Recipe: Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole (like Cracker Barrel’s!)

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Welcome to the world of Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole goodness! I used to LOVE the Hash Brown Casserole at Cracker Barrel. That’s before I started asking questions about how they make their food (did you know almost all of their vegetable side dishes are made with sugar?). Then if you look at the copy cat recipes online, most of them call for a can of condensed soup – no thank you MSG and other unwanted additives! There has to be a better way, and thankfully there is, which I’ve detailed for you below. It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to potatoes and cheese and other wholesome ingredients. This is a tasty dish that you can enjoy with breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole from 100 Days of #RealFood

Sponsor Shoutout: Unconventional Kitchen

I’d also like to take a moment to tell you about our sponsor Unconventional Kitchen’s new online recipe organization tool! In addition to the helpful “real food” resources and videos (on their website), they are now also offering our readers a FREE Naturally Sweet Holiday Treats ebook that is viewable through their new online software called Cook’n.

Cook’n is the #1 best-selling recipe software app, and Unconventional Kitchen is sharing this ebook as a way for you to check out how you can use the software to create meal plans, generate shopping lists, sync recipes with all your devices, make cookbooks of your own, and much more. To get this free ebook just go to their website, enter your email address and name, and then you will be given instructions on how to download Cook’n to one of your devices so you can view the 14 recipes in the ebook.


4.6 from 14 reviews
Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole (like Cracker Barrel’s!)
Serves: 5 - 6
  • 6 tablespoons butter + extra for greasing the pan
  • ⅓ cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups freshly grated mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound frozen hash browns (no need to defrost), be sure to buy a brand with only 1 ingredient - potatoes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a square baking dish with butter (8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch) and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter. Cook the diced onion until it softens but does not brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Throw in the minced garlic and cook while stirring for 1 more minute.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium low and whisk in the flour. Continuously stir until the flour darkens but is not burnt, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the milk, salt, and pepper until it slightly thickens, about 1 minute.
  5. Turn the heat off and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the grated cheese until it melts. Fold in the hash browns until evenly coated.
  6. Transfer to the baking dish being careful to push the thick mixture down on top into one even layer.
  7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes uncovered, and then turn the heat up to broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. Keep a close eye under the broiler so it doesn't burn! Serve warm and enjoy.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.


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119 comments to Recipe: Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole (like Cracker Barrel’s!)

  • Taylor

    This was delicious!! I cut the butter upon the advice of previous reviewers. I cut it to 4 tablespoons but next time I will use 3 or even 2 1/2 as it still was a little heavy on the butter. That is just my personal taste though.
    My 5 and 7 year old ate it right up and my husband said it was awesome.
    I love love love that it is a potato casserole without cream of whatever soup.
    thank you Lisa!

  • Kim

    This was really good! I think it was a bit too runny – next time I will cut back on the milk a bit. Cooked 2/3 of the way the night before, then in the morning let it come to room temp for about an hour and cooked another 20 minutes. Great for Mothers’ Day brunch!

  • Dana Kelly

    Hi Lisa, any suggestions on a gluten free substitute to replace the whole wheat flour?

  • momof5

    lisa, would this recipe work with fresh potatoes? i have a ton from my garden that i’d love to use. thanks!

  • Robin Foxworth

    I have made a similar dish but instead of hash browns used spagetti squash was yummy!

  • Shelley

    I tried this on Father’s Day for my husband and added in crumbled cooked bacon. It was absolutely amazing! Pretty easy to make and follow and it came out perfect! This will be made again and again! Our 1 year old loved this as well!

  • Katie

    What brand does Lisa use for the frozen hash browns? All of them I looked at the store had 10 ingredients or more!!

  • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hello Katie. She buys Cascadian Farms organic frozen hash browns. ~Amy

  • Katie

    Could this be made ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to bake? Also, I’ve made this recipe before and it is delicious. It turned out creamy and was just as good as leftovers the next day!

  • Cece

    What was the problem when Lisa used fresh potatoes (more than “it didn’t turn out well”)? I’m new to the site and loving the recipes so far, but I think it would be nice, in an instance like this, where we could read about some alternatives that didn’t turn out so well. (Especially since I’m sure many other readers, like myself, would prefer to use fresh potatoes!)

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