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Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole – The Ideal Side Dish

This Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole is the ideal side dish for any gathering. It’s a classic comfort food that’s always a crowd pleaser with its creamy, cheesy flavor.

Finished pan of cheesy hash browns along with the hash browns plated with ham, salad and white wine

Where to Find That Ideal Side Dish?

If you’re looking for a comforting side dish, look no further. Combine hash browns with cheesy potatoes and you have a winner everyone will enjoy!

If you grew up like I did, you know that a lot of great recipe ideas came from the food you had at family gatherings, holiday meals and even the tried-and-true church potluck. You had to cook something that was filling, that people wanted to eat, could feed many and was inexpensive to make. Casseroles certainly ticked all of those boxes.

Ingredients that go into the cheesy hash brown recipe

Casseroles Are a Great Side Dish Option

When we talk about a “casserole”, we basically mean any one-dish meal that’s baked in a deep, wide baking dish (i.e., casserole dish). Casseroles are typically either a main dish or a side dish.

And, as a side note, “casserole” is a pretty universal term with the exception of a couple of areas. In Minnesota, this cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe is often called a “hot dish”. You head out to Utah and the population out there likely refers to this recipe as “funeral potatoes” (i.e., a popular dish served after funerals). But, for now, we are going with casserole!

hash browns and cheese mixture in a mixing bowl

How About a Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole Recipe?

This cheesy hash brown casserole recipe is definitely a family favorite. It’s the perfect side dish for those holiday dinners. The creamy cheese sauce combined with hash brown potatoes goes great with just about any main dish you make.

Plus, it makes enough to feed a crowd. One pan will feed up to 12 people!

Whether it’s served at holiday meals or a backyard barbecue, this great side dish is always a hit. It goes incredibly well with ham, but also pairs great with grilled burgers and hot dogs as well as a juicy steak. This cheesy potato casserole is also a great addition to a brunch menu.

Finished cheesy hash browns served with sliced ham and salad greens

I Thought This Was Just an Ideal Side Dish?

Let’s not get too hasty! This could also be a cheesy hashbrown breakfast casserole. It’s a perfect breakfast casserole to compliment your bacon, eggs, toast and fruit.

Think about it this way – you’ve had this cheesy hashbrown potato casserole at your family dinner the night before. Assuming there was some left over(!), the next day you have these cheesy hash browns available for breakfast or brunch.

Simply heat up an individual serving in the microwave. Or, something I like to do is take however much of the casserole I want to serve, put into a cold oven and turn the temperature to 350 degrees. By the time the oven heats up to that temperature, it will be heated up or close to done.

Finished cheesy hash browns plated with sliced ham and salad greens with Serving hash browns serving dish, sliced ham and salad in the background

A Great Make Ahead Recipe

Another thing that makes this cheesy casserole great for entertaining is that it can be made up two days ahead of time. The best way to do this is to make the casserole up to the point that it’s ready for the oven.

At that point, cover the casserole in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. It will bake at the same temperature, but for best results you’ll need to allow an additional 10-15 minutes of cooking time.

Close up of plated casserole

Tips and Tricks for the Best Cheesy Hash Browns

  • To make ahead of time, assemble the casserole one to two days ahead of time and refrigerate. You’ll need to add 10-15 minutes of cooking time when you’re ready to bake.
  • I highly recommend refrigerated hash browns over frozen. If you do use frozen hash browns, make sure that they are completely thawed and any liquid has been drained off.
  • I recommend regular or light sour cream. Fat free sour cream is not going to have the best consistancy for the casserole.
  • I prefer using unsalted butter to help keep the hash browns from getting too salty. If you use salted butter, be mindful of the additional salt you add in.

What Ingredients are Needed to Make Cheesy Hash Browns?

Full instructions found below in the recipe card

  • Refrigerated hash browns – A brand such as Simply Potatoes is preferred. If using frozen hash browns, make sure they are thawed and drained of any excess liquid.
  • Onion
  • Garlic – For aromatic flavor.
  • Butter – For richness and flavor.
  • Sour cream –  Regular or light sour cream can be used.
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Cream of mushroom soup – These two soups are essential ingredients to give the potatoes their creamy texture.
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese – I recommend sharp cheddar cheese over mild cheddar. Sharp cheddar gives the casserole a bolder, cheesy flavor.

What Are the Steps to Make Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole?

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and saute onions and garlic.
  3. Melt the rest of the butter in the skillet.
  4. In a large bowl, combine butter mixture with the rest of the ingredients, except for the hash browns.
  5. Mix in hash browns.
  6. Coat a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and spoon hash brown mixture into pan.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until browned and bubbly.

Recipes to Serve With This Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

Yield: 12 servings

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole - The Ideal Side Dish

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole - The Ideal Side Dish

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole is the ideal side dish for any gathering. It's a classic comfort food dish that's always a crowd pleaser with its decadent creamy cheesy cheesiness.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2 (20 oz) packages refrigerated hash browns, such as Simply Potatoes
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, divided
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/2 cups light sour cream
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add chopped onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
  5. Add remaining butter to the skillet, stirring until melted.
  6. Combine butter/onion mixture in a large bowl with soups, sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper.
  7. Stir until well combined.
  8. Add hash browns to the bowl, gently stirring until well-coated with the sauce.
  9. Spoon potato mixture into a 9x13 baking pan that's been coated with cooking spray.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until the top of the casserole is browned and bubbly.
  11. Serve immediately.


  • I highly recommend using refrigerated hashbrowns for this recipe. If you do use frozen hash browns, make sure they have been defrosted and any liquid has been drained.
  • This casserole can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated before baking. You will need to add an additional 10-15 minutes to the baking time.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 1093mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 23g

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Awesome Recipe!! Thanks.

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