This recipe will show you how I recreate a classic comfort food, hashbrown casserole, that takes minimal effort and promises maximum delight.
Hashbrown casserole is an easy one-pot dish that is rich in flavor and texture. It does not skimp on any ingredients and features a creamy, luscious filling of chicken soup, crispy savory hashbrowns, and lots of marble cheddar cheese.
Hashbrown casserole is perfect for any time of the day and any holiday of the year. This combination of cheese and diced potatoes is warmly welcomed at the breakfast table (with bacon and eggs!), and as a side dish for lunch or dinner.
Heck, I’d even dig into this on weeknights while binging any one of my favourite reality shows in my comfy PJs and wrapped in blankets. Comfort food at its best!
Aside from Christmas and Easter, hashbrown casserole is a staple dish during occasions like funeral luncheons (earning them the name funeral potatoes), especially in the Midwest of the United States. So, the next time someone offers you funeral potatoes when there’s no funeral happening, don’t get offended – they’re talking about this dish!
Should I Thaw My Hashbrowns First?
This recipe uses McCain frozen diced hashbrowns, specifically their hashbrown rissolees. That being said, any frozen hashbrowns will work just fine. I just prefer McCain’s because they’re the most common brand I can find literally anywhere within Canada.
For the crispiest hashbrowns, you definitely should thaw them (place them in the fridge overnight or defrost in the microwave) and pat dry with a paper towel before making the casserole. We want the hashbrowns to be at room temperature before using them.
Cooking hashbrowns right out of the freezer will create a moist environment inside the baking pan and leave you with mushy, soggy potatoes that look like porridge.
This cheesy hashbrowns recipe serves 6 to 8. All the ingredients are what you would imagine being rich in flavor, warm, and comforting:
- Frozen McCain diced hashbrowns – Purchase a 32 oz bag and defrost it before using. You can also buy frozen hashbrown triangles and once they’ve defrosted, give it a rough chop to dice it yourself.
- Unsalted butter – Melt ½ cup of unsalted butter. You can microwave butter or cook it in a small pan.
- Cream of chicken soup – Purchase a 10.25 oz can of chicken soup. To get a really rich and creamy filling, I always opt for a can of classic Campbell’s. Aylmer has an excellent gluten-free option which will work just as well!
- Sour cream – What’s a casserole without any dairy? Measure 1 pint of sour cream (can be replaced with Greek yogurt, milk, or crème fraîche at a 1:1 ratio).
- Sweet onion – Finely chop ¾ cup of sweet, yellow onion.
- Marble cheddar cheese – Grate 4 cups of marble cheddar for a savory, buttery potato casserole.
- Salt and pepper – To taste. I like to start with ¼ teaspoon and work my way up from there.
Try these optional ingredients to step it up a notch:
- Parsley, thyme, and oregano – For garnishing
- Cherry tomatoes – Add whole cherry tomatoes into the mix with the hashbrowns for some vegetables.
- Ritz crackers or corn flakes – Crush some Ritz crackers or corn flakes and sprinkle them over the casserole before baking. This creates a layer of crunch and makes the textures in this dish interesting.
- Bacon bits – Bacon is an excellent topping to go on this dish, especially at breakfast. Fry some bacon bits (or as much as you’d like) until they’re crispy and dry before adding them to the casserole as a garnish.
Step One: To begin making cheesy potatoes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch (5 quarts) glass baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
- Pro Tip: You may not have this exact size of baking dish. If you have a smaller baking dish, you can cook in 2 batches or reduce the amounts I’ve used in this recipe, and vice versa if you have a larger baking dish.
Step Two: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, mixing thoroughly and evenly. Reserve 1 ½ cups of cheese for topping.
Step Three: Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Then, top with the reserved marble cheddar cheese, spreading it out evenly.
Step Four: Next, cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. Once 45 minutes is up, remove the baking dish from the oven and discard the tin foil. Bake uncovered for another 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. You should see a golden brown, slightly charred surface and a yellow filling underneath.
- Pro Tip: When we bake the casserole covered with tin foil, we are essentially using the convection heat in the oven to cook the inside filling. After we discard the tin foil, that’s when the heat directly cooks the top giving us a shiny brown sheen.
Step Five: Optionally, garnish with parsley or other fresh herbs. Serve hot and enjoy!
See how easy it is to make this one-pot recipe? The hardest part is waiting for the casserole to bake because it takes nearly two hours before you can enjoy it.
While the potatoes are in the oven, why not take the time to make it a complete meal with other delicious dishes? Try an easy steak salad that has both vegetables and proteins, or this Mexican street corn recipe on a flatbread.
Then, make a cocktail out of watermelon and cucumber for an extra refreshing drink afterward. Or if you are making this recipe for breakfast try blueberry pancakes on the side. The options on what to pair with this dish are endless!
Freezing & Reheating
Hashbrown casserole can be frozen for up to 3 months so that come holiday season you can make big batches in advance for large gatherings. Bake the casserole and allow it to cool completely before storing it in an air-tight container.
If you are making this as a meal prep, chill it in the fridge, covered tightly. It keeps fresh for 1 to 2 days so you can enjoy a grab-and-go breakfast on the busiest days. I recommend storing individual portions in smaller containers if this is the case.
When you are ready to serve the casserole, bring it to room temperature and heat it up for 10 minutes in the oven.
Let me know how this hashbrown casserole turned out for you.
If you loved this one-pot casserole, try these other recipes. They are easy, quick, and meal-prep friendly.
- One Pan Crispy Parmesan Chicken
- Caprese Stuffed Balsamic Chicken
- Pasta Salad
- Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake
Hashbrown Casserole Recipe
- 32 ounces frozen McCain’s diced hash browns defrosted
- ½ cup melted unsalted butter
- 1 10 ¼ ounce can cream of chicken soup
- 1 pint sour cream
- 3/4 cup sweet onion finely chopped
- 4 cups marble cheddar cheese grated
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl reserving 1 ½ cups of cheese for topping.
- Place in a greased 9×13 glass (5 quart) baking dish and top with reserved cheese.
- Bake covered with tin foil for 45 minutes. Then remove the baking dish from the oven and discard tin foil. Add baking dish bake to the oven, and bake uncovered for another 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.