Also known as Church Potatoes or Funeral Potatoes, this Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole is ultimate comfort food. It’s easy to prep, freezer-friendly, and absolutely addicting.
To be sure, comfort food is generally heavy on the cheese and/or carbs. And it vacillates between being high maintenance if homemade or mediocre from a box.
Can comfort food be easy and delicious?
This Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole answers that question with a resounding YES!
Why Make This
It’s quick to assemble. While you are going to tuck this in the oven or slow cooker for a few hours, this cozy casserole comes together in minutes, meaning you can take a load off knowing that you’ll have an amazing meal later.
It’s less processed. Made from real, whole ingredients, and a homemade cream of chicken soup, this version of Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole has less junk and more good.
It freezes beautifully. Since this dish is freezer-friendly, you can make several batches at once and stash the extras in the freezer for a future date.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole:
cream of chicken soup – I like to use homemade Cream of Chicken Soup or Cream of Celery Soup instead of the canned because I prefer the fresh flavor. You can use the canned if you prefer.
sour cream – Use whatever sour cream you normally keep on hand or you can also use plain Greek yogurt as a substitute.
shredded cheese – Use your favorite melting cheese, such as cheddar, jack, Swiss, or a combination.
chopped green onion – This adds great flavor to the casserole. Feel free to swap in chopped brown onion, shallots, or leeks.
salt and pepper – For a little extra spice, you can sub Homemade Seasoned Salt if you like.
frozen shredded potatoes – These are often on sale and easy to keep extras in the freezer. You can use cubed hashbrowns as well as freshly chopped potatoes.
buttered bread crumbs – The crunchy top on this casserole is really tasty, such a nice contrast to the soft and cheesy potatoes. You can use any kind of bread crumbs (standard, panko, or gluten-free). You can also use cracker crumbs (such as Cheez-its or soda crackers) or crushed cornflakes or crisp rice cereal.
I have tested this using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour in the cream soup and gluten-free breadcrumbs in the topping. Everyone enjoyed it, gluten-eaters and those who eat gluten-free. You can also purchase a gluten-free cream of chicken soup at the store.
The process for making these Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole is super simple!
Pre-prep: Prepare the soup, if making homemade. Shred the cheese and measure out the ingredients. You don’t need to thaw the frozen hash browns. Just make sure to break apart the clumps by banging the bag on the counter a couple times.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, cheese, and scallions.
- Stir in the potatoes. Spoon the mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Combine the melted butter and panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the potatoes. Bake for 2 hours at 325 degrees.
This Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole is super make-ahead. After assembling the casserole, you can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours or freeze it for 4 to 6 weeks.
A gratin is a dish, usually of vegetables, that is topped with cheese or buttered bread crumbs, then heated in the oven or broiled until the top is brown and crispy.
This Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole is a type of gratin, though traditional Au Gratin Potatoes made in the French style would have a cream and cheese based sauce instead of the cream of the chicken soup used here.
Au Gratin Potatoes and Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole are a delicious side dish to any roasted or grilled meats. They are also delicious served as a hearty meatless main alongside a salad and vegetables. If you like, you can add chopped ham into the potato mixture.
If you prefer to make this with fresh, cubed potatoes, you certainly can, though you won’t be able to make it in advance. The potatoes will turn brown. Adjust the baking time, checking for doneness after one hour.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- cream soup – $1.00
- sour cream – $1.00
- cheese – $0.50
- green onion – $0.30
- shredded frozen potatoes – $1.99
- bread crumbs – $0.31
- butter – $0.23
Shopping at a mid-range grocers at non-sale prices, one can expect to pay $5.33 or 44 cents/serving!
How to make this good and cheap:
You know I don’t typically want to make something if I can’t make it good as well as cheap. Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of frozen hash browns and cheese can help keep the price down. Stock up and save them.
- Cooking in bulk – making several batches of this casserole at once will save you time and give you a side dish already to go rather than be tempted to get something else.
More Great Potato Dishes
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Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
- 2 cup Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 oz cheddar cheese (shredded) (1 cup)
- 3 green onion chopped
- black pepper
- 1 32-ounce package frozen shredded potatoes do not thaw
- 1 cup bread crumbs (can be standard, panko, or gluten-free)
- 3 tbsp butter melted
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and onion. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in potatoes. Spoon this mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine crushed cornflakes and melted butter. Sprinkle over the potato mixture.
- Bake for 2 hours at 325 degrees.
This post was originally published on October 2008. It has been updated for content and clarity.