Tips for Making a Hash Brown Casserole to Tingle Your Taste Buds

Tips for Making a Hash Brown Casserole to Tingle Your Taste Buds
Classic American casseroles are hearty dishes, and usually feature vegetables and meat baked to perfection along with other flavorings. It is an American staple most favored in potlucks, on holidays, and family gatherings. Here is a recipe for a lip-smacking casserole that is sure to tingle your taste buds!
Casseroles are primarily baked dishes intended for large crowds. They are hugely popular as a one-dish meal. Hash brown casseroles are popular as breakfast casseroles especially on the weekends and holidays and are also easy to prepare. So the next time, you have a big group of friends and family coming over to your place for a meal, and are unsure how to feed so many mouths, prepare a hash brown casserole. It can be prepared soon enough and does not require a huge list of ingredients either. For this casserole, you can either prepare hash browns at home, or buy the frozen prepackaged ones that are easily available in all supermarkets. Hash browns can be diced, shredded, cubed or even julienned. The recipe below is meant to serve 8 persons.
Recipe for Hash Brown Casserole
Ingredients
  • 2 lb hash browns, shredded (thaw them before use, if they are frozen)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken or Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ lb sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes crumbs
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt, as per taste
Hash Brown Casserole
Method
  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the chopped onions and sauté lightly on medium heat. Add pepper to this mixture.
  2. Take a 13 inch x 9 inch casserole and grease it evenly using the cooking spray.
  3. Now line it with a layer of hash browns, top it with the sautéed onions.
  4. Add a layer of sour cream, condensed chicken/mushroom soup, and top it with the grated Cheddar cheese.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Bake the dish for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the cornflake crumbs evenly on top and continue baking for another half an hour or so till the cheese melts and the mixture turns golden brown and bubbly on top.
  6. To ensure it is done, insert a knife into the casserole. It should come out clean. Once done, cut into desired sizes and serve!
Additional Tips
Fresh vegetable
To make the dish more nutritious, try adding diced and sautéed green, red, and yellow bell peppers along with the onions. You can also try adding broccoli florets and mushrooms.
Dried garlic powder
Along with the veggies, sauté garlic too if you like the flavor. Or you can sprinkle garlic powder in place of using fresh garlic cloves.
Milk and eggs
Blend whole milk (½ cup), whipped eggs (six), and a pinch of nutmeg and mustard and add this layer over the onions to impart a more subtle flavor.
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Parmesan Cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese can be used in place of or even along with Cheddar cheese for a more cheesy taste. Alternatively, substitute a thick layer of cream cheese for grated cheese. You can also sprinkle grated cheese on top along with cornflakes crumbs if you like.
Fried bacon
If you prefer, use bacon, ham, sausage or cubed chicken breast to the casserole to make it more wholesome. Add a layer of diced fried bacon, sausage or chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces above the hash browns layer. This will make the casserole more of a main course dish rather than a side dish.
Bread crumbs
Use buttered bread crumbs in place of cornflakes.
For a healthier version and if you are looking to cut back on calories, use the low-fat versions of butter, sour cream, and cheese.
Recipe for Homemade Hash Browns
You can also make hash browns at home. Try the simple method that is described below.

Ingredients
  • 2 potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • Salt and pepper, as per taste
Hash brown potatoes
Method
  1. Clean the potatoes, peel and grate them. Spread the grated potatoes on paper towels and press them firmly with a spatula to absorb all the moisture. Absorbing all the moisture is important, or else you can land up with soggy hash browns.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet. When the oil heats up adequately, add the grated potatoes in a layer along the bottom of the pan. Ideally, the potato layer should only be half an inch in thickness.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  4. Once the bottom layer has turned a nice golden brown, flip it over and continue frying till both sides are crisp and golden. Your hash browns are ready to serve to the crowd!
It is one of the most sumptuous breakfast meals you can cook on a lazy Sunday morning. So go ahead, prepare hash brown casserole the regular way or try one of the variations listed above, and be certain your family will love you for it. Bon appetit.