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This Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole is a delicious potato recipe for potlucks, brunch, or as a side dish for dinner. It’s loaded with potatoes, onions, cheese, and a crunchy corn flake topping.
Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole is a quintessential potluck dish, right up there with Pistachio Fluff and Tuna Casserole. It’s a great breakfast casserole as well, requiring less than 10 minutes of prep time.
Cracker Barrel’s Famous Hashbrown Casserole
If you don’t have a Cracker Barrel near you or you’ve never had the chance to try the incredible Cracker Barrel hashbrown potatoes, I apologize in advance. This is the kind of comfort food I live for. Here is Southern California, we don’t have a Cracker Barrel, so we make this copycat version of their famous cheesy potatoes.
This hashbrown casserole recipe makes a large pan of potatoes, and will easily serve 15-18 at a potluck. As a side dish, served as one of many sides for your holiday Baked Ham or Thanksgiving Turkey, it will serve 10-12 people. If you’ve got a craving for Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole on a weeknight, cut the recipe in half and make just enough for your family, unless you want a lot of leftovers of course!
Hashbrown Casserole Recipe with No Cream Soup
I skip the canned soup in this recipe because I prefer the flavor of homemade sauces. I actually make the cheese sauce the same way I make my macaroni and cheese, which starts with a white roux bechamel, and then I add in lots of cheese and a teaspoon of better than bouillon. It adds such great chicken flavor to any recipe.
If you are looking for a cheesy hashbrown casserole made without canned soup then you have come to the right place. This easy potato recipe will become a go-to for your family.
What is Hashbrown Casserole?
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole recipes can be regional – many people call them funeral potatoes or cheesy potatoes, and they are all delicious.
I like to serve this Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole for brunch, but it definitely works well as a side for chicken or pork chops at dinner time. You can even make this casserole the night before and then bake at breakfast time.
Why do they call them Funeral Potatoes?
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole is a go to side dish recipe for entertaining. It’s popular for church potlucks, especially funerals which is why it gained popularity as “funeral potatoes.”
They are what their name suggests – a cheesy, comforting casserole that is often served at gatherings, usually luncheons, that follow a funeral. Cheesy potatoes are, after all, the ultimate comfort food and casseroles are easy to serve at all sorts of potlucks and gatherings.
How to Make Hashbrown Casserole from Scratch
Prep. Preheat your oven and spray the casserole dish you’re planning to use with nonstick cooking spray. You can use a 13×9-inch dish for larger casseroles with about 15 servings, or a smaller 9-inch dish for 6-8 servings.
Make the sauce. Saute some diced onion in butter, then add flour to make a roux. You want to make sure to cook the flour for several minutes until it’s golden brown before adding the milk. Whisk in the the milk and bring it to a simmer. It should thicken fairly quickly, in less than 5 minutes. Add a little chicken bouillon for extra flavor. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to cool down before adding cheese.
Stir in cheese. Grate some cheddar from a block of cheese rather than using pre-shredded for maximum melting. It’s important to let the sauce cool for a few minutes before adding the cheese and stir it constantly to avoid scorching and separating. If the sauce is too hot, the cheese will melt but may become a little grainy. Pro tip – if your cheese sauce becomes a little grainy, add 2 ounces of cold cream cheese. This will up the creamy factor and help the sauce be nice and smooth.
Add Hashbrowns. Pour the hashbrowns into a large bowl and stir in sour cream, then pour in the cheese sauce and mix well. You want to make sure all of the hashbrowns are coated with cheese. If you don’t want to dirty another dish, you can do this all right in your casserole dish, pouring the cheese sauce over and gently mixing.
Top and bake. Sprinkle corn flakes cereal and some extra cheese all over the top of your hashbrown casserole for a crunchy finish. Bake until golden and bubbly.
Should I thaw frozen hash browns before cooking?
Not for this recipe! Take the shredded hash browns out of the freezer and dump them right in. The potatoes thaw really quickly, making thawing them an unnecessary step.
Hashbrown Casserole Toppings
I topped my casserole with corn flakes, but you could also do crushed potato chips or panko breadcrumbs. All three are equally delicious. The potato chips will add a slightly salty flavor to your casserole where as the cornflakes are more of a textural addition.
Breadcrumbs will add the least amount of crunch but will brown nicely.
Can you freeze Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole?
Absolutely! This recipe will actually freeze beautifully after it’s baked or even just prepped. Cover the cooled casserole tightly with foil and freeze for up to 6 months. To reheat, let thaw in the fridge overnight, then bake according to the recipe instructions. Let it sit on the counter while you preheat the oven.
If stored in the refrigerator, properly sealed, this cheesy hashbrown casserole will last 3-5 days. You can reheat individual servings in the microwave, or a larger portion in the oven. Keep it covered with foil so it won’t dry out.
More Potato Recipes to Try
- Loaded Smashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- Easy Breakfast Potatoes Recipe
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
- 2 pounds frozen hashbrown potatoes
- 1 small onion diced, about 1 cup
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
- 2 cups sour cream can also use plain greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black or white pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon recommended: Better than Bouillon base
- 1-2 cups corn flakes
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large 13x8-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute until translucent; about 4-5 minutes. Add remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add flour and whisk to combine.
- Add the milk to the flour (roux) mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened; 5-6 minutes.
- Once thickened, add chicken bouillon and stir well until completely combined. Add the remaining seasonings. Turn heat off and set aside to cool for 4-5 minutes.
- While cooling, pour the frozen shredded potatoes into a large bowl and stir in the sour cream.
- Stir 2 cups shredded cheese into the sauce until completely melted. Pour over the potatoes and stir to coat. Pour potato mixture into the prepared casserole dish and spread evenly. Top with corn flakes and a ½ cup shredded cheese.
- Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.