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Best Dairy Free Cheesy Potatoes (Gluten Free)

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Cheesy potatoes (aka funeral potatoes) are one of the ultimate comfort foods, and we have a recipe that’s dairy free! Our version is also gluten free and still incredibly delicious (we included a vegan option as well!).

A glass casserole dish filled with dairy free funeral potatoes with jalapeños.

This time of year is always a great time to break out the comfort food recipes for chilly nights. Especially when it comes to this dairy free cheesy potatoes recipe (we all love potatoes!).

Our recipe is my dairy free version of cheesy potato casserole, which is also known by a lot of other names like church potatoes, funeral potatoes, hash brown casserole, cheesy hash browns, party potatoes, etc.

My version is a little bit different than a traditional funeral potato recipe (mine doesn’t have a crunchy topping), but it is so delicious and hits the spot for comfort food if you have multiple food allergies. Without the ham, this also makes a wonderful side dish for your next holiday meal!

Food allergy notes:

  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • Peanut free
  • Soy free (depending on the dairy free cheese you choose)
  • Vegan option

Why we love this allergy friendly casserole

Besides the fact that this recipe makes incredible comfort food that’s perfect for fall and winter meals, I love that this recipe does not need cashews, a food processor or high speed blender, and no canned cream of chicken soup to make the creamy sauce for this casserole!

This recipe is also a delicious way to use up holiday dinner leftovers, like Easter or Christmas ham or Thanksgiving turkey.

This recipe is easier to make than scalloped potatoes (au gratin potatoes), and we use frozen potatoes to make things easy. And if you are in a time crunch, I like purchasing the packages of already cubed ham to make this recipe even faster.

A dairy-free casserole dish filled with cheesy potatoes and jalapenos.
We serve our casserole with jalapeños on half!

How to make dairy free cheesy potatoes

Here are the steps to make this casserole/hot dish recipe (this is just an overview, the full recipe card is at the end of the post):

  1. Preheat your oven.
  2. While the oven is heating up, make your creamy sauce: add 2 cups of canned coconut milk to a small saucepan and whisk in the spices and cook over medium heat.
  3. Whisk in the cornstarch to the remaining coconut milk and whisk into the pan. Whisk regularly to prevent scorching as it cooks and begins to thicken.
  4. Once the sauce is thick, remove from the heat.
  5. Add the frozen hash brown potatoes to 9×13-inch baking dish along with the cubed ham and 1/2 the package of dairy free cheese.
  6. Stir everything together to coat evenly. You can mix everything together in the 9×13 casserole dish (which is what I do to reduce dishes), but you can also use a large mixing bowl instead if you prefer.
  7. Add the rest of the dairy free cheese on top of the casserole. You can add jalapeño slices under the cheese here if you like. You can also add some dairy free parmesan cheese as well for another layer of flavor!
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  9. Uncover and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
  11. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
A series of photos showing how to make cheesy potato casserole (aka funeral potatoes).

Instead of melting the dairy free cheese into the sauce, I decided to just mix the dairy free cheese into the casserole itself rather than the sauce. It works out easier this way, but you can melt the cheese into the sauce first if you want.

If you melt the cheese into the sauce (like we do for our mac and cheese recipe), just make sure to leave half the package of dairy free cheese for the top of the casserole.

Variations for this cheesy potato casserole

Adding jalapeños

My husband likes this with jalapeno slices on it, so I added tamed/pickled jalapeño slices to it under the cheese. You can add fresh jalapeño slices to your casserole if you want as well!

In the photos for this post, I made half the casserole with jalapeño slices and half without so readers can see it made with both. They are completely optional but delicious if you like a little bit of extra spice.

Adding a crunchy topping

I opted not to add anything on top like cornflakes (which aren’t always gluten free), or potato chips (I found too salty for this casserole). I tried doing a few different crunchy toppings and wasn’t happy with any of them, so I just stuck with the cheese by itself and it’s amazing!

If you want to try adding something crunchy on top, you can try adding crushed potato chips, gluten free crushed crackers, or gluten free corn flakes. Just add on top of the cheese and uncover for the last 10 minutes of baking.

Keep in mind that if you’re using something salty for the crunchy topping (like potato chips), and using salty ham in the recipe, you’ll probably want to reduce the salt in the sauce or it can be pretty salty all together.

Replacing or removing the ham (and a vegan option)

This is also pretty amazing made without the ham, just with the potatoes and cheese. If you decide to make this without ham or meat, just increase the amount of potatoes to 2 pounds instead of just 1½ pounds.

As we mentioned before, you can also replace the ham with leftover holiday turkey cubed as well. Or any meat you like, such as chopped bacon (yum) or cooked breakfast sausage for a breakfast version.

Removing the ham or meat altogether also happens to make this recipe vegan, so you’ll have vegan funeral potatoes. The rest of this recipe is vegan with the meat removed, so it’s super easy to make this recipe vegan.

A cheesy dairy free and gluten free casserole dish with ham and jalapenos.

Using potatoes O’Brien

When I was experimenting with this recipe, I used both plain hash brown potatoes and potatoes O’brien with the peppers and onions in it.

Both turned out great, though we personally prefer this recipe with just the regular hash brown potatoes instead of the potatoes O’Brien. But if you want some extra veggies or like the pepper and onion taste, you can use frozen potatoes O’Brien in this recipe if you like.

Can I make this casserole without coconut milk?

The sauce won’t be quite as thick, but it will still make a good sauce. Just make sure to look for oatmilk that is unsweetened and unflavored so you don’t end up with vanilla flavored potatoes.

Also check out the olive oil cheese from Good Planet as well if you’re looking for a dairy free cheese option that’s made without coconut.

Pin for later!

photo collage showing 2 different photos of dairy free cheesy potatoes.

Check out our roundup post for dairy free and gluten free comfort food recipes!

A glass casserole dish with dairy free cheesy potatoes in it.

Best Dairy Free Cheesy Potatoes (Gluten Free)

Cheesy potatoes (aka funeral potatoes) are one of the ultimate comfort foods, and we have a recipe that's dairy free! Our version is also gluten free and still incredibly delicious.
Dairy free, gluten free, peanut free
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free cheesy potato casserole, dairy free cheesy potatoes, dairy free funeral potatoes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Cooling time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 368kcal

Ingredients

Creamy Sauce

Putting it all together

  • 12-16 ounces cubed ham**
  • pound frozen diced hash brown potatoes (or potatoes O'brien if you want to include onions and peppers)
  • 1 package Violife cheddar (8 ounces) (or other dairy free cheddar cheese)

Equipment

  • 1 9×13-inch pan

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Make the sauce by adding 2 cups of the coconut milk to a small saucepan and whisking in the nutritional yeast and spices. Cook over medium heat.
  • Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk with the cornstarch, then whisk that into the coconut milk in the saucepan.
  • Cook over medium-low heat until thick, whisking regularly to prevent lumps or scorching.
  • Once the sauce is thick, remove it from the heat.
  • Add the frozen hash brown potatoes, ham, and half the package of dairy free cheddar to a 9×13-inch pan and stir together with the sauce (you can stir this together right in the pan).
  • Add jalapeños (if using) and sprinkle with the remaining dairy free cheese.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 to 10 more minutes.
  • Cool for about 5 to 10 minutes then serve
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

*Reduce this if using a very salty ham or adding a salty crunch topping (like potato chips). 
**You can leave out the ham for a vegan cheesy potato casserole and just use a full 2 pounds of hashbrown potatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 774mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg
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