Ummm…potatoes and cheese? Yes, please! Take this Hash Brown Casserole to any pot-luck, reunion, or party and you’ll have everyone asking for the recipe!
Ok, so there are about a bajillion versions of hash brown casserole out there, and I love them all. I mean come on, you’re combining potatoes and cheese, so of course it’s going to be good! They all have the same basic formula: frozen hash brown potatoes, a creamy sauce made from some sort of “cream of” soup, topped with cheese, and baked until bubbly and delicious. Some have ham or bacon in them. Some have something crunchy on the top. So. Good.
I have to say, though, as much as I love just about every hash brown casserole out there, this particular recipe is my all-time favorite. It’s so good that I once cried because I had made it for a party and it was gone before I got any. Yes, I was pregnant at the time. And yes, I had been craving it for days. But still! I was SO sad. Bless my sweet little brother, who saw how upset I was despite trying me trying to hide it and decided to split the little he had left on his plate with me. He was my hero that day.
This recipe was originally my Aunt Jane’s but I’ve put few of my personal spins on it. A lot of hash brown casseroles used shredded hash browns as the base, but I really like using the square cut “Southern Style” hash browns in this one. They just seem to give it a little more of a substantial texture. Full disclosure, though? In the pictures you see shredded hash browns because I totally forgot to pick up the other version at the store and shredded were all I had on hand. Use what you have or what you prefer! My aunt’s original recipe also called for cream of celery soup, but I prefer to use cream of mushroom. Cream of celery gives it a bit of a tangy flavor, while I feel like the cream of mushroom gives it a deeper, richer flavor. It would also be good with cream of chicken. Use store bought or make your own. Whatever floats your boat.
One of the beauties of this particular recipe is that you don’t have to thaw your potatoes first! Just make sure that there aren’t any big clumps after you’ve poured them in the baking dish, and you’re good to go! Oh, and a couple of other tips. For one, make sure you taste the “sauce” before putting it on the potatoes. It needs to taste slightly salty. Trust me on this one…you’re seasoning a lot of potatoes here and they LOVE salt. Also, you’ll want to mix a little of the sauce in the with potatoes instead of just layering it, otherwise they’ll be kind of dry and bleh. Nobody wants dry, bleh potatoes.
So, preheat your oven to 360 degrees and butter your baking dish (I use a 9×13 glass baking dish like this one from Pyrex) on both the bottom and the side. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, green onions, melted butter, salt, pepper, and about a cup of the shredded cheese. Give it a taste (trying not to just eat it by the spoonful) and make sure it is seasoned well.
Add the frozen hash browns to the baking dish, making sure to break up any clumps. Mix about ½ of the sauce in with the potatoes, then layer the other half on top. Cover with the remaining cheese. In another mixing bowl, combine the rest of the melted butter with the 2 cups of Rice Krispies. Smell the buttery goodness, then spread the mixture evenly over the top of the bowl. Bake for 1 hour. You’ll want to keep an eye on it; if it looks like it’s getting to brown too fast, cover with aluminum foil for the rest of the baking time.
- 2 lb Frozen Hash Browns 1 - 2lb bag
- 1/2 cup Melted Butter
- 16 oz Sour Cream
- 10.5 oz Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 2 Chopped Green Onions
- 2 cups Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, separated
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 3/4 cup Melted Butter For topping
- 2 cup Rice Krispies For topping
- Preheat Oven to 360 degrees and butter a glass baking dish.
- In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream of mushroom, green onions, melted butter, 1 cup of cheese, and salt/pepper. Mix to combine and check seasoning.
- Pour the frozen hash browns into the baking dish, making sure to break up any clumps. Mix half of the sauce in with the potatoes. Layer the other half of the sauce on top. Cover with the remaining cheese.
- In another mixing bowl, combine the ¼ cup melted butter and Rice Krispies.
- Bake for 1 hour, until Rice Krispies are golden brown and cheese is melted. Cover with foil part way through cooking if the Rice Krispies are getting too brown.