Cheesy Hashbrowns

Deceptively simple to make, these cheesy hashbrowns are the perfect side dish for holiday meals, family dinners, potlucks, and more.
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

By Mark Hinds | Updated March 26, 2024

Crispy hashbrowns, a creamy filling, and cheesy goodness come together to create this tasty cheesy hashbrown casserole.

The best cheesy hashbrowns are a mixture of creamy potatoes and melted cheesy that makes you feel warm and safe inside. 

What makes this recipe for cheesy hashbrowns so delicious and a family favorite is the combination of cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, just the right spices, a little onion, and lots of delicious cheddar cheese.

In addition to a delicious crowd pleasing recipe, we’ve collected dozens of variations and substitutions to help cooks make this recipe for cheesy hashbrowns their own.

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

The first thing that becomes clear when researching cheesy hashbrowns is that this is a dish people make for other people, whether it’s during the holidays (Christmas, Easter, Hanunek, New Year, etc.) or for other times people gather (parties, potlucks, funerals, etc.).

Often referred to as funeral potatoes for how frequently they appear at funerals alongside the standard sliced ham, white dinner rolls, and pots of mediocre coffee. Growing up, we referred to them as church potatoes, given the miraculous way they seemed to appear at church gatherings and the way they managed to keep the jello salad company as the only things we looked forward to eating.

The simplest way to make cheesy hashbrowns is to bake them in the oven.

It’s no surprise that a dish so simple to prepare that all it requires is a large bowl, some sort of casserole dish, and a working oven would become a beloved comfort food. It may be because it’s a dish filled with a who’s who of comforting ingredients – potatoes, sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, and lots and lots of gooey melted cheese that’s been browned on the top.

According to Wikipedia, hashbrowns started appearing on breakfast menus in New York City during the 1890s before becoming a staple of diner menus across the country. Their ubiquitous nature may be one the reasons why there are millions of recipes for a dish so popular that a simple search for hash brown casserole on Google turns up over six million results.  

To ensure our recipe for cheesy hashbrowns added something to the mix, we’ve included information on variations and substitutions to help cooks find just the right combination of ingredients. Whether they are trying to recreate the dish they remember from their youth or find a way to elevate a classic.

Ingredients for Cheesy Hashbrowns

The standard ingredient list for cheesy hashbrowns includes hashbrowns, sour cream, some type of cream-based soup base, and cheddar cheese. The list below includes variations and additions to the standard list. Let us know in the comments if there are others we should add.

Ingredients Hashbrown Cassorle
The entire hashbrown casserole can be assembled in one bowl.

Hashbrowns – The hashbrowns or hash browns for this dish can be frozen or fresh, shredded or cubed. A recent trend has been to use the Southwestern seasoned hashbrowns found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store to create a Southwestern version.

We recommend using fresh hashbrowns from the refrigerated section of the grocery store when available. If using frozen hashbrowns, let them defrost before assembling the dish.

Cream of Mushroom Soup – Recipes are fairly evenly split whether the soup base should be Cream of Mushroom Soup, Cream of Chicken Soup, Cream of Potato Soup, or Cream of Celery Soup. This recipe uses Cream of Mushroom Soup to keep the dish vegetarian and because it’s what we keep in the pantry.

Sour Cream – A few recipes substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream to make the dish healthier. Flavor enhancing substitutes include French onion dip or our favorite, Top the Tater.

Cheddar Cheese – One of the simplest ways to change the dish’s flavor profile is to change the cheese. We found a mix of 2/3 cheddar to 1/3 Colby is more interesting than using 100 percent cheddar cheese. For a Southwestern inspired version, substitute half of the cheese with pepper jack. Other common substitutions include white cheddar, Colby, Gruyere, and Emmental. 

Toppings – One of the most popular variations for this dish includes adding crushed corn flakes and melted butter on the top to create a crunchy topping. Some other options to add crunch include crushed ritz crackers, potato chips, and crispy fried French onions. 

A simple way to add some color to the top is to mix finely diced green onion tops, parsley, or chives with the cheese when it’s sprinkled over the potatoes.

Baking Hashbrown Casserole
Starting the casserole covered helps keep the potatoes from drying out.

In the Mix – It wouldn’t be a casserole if there were options for mixing different ingredients with the potatoes. The most popular options are ham, bacon, and sausage, which are often added to turn the casserole into a main dish.

Diced onion or shallots are often used to add flavor and texture, while different types of bell peppers can be used to add color.

Seasonings – When it comes to seasoning, many recipes stick to the basic combination of salt and pepper. In our testing, we found the dish a bit one-note with just these two. To create richer, deeper flavors, we added some garlic and paprika. Two spices that are commonly used to enhance potato dishes.

Helpful Tips

Here are some helpful tips for a simple cheesy hashbrown casserole.

A simple way to keep the hashbrowns from drying out in the oven is to cover them in foil for the first 30 minutes of cooking time. After 30 minutes, the foil should be removed to let the cheese brown.

The casserole can also be made in a slow cooker. To make hashbrown casserole in a slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, top the potato mixture with the cheese and green onion tops, and allow the casserole to cook for 3 to 4 hours.

The casserole can be made a day or two in advance and can be frozen before the baking stage or after it’s been baked. To freeze it, store it in a freezer-safe container and let it defrost in the fridge. It can take up to twenty-four hours for the casserole to defrost in the fridge.

Hashbrown Cassorle Dinner
One of the most common ways to serve these hashbrowns is with sliced ham.

Once it’s been baked, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for four to six days. To reheat a large amount of the potatoes, use a 350℉ (177℃) oven for 15 to 25 minutes. Small amounts of the casserole can be reheated using the microwave.

An easy way to transport dishes like this is to pick up a Pyrex 4 Piece Storage Set. What we love about this set is it comes with a snap-on lid that makes it easy to store dishes in the fridge and a handy insulated carrying case that makes it easy to bring food to a friend’s house or a potluck.

What to Serve with Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes

When it comes to pairing cheesy hashbrown potatoes with main dishes, we love to serve them with our Maple Bourbon Glazed Grilled Ham fresh from the grill, slices of Tender Slow-Roasted Roast Beef, or juicy Baked Chicken Breasts seasoned with fresh herbs.   

A few side dishes that pair well with these potatoes are Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Fennel or crisp Sauteéd Green Beans dressed with balsamic vinegar.

Cheesy Hashbrown Sandwich
One of our favorite brunch recipes is cheesy hashbrown sandwiches.

One of our favorite ways to serve cheesy hashbrowns for brunch or whenever we have leftover potatoes is to make Cheesy Hashbrown Sandwiches with slices of ham and a scoop of potatoes topped with a slice of cheese on a toasted English muffin.

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

3.9 from 44 votes
Print Save Pin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs shredded hashbrowns
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 2 green onion tops, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced. sub 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Colby cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup, condensed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Start by finely dicing the onions and cutting the butter into small pieces. Mix the white onion and butter with the cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, along with 1 cup of cheddar cheese.
    1/2 cup white onion, 2 green onion tops, 1 clove garlic, 2 cups cheddar cheese, 8 oz sour cream, 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup, 4 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Combine the sour cream mixture with the hashbrowns and add them to a prepared baking dish.
    2 lbs shredded hashbrowns
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese and green onion tops across the potatoes.
    1 cup Colby cheese
  • Cover the potato mixture with aluminum foil and bake in a 350℉ (177℃) oven for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and continue to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. The potatoes are done when the cheese starts to brown on the top.
  • The hashbrowns can be served straight from the baking dish or in a nice serving bowl. The casserole can also be covered in foil and allowed to rest for 15 to 20 minutes while the rest of the meal is prepared.

Notes

This recipe uses the shredded potatoes (aka hashbrowns) found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.
 

Recommended Equipment

Tried this RecipeLet us know what you think of this recipe. Leave your thoughts and rating in the comments.
Nutrition
Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 602mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 236mg | Iron: 1.2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate based on available ingredients and preparation.

Mark is an experienced food writer, recipe developer, and photographer who is also Umami’s publisher and CEO. A passionate cook who loves to cook for friends, he can often be found in the kitchen or by the grill testing new recipes.

More Info About Mark Hinds

Learn More

Find more recipes, tips, and ideas about these techniques, ingredients, and cuisines.

Techniques:

Cuisines:

Let us know what you think

Let us know what you think, and share your thoughts with other cooks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Responses

  1. Alisha

    Such a filling tasty recipe that feeds a big family like mine, easy to prepare with little time..I love it!

    1. Mark Hinds

      So glad you enjoyed our cheesy hashbrowns!