Our easy Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole combines shredded potatoes and vegetables in a creamy sauce, then topped with cheese. It’s the ultimate comfort food!
Dare I say – our Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole is even better than the version served at Cracker Barrel restaurants? Yes, I said it – and I mean it!
When we set out to recreate a from-scratch version of Cracker Barrel’s very popular hashbrown casserole, we still wanted it to be easy to make, but without the overly salty, processed, canned soup taste.
We used frozen already-shredded potatoes and combined them with a simple cheese sauce with diced vegetables mixed in. Then, before baking, the casserole is topped with more cheese and baked until hot and melty.
Why You’ll Love Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
- It can be served at breakfast or brunch as well as a side dish with just about any roasted meat.
- After just fifteen minutes of easy prep, this casserole bakes in the oven while you prep the rest of your meal.
- Both kids and adults adore this easy, cheesy side dish!
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Hashbrowns – Buy frozen, shredded potatoes (we used Ore-Ida brand). If you are very ambitious, you can shred your own Russet potatoes – but be sure to squeeze out as much excess moisture as you can before using them in this recipe.
- Diced vegetables – Diced carrots, onions and celery, as well as fresh garlic are used to flavor the sauce.
- Creamy Sauce – A combination of butter, flour, chicken stock and sour cream come together in a luxurious cream sauce.
- Seasonings – Use simple seasonings of dried thyme, kosher salt and black pepper.
- Cheese – Colby Jack cheese has the best flavor and texture for this dish but feel free to substitute cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. If you like a little spice, use Pepper Jack cheese instead.
Special supplies needed
- 9×13-inch casserole dish
- Blender or immersion blender
How do I make Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole?
- Sauté carrots, onion, celery and garlic in butter. Then add flour to make a roux. Add hot chicken stock and sour cream, then season with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Cook until vegetables are softened, then puree half of this mixture.
- Grate the Colby Jack cheese.
- Mix frozen potatoes with the sauce and most of the cheese, then pour into a greased casserole dish.
- Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 45 minutes.
- Broil to brown the top, then serve immediately
Chef’s Tip –
Keep the hash browns frozen until ready to mix with the sauce. This will stop the potatoes from over-cooking and will help maintain a creamy but tender potato texture.
Frequently asked Questions
- Can I make this Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole ahead of time? Yes, you can assemble the entire casserole, then chill until ready to bake. Before baking, sure to let the casserole sit out of the refrigerator for a while (maybe thirty minutes or so) until it is back to room temperature.
- How do I store leftovers? Cover and store refrigerated for up to three days.
- How do I reheat the leftovers? You can microwave individual portions to heat through, or cover the casserole with foil and heat through in a warm oven.
- Can I freeze this casserole? Yes, but the potatoes may get soggy once thawed and reheated.
You may enjoy these other Potato recipes:
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
- Italian Ham and Potato Casserole
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Kale and Boursin Cheese
- Perfect Baked Potatoes
1 ½ cups chicken stock, homemade if possible
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup onion, diced (about one medium onion)
1 cup celery, diced (about 2 stalks celery)
½ cup carrot, diced (about 1 medium carrot)
1 ½ teaspoons fresh garlic, minced (about one medium clove)
1 teaspoon dry thyme
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pint sour cream (16-ounce tub)
1 ½ pounds Colby Jack cheese, shredded and divided
2 ½ pounds frozen shredded potatoes, kept frozen and not thawed. (40 ounce package)
Preheat oven to 350-degree F.
Spray a 9X13 pan with kitchen pan spray.
Heat chicken stock to hot then hold.
In a medium non-stick pot or large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat and add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook three minutes.
Add the flour and cook two minutes, then add all of the hot stock, mixing to combine with a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula.
Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 5-10 minutes.
Remove half of this mixture and puree with a blender or an immersion blender then pour back into the pan with the half that is not pureed. Add the tub of sour cream and mix to combine.
Set 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese aside to top the casserole.
In a large bowl, mix the frozen potatoes, the sauce and what’s left of the Colby Jack cheese. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes then broil the top to brown.
Keywords: hashbrown casserole