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 (like Cracker Barrel’s!)
- 6 tablespoons butter + extra for greasing the pan
- 1/3 cup onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 cups cheddar cheese mild, freshly grated
- 1 pound frozen hash browns be sure to buy a brand with only 1 ingredient – potatoes, no need to defrost
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Whisk in the milk, salt, and pepper until it slightly thickens, about 1 minute.
- 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.
- Transfer to the baking dish being careful to push the thick mixture down on top into one even layer.
- 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.