Did you grow up with Hash Brown Casserole? We sure did! It’s a rich casserole side dish of frozen hash browns baked in a creamy sauce, topped with a buttery cornflake topping. This is the best from-scratch version. It’s easy to make and the ideal side for any gathering. Everyone loves it!
Hash brown casserole tastes like pure comfort.
- It’s easy to make for a crowd.
- It freezes and reheats like a dream.
- You can serve it for everything ranging from a breakfast hash brown casserole, to a side with a holiday dinner, to occasions that earned it the nickname, “funeral potatoes” and “party potatoes”.
In fact, I’ve eaten hash brown casserole for Christmas Eve dinner (and Thanksgiving), at family reunions, and, yes, at my grandma’s funeral.
Put another way: it’s a hug from the inside that hits the spot every time.
Why Make Hash Brown Casserole from Scratch
Most standard 5-ingredient hash brown casserole recipes (and even copycat Cracker Barrel hash brown casseroles), involve cans of “cream of” soup, pints of sour cream, and/or cheese out of a bag.
No offense to those classic casseroles (or to Cracker Barrel—I have a soft spot for their biscuits), but when I am craving comfort food, I want more than a can of this and a bag of that.
We need from scratch hash brown casserole, made with simple, real ingredients.
It’s easy and WORTH IT! You can taste the love.
The only even potentially time-consuming part would be to rice the potatoes, and fortunately, thanks to frozen hash browns, that work is done for us.
5 Star Review
“We had this for dinner last night. LOVED it! So so much flavor! We will be having this again and again!”
— Maebell —
How to Make Hash Brown Casserole
This is hash brown casserole without soup, without sour cream, and I am going to ask you to go a little extra distance and grate your own cheese to make sure it is as supremely creamy and melty as possible.
You better believe we are making this crispy hash brown casserole with corn flakes on top, however.
That topping is one of the best parts!
- Frozen Hash Browns. The convenient base for our hash brown casserole. You’ll need one 30- to 32-ounce bag. Frozen hash browns are both a timesaver AND you actually achieve better results than if you use freshly grated potatoes, because the thawed hash browns are drier. Save your hash brown efforts for Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Cauliflower Hash Browns instead.
- Milk + Chicken Broth + Butter + Cornstarch. Forget the chicken soup in a can! You can create your own creamy base from this simple list of ingredients instead.
- Greek Yogurt. Secret ingredient #1. It’s how we get away with making a rich hash brown casserole without sour cream.
I do not recommend fat-free Greek yogurt for this recipe, as it may curdle and will not make the casserole as rich and satisfying.
A 7-ounce-sized small container of yogurt will yield the perfect amount for this recipe (Fage sells one this size).
- Poultry Seasoning. Secret ingredient #2 for a from-scratch casserole that has the nostalgic flavor of the cream of soup, without cream of chicken soup itself.
- Worcestershire Sauce. Secret ingredient #3. It gives the casserole depth and savoriness.
- Seasonings. Garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder make this hash brown casserole the best version of itself.
- Cheese. We’re making a cheesy hash brown casserole. Cheddar makes the casserole creamy and rich; Parmesan adds nuttiness and a touch of saltiness. And hey, cheese has calcium!
- Corn Flakes. It’s not crispy hash brown casserole without the topping!
- Pat the hash browns dry.
- Cook the butter and flour together.
- Whisk in the spices, milk, and broth. Cook until thickened.
- Stir in the cheese, Greek yogurt, and hashbrowns.
- Coat corn flakes with melted butter and sprinkle on top.
- Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake hash brown casserole at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake 12 minutes more. Broil for 1-2 minutes at the end.
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in a 350 degrees F oven (best method) or gently in the microwave.
- To Freeze. You can freeze this entire casserole either baked or unbaked for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
Meal Prep Tip
You can make old fashioned hash brown casserole up to 2 days in advance. Assemble to the point of baking (wait to add the topping so it does not become soggy) and refrigerate. When ready to bake, add the topping, then bake as directed.
What to Eat with Hash Brown Casserole
- Dutch Oven. This versatile piece will last a lifetime. I use mine almost daily!
- Baking Dish. This one transitions seamlessly from oven to table.
- Two-Sided Measuring Spoons. Ideal for recipes with a long list of spices. You don’t need to stop between ingredients to clean them!
The next time the mood is comfort food, this light hash brown casserole has your number.
I hope it finds a nostalgic place in your heart (and tummy!) the way it has for us.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your hash brown casserole is soggy, it’s likely due to the hash browns themselves. If you did not thaw, drain, and dry them completely before preparing the casserole, they can make it very soggy.
Yes, you do need to thaw the frozen hash browns before cooking. If you forget to thaw them overnight, you can quickly defrost the hash browns in the microwave. Place the frozen hash browns in a microwave-safe large bowl, cover, and heat on 50% power for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Drain, pat dry, and use as directed.
Yes! While this casserole is commonly used as a side dish for lunches or dinners, it’s scrumptious as a breakfast hash brown casserole too. Serve hash brown casserole with eggs, breakfast sausage, bacon, or even an egg casserole (like Healthy Breakfast Casserole).
This tasty casserole is beautiful and delicious as is, but you could sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley or chives on top for a festive garnish.
For the Casserole:
- 30 to 32 oz frozen shredded hash browns defrosted
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 1% or 2% milk use whole milk for a richer sauce; do not use skim
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth divided (must be low sodium, or the casserole will be too salty)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese about 6 ounces
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt* about 7 ounces
For the Topping:
- 2 cups crushed cornflakes see blog post above for other options
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
Spread the defrosted hash browns onto paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Pat as dry as possible.
In a Dutch oven or very large, deep skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour over the top. Whisk and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is golden brown and smells nutty, about 90 seconds (don’t shortcut this step, or you may have a raw flour taste).
Reduce the heat to low. Slowly add the milk and approximately half of the chicken broth, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
Whisk cornstarch into the remaining broth until smooth. Add to the skillet and whisk to combine.
Whisk in the Worcestershire, poultry seasoning, salt, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.
Bring sauce to a simmer over medium high heat, whisking constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce is thickened, about 7 to 8 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed so that you maintain a constant bubble but not an aggressive boil.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Whisk in 1 cup of the cheddar and Parmesan until smoothly combined. Whisk in Greek yogurt.
Add the dried hash browns and stir until evenly combined.
Transfer hash brown mixture to prepared baking dish and smooth into an even layer. Evenly top with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheddar.
Prepare the topping: Place the cornflakes in a small bowl and pour the melted butter over the top. With a spatula, stir until the corn flakes are evenly coated. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Cover the casserole with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then uncover. Return to the oven and continue baking until the casserole is hot and bubbly, about 12 minutes more.
Switch the oven to broil (keep the pan on the center rack). Broil until the topping is golden, about 1 to 2 minutes, watching the carefully the entire time to make sure it does not burn. Remove from the oven and let rest at least 10 minutes. Enjoy!
- *I do not recommend fat-free Greek yogurt here, as it may curdle and will not make the casserole as rich and satisfying. If you want to go old school, you can replace it with sour cream. I typically purchase a 7-ounce sized small container (Fage sells one this size).
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in a 350°F oven (best method) or gently in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: You can freeze this entire casserole either baked or unbaked for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
- MAKE AHEAD: Assemble the casserole to the point of baking up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate (wait to add the corn flake topping, as it can become soggy). When ready to bake, add the topping, then bake as directed.
- TO USE FRESHLY GRATED POTATOES: Peel (optional) and grate the potatoes (you’ll need 6 cups or 2 pounds). Place them in a colander and rinse. Spread them onto a clean kitchen towel and pat very dry. Change out the towel and pat again to remove as much moisture as possible.
- HALVE IT. Recipe may halved and baked in an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.
Serving: 1(of 10)Calories: 455kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 15gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 47mgPotassium: 500mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1423IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 249mgIron: 15mg
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