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.

An overhead shot of cheesy potato casserole on a white plate..

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…

Want to impress at Easter? Cheesy Potato Casserole with Baked Ham with Crumb Topping and Roasted Green Beans could be all you really need. It gives you more time to hide eggs.

Recipe ingredients:

  • 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
  • Cornflakes
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, you mix up frozen hash browns with homemade Cream of Chicken soup, sour cream, and shredded cheese.
  2. Pour it all into a buttered or greased baking dish. Bake it for an hour, then remove it from the oven.
  3. Meanwhile, melt some butter and pour it over some crushed corn flakes. Pour the cornflakes over the top of the cheesy baked Potato Casserole.
  4. Return to the oven for a bit longer, until the corn flakes are golden, buttery, and fragrant.
An overhead shot of cheesy potato casserole in a white rectangular baking dish.

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 on a white plate.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

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.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 384


  • 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.

Recipe Video


  1. 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.


Calories: 384kcal
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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  1. Hi Meggan! This looks delicious. I need to make something for a vegetarian brunch – would cream of vegetable soup work for this or do you have alternative recommendations? :)

    1. Hi Jenny, sure, any creamy vegetable soup would work! If I was making it, I’d use cream of celery (that’s my fave) but I think any one would work. It’s really about the consistency, not the flavor. I have this feeling when my mom makes it, she doesn’t use the cream of chicken… I think she uses the celery. I will ask her about that. Thank you so much for your question and for stopping by! :)

  2. This is a great variation. I’ve been making this for years but instead of using cornflakes for the breading I use crushed croutons and throw in some green onions and garlic for more zing. Def plan on making this.

    1. Hello Mimi, that sounds REALLY incredible! Green onions and garlic in the middle plus crushed croutons on top… yep. I’m going to try that the next time I make these! Thank you so much for the suggestions!

  3. Oh goodness! This looks awesome.  But how in the world could anything so cheesy, potato-ey and crunchy EVER be wrong?!  Plus you used homemade cream of chicken soup!? Forget about it!  Sold. Done and done.  However, I would prefer to have the obligation of making this and then devouring all of it, hidden in a corner of shame somewhere.  :D Cheers and thanks for sharing the scrumptiousness!

    1. Cheyanne, thank you! The trouble with the food-blogger-arrangement is it’s all too easy to sit in a corner (or in front of the TV) in the middle of day alone (while kids nap) watching Netflix eating the whole pan. This is purely conjecture though, I couldn’t possibly be speaking from experience, ha! :)

  4. Love this quick and easy dish! Cornflakes make for an incredible crunchy crust, and that cheese, oh the cheese! My goodness that’s shot is making me drool! 

    1. Thank you so much, Kathleen! :) I am former cheesehead and sometimes that pops out in my recipes…

  5. This casserole sounds wonderful – especially the cream of chicken soup.  I’ve been making my own for a while, something I figured out on my own, but yours is so much easier.  I’m curious to know if there is an acceptable substitute for the cornflakes – I just refuse to buy cornflakes, and don’t care much for them.  If there is a good substitute, I would definitely want to make this casserole.

    1. Hi Susan! I completely understand your aversion to cornflakes. We don’t eat cold cereal in my house, and it is so rare that I have corn flakes on hand (only if I’m making this casserole or my mock fried ice cream!) I would think that you could easily substitute bread or cracker crumbs of some sort, although I haven’t tried it. And depending on the cracker, it might not be much better than corn flakes anyway! If you leave the corn flakes off entirely, the cheesy hash browns themselves would still be creamy and delicious. Failing that, at least you have a new way to make homemade cream of chicken soup if you desire!

  6. Really enjoyed this, Meggan, because I’ve never heard of anything like this. Isn’t it funny how things in one country (or even state in your case!) are so ubiquitous, and yet unheard of somewhere else! The casserole looks gorgeous, though. Perfect for a potluck!
    For a while there while I was living in Greece, I always got asked to take the brownies ;-)
    Oh, and by the way, the new blog design = STUNNING! I might just be a tiny bit envious. Enjoy it!!5 stars

    1. Thanks for stopping over, Helen! I always love your comments. And I’m sure your brownies were delicious in Greece and everywhere else. :) It’s funny because, I write this whole post about how people get pigeon-holed into bringing the same thing every time, but that never happens to me personally! In fact, I will rarely commit to or announce what I’m bringing up front. I think people give me creative freedom because I’m a food blogger so they just assume that whatever I bring will at least be edible. But I really like to cook wherever my mood takes me. I am sure you know when you cook for “work” like we do, the down-time of cooking for pleasure is precious. Anyway. Thank you for your comments on my new site design too. Obviously I paid a lovely company and I’m incredibly pleased with what they did, but the only credit I get is for having good taste in the company I chose, ha ha!

    1. My husband was so grateful that I made a few of these in succession. And at first he was like… “No I’m on a diet I can’t eat this.” But then he accidentally tried one bite and went back for several more pieces and requested that I make it on our next “cheat day.” The casserole speaks for itself. :)

  7. Just can’t stop looking at this yumminess! Love potato casserole and this one is extra cheesy, I need to definitely make it! Definitely perfect for a potluck!

    1. Thank you, Mira! It’s all about the stretchy cheese, it just draws you in. :) Thank you for stopping over!

    1. Same here Matt, thank you! I hope you and the family are doing well! I am hanging in there with my 3-month-old and my 3-year-old. It’s a fun, challenging time as I’m sure you know!

  8. This looks scrumptious! I love the crunchy topping and the fact you didn’t use canned soup – bravo! The new site looks great, so bright and colorful… love it.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much, Kevin! I am excited for a new design. And obviously for the Cheesy Potato Casserole! I had to make it a few times to “taste test” even though I’ve made it a zillion times in the past. ;)