This copycat recipe is a dead ringer for that delicious Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole! Savory, cheesy, and delicious, this recipe is also easy to throw together and makes the perfect side dish for breakfast or brunch. I could eat this every day, really!
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- It’s creamy and starchy and tangy and SO cheesy and just so unbelievably delicious. I could eat Cracker Barrel’s hashbrown casserole every day. It’s that good. But my family would inevitably revolt after the third or fourth time we pull the van up to the front of that log cabin that week. Oops.
- Cheesy, hot, creamy potatoes are the perfect side dish for eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits and gravy. You don’t have to save this dish for breakfast, though! It’s also great alongside corned beef, pork tenderloin, pot roast, and a number of chicken dishes.
- You can totally prep your casserole ahead of time! Perfect for holiday mornings. Just mix everything up as instructed, cover the dish, and refrigerate the casserole until you’re ready to bake it. It can stay in the fridge up to 48 hours. Just let it sit out for 20-30 minutes first, or you’ll need to increase the bake time.
- If you’re a fan of Cracker Barrel’s loaded hashbrown casserole, you can easily make it with this recipe. Just add cooked and crumbled bacon to the top of your hashbrown casserole when you add the rest of the cheese! Super easy.
- Make sure you dry the hashbrowns really well with paper towels before you mix them in with the rest of the ingredients. You definitely don’t want any extra moisture in the dish – it should be creamy, not soggy or mushy. Oh, and they absolutely MUST be thawed, not frozen, or they won’t cook all the way. Also, moisture.
- Cracker Barrel uses Colby cheese in their hashbrown casserole, but I opted for cheddar in my version. It’s similar, so don’t worry that your dish won’t taste right. Cheddar’s tangier and sharper than Colby which I prefer against the tangy sour cream and the rich cream of chicken soup. Feel free to use Colby instead, or use a combination of the two!
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- Chili’s Southwest Chicken Soup
- ¼ cup butter
- half of one onion peeled, chopped
- 2 pounds frozen hashbrowns thawed, patted dry
- 1 10.25-ounce can cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup half and half or heavy cream, or milk
- 2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese divided; or 2 cups shredded Colby cheese, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Paper towels
- 11×14 baking dish
- Cooking spray
- Large skillet
- rubber or silicone spatula
- Large bowl optional
- Aluminum Foil
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Spray baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Heat large skillet over medium heat. When pan is hot, add butter. Let butter melt completely, then add chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened, approximately 5 minutes.
- Transfer softened onions to greased baking dish or large bowl. Add thawed hashbrowns, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, half and half, 1 cup cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper to onions. Stir well until ingredients are fully combined. If mixing in bowl, transfer mixture to baking dish. Cover baking dish with foil.
- Place covered baking dish in preheated oven. Bake casserole 40 minutes, then carefully remove dish from oven. Remove and discard foil. Cover top of casserole evenly with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.
- Return baking dish to oven. Bake, uncovered, 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole begins to brown lightly in spots. Carefully remove casserole from oven and serve as desired.
- Cheese: For the best results, buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. Prepackaged shredded cheeses contain starches and other fillers to prevent clumping, but those ingredients also keep the cheese from melting like it should.
- Loaded Hashbrown Casserole: Sprinkle cooked and crumbled bacon over the top of the casserole when you add the remaining cheese.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.