This homemade cheesy hashbrown casserole is a comforting side dish that everyone loves. Wonderful comforting potato dish loaded with cheddar cheese and creamy sauce. It’s easily prepared without canned soup and baked to a gooey perfection.
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Years of working at the Cracker Barrel and enjoying all the delicious comforting food drove me to create my own recipes and make it at home. Hashbrown Casserole is definitely one of those dishes. When you have a recipe that beats the restaurant’s, you don’t have a need to go out and get it. You are all set to make it right at home!
This amazing potato side dish is cheesy, creamy, and rich. It features shredded hash brown potatoes mixed with homemade creamy cheese sauce and topped with even more sharp cheddar cheese. Bake it right away or pop it in the refrigerator to bake the next day, either way you will have one of the best side dishes on the table.
Scalloped Potatoes and Hashbrown Casserole are the two sides that we make for a big family dinner. Don’t let the fact that this casserole is prepared with no canned soup make you think that it’s harder to cook. It is just as easy and only takes about 10 extra minutes of preparation time.
Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes – hash brown potatoes usually come frozen so make sure to thaw the potatoes first. Best way to do that is to thaw them overnight or for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Flour – all purpose flour works here but you can use gluten free all purpose flour if you need to.
Milk – use whole milk for the best rich and creamy cheese sauce.
Chicken Stock – chicken stock has a more rich flavor than chicken broth so it’s better to use. You can use chicken broth if needed.
Cheddar Cheese – use sharp cheddar cheese for the stronger cheese flavor for the cheese sauce and the topping.
See recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
How To Make Hashbrown Casserole
Step 1: Preheat a pot over medium heat on stove-top and add olive oil. Sauté diced onion until softened and stir in minced garlic. Let garlic sauté for a few seconds, stir, and sprinkle flour all over the onions. Stir well, until onions are well coated with flour.
Step 2: Keep stirring for a few seconds, lower the heat to medium-low, and start slowly pouring in chicken stock, while continuously stirring. The mixture will start to thicken as you are stirring.
Step 3: Keep stirring and pour in milk after. Let the mixture heat through and continue to thicken.
Step 4: Stir in the sour cream, salt, and pepper. Let the mixture cook as you stir slowly for a minute or so.
Step 5: Stir in cheese, one handful at a time, as you stir and let it melt into the sauce. Once the cheese is melted, stir in parsley, and take it off heat.
Step 6: Transfer the hash brown potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Pour the cheese sauce into the bowl with hash browns and carefully stir until completely incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and make sure it’s spread evenly.
Step 7: Spread more grated cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole. Make sure it’s all spread evenly throughout.
Step 8: Bake the casserole at 350° for 30-35 minutes, until casserole browned and bubbles around the edges. If you wish for the top to get more golden, turn on the broiler for a few seconds.
This casserole is very easily made gluten free. Just substitute all purpose flour for gluten free all purpose flour.
One thing I’ve noticed about swapping gluten free all purpose flour for regular one in sauces and soups is that it takes just a little more gluten free flour to make it the same thickness. In most cases, 1/2-1 extra tablespoon will do the trick.
Yes you can! Prepare the casserole as instructed in the recipe up to the step of spreading it in the baking dish. Spread the cheesy potato mixture in the Crock Pot, cover with the lid, and cook for 2-3 hours on HIGH or for 4-4.5 hours on LOW. Spread the grated cheese on top of the casserole during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
This is a great potato side dish but you can easily add some protein to it. You can add diced ham or crispy cooked bacon right into the hashbrown mixture. It’s also a nice recipe for using up leftover turkey meat!
Add some extra flavor with chopped chives, scallions, and/or parsley.
Make it spicy by adding jalapenos or other chili peppers.
Make Ahead Recommendation
You can prepare the casserole completely, up to the baking step, and refrigerate overnight. Make sure to cover the prepared casserole dish air-tight with plastic wrap or a fitted lid before putting it in the refrigerator.
When ready to bake, take the dish out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking and let it sit on the counter to warm up. Discard the plastic wrap and bake at 350° but add extra 5-7 minutes or so since the casserole will start out cold.
Storing and Reheating Suggestions
Store any leftover hashbrown casserole in the refrigerator covered air-tight. You can store it in the original baking dish or transfer it into a food storage container with a lid. Properly stored, hashbrown casserole will last up to 3 days.
To reheat, you can so it by reheating individual portions in a microwave just until warmed through. It’s best not to overheat the hashbrown casserole or cheese and cream will start to separate.
If you need to reheat the whole casserole in the dish at 350°, just make sure to let the dish warm up on the counter for about 30 minutes before placing it into the oven. Tent the casserole loosely with a sheet of foil to prevent the top from browning too much.
PRO TIP: If you plan to freeze this casserole, you can prepare it and bake it in an aluminum baking pan. Note that the bake time will be slightly less, about 5 minutes less.
Prepare the casserole and bake it in an aluminum baking dish, per the recipe. Make sure to cool the cooked potato casserole to room temperature before freezing!
Cover the whole pan with plastic or another freezer-friendly air-tight wrap and then, wrap it in a some aluminum foil. Double cover will make sure it is completely air-tight.
Label the pan and freeze it for up to 3 months.
Make sure to thaw it slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 24 hours.
Some More Comforting Side Dishes
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Hashbrown Casserole Recipe
- 30 oz frozen shredded hash brown potatoes thawed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour*
- 2 cups whole milk (can use reduced fat if needed)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 tbsp minced parsley (can use dried parsley if needed)
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese topping
- Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a 9×13 casserole baking dish.
- Preheat medium pot over medium heat on stove-top.
- Add oil, heat it through, and add diced onions. Sauté onions until they start to brown.
- Smash and mince garlic and add it to the onions. Stir and sauté until fragrant, just a few seconds.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir well. Stir for a few seconds and start slowly pouring in chicken stock, while stirring. Pour in milk after that while stirring as well.
- Lower the heat to medium-low. Let the mixture heat through and start to thicken. Make sure to stir often.
- Stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper. (You may need to use a whisk to help incorporate the sour cream.) Let the mixture cook for about a minute.
- Stir in cheese one handful at a time. Stir in as it melts and taste to make sure you have enough seasoning. Once cheese is melted, stir in parsley and take the pot off heat.
- Mix hash brown potatoes and cheese sauce in a large bowl and spread the mixture in the prepared casserole dish. Make sure it's all spread evenly throughout.
- Spread some more cheese on top and bake for 30-35 minutes, until casserole browned and bubbles around the edges. If you would like to brown the top a little more, turn on the broiler for a few seconds.
- Gluten Free*: This casserole is very easily made gluten free. Just substitute all purpose flour for gluten free all purpose flour. Note that sometimes it takes just a little more gluten free flour to make it the same thickness as regular. (Depending on the brand.) In most cases, 1/2-1 extra tablespoon will do the trick.
- To Make It In The Crock Pot: Prepare the casserole as instructed in the recipe up to the step of spreading it in the baking dish. Spread the cheesy potato mixture in the Crock Pot, cover with the lid, and cook for 2-3 hours on HIGH or for 4-4.5 hours on LOW. Spread the grated cheese on top of the casserole during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
- Storing: Store any leftover hashbrown casserole in the refrigerator covered air-tight. You can store it in the original baking dish or transfer it into a food storage container with a lid. Properly stored, hashbrown casserole will last up to 3 days.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on December 20, 2018.