This cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe is the ultimate comfort food! A delicious potato side dish is ready in just an hour for breakfast or brunch.
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Need to feed a crowd on the weekend or during special holiday celebrations? This is one of my go-to hot spud dishes that makes a big batch of cheesy potatoes. I use a few convenience ingredients to speed up the preparation. This is meant to be a simple and stress-free side dish just to mix and bake!
I’m excited to share my homemade version of the Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole recipe. You only need a few bags of frozen hashbrowns, your favorite cheese, and cream of chicken soup. I also use a mix of fresh and dried pantry staples to enhance the savory taste. Whenever I serve this in the morning, it always disappears fast!
To speed up preparation, purchase 32 ounces (two pounds) of frozen potatoes. I prefer them over freshly grated russet potatoes for this recipe. They hold their shape better and contain ingredients to prevent them from browning. I defrost them in the microwave for about 4 minutes.
The goal is to melt some of the ice, bringing them to room temperature so the potatoes cook quickly and don’t get watery. If using fresh, you’ll need 8 cups of shredded potatoes, with some moisture squeezed out. Frozen diced potatoes can also be used.
Make the potato mixture
The hashbrowns are coated in a creamy and savory sauce. I use a combination of condensed cream of chicken soup, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, melted butter, chopped onions, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. The condensed soup is a great shortcut to add a creamy texture and savory flavor. It contains cream, cornstarch, and flour to help thicken the casserole.
For a vegetarian option, use canned cream of mushroom soup. Mix the ingredients in a large bowl, then add a 13 by 9-inch greased baking dish.
Optional crunchy topping
Another popular way to serve hashbrown casserole is to sprinkle crunchy cornflakes or ritz crackers on top. This style is also called funeral potatoes, I typically use diced potatoes for that version. If you’d like to add extra crispiness, lightly crush the flakes, then mix with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
I recommend stirring all the cheese into the potatoes so they don’t make the topping soggy or greasy. Sprinkle on top before baking. If the flakes start to get too golden, loosely tent the baking dish with foil to prevent burning.
Bake the casserole
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Top the casserole with shredded cheddar cheese for an extra melty crust. Bake until the potatoes are cooked through, cheese bubbling on the edges, and the surface is lightly golden brown. The process takes about 45 to 55 minutes. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, green onions, or chives.
Serve this with
Frequently asked questions
A combination of frozen hashbrowns, shredded cheese like cheddar, condensed cream of chicken soup, sour cream, butter, chopped onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. It’s baked with extra cheese or crunchy cornflakes on top.
It’s best to thaw the frozen hashbrowns so they evenly cook in the oven. This also prevents a mushy or watery texture. Briefly defrosting in the microwave in 1 to 2-minute intervals until its room temperature is the fastest method.
The common reason is not thawing the hashbrowns and draining any excess moisture. Frozen hashbrowns take longer to cook in the oven, with the liquid pooling to the bottom if not cooked long enough.
Make it spicy with chili pepper, chipotle, cayenne, or freshly minced jalapeno peppers. Add extra protein with cooked chopped bacon, ham, or sausage. Use Colby, Monterey Jack, smoked gouda, or mozzarella instead of cheddar or a mixture.
Substituting frozen hash browns for fresh potatoes
Use russet potatoes to make the hashbrowns. Peel, then shred using the larger grater size. You’ll need 8 cups. Add the shreds to cool water to prevent browning. After you grate, drain well, and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Fresh-cut potatoes will need longer to cook because they have not been par-cooked like frozen potatoes. Once you see the cheese start to brown around 45 to 50 minutes, tent with foil, and cook an extra 10 minutes.
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- 32 ounces frozen shredded hashbrowns, 8 cups
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 10 ¾ ounce can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup
- 1 ½ cups sour cream
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, optional
- Heat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat at 350ºF (177ºC).
- Defrost the Potatoes – Thaw the potatoes before using, either in the microwave or at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain off any excess moisture.
- Mix the Casserole – In a large bowl, combine defrosted potatoes, 1 cup cheddar cheese, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, onion, melted butter, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Bake – Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Spread the mixture into the dish. Evenly sprinkle with 1 cup of cheddar cheese on top. Bake until hot and bubbly and the cheese is lightly browned, about 45 to 55 minutes.
- To Serve – Garnish with chopped parsley if using. Serve while still hot.
- Using Diced Potatoes: If desired, use frozen diced potatoes.
- Cheese Options: Substitute cheddar with Colby, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or Pepper Jack.
- Extra Cheesy: Add 2 cups of cheddar to the potato mixture and 1 cup on top.
- Make it Vegetarian: Use canned cream of mushroom soup.
- Cornflake Topping: Mix all of the cheese with the potato mixture. Lightly crush 2 cups of cornflakes. Combine with ¼ cup of butter. Evenly sprinkle on top before baking. Alternatively, use ritz crackers or potato chips. Lightly cover with foil if the topping starts to get too brown.
- Make Ahead: Assemble the casserole are tightly press a piece of plastic wrap against the potato mixture. Refrigerate for up to 1 day.
- Storing: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: Reheat in the microwave on high setting in 15 to 30-second increments until hot.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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