Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole is the ultimate comfort food, providing a hot and hearty side dish to any meal. This easy-to-make dish is perfect for potlucks, family dinners, or just a cozy night in.
You can smell it before you even reach the table — the comforting aroma of cheese, potatoes, and crunchy onions that wafts in the air and makes you yearn for a bite.
Hash brown casserole is a beloved comfort food that many of us have enjoyed since childhood.
Made with just frozen hash browns and a few simple ingredients, you can create a cheesy hash brown casserole that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Why This Recipe Works
You might read this recipe and immediately recognize it by another name. You might know it as the famous "Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole" that is served in their restaurants or possibly as "funeral potatoes" which is a common casserole dish made in the South for bereavements. Or maybe you know it as the family favorite, "Grandma's Hashbrown Casserole".
Whatever it is called, this cheesy casserole goes with almost any main dish and is a perfect side dish for Sunday suppers, holiday dinners, and the occasional church potluck.
Like many casseroles, this Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole has classic ingredients that you find in many casseroles. It contains a starchy main ingredient, potatoes, a sauce made from a creamy condensed soup, salty cheese, and a crunchy topping.
My "Make a Casserole Chart" shows exactly these ingredients plus the sour cream which enhances and stretches the sauce and even the Worcestershire sauce that brings yummy umami flavors to everything. There is a reason these flavors are classic and are found often in casseroles. They taste delicious!
You will notice that in this version, I skipped the buttery cornflake topping and instead sprinkled a generous amount of crispy fried onions on top. My family found this to be tastier than the cornflake topping and I saved a bit of time.
I've read a lot of comments regarding this dish and one thing often mentioned is that the potatoes are cold after baking the casserole. To avoid this, thoroughly thaw the hash brown potatoes and make sure they are at room temperature before assembling the casserole. It makes a big difference.
I hope you enjoy this great recipe. Not only is it a comforting side dish, it is often the best part of the meal.
So, let's cook!
Here's what you need to make this Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole Recipe:
- Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes - Frozen hash browns are the heart of this casserole. Be sure to completely thaw the hash browns and let them come to room temperature before assembling the casserole.
- Melted Butter - I prefer to use salted butter. If you use unsalted butter add ½ teaspoon of salt when mixing the soup with the sour cream and black pepper.
- Yellow Onion - Yellow onion brings savory notes. I grate the onion on a box grater which makes very thin slices and softens the texture of the onion.
- Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup - Cream of chicken soup is the base for the sauce in this casserole. You will need one regular-sized can.
- Sour Cream - Used in many casseroles, sour cream adds a creamy richness to the sauce.
- Black Pepper - Freshly ground black pepper is always best. It is spicey, but not hot, and has a flowery aroma when freshly ground.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese - I prefer to shred my cheese from a block rather than buying pre-shredded. Pre-shredded cheese contains a coating that keeps it from melting well.
- Crispy Fried Onions - A favorite for mixing into and topping casseroles, these are the crispy fried onions from a can. They are called "French fried onions" and also "crispy fried onions".
Please see the recipe card for the exact quantities.
Preheat and Prepare. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease the bottom and sides of a 13” x 9” baking dish.
Whisk Together. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the condensed soup, sour cream, and black pepper. Set aside for later.
Mix. Combine hash browns and grated onion in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well.
Stir In. Stir in 2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese, reserving the rest of the cheese for later.
Combine. Add the soup and sour cream mixture, and fold and stir until all is well combined.
Bake. Spoon the casserole into the prepared baking dish, smooth the top with the back of a spoon, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until hot and bubbling.
Topping. Remove the foil from the casserole and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and crispy fried onions. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and the onions are golden brown.
My Top Tips
♡ The hash browns must be a room temperature and thoroughly thawed for the casserole to combine easily and bake up hot and bubbling in the time stated.
Substitutions & Variations
- Substitute Cream of Mushroom Soup. Make it a vegetarian side dish by substituting mushroom soup for the chicken soup.
- Substitute Cream of Celery Soup. For a different flavor substitute celery soup for the chicken soup.
- Substitute Different Cheeses. You can also use your favorite cheeses that melt well in this casserole. Swiss, Monterey Jack, Gouda, and Gruyère are great choices.
- Substitute Potato Chips. For another crunchy topping try 2 cups of potato chips.
- Top with Buttered Cornflakes. Add ¼ cup of melted butter to 2 cups of cornflakes in a medium bowl and stir well. Sprinkle on top of the casserole for a traditional look and taste.
Make-Ahead & Storage
You can fully assemble this Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole a day before serving it and bake it the next day. Simply cover the top with aluminum foil and keep it in the refrigerator. Allow the casserole to come to room temperature before baking.
You can reheat portions of it in the microwave or on the stove in a skillet with a small amount of water added. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to a month if stored in an airtight container.
More Delicious Recipes Featuring Potatoes
Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
- 10.5 Ounces Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup, (1 Can)
- 8 Ounces Sour Cream
- ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 36 Ounces Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes, Thawed and at Room Temperature
- ½ Cup Grated Yellow Onion
- ½ Cup Salted Butter, Melted
- 8 Ounces Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Divided
- 1 Cups Crispy Fried Onions, From a Can
- Preheat and Prepare. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease the bottom and sides of a 13” x 9” baking dish.
- Whisk Together. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the condensed soup, sour cream, and black pepper. Set aside for later.10.5 Ounces Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup, 8 Ounces Sour Cream, ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Mix. Combine hash browns and grated onion in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well.36 Ounces Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes, ½ Cup Grated Yellow Onion, ½ Cup Salted Butter
- Stir In. Stir in 2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese, reserving the rest of the cheese for later.8 Ounces Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Combine. Add the soup and sour cream mixture, and fold and stir until all is well combined.
- Bake. Spoon the casserole into the prepared baking dish, smooth the top with the back of a spoon, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until hot and bubbling.
- Topping. Remove the foil from the casserole and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and crispy fried onions. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and the onions are golden brown.1 Cups Crispy Fried Onions
Per 1 serving. All nutritional information on this site is an estimate. Your results may vary.