've included a wide variety below. Additionally, we've included some easy-to-make sheet cakes and some other shareable dishes that are sure to help comfort those in mourning.

When someone has just lost a loved one, the last thing on their mind is food or cooking. The reality of the situation, however, is that food has a way of offering comfort, and it's the least the rest of us can do to help take care of our friends and family during the first few days of a passing. Be prepared with a list of comforting recipes and other funeral food to take to a grieving family when tragedy strikes.

Please also be sure to check out these great resources below for tips on freezing food. This information will come in handy for those who want to make multiple meals at once and save and defrost them later.

Funeral Sandwiches

"What are funeral sandwiches?" you ask. Well, they're some of the most delicious sandwiches you can imagine. Usually, they are topped with ham, cheese, and a mustard sauce. Best of all, though, they are baked! These sandwiches are slider-sized, so they're the best potluck food because people can just grab them and eat them without making a mess.

  • Hawaiian Roll Baked Sandwiches

    These baked ham and cheese sliders are also sometimes called "funeral sandwiches," but you can just call them delicious. Hawaiian Roll Baked Sandwiches are ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches on sweet Hawaiian rolls, baked in a mustard sauce. 

    Click here for the recipe!

  • Funeral Sandwiches

    Test Kitchen Recipe If you're looking for a comforting recipe that will feed a crowd, look no further than these Sympathy Sandwiches. Once prepped, this easy potluck recipe comes together in just 20 minutes making it super simple to bring to an event and bake in the oven before the meal. 

    Click here for the recipe!

  • Quick and Easy Baked Pizza Sliders

    These Quick and Easy Baked Pizza Sliders are tasty and can feed your whole pack with not very much time. They try to embody the flavor profile of the famous Chicago Deep Dish pizzas, but in easy to make sandwiches that can feed the whole family very easily. 

    Click here for the recipe!

  • Monte Cristo Brunch Sandwiches

    Test Kitchen Recipe Nothing says brunch like these Monte Cristo Brunch Sandwiches. Whether you're making food for a crowd or just your family, this breakfast sandwich recipe is sure to win them over. 

    Click here for the recipe!

Simple Shareables

These shareable dishes are classic recipes you'll recognize because they make an appearance at almost every potluck. You've probably even made them before. Deli salads are popular for a reason. They're easy to make, easy to share, and comforting to eat. Choose from one of the 4 below, and just keep it in the fridge till you're ready to go.

Funeral Potatoes

Funeral potatoes are the king of easy potluck recipes. Both cheesy and crunchy, they include an irresistible combination of flavors. Choose any one of these recipes for a comforting dish to bring to a wake or funeral.

  • Buffalo Chicken Funeral Potatoes

    So we've all tried and loved funeral potatoes, but this hash brown casserole recipe takes an old favorite to the next level. Buffalo Chicken Funeral Potatoes is a cheesy, creamy, crunchy casserole that your whole family is sure to absolutely love.

    Click here for the recipe!

  • 4 Ingredient Funeral Potatoes

    No potluck is complete without a pan of funeral potatoes. This classic cheesy potato recipe for 4 Ingredient Funeral Potatoes is an old favorite portable dish that even the pickiest eaters will love. And with only 4 ingredients, this is one of the easiest potato casseroles around.

    Click here for the recipe!

  • Creamy Funeral Potatoes

    With a whole cup of Monterrey Jack shredded cheese and a bunch of sour cream going into this yummy potato casserole recipe, there's no way this dish could be anything but comforting and tasty. 

    Click here for the recipe!

  • Classic Funeral Potatoes

    Test Kitchen Recipe This classic funeral potatoes recipe is comforting and flavorful, with plenty of crunchy corn flake topping for that satisfying crunch. This is a comforting meal to bring to a funeral luncheon, but it can be enjoyed at any time.

    Click here for the recipe!

Comforting Casseroles

We can't say enough good things about casseroles! They're just so easy to make and the possibilities are endless. The casseroles below are handpicked favorites of ours, because of their ability to put a smile on our faces and our... is it possible for a stomach to smile? If so, we're pretty sure these comforting casseroles could do the job. Make a tough time easier to get through with family, friends, and funeral foods like these.

  • Pierogi Casserole

    Test Kitchen Recipe This family favorite casserole is comforting as a funeral food, and it is also perfect for any other occasion. Made with frozen pierogi and plenty of cheese, this casserole comes together easily and tastes delicious.

    Click here for the recipe!

  • Mama's Pizza Casserole

    Test Kitchen Recipe For an easy dinner recipe that will please the whole family, try Mama's Pizza Casserole! This pizza casserole recipe can be customized to include your favorite pizza toppings or you can follow it as is for a fool-proof casserole recipe everyone will drool over. 

    Click here for the recipe!

  • Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

    This Chicken and Stuffing Casserole is pure, cool-weather comfort food! It’s easy to prepare, it can be made ahead (and frozen), and it appeals to even the pickiest palates. Chicken and Stuffing Casserole is one of those recipes that just takes me back to my mom’s kitchen table.

    Click here for the recipe!

  • Comforting Retro Tuna Noodle Casserole

    Test Kitchen Recipe Take a trip back in time with this tuna noodle casserole. Made with buttery noodles and crunchy cracker topping, this meal is comforting whenever you serve it.

    Click here for the recipe!

Make and Take Desserts

Desserts may not be the first thing people think to make for their grieving loved ones, but they shouldn't be overlooked. While the casseroles and deli salads above are more substantial, desserts are very comforting too! Some people crave savory dishes, some crave sweets. For the latter, we've collected a few of our favorite, easy dessert recipes that we hope will bring comfort in trying times.

How to Freeze Food Properly and Other Food Freezing Tips

Food Freezing Tips

Bringing food to a grieving family is one of the best ways to help in their time of need. Grieving families are often too busy and too distracted to feed the family properly. This means food is a great way to take care of them.

One of the best ways to help after a loss is to offer foods that will keep. You will likely not be the only person to provide a meal, so giving a grieving family a meal they can eat a week or two from now is ideal. 

How to Freeze Food Properly and Other Food Freezing Tips

Check out the articles below for lots of great tips for freezing meals. And for more tips on how to freeze meals that will come in handy all year long, check our article Easy Freezer Cooking Tips and 21 Freezer Meal Ideas.

Food for a Crowd: History of the Potluck

Ah, the potluck. We've all probably been to a few in our day. Everyone brings a dish and shares in a meal together. Nice concept, but where did it come from? Let's take a look at the history of this tradition.

It began back in the Middle Ages as a term used to describe an impromptu meal one would serve to travelers or unexpected guests. In a time when very little was thrown out, these guests would be served leftovers or the "luck of the pot." On occasion, a potluck referred to a communal meal made by several people, where each cook brought something to contribute. This was usually thrown together in a pot and has been called "stone soup" and other variations over the years. 

Americans adapted this tradition around the late 19th century and the concept of people each bringing a prepared dish to share took hold. Today, potlucks are held for all sorts of reasons. Holidays and other large, celebratory gatherings often prompt the need. Having a potluck is a super cost-effective way to provide food for a crowd, and in theory, everyone should have plenty to munch on and leave fully satisfied.

Potluck Hazards:

1.   People with diet restrictions or allergies are more than likely not going to be able to eat much at a potluck.

2.   Potlucks are often free-for-alls, which leads to duplicate dishes. Did you want 6 chicken casseroles? Because here they are. 

3.   Sometimes, no one is manning the event or the person in charge doesn't have the proper food-safety training. How long has that mayonnaise-based potato salad been sitting out? Yikes! 

Be a Pro at the Potluck:

1.    If you volunteer to bring food, make sure it's ready to serve when you get there. Don't bring something that will need to be defrosted or reheated.

2.    Bring all the tools you'll need; don't expect them to have tongs or a serving spoon.

3.    Don't show up with a bag of groceries and expect to cook there.

4.    If you don't want to cook, bring something else! Showing up empty-handed is bad etiquette. This is what store-bought fruit, veggie, and cookie trays were invented for.

5.    If you are hosting the potluck and people leave their dishes with you. Make sure to wash and return them in a timely manner. 

6.   If you are attending a potluck, on the other hand, bring disposable containers when possible to avoid lost or broken dishware and easy cleanup.

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Comfort foods in our house are chili, casseroles, lasagna, and chocolate cake

My comfort food I like to make for those in need is mixing 2 cans of fruit cocktail (DRAINED) a can of peaches (DRAINED) 2 apples cut up, make vanilla pudding and mix it and Cool Whip into fruit. Put nuts of your choice in separate container to pour over top if wanted.

My mother's baked mac cheese or chicken dumplings. Childhood in a pot!

My comfort food has to be lasagna

SausagePeppers on a crusty roll.

Strawberry Punch Bowl was a big hit.

Spinach and Sausage manicotti.

My favorite comfor food is mashed potatoes with butter, salt, pepper, and Frank's Red Hot sauce or chocolate cake.

My go to comfort food is potato salad. It reminds me of happier times.

I make cabbage rolls when my family is looking for comfort.

chicken and dumplings.


These recipes look great.


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