Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole From Scratch

When we first moved to Tennessee, one of the first recipes I made was cheesy hash brown casserole. I found it in an old Southern cookbook and have been hooked ever since. My version is made from scratch and topped with bread crumbs for the perfect texture!

baking dish full of casserole and a small dish of it sitting in a bowl beside on a towel
Source: Plum Branch Home

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Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole Recipe Inspiration

As I mentioned at the beginning of this recipe blog post, I got my inspiration when we moved to Tennessee. Right after our move I checked out an old 1900s Southern cookbook from the library and discovered Tennessee hash brown casserole.

Back home in Indiana, it’s often made with premade ingredients so when I read the Southern recipe, it intrigued me. After making the cookbook recipe a few times I decided to create my own version topped with bread crumbs.

This dish is one of my husband’s favorite foods and he’s signed his approval saying, “this is the best version I’ve ever had!”

Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The from scratch ingredients make a divine flavor and texture
  • The recipe steps are simple to follow
  • Each ingredient is wholesome
  • No additives or preservatives
  • Healthier version of the classic recipe
potato casserole being scooped out of baking dish
Source: Plum Branch Home

Tips for Easy Preparation

  • Make the hash browns ahead of time and store them in the freezer to speed up the process.
  • Grate the cheese ahead of time to cut down on preparation time.
  • Prepare this dish ahead of time and bake when you’re ready

How to Make Ahead

If you want to make this dish ahead of time, prepare it as the steps say all the way until baking. Instead of sticking the baking dish in the oven place it in the fridge until you’re ready.

When you’re ready, be sure to let the baking dish sit on the counter for 10 minutes before popping it into the oven. You never want to place a cold dish in a hot oven.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion diced into fine pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk (diary or dairy-free)
  • 8 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup bread crumbs

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

Step-By-Step Instructions

potatoes boiling in a pot on the stovetop
Source: Plum Branch Home

First, rinse potatoes to remove dirt and place in a pot of boiling water with skins on (water should cover potatoes). Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.

Second, take potatoes our of boiling water and let cook on a cooling rack or towel for 10-20 minutes.

bowl of creamy cheese being stirred
Source: Plum Branch Home

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine sour cream, shredded cheese, diced onion, salt, pepper, milk, melted butter, and garlic powder. Stir until combined

Forth, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

boiled potato being grated on a cheese grater
Source: Plum Branch Home

Fifth, once potatoes are cooled use your hands to peel off skins and grate each potato with a cheese grater into hash browns.

bread crumbs being added on top of a casserole
Source: Plum Branch Home

Sixth, mix into grated potatoes and add mixture to lightly greased baking dish and top with bread crumbs.

Seventh, bake for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked throughout. Serve and enjoy!

How to Serve

Serve this dish during the holidays as a side or with any protein such as ham, turkey, or chicken throughout the year.

Recipe FAQ

Can you use premade hashbrowns for this recipe?

You can use premade hashbrowns for this recipe as long as they’re raw and nothing has been added to them. I personally prefer homemade for the texture but if you’re in a rush go right ahead!

Do I have to thaw frozen hash browns for casserole?

You’ll want to thaw the hash browns out in the fridge overnight or for a few hours before using them.

Why is my hash brown casserole mushy?

Your casserole is mushy due to the state of your hash browns. If they weren’t thawed and any liquid drained off it’ll make a soggy casserole dish.

How do you break up frozen hash browns?

Take a rolling pin, can, or wooden spoon and whack the outside of the hash brown bag. It’ll break them up. You can also hit the bag against the counter, it’ll do the job.

How long do frozen potatoes take to thaw?

If you place frozen hash brown potatoes in the fridge they’ll thaw within a few hours or overnight.

More Delicious Sides From Scratch

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baking dish full of casserole and a small dish of it sitting in a bowl beside on a towel

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole From Scratch

Molly LaFontaine of Plum Branch Home
When we first moved to Tennessee, one of the first recipes I made was cheesy hash brown casserole. I found it in an old Southern cookbook and have been hooked ever since. My version is made from scratch and topped with bread crumbs for the perfect texture!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion diced into fine pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk (diary or dairy-free)
  • 8 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup bread crumbs

Instructions
 

  • Rinse potatoes to remove dirt and place in a pot of boiling water with skins on (water should cover potatoes). Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  • Take potatoes our of boiling water and let cook on a cooling rack or towel for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine sour cream, shredded cheese, diced onion, salt, pepper, milk, melted butter, and garlic powder. Stir until combined
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Once potatoes are cooled use your hands to peel off skins and grate each potato with a cheese grater into hash browns.
  • Mix into grated potatoes and add mixture to lightly greased baking dish and top with bread crumbs.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked throughout. Serve and enjoy!
Keyword cheesy hash brown casserole, plum branch home cheesy hash brown casserole

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