Did you grow up with cheesy Hash Brown Casserole? We sure did! It’s a comfort food side dish of frozen hash browns baked in a creamy sauce, topped with a crispy, buttery cornflake topping. This is the best from-scratch version. It’s easy to make and the ideal side for any gathering. Everyone loves it!
Why You’ll Love This Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole Recipe
- It’s Just the Best. If this isn’t your favorite casserole recipe, it’s probably at least one of them! Hash brown casserole tastes like pure comfort. Put another way: it’s a hug from the inside that hits the spot every time.
- Easy to Make for a Crowd. It comes together in a snap and feeds a lot. (Which is probably why it’s served for everything ranging from a breakfast hash brown casserole, to a side with a holiday dinner, to occasions that earned it the nickname, “funeral potatoes” and “party potatoes.”)
- It Stores, Freezes, and Reheats Like a Dream. Assemble this easy hash brown casserole in advance and have it ready to pop in the oven for holidays or weeknight meals!
- Made From Scratch. Standard 5-ingredient hash brown casserole recipes (and even copycat Cracker Barrel hash brown casseroles), involve cans of “cream of” soup and cheese out of a bag. This from scratch hash brown casserole is made with simple, real ingredients, but it’s still easy and WORTH IT! You can taste the love.
5 Star Review
“We had this for dinner last night. LOVED it! So so much flavor! We will be having this again and again!”— Maebell —
How to Make Hash Brown Casserole
- Frozen Hash Browns. The convenient base for this recipe. You’ll need one 30- to 32-ounce bag. Frozen hash browns are both a timesaver AND you actually achieve better results than if you use freshly grated potatoes, because the thawed hash browns are drier. Save your hash brown efforts for Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Cauliflower Hash Browns instead.
- Milk + Chicken Broth + Butter + Cornstarch. Forget the chicken soup in a can! You can create your own creamy base from this simple list of ingredients instead.
- Greek Yogurt. Secret ingredient #1. It’s how we get away with making a rich hash brown casserole without sour cream.
I do not recommend fat-free Greek yogurt for this recipe, as it may curdle and will not make the casserole as rich and satisfying.
A 7-ounce-sized small container of yogurt will yield the perfect amount for this recipe (Fage sells one this size).
- Poultry Seasoning. Secret ingredient #2 for a from-scratch casserole that has the nostalgic flavor of the cream of soup, without cream of chicken soup itself.
- Worcestershire Sauce. Secret ingredient #3. It gives the casserole depth and savoriness.
- Seasonings. Garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder make this hash brown casserole the best version of itself.
- Cheese. Cheddar makes the casserole creamy and rich; Parmesan adds nuttiness and a touch of saltiness. And hey, cheese has calcium!
- Corn Flakes. It’s not crispy hash brown casserole without the topping!
- Dry. Pat the hash browns dry.
- Start the Roux. Cook the butter and flour together.
- Cook and Whisk. Add the spices, milk, and broth and whisk. Cook until thickened.
- Add the Next 3 Ingredients. Stir in the cheese, Greek yogurt, and hash browns.
- Add the Topping. Coat corn flakes with melted butter and sprinkle on top.
- Bake. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake hash brown casserole at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake 12 minutes more. Broil for 1-2 minutes at the end. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in a 350 degrees F oven (best method) or gently in the microwave.
- To Freeze. You can freeze this entire casserole either baked or unbaked for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
Meal Prep Tip
You can make old-fashioned hash brown casserole up to 2 days in advance. Assemble to the point of baking (wait to add the topping so it does not become soggy) and refrigerate. When ready to bake, add the topping, then bake as directed.
Make a chicken hash brown casserole by combining the leftovers with diced Air Fryer Chicken Breast or Baked Chicken Breast. Or turn it into a tasty comforting breakfast hash brown casserole with meat by adding diced Oven Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon, cooked ground beef, or try a hash brown casserole with sausage.
What to Eat with Hash Brown Casserole
- Holiday Mains. Hash brown casserole is right at home on an Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas table. Try it with Roasted Turkey.
- Meat. This is just the cheesy carb to pair with Air Fryer Steak, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, or Smothered Pork Chops.
- Seafood. Hearty, meaty fish like Baked Salmon or Fish and Chips go well with this casserole.
- Breakfast Casserole. Like classic hash browns, you can serve this recipe with savory breakfast favorites like Easy Quiche, Savory Crepes, and Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Dutch Oven. This versatile piece will last a lifetime. I use mine almost daily!
- Baking Dish. This one transitions seamlessly from oven to table.
- Two-Sided Measuring Spoons. Ideal for recipes with a long list of spices. You don’t need to stop between ingredients to clean them!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Grate Your Own Cheese. This is hash brown casserole without soup, without sour cream, and I am going to ask you to go a little extra distance and grate your own cheese to make sure it is as supremely creamy and melty as possible. Store-bought cheeses do not melt as smoothly as freshly grated because of their non-stick coating.
- Don’t Rush Cooking the Butter and Flour. If you add the flour and then immediately move onto the next step, the flour will add an unappetizing raw flavor to your sauce.
- Slowly Add in the Milk. My other top tip for making creamy sauces (for this old-fashioned hash brown casserole and also Ham Gravy) is to pour the liquid in slowly. I will typically start by whisking in about 1/4 cup of the milk; once that is fully incorporated into the flour mixture, I’ll add another 1/4 cup and whisk that in. When that is incorporated, I’ll start slowly streaming in the rest of the liquid while whisking. This keeps your sauce from being lumpy.
Hash Brown Casserole
For the Casserole:
- 30 to 32 oz frozen shredded hash browns defrosted
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 1% or 2% milk use whole milk for a richer sauce; do not use skim
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth divided (must be low sodium, or the casserole will be too salty)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese about 6 ounces
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt* about 7 ounces
For the Topping:
- 2 cups crushed cornflakes see blog post above for other options
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Spread the defrosted hash browns onto paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Pat as dry as possible.
- In a Dutch oven or very large, deep skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour over the top. Whisk and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is golden brown and smells nutty, about 90 seconds (don’t shortcut this step, or you may have a raw flour taste).
- Reduce the heat to low. Slowly add the milk and approximately half of the chicken broth, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
- Whisk cornstarch into the remaining broth until smooth. Add to the skillet and whisk to combine.
- Whisk in the Worcestershire, poultry seasoning, salt, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.
- Bring sauce to a simmer over medium high heat, whisking constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce is thickened, about 7 to 8 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed so that you maintain a constant bubble but not an aggressive boil.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Whisk in 1 cup of the cheddar and Parmesan until smoothly combined. Whisk in Greek yogurt.
- Add the dried hash browns and stir until evenly combined.
- Transfer hash brown mixture to prepared baking dish and smooth into an even layer. Evenly top with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheddar.
- Prepare the topping: Place the cornflakes in a small bowl and pour the melted butter over the top. With a spatula, stir until the corn flakes are evenly coated. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
- Cover the casserole with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then uncover. Return to the oven and continue baking until the casserole is hot and bubbly, about 12 minutes more.
- Switch the oven to broil (keep the pan on the center rack). Broil until the topping is golden, about 1 to 2 minutes, watching the carefully the entire time to make sure it does not burn. Remove from the oven and let rest at least 10 minutes. Enjoy!
- *I do not recommend fat-free Greek yogurt here, as it may curdle and will not make the casserole as rich and satisfying. If you want to go old school, you can replace it with sour cream. I typically purchase a 7-ounce sized small container (Fage sells one this size).
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in a 350°F oven (best method) or gently in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: You can freeze this entire casserole either baked or unbaked for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
- MAKE AHEAD: Assemble the casserole to the point of baking up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate (wait to add the corn flake topping, as it can become soggy). When ready to bake, add the topping, then bake as directed.
- TO USE FRESHLY GRATED POTATOES: Peel (optional) and grate the potatoes (you’ll need 6 cups or 2 pounds). Place them in a colander and rinse. Spread them onto a clean kitchen towel and pat very dry. Change out the towel and pat again to remove as much moisture as possible.
- HALVE IT. Recipe may halved and baked in an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.
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Frequently Asked Questions
If your hash brown casserole is soggy, it’s likely due to the hash browns themselves. If you did not thaw, drain, and dry them completely before preparing the casserole, they can make it very soggy.
Yes, you do need to thaw the frozen hash browns before cooking. If you forget to thaw them overnight, you can quickly defrost the hash browns in the microwave. Place the frozen hash browns in a microwave-safe large bowl, cover, and heat on 50% power for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Drain, pat dry, and use as directed.
Yes! While this casserole is commonly used as a side dish for lunches or dinners, it’s scrumptious as a breakfast hash brown casserole too. Serve hash brown casserole with eggs, breakfast sausage, bacon, or even an egg casserole (like Healthy Breakfast Casserole).
This tasty casserole is beautiful and delicious as is, but you could sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley or chives on top for a festive garnish.