This creamy hash brown casserole recipe is easy to make ahead and it’s a delicious side dish for brunch or dinner. Shredded frozen hashbrown potatoes are infused with a tasty sauce made from cream of mushroom soup and cream cheese. The cheese and Ritz cracker topping are the finishing touch!
With Easter on the way you’ll want to add this to your entertaining menu.
Why You’ll Love It
Serve this for holiday meals, ladies luncheons and potluck gatherings.
- There’s no meat in this recipe so it works for vegetarians.
- This hash brown recipe is versatile. You can serve it as a side dish for breakfast and brunch, as well as luncheons and dinner.
- It’s fantastic for holiday meals and overnight guests.
More Brunch Casseroles
In addition to these creamy hash brown potatoes, I’ve got more tried and true recipes for breakfast entertaining.
- Easy Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole – This one uses frozen small cubed potatoes with peppers and onions, plus ham and cheddar cheese.
- Overnight Bisquick Breakfast Casserole – Easy baking mix, eggs, sausage and pepper jack cheese make this a complete meal, plus you can top it with pico de gallo and cilantro for a Tex-Mex flavor.
- Easy Breakfast Casserole Recipe – Make this easy brunch dish with sausage or ham, and a tasty ranch seasoning pack.
Key Ingredients & Notes
Along with the key ingredients below you’ll also need kitchen staples like butter and garlic powder.
- Shredded hash browns. I use the frozen bags and let them thaw in the fridge overnight. Substitute with frozen cubes potatoes and add about 15 minutes to the cooking time.
- Cream of Mushroom soup. Use the regular condensed soup rather than fat free or low sodium for the most flavor.
- Cream cheese block. I use Philadelphia cream cheese and the full fat version keeps it as creamy as possible.
- Onion. You can use a white onion, yellow onion or sweet onion for this recipe.
- White cheddar cheese. Use an 8-ounce block and shred it yourself for best taste and melting. Alternatives can include Swiss cheese or yellow cheddar. You can also sprinkle in some graded Parmesan along with the shredded cheddar to give more depth.
- Ritz crackers. These make a delicious buttery, crunchy topping. However, I also change it up sometimes with French’s fried onions, crushed potato chips, or crushed corn flakes.
How to Make It
Use a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Step 1. Cook the onions in a skillet to soften them and then add in the cream sauce ingredients.
Step 2. Let the cream cheese melt and blend everything together.
Step 3. You can add the hashbrowns and cream sauce in a baking dish in layers like I did here, or mix it all together in a large mixing bowl and pour into the baking dish.
Step 4. Cover with foil and bake, stirring halfway through. Add cheese and Ritz cracker topping at the end and cook for 5 more minutes uncovered.
Assemble the casserole the night before you serve it for breakfast, or the morning before you serve it for dinner.
Make sure to thaw the hash browns in the fridge overnight. You can assemble it the night before using the frozen potatoes and they will still thaw so they are ready to bake in the morning.
EXPERT TIP: Put the cold dish into a cold oven so it can heat up slowly with the oven. Otherwise the sudden temperature change can shatter the dish.
Cover tightly with foil and keep leftovers refrigerated. Reheat single serving in the microwave for about 1 minute.
Add breakfast meat, some fresh fruit and sweet pastries for a terrific brunch meal.
- 1 (30-ounce) bag frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 6 ounces (from an 8-oz block) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, at room temperature
- 2 (10.5-ounces) cans cream of mushroom condensed soup
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and lightly spray a 9 x 13 dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; add onions and cook until softened.
- Cut cream cheese into squares and add to onion mixture; add soups and garlic powder and stir until cream cheese is melted and sauce is well combined.
- Place half of the bag of hash browns (about 2 cups) in the bottom of the casserole dish; top with half of the cream sauce.
- Layer the second half of potatoes and finish with the second half of the cream sauce. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Cook for 30 minutes and stir. Replace aluminum foil and cook for 15 more minutes.
- Remove foil and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top and add the crushed crackers. Drizzle with melted butter and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
For the cheese topping make sure you use a block of cheese and shred it yourself so you get smooth, even melting.