The Hashbrown Casserole You'll Make Over And Over

Casseroles aren't always the most heralded category of dishes, but they are delicious and, importantly, easy. Few other styles of cooking are as adaptable as loading up a casserole dish and baking, whether you're cooking for a weeknight dinner or for a large holiday spread. And casseroles aren't just for dinner, either. The perfect example is this hashbrown casserole recipe, which is the perfect breakfast food.

"When you're cooking breakfast for more than a few people, you have to juggle a lot of different cook times for all different kinds of foods," says Erin Johnson of Probably in the Kitchen. "The eggs, the meat, the toast — it can be difficult to get everything ready at the same time. Add frying hashbrowns to that mix, and it makes for a stressful morning. Having a casserole that everyone will love that you can assemble and throw in the oven gives you one less thing you have to worry about. Plus, hashbrowns and cheese! That's food royalty."

Here's how to make Johnson's little bit of food royalty for yourself.

Gather your ingredients for this hashbrown casserole

One of the best parts about this hashbrown casserole recipe is how easy it is to find the necessary ingredients. There's a good chance you have many of these ingredients already on hand, and your local grocery store with good canned and frozen sections will have the rest.

For this recipe, you'll need a bag of frozen hashbrowns, a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup, shredded cheddar and Colby Jack cheeses, onion, butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Fresh parsley is an optional addition if you enjoy the flavor. Casserole lovers may notice that this recipe skips the cream of mushroom soup that makes an appearance in many casserole recipes, and that's for good reason.

"Most casseroles call for cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup because it works to bind ingredients together and adds creaminess to the dish without using actual cream," Johnson says. "Cheddar cheese soup does both of those things without diminishing the flavor of the cheddar and Colby Jack."

Hashbrowns: fresh versus frozen for your hashbrown casserole?

Anyone who has thawed and then whipped up a meal with hashbrowns straight from the freezer knows that the bag is a time saver without lacking taste. Sure, the frozen goods don't have the same cache as sourcing, washing, and chopping potatoes for yourself every time. That doesn't mean that frozen hashbrowns are completely useless for knowledgable or experienced cooks, though.

For this hashbrown casserole recipe, Johnson suggests using frozen hashbrowns for both taste and speed. That's not to say you can't use fresh potatoes if you prefer, just know that there will be more than a few extra steps, which will move this recipe from the quick-fast-easy category to the time-consuming category.

"Frozen hashbrowns yield perfect results every time with minimal effort," Johnson says. "You can use fresh grated potatoes for this, but it is important to rinse the potatoes several times to remove starch and then wring them to remove excess water."

Mix in the wet hashbrown casserole ingredients

With your hashbrowns thawed, it's time to get to your hashbrown casserole cooking. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The assembly can be done in the interim, starting with adding the wet ingredients to the potatoes.

In this case, butter is going to be included along with the wet ingredients because it needs to be melted in the microwave before adding. Pro tip: Cut the stick of butter into four equal pieces before heating for about one minute. Then pour the butter over the hashbrowns in a large mixing bowl. Add in the soup and sour cream, and then stir until everything is combined.

While it seems simple, it doesn't take much for a tasty potato-based dish. "The soup provides almost no flavor, it's a binder," Johnson explains. "The flavor comes from salt — both as an ingredient and the inherent saltiness of the cheese and the onion. Potatoes need very little to be delicious. French fries, potato chips ... both just a potato and salt."

Mix in the dry hashbrown casserole ingredients

After the potatoes, cheese is undeniably the star of this hashbrown casserole recipe. That's reflected in the wet ingredients — hello, condensed cheddar cheese soup — as well as the dry ingredients. Cheese is also what comes next as soon as all of the ingredients from the above step are combined and well integrated.

For this step, fold in the diced onions and chopped parsley (if you're using it). Then, take your cup of cheddar cheese and cup of Colby Jack cheese and fold them into the rest of the ingredients. Just be sure to keep about a quarter of a cup of cheddar to the side so that you have some cheese to sprinkle on top of the dish before putting it in the oven.

"Cheddar is an all-around delicious cheese that adds a sharpness and saltiness to the dish," Johnson says. "Colby Jack combines the flavor of cheddar with the creamy melting of the Monterey Jack and helps to increase the overall creaminess of the casserole."

Dish and bake your hashbrown casserole

With all of the measuring and mixing and stirring complete, it's time to bake your hashbrown casserole. Pour the hashbrown mixture from the mixing bowl into a greased baking dish — Johnson uses a 9x13-inch baking dish to ensure everything is cooked evenly and thoroughly without overdoing the edges. Sprinkle the quarter of a cup of cheddar cheese that you saved from the step above onto the top of the casserole to make sure it gets a cheesy, crispy top.

By now, your oven should be done preheating and be at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pop the casserole in the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbling and hot — this should take about 45 minutes. One thing to note: Avoid putting foil or a top on the dish before putting it in the oven.

"You want the top of the casserole to make a crispy layer and for the moisture inside the casserole to escape," Johnson says. "Covering a casserole with foil causes it to steam and traps the moisture, preventing that perfect, crisp top."

Save the hashbrown casserole leftovers for later

While this hashbrown casserole will be lovingly devoured by all potato lovers who are lucky enough to get a bite, there is still a good chance that you will have leftovers at the end of the meal. It is a lot of hashbrowns, after all, and the rest of the ingredients are hearty and filling. Thankfully, this is a dish that is just as easy to store for later as it is to make in the first place.

Use the top to your casserole dish if you have one before putting the leftovers in the refrigerator, though foil works as well. Tightly sealed leftovers can also be put in the freezer if you don't plan on bringing them back out for more than a couple of days.

"Store in the fridge and reheat in the oven to preserve the crisp top or in the microwave should speed be of greater importance," Johnson says. "The casserole can be frozen either before baking or after but should be thawed before baking or reheating."

The Hashbrown Casserole You'll Make Over And Over
4.8 from 20 ratings
Having a casserole that you can assemble and throw in the oven gives you one less thing you have to worry about. Plus, hashbrowns and cheese are food royalty.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
Servings
6
servings
hashbrown casserole recipe
Total time: 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (30-oz.) bag frozen hashbrowns, thawed
  • 1 (10.75-oz.) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 stick of butter, unsalted
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
Optional Ingredients
  • fresh parsley
Directions
  1. Thaw your hashbrowns for this recipe by placing the bag in the fridge overnight or by leaving on the counter for about an hour before preparing.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Heat your butter in the microwave until melted, approximately 1 minute. For best results, cut the stick into four equal pieces before microwaving.
  4. Put your hash browns into a large mixing bowl and pour the butter over them. Mix in the soup and sour cream. Stir until combined.
  5. Fold in the onions, parsley (if desired), and cheese, reserving a ¼ cup of the cheddar for the top.
  6. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the reserved cheese on the top of the casserole.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and hot.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 742
Total Fat 51.4 g
Saturated Fat 23.4 g
Trans Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 93.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 56.0 g
Dietary Fiber 5.3 g
Total Sugars 4.0 g
Sodium 929.1 mg
Protein 15.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe