Funeral Food Recipes

Popular buffet items for funeral receptions

Funeral Food RecipesWhen it comes to funeral food recipes you have many choices–from a very simple such as a garden salad to something more complex like a traditional pasta casserole. You are really only limited by your imagination and your resources.

We’ve collected some of the most popular recipes for funeral food and have provided them below.

You can find additional funeral reception food ideas on our Funeral Food Pinterest Board. The following recipes are also pinned to the Funeral Food recipes board.


From: delish

PREP TIME: 0:15 / COOK TIME: 0:50


3/4 lb. ziti pasta
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
1 lb. ground beef
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 c. fresh ricotta
2 tbsp. thinly sliced basil, plus more for serving
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
2 c. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente; drain.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Add meat and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until browned. Drain fat.

Add tomato paste and oregano and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes more, until slightly darkened. Add crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and flavors have melded, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

In a large bowl, combine sauce and pasta. Fold in ricotta, leaving large clumps. Spread about half of the pasta mixture into the bottom of a large casserole dish. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and Parmesan over the pasta. Top with the rest of the pasta mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.

Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling. Garnish with more basil before serving. 


Serves: 8-10


2 packages Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes 12 oz. (Southern Style)
2 cups sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ cup butter melted
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced onion or onion powder optional
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 – 3 cups Corn Flakes, crushed Mixed with ½ cup melted butter


Place your potatoes in a colander. Let set until thawed and drained.
Combine sour cream, soup and butter in a bowl. Mix it well. Add salt, onion and cheese to this mixture and mix until all combined.
Add potatoes to mixture and stir until all combined. Place in 9×13 pan.
Sprinkle on butter covered crushed Corn flakes.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 40-50 minutes. 


PREP TIME: 20 min / COOK TIME: 30 min


1 pound cellentani pasta (may sub rigatoni, penne or macaroni)
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 tsp EACH onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
4 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
6-8 slices provolone cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Panko Topping (optional)

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Cook pasta just until al dente according to package directions – don’t overcook! Strain and rinse with cold water.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat then whisk in flour. Cook, while stirring for 2 minutes. Turn heat to low then gradually whisk in milk. Whisk cornstarch into evaporated milk and gradually add to skillet followed by Dijon mustard and all remaining spices/seasonings.

Bring to a boil, whisking constantly then reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened (but not overly thick). Remove from heat and whisk in sharp cheese until melted. Add pasta and toss until evenly coated (it will seem like a lot of extra sauce which is a good thing).

Pour half of the macaroni and cheese into prepared baking dish. Layer macaroni evenly with provolone cheese followed by an even layer of sour cream. Pour remaining macaroni and cheese over sour cream and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan cheese (or more to taste).

Panko topping (optional): Melt butter in olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add panko and stir to coat. Continue cooking until crumbs become golden brown. Evenly sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and inside provolone is melted. If not topping with panko, broil until Parmesan is golden. Cool 10 minutes to set before serving.


Preparing ahead is not recommended. The pasta seeps up the sauce.  Instead, you can prepare the sauce and refrigerate separately from the pasta.  Cook the pasta, toss it in a touch of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together, and refrigerate.  When ready to assemble, warm the sauce (you can do this in the microwave).  You might need to add a touch of milk to thin, then proceed as instructed.  This prep will make assembly come together quite quickly.

You just need enough provolone to cover the 9×13 in a single layer. Typically 8 slices medium provolone or 6 large slices as pictured from Costco. Gouda slices would also be delicious.

Swap cheeses for a combination of whatever you have on hand – Asiago, Gouda, smoked cheddar, Monterrey, etc. You can also mix in bacon, ham, etc.

Can be prepared without the panko topping. 


From: Once Upon a Chef / By Jennifer Segal
Servings: About 25 mini meatballs
Total Time: 40 Minutes


1 large egg
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
3/4 cup cubed white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1/2 pound ground pork
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 pound ground beef (85% lean)
For The Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon finely grated shallot, from one shallot
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
For Serving
Finely chopped parsley, if desired


Preheat the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up and place an ovenproof baking/cooling rack over top; spray rack generously with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the egg and cream together in a medium bowl. Stir in the bread and mash until no large bread chunks remain. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the pork, garlic, allspice, pepper, salt, and baking powder on high speed until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl as necessary. Add the bread mixture to the mixing bowl and beat on high speed until smooth and homogeneous, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the beef and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Using moistened hands (it’s sticky and wet hands help; keep wetting them as you go), form the meat mixture into tablespoon-size round meatballs and place on the prepared rack. Bake for about 20 minutes, until just done.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add the baked meatballs to the sauce and stir to coat evenly. Transfer the meatballs to a serving platter, spear with toothpicks and spoon the sauce over top. Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve warm. 


From: Kleinworth & Co. / Author: Gina Kleinworth
PREP TIME: 20 mins / COOK TIME: 30 mins / TOTAL TIME: 50 mins
Serves: 24


12 eggs, hard-boiled & peeled
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
pinch of salt & pepper
Sprinkle smoked paprika


Cut cooked eggs in half.
Arrange egg whites cut-side up on a serving plate
Place yolks in a small mixing bowl.
Mash yolks with fork & stir in mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar.
Stir ingredients well.
Add salt & pepper
Spoon mixture into a small piping bag fitted with a star tip
Squeeze a small dollop into each egg white half
Sprinkle eggs with smoked paprika
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve


The beauty of sandwich trays is that you can assemble a large quantity of food quickly and at a relatively low cost. Whether you provide full-sized or finger versions, sandwiches can be a lifesaver when it comes to putting on a quick buffet. For variety, substitute dinner rolls or croissants for sliced bread. You can also use tortillas to create rollups. Below are some good combinations:

  • Ham & Swiss Cheese
  • Ham, Salami, and Cheese
  • Egg Salad
  • Turkey & American Cheese
  • Roast Beef and Provolone
  • Hummus or Cucumber for a Vegetarian Option

Rather than including additional items such as condiments, lettuce, tomato, and pickles, serve these on the side so that guests can customize their own sandwiches and reduce spoilage. 


You can’t go wrong with a simple garden salad. Dressing can be served on the side. Caesar salad is also popular and doesn’t require additional dressing. Other popular options include:

  • Cole Slaw
  • Potato Salad
  • Greek Salad
  • Spinach Salad
  • Avocado/Tomato/Cucumber Salad


Meat and cheese trays can serve as do-it-yourself sandwich stations or stand-alone. The most common items included are:

  • Ham
  • Salami
  • Turkey
  • American Cheese
  • Provolone Cheese
  • Proscuitto
  • Mozzarella




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