Easy ham and cheese breakfast casserole is a proven favorite with guests and family. It’s creamy and cheesy and loaded with diced ham, frozen potatoes o’brien, sour cream and cream of chicken soup. Plus it’s got a crunchy potato chip topping!
Prep it the night before so it’s ready to bake and serve for brunch parties or a potluck breakfast meeting.
This brunch recipe couldn’t be easier to make! Just mix 5 simple ingredients together and bake. Then top it with extra cheese and crushed potato chips for a tried and true dish that everyone loves.
You can serve this breakfast casserole for dinner, too! Just add a salad or roasted vegetable on the side.
Why You’ll Love It
- I’ve been making this comfort food dish for years because it’s a crowd pleaser. It’s hearty, creamy and delicious, and full of cheesy goodness.
- It’s fast to prepare. Just mix and bake.
- Add it to holiday gatherings like Easter brunch, or make it for Christmas brunch. It can bake in the oven while everyone is around the tree opening gifts.
- It’s also VERY popular at potluck parties and church socials.
- Assemble it the night before so it’s ready to cook in the morning. Perfect for a ladies luncheon, or bridal or baby shower.
- It’s versatile. Make it as written for a one-dish meal, even for dinner. Or, omit the ham and serve it as a side dish.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Frozen Ore-Ida Potatoes O’Brien. These are small diced potatoes with peppers and onions. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight so they cook through. You can substitute with frozen shredded hash browns and cook for about 15 minutes less.
- Cheese. I use Extra Sharp Cheddar and shred it myself for best flavor and texture. However, you could also use pre-shredded in this case, and you can use whatever level of sharpness you enjoy. Try it with white cheddar or Pepper Jack, too!
- Diced Ham. I use two 8-ounce packages of diced ham. You can find it in the refrigerator section usually close to the bacon. You can also use the cubed ham for a bigger bite-size texture. Want to make it vegetarian? Add 2 cups of sliced mushrooms instead!
- Sour Cream. Use a large tub of sour cream, which is 16 ounces. For this recipe it’s fine to use regular or the light version.
- Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup. This ingredient adds tons of flavor and creaminess to the dish. I don’t recommend using low-salt or fat free versions since it’s an essential flavor ingredient.
- Potato Chips. You’ll love the crushed potato chip topping for crunch and taste. Use ruffled or wavy varieties as they tend to be a bit thicker and less delicate. I crumble it with my hands but you can also put chips in a resealable bag, make sure you let out the air, and use a rolling pin to crush them. Instead of chips you could use crushed corn flakes, crushed Ritz crackers, or French’s fried onions.
How to Make It
Use an 8″ x 12″ casserole dish, or 2-quarts capacity.
- Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Pour mixture into a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for an hour, remove the foil, and add more cheese and potato chip topping. Cook for a few more minutes to melt the cheese.
TIP: Let the casserole sit and rest for about 10 minutes before serving, so it can set. You can loosely cover it with the foil to help keep it warm.
Mix it up the night before, cover and refrigerate. Put it into a cold oven the next morning, and let the dish heat up with the oven so the dish doesn’t shatter from the extreme temperature change.
If you’re making this for overnight guests you can put a sticky note on the prepared dish (in the refrigerator) with instructions for whomever wakes up first. Since this takes close to an hour to cook, the first one up can just put it in the oven to bake.
Let dish cool completely and re-cover any leftovers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat a single serving on a plate in the microwave for about 1 minute or until warmed through.
EXPERT TIP: Make this cheesy potato casserole without the ham and serve it as a side dish.
More Brunch Casseroles
For a slightly different take, check out my easy breakfast casserole recipe with shredded hash browns and ranch dressing seasoning mix.
If you want to try something without meat, this creamy hash brown potatoes is a great side dish or main dish for vegetarians.
Try a dish with a Tex-Mex twist with this Bisquick breakfast casserole made with sausage and eggs.
What to Serve with Breakfast Casserole
This classic ham and cheese breakfast casserole is a proven favorite among family and friends. Serve it along with toast, fruit, or one of these other recipes.
- 28 ounce bag Frozen Potatoes O' Brien
- 16 ounces (2 cups) container lite or regular Sour Cream
- 1 (10.5 ounces) can Cream of Chicken condensed soup
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) diced cooked ham
- 8-ounce block cheddar cheese, shredded; set aside 1/3 cup for topping
- 1/2 cup crushed ruffled or wavy potato chips for topping
- Let hash browns thaw overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT for 1/3 cup of the cheese, and the potato chips.
- Place in an 8" x 12" baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Cook for 1 hour.
- Uncover the casserole and sprinkle remaining cheese on top, plus the crushed potato chips, and cook for another 5-7 minutes uncovered, or until cheese is melted.
- Let set for about 10 minutes before serving.
If you mix it up the night before, you don’t need to thaw hash browns first – just mix the frozen hash browns with the other ingredients.
Place dish in oven before you turn it on to pre-heat to avoid sudden temperature change that can break the dish.