Hashbrown casserole has a hold on me that I can’t explain, so when my sister, Jennifer, offered to give up her recipe, I jumped on it. Make it this weekend!
By Jennifer Rather.
If I were stuck on a desert island with only one food to sustain me, it would be potatoes. They are the most versatile food in existence – boiled, roasted, grilled, fried, and if all goes to mush, mashed. A vehicle for meat, condiments and other vegetables.
I know my sister feels the same way, because once when we were kids, our parents took us out for Sunday lunch, and I got to witness her ordering a veggie plate with four different kinds of potatoes: fries, potato salad, mashed potatoes and hash browns. (Don’t worry, Mom didn’t stand for it. She told the waiter Bec needed another minute, right before she crawled under the table to hide her face in shame.)
Our love for potatoes? It’s deep-rooted, baby. Especially for potatoes with cheese.
And that brings me to one of my all-time favorite potato dishes: Hashbrown Casserole.
If you’ve ever been to a Southern Baptist potluck (or breakfast at Cracker Barrel), you know the power of this baked cheesy-potato goodness. No one can resist it. And it’s about as simple as casseroles come.
Just combine a can of cream of chicken soup with cheese, melted butter, frozen hash browns and a little chicken broth in a big bowl. (I like to use chicken broth instead of the usual sour cream to keep the casserole moist but not too rich.) Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, sprinkle a handful of cheese on top, and bake.
You could even put the casserole together Saturday night, and bake it Sunday morning.
Much faster than waiting in line at Cracker Barrel.
Courtesy of Jennifer Rather (Ezra Pound Cake)
- 1 (10.25-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 2 cups (8 ounces) Colby Jack cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder (optional)
- 2 pound bag frozen shredded hash browns
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a largest mixing bowl, combine the soup, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, butter, onion, salt, pepper and garlic powder, if using.
- Fold in half of the frozen potatoes. Add the chicken broth, and fold in the rest of the potatoes.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, until heated through and top is browned.
To Freeze and Reheat: Place the combined ingredients in a freezer bag or a casserole dish covered in foil to freeze. To reheat, thaw the ingredients in the refrigerator overnight, place them in a greased casserole dish (if you used a freezer bag), and bake as directed.