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Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole


Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole

Hashbrown Casserole is easy, cheesy and totally delicious!  This simple casserole is made easy with frozen hashbrowns! 
Copy Cat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown casserole needs just 5 minutes of prep making it the a great side or potluck dish! The perfect breakfast casserole!

Copy Cat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole Recipe

I love Cracker Barrel but the truth is… I only show up for the hashbrown casserole.  That’s it. Just the hashbrowns people.
My friend shared her version of that yummy, oh so creamy and cheesy easy Hashbrown Casserole with me and WOW!  Tender shredded hash browns in a rich and creamy cheese sauce, topped with more cheese and baked until hot and bubbly!
This is a perfect breakfast casserole for any holiday morning or just when you’re getting the family together for a delicious breakfast or brunch. 
Part of me needs to forget that this recipe exists. It is way too easy, delicious, addicting, versatile, and basically the best comfort food that exists.
Not only can you make it ahead of time, but if you happen to have leftovers, (we never do), you can freeze them!
Read on, I have everything you need to know about making this recipe. From customization options, tips on obtaining the perfect consistency, how to make it ahead of time, storing, reheating, and more!

Ingredients

·         32 oz. frozen hash brownsthawed*
·         ½ cup buttermelted
·         10.5 oz. cream of chicken soup(cream of cheddar works too)
·         16 oz. sour cream
·         1 small onionfinely diced
·         2 cups cheddar cheesegrated
·         1/3 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

1.            Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Ensure that your hash browns have thawed. (Otherwise they take a very long time to bake.) You can defrost them in the microwave to speed up this process.
  2. Pat them dry of excess water.
  3. Set ½ cup of cheddar cheese aside.
  4. Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. Place it in a greased 9x13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes, uncovered.
  7. Increase heat to 375 and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the top begins to crisp and brown slightly.
  8. Remove from the oven, let it sit for 10 minutes, and serve!

Do You Have to Thaw the Hash Browns?

Yes.

I have made this before without thawing the hash browns, (oops). -Take it from me, thaw them out.
Frozen hash browns take twice the amount of time to bake, and the consistency is much better if the hash browns are thawed and patted dry.

3 Ways to Thaw Them:

·         Place the package in the refrigerator overnight.
·         Defrost them in the microwave.
·         Let them sit at room temperature in a large bowl for about 45 minutes.
Be sure to pat them dry after they have thawed.
These are the hash browns that I like to use, they’re nice and thick and hold up well in this casserole!

Using Frozen Cubed Potatoes

You can absolutely use cubed hash browns in this recipe if that is your preference or if you’re unable to obtain the shredded ones.
You can also use frozen Potatoes O’Brien and eliminate the need to dice up an onion!

Using Fresh Potatoes

·         Shred the potatoes with a boxed grater.
·         Rinse the potatoes in cold water to release some of the starch, which allows them to become crispy.
o    If possible, let them sit in a large bowl of cold water in the fridge for a minimum of one hour and then rinse  with cold water.
·         Drain/Squeeze as much water from them as possible. This will also allow them to be crispy.
️ The above steps are also the same as you’d follow for making homemade french fries.

Make-Ahead Method

You can assemble this casserole the night before and store it in the fridge overnight, just be sure that your hash browns are thawed and patted dry when you combine them with the other ingredients.

Add-On Ideas

·         Meats: Cooked/diced ham, sausage, bacon, or chicken.
·         Veggies: Bell Peppers, chiles, jalapenos, broccoli.
·         Cheeses: Colby, Cheddar Jack, Monterey Jack, Boursin.
You can also sprinkle some crispy fried onions on top during the last 5-10 minutes of baking!

Storing Leftovers

·         Leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container and are best if use 25 minutes or more, depending on portion size.
·         You can also freeze leftovers, they're best if used within 3 months. 
·         To reheat, let it defrost in the refrigerator and bake it in a 350° oven, covered, for 25-30 minutes.
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