This Cheesy Hashbrown Bake recipe is a copycat of Cracker Barrel’s Signature Hashbrown Casserole. I should probably admit that I’ve never actually had Cracker Barrel’s Signature Hashbrown Casserole myself, but my kids are big fans of it!
With this one, another recipe from As Seen On IG has stepped forth from beyond the paywall!
Cheesy Hashbrown Bake Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Cheesy Hashbrown Bake recipe:
- Shredded potatoes: I like to use Simply Potatoes Shredded Hashbrowns. If I can’t find those I’ll use my food processor to grate some potatoes, soak them in water with a touch of baking soda in, then drain them and squeeze out as much of the liqiud as I can in small batches, using either my potato ricer or a cheesecloth. In all honesty it’s super rare that I make them without shredded potatoes. I believe a thawed out bag of frozen shredded hashbrowns would work too, but I haven’t used them so I can’t say for sure. Whatever you use just make sure they are unseasoned, and dry as possible.
- Sharp cheddar cheese, colby jack: My two favorite combinations, but I’ve switched it up using whatever cheeses I had on hand for my Cheesy Hashbrown Bake. Sometimes I’ll sub the sharp cheddar for medium, or pepper jack.
- Yellow onion: Any onion would work fine here, really. I woudn’t recommend red onions because that would look a little weird, but it’s your kitchen, not mine! My weird doesn’t have to be your weird.
- Sour cream: A little creaminess, a lil’ tang. It brings a certain something to the Cheesy Hashbrown Bake you’re sure to miss if you omit it. If you don’t have any sour cream about half the amount of full-fat buttermilk works well.
- Flour: Our thickening agent. Combined with the broth and water, it basically will make a cream of chicken soup to hold everything together.
- Salted butter: Use unsalted if you are watching your sodium or otherwise sensitive to salt. We’re using a whole stick, because we can! Part of it will be melted.
- Chicken broth, whole milk: If you want to make it vegetarian you can opt for vegetable or plant protein broth, but I don’t recommend it. It’ll affect the flavor of your Cheesy Hashbrown Bake.
- Cayenne pepper, garlic powder, seasoned salt: Not enough cayenne to make it spicy, just a bit…piquant, if you will. If you’d like to mince and saute some fresh garlic along with the onion instead of using garlic powder that’s fine, too.
- Chives: Green onions will do fine. It’s just for garnish, really, but I like the fresh zip of flavor it adds.
How to Make Cheesy Hashbrown Bake
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Cheesy Hashbrown Bake recipe:
- Let’s get it started. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place a 10″ cast-iron skillet over medium heat. In it, melt the two tablespoons of butter. Add your onions and sauté until they are softened. It’s up to you how soft; if you cook them long enough they’ll break down to practically nothing and you won’t notice them – just the flavor – in the final Cheesy Hashbrown Bake. I usually go for about 5-6 minutes, myself.
- Build it up (buttercup). Sprinkle the flour over the onions, and stir. A thick paste will form, and you want to cook it for a few minutes. If the paste is too thick for you to work with add another teaspoon or so of butter. Once the paste has deepened in color just a shade or two, stir the milk and chicken broth. Whisk until no lumps remain – except the onions, of course. Allow to cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
- Stir and fold. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sour cream. Make sure it’s well combined, and no streaks of sour cream are discernible. Set it aside. In a large bowl, toss your potatoes together with the cayenne, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. After they’re well combined, fold in the melted butter. Follow that by adding in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Now, fold the hashbrown mixture into the soup mixture. Fold it well, you want everything combined. Then, spread it out into an even layer and cover the top evenly with the remaining cheese.
- Bake and enjoy. Bake the Cheesy Hashbrown Bake on the center rack of your oven for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bubbling around the edges. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving, so it has time to set. If you don’t, it’ll be very runny, but still very delicious. Here’s what it would look like if you just can’t wait:
What To Serve With Cheesy Hashbrown Bake
There aren’t many breakfasts or brunch plates that wouldn’t be improved with the addition of this Cheesy Hashbrown Bake recipe! I’m a fan of just a big bowl of it with some Homemade Turkey Sausage, but there are many options.
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