Hailing from the Midwest, Cheesy Potato Casserole delights absolutely everyone at any party, no matter where you are. This is the classic recipe, but there are lots of fun variations to make this gooey, cheesy baked hash brown masterpiece even more special.
It seems that the further you travel out of the Midwest, the more amazed people are when they taste baked Cheesy Potato Casserole. And for good reason: it’s quite possibly the most perfect comfort food recipe, ever.
There’s no reason to tell them that it takes, oh, less than 5 minutes to prepare. That it freezes like a dream. Or that it’s the easiest, most foolproof thing to make, enjoyed at church dinners, showers, weddings, funerals, and family parties all over the Midwest for generations. You’ll probably want to keep all that to yourself…
- Frozen hash browns (one 30 ounce bag)
- Can of cream of chicken soup (or make your own super easy homemade version here)
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
- First, you mix up frozen hash browns with homemade Cream of Chicken soup, sour cream, and shredded cheese.
- Pour it all into a buttered or greased baking dish. Bake it for an hour, then remove it from the oven.
- Meanwhile, melt some butter and pour it over some crushed corn flakes. Pour the cornflakes over the top of the cheesy baked Potato Casserole.
- Return to the oven for a bit longer, until the corn flakes are golden, buttery, and fragrant.
All the ways to dress up Cheesy Potato Casserole:
- Cheesiest Potato Casserole with bacon: toss cooked bacon in with the potatoes, or scatter it over the cornflakes to become extra crispy in the oven.
- Cheesy Potato Casserole without sour cream: make a lighter version and sub out Greek yogurt for some or all of the sour cream.
- Cheesy Potato Casserole with corn flakes: regular cornflakes will do, or gluten-free cornflakes, if you’re gluten intolerant. Don’t have cornflakes? Lots of great suggestions down below.
- Cheesy Potato Casserole with ham: diced ham turns this side dish casserole into a heartier meal.
- Cheesy Potatoes with cream of mushroom soup: it’s easy to make this recipe vegetarian with a condensed soup like cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of broccoli or cream of asparagus.
- Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole with green chilies: those little cans of Hatch New Mexico chilies might be awfully good mixed into the potatoes. Add some crumbled, browned chorizo, scallions, diced red bell peppers, and serve it with fried eggs on top for the best Tex-Mex brunch recipe ever!
What can you use instead of cornflakes?
If you want to make Cheesy Potato Casserole without cornflakes, try one of these ideas, submitted by brilliant Culinary Hill readers and cooks all over the globe:
- Smashed Ritz cracker crumbs
- Buttered panko bread crumbs and fresh minced garlic
- Herbed croutons, chopped scallions, or chives
- Crispy fried onions, such as French’s
- Crispy chopped bacon
- Crumbled potato chips (jalapeño flavored, anyone? Anyone?)
Can you freeze a hash brown casserole?
You can freeze the casserole before you bake it (thaw in the refrigerator and proceed with the recipe as normal).
Can I make easy Cheesy Potatoes in advance?
You absolutely can! Assemble this hash brown potato recipe up to a day in advance. Simply cover and refrigerate, then allow the casserole to come to room temperature before baking.
Cheesy Potato Casserole
- 1 (30 ounce) package frozen hash browns thawed
- 1 recipe homemade cream of chicken soup or 1 can store-bought
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups cornflakes crushed
- 1/4 cup butter
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Pour hash browns into a large bowl. Stir in cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix until uniformly combined.
- Pour hash brown mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Remove from oven.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium microwave-safe dish. Stir in crushed cornflakes. Pour over the top of the baked casserole and spread into an even layer. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes longer.
- To make ahead, assemble the casserole through Step 3. Pour into baking dish and cover. Refrigerate overnight or freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator if frozen and follow the baking instructions above.