Hashbrown Casserole

5 from 11 votes
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This cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe is the ultimate comfort food! It’s a delicious potato side dish ready in just an hour for breakfast or brunch.

Copy-cat cracker barrel hashbrown casserole recipe.

Recipe Science

  • Shredding the potatoes increases their surface area, allowing for greater moisture evaporation and browning when cooked, leading to a crispy texture.
  • Mixing the shredded potatoes with a creamy binder like sour cream or soup and cheese helps the casserole hold together while baking.
  • Baking at a high temperature causes the top layer of cheese to melt and brown, creating a crispy crust through the Maillard reaction.

Why It Works

Need to feed a crowd on the weekend or during special holiday celebrations or potlucks? Like my classic breakfast casserole, this dish is one of my favorite go-to meals to feed my hungry family. I use a few convenience ingredients to speed up the preparation. This is meant to be a simple and stress-free side dish 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!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Graphic showing the needed ingredients to make a hashbrown casserole.
  • Potatoes: To speed up preparation, purchase 32 ounces (two pounds) of frozen potatoes. For this recipe, I prefer them over freshly grated russet potatoes. They hold their shape better and contain ingredients to prevent them from browning. Frozen diced potatoes can also be used.
  • Cheese: Use mild or sharp cheddar to add a nutty flavor to the casserole. The cheese is melted on top for a delicious crust.
  • Condensed soup: Canned cream of chicken soup adds creaminess and savory flavor to the casserole. This shortcut ingredient contains cream, cornstarch, and flour to help thicken the casserole.
  • Sour Cream: The rich and tangy dairy balances the savory flavor of the cheesy potato casserole.
  • Butter: Use melted unsalted butter to add richness. This helps to flavor and cook the potatoes in the oven.
  • Alliums: Finely chopped yellow onions and minced garlic add earthiness and dimension to the starchy spuds.
  • Seasoning: The condensed soup and cheese are already savory, so I add salt and pepper to slightly enhance the casserole’s taste.
  • Herbs: Add parsley for garnish. It adds a subtle herb flavor and bright green color.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Using Fresh Potatoes: You’ll need 8 cups of shredded potatoes with some moisture squeezed out.
  • Cream of Chicken Substitute: For a vegetarian option, use canned cream of mushroom soup.
  • Cheese: Smoked gouda, Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, provolone, and mozzarella are great alternatives. I love a hearty sprinkle of parmesan cheese!
  • Yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt can be used instead of sour cream. It’s tangy and adds more protein to the potato dish.
  • Herbs: Mix into the casserole or garnish with green onions, chives, rosemary, thyme, or basil.
  • Seasoning: To flavor the potatoes further, add smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, cayenne, or hot sauce for a spicy kick!

How to Make Hashbrown Casserole

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

This easy recipe is quickly assembled and baked in the oven until hot, and the cheese is melty. Heat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC).

Step 2: Defrost the Potatoes

Use the microwave to defrost the hash brown potatoes until thawed, about 4 minutes. The goal is to melt some ice and bring the potatoes to room temperature. Thawing prevents them from getting watery and cooks them faster.

Cheese, hashbrowns, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup in a mixing bowl.
Bowl of potato mixture combined in a large bowl.

Step 3: Mix the Casserole Ingredients

The hashbrowns are coated in a creamy 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. Stir the ingredients in a large bowl.

Uncooked hashbrown mixture in a white baking dish.

Step 4: Load the Casserole Dish

Transfer the potato mixture to a greased 13 by 9-inch casserole dish.

Cheddar cheese sprinkled on top of a potato casserole before baking.

Top with shredded cheddar cheese for an extra-melty crust.

Chessy hashbrown casserole hot out of the oven with golden brown surface.

Step 5: Ready to Bake

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through, the cheese bubbling on the edges, and the surface is lightly golden brown.

Serving spoon scooping a helping of cheesy potatoes out of a baking dish.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve

The hashbrown casserole tastes the best served hot. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, green onions, or chives.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hashbrown casserole made of?

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.

Do I have to thaw frozen hash browns for casserole?

It’s best to thaw the frozen hashbrowns, so they cook evenly in the oven. This also prevents a mushy or watery texture. The fastest method is to briefly defrost in the microwave in 1 to 2-minute intervals until they reach room temperature.

Why is my hash brown casserole soggy?

The common reason is not thawing the hashbrowns and draining any excess moisture. Frozen hashbrowns take longer to cook in the oven; if they are not cooked long enough, the liquid pools to the bottom.

What are ways to customize the hashbrown casserole?

Make it spicy with chili, chipotle, cayenne, or freshly minced jalapeno peppers. Cooked chopped bacon, ham, or sausage add extra protein. Use Colby, Monterey Jack, smoked gouda, or mozzarella instead of cheddar or a mixture.

How do I make Funeral Potatoes?

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. To add extra crispiness, lightly crush the flakes and mix with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. I recommend stirring all the cheese into the potatoes so it doesn’t make the topping soggy or greasy. If the flakes start to get too golden, loosely tent the baking dish with foil to prevent burning.

Can I substitute frozen hash browns?

Use fresh russet potatoes to make the hashbrowns. Peel, then shred using a large grater. 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 need longer to cook because they have not been par-cooked like frozen potatoes. Once the cheese starts to brown, around 45 to 50 minutes, tent with foil and cook an extra 10 minutes.

Serve This With

If you tried this Hashbrown Casserole, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Hashbrown Casserole

This easy hashbrown casserole recipe is perfect for breakfast or brunch, featuring crispy hashbrowns baked to perfection with savory seasonings, melted cheese, and a creamy sauce. It's a crowd-pleaser that's sure to become a family favorite!
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings 12 Servings
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • Preheat 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 Ingredients – 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.
  • Load the Casserole Dish – Lightly grease a 13×9 baking dish. Spread the mixture inside. Evenly sprinkle with 1 cup of cheddar cheese on top.
  • Bake – 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.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • 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 by tightly pressing a piece of plastic wrap against the potato mixture. Refrigerate for up to 1 day. 
  • Storing: Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • Reheating: Reheat in the microwave on high setting in 15 to 30-second increments until hot.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 12 Servings
Calories 290kcal (15%)Carbohydrates 18g (6%)Protein 7g (14%)Fat 22g (34%)Saturated Fat 12g (60%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0.3gCholesterol 58mg (19%)Sodium 522mg (22%)Potassium 293mg (8%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 652IU (13%)Vitamin C 7mg (8%)Calcium 178mg (18%)Iron 1mg (6%)

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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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Judy says

    Hi Jessica, I made this recipe yesterday for Timothy and I and we loved it. I like how it browns so nicely and has that crunch to it that makes a hash brown delicious. I will definitely make this again for us and for company. Happy New Year to you and your sweet family. Judy & Timothy

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Happy New Year Judy and Timothy! I’m so happy that you guys enjoyed the casserole. Can’t wait to see what you make next!

  2. Andrea Hussli says

    I can’t find a healthier frozen hash brown that I don’t have reactions to (due to the preservatives).

    And I’ve never mastered making homemade hash browns. HELP!

    Do you have a from scratch hash brown recipe?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Andrea- I don’t have a hash brown recipe, yet! I would shred the potatoes and squeeze out the moisture really well. You can saute the potatoes to par-cook them, just to dry out some of the excess moisture, cooking until just tender. Cubed potatoes would work well too. Then add them to the casserole. Let me know how it goes!