Looking for the best potluck dish ever? Hash Brown Casserole has your name written all over it!
Potatoes, oh how I love you potatoes. I may be Italian , but I would have been a darn good Irish woman. If I had my way potatoes would be incorporated into every meal. They just make the ultimate comfort food no matter what you’re making- but especially this funeral potatoes recipe.
So many varieties….a blank canvas to create just about any taste or texture. Hash Brown Casserole is one of my many favorite recipes. Hash Brown Casserole is also sometimes known as Funeral Potatoes.
Why are they called funeral potatoes? Well, they are commonly associated with a dish you bring to a grieving family or as a potluck side dish for funeral receptions in the midwest. They are also referred to as a potato hotdish, cheesy hash browns or even party potatoes.
The next question is are they “hash browns” or “hashbrowns”? Technically it is two words: hash brown and refers strictly to shredded potatoes that are “hashed” and then browned with diced onion and shortening. Diced potatoes are home fries or crispy fried potatoes.
It is a twist on the traditional hash brown breakfast casserole, using half and half instead of cream of mushroom soup and seasoning in other ways.
Sour cream and lots of cheese blend out to a browned crust hiding creamy heaven underneath. The best part? Those crispy browned bits around the edges.
Hash Brown Casserole is excellent as a breakfast or brunch dish, but can also be served as the perfect side dish for dinner. In fact, last time I served them it was with Prime Rib! Serve it with your holiday dinner and the whole family will be pleased.
If you’ve ever has the Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole, this is a close copycat recipe to that. I just added my own twist and, voila! Delicious comfort food made in your own home that is sure to be a family favorite.
Hash Brown Casserole Ingredients
This ingredients list is very simple. You might just have everything you need on hand to make the entire dish. It’s my favorite thing about these east cheesy potatoes!
- Bacon – I prefer to use center cut bacon, but you can use any that you have on hand. We also use the grease to brown the potatoes in, so save that.
- Onion – I love added onion to my cheesy potatoes for a little extra flavor and texture. You can leave them out if you aren’t a fan and use a teaspoon onion powder instead.
- Garlic – Always mince fresh garlic yourself when cooking. The jarred stuff is convenient, but isn’t as pungent and flavorful as the fresh garlic.
- Hash brown potatoes – It doesn’t really matter if you use fresh potatoes or frozen hash browns for your hash brown casserole. Just make sure they are thawed if using the frozen variety and make sure they’re hash brown cut if fresh.
- Scallions – Another great addition to this hearty dish is scallions. It adds some color, flavor and texture to this comforting side dish.
- Sour cream – Besides the cheese, we need another creamy element to this dish. Sour cream gives it a nice tang, while also helping to make it extra creamy.
- Half and half – We need something to help thin out our creamy cheese sauce, and half and half will do just that. You could also use milk in a pinch.
- Salt and pepper – To season this easy hashbrown casserole, we need a little salt and pepper. I like to use fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Cheddar cheese – Shredding your own cheese is always preferable. The pre-shredded variety has an additive that prevents it from sticking together; but it also prevents it from melting nicely.
How to Make Hash Brown Casserole
- Cook bacon, onion and garlic. In a large skillet heat bacon strips over medium-high heat. Saute until nearly done, then add onion and garlic. Using a slotted spoon remove bacon bits while reserving bacon fat.
- Cook potatoes. Add hash brown potatoes directly to hot bacon fat. Allow hash browns to brown on side before flipping, ultimately evenly browning all potatoes.
- Combine casserole ingredients. In a large bowl combine scallions, sour cream, half and half, fine sea salt, ground black pepper and cheddar cheese. Add browned hash brown potatoes and bacon to the mixture and mix.
- Prepare pan. Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray and transfer the hash brown mixture over to the baking dish.
- Bake. Bake uncovered. Top with additional cheddar cheese and return to oven until cheese has melted.
- Meat – Instead of using bacon, you could easily swap it out for breakfast sausage or even ham. If you’d rather leave the meat out altogether, you can do that too.
- Cheese – Experiment with different cheeses in your hash brown casserole. You could use pepper jack or any other cheesy goodness that you’d prefer.
- Topping – Some people like to add a nice crunchy topping to their cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe. You can easily do this with corn flakes or potato chips. Just crush them, mix with melted butter, sprinkle on top of the casserole and bake.
- Canned soups – A lot of people like to use cream of soup for their casseroles. You can use this in place of the sour cream. Some suggestions would be cream of celery soup, cream of cheddar soup or cream of chicken soup.
- Veggies – Throw in some bell peppers, green onions, or any other simple ingredients you can find in your pantry or refrigerator.
- Cornflake topping – A lot of cheesy funeral potatoes recipes have a crunchy topping. Throw on some buttery corn flakes and sharp cheddar cheese to really take these popular dish to the next level.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: You can store any cheesy potato casserole leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Freezing: This hash brown casserole recipe also freezes really well. If you’d like to freeze the leftovers, check out my guide on how to do that!
More Easy Potato Recipes
- Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes
- Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes
- Stuffed Breakfast Potatoes
- Indian Potatoes
Hashbrown Casserole Recipe (Funeral Potatoes)
- 6 center-cut bacon slices , cut into strips
- 3 tablespoons onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 26 ounces hash brown potatoes
- 2 tablespoons scallions , chopped
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded and divided
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet heat bacon strips over medium-high heat. Saute until nearly done, then add onion and garlic. Cook for an additional 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove bacon bits while reserving bacon fat.
- Add hash brown potatoes directly to hot bacon fat. Allow hash browns to brown on side before flipping, ultimately evenly browning all potatoes. If the skillet gets overly dry add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Do not add too much or else the potatoes could get mushy. Frozen will take longer than fresh.
- In a large mixing bowl combine scallions, sour cream, half and half, fine sea salt, ground black pepper and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Add browned hash brown potatoes and bacon to the mixture and mix.
- Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray and transfer the hash brown mixture over.
- Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Top with additional 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and return to oven until cheese has melted, approximately 5 minutes.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, please come back and let us know how it was!