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Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes

This budget-friendly recipe is easy, adaptable, and a total summer cookout crowd-pleaser! Kids AND adults LOVE it!

Guest post from Brigette Shevy

While I love scalloped potatoes, classic hashbrown casseroles, and basically anything with potatoes and cheese, I don’t like the fact that most recipes call for cream soups and/or sour cream – ingredients that I don’t regularly buy and almost never have on hand.

Either that, or they require making a stove-top sauce with butter and flour and milk… which would be fine if I could actually make a sauce without lumps (my Vita-Mix has saved the day for me on more than one occasion!)

So I was thrilled when my mother-in-law introduced me to a family recipe that would solve all my potato recipe issues… for good!

Not only does this recipe rely on basic ingredients that we all keep around (no can opener needed), there is no tedious (or in my case, frantic!) stirring and whisking involved. And did I mention it’s cheap? And flexible! You can add a couple of more potatoes to it stretch a little further, and the amount and kind of cheese can be adjusted according to your personal taste.

This is a perfect side dish to accompany all your summer cookouts as it pairs well with hamburgers or grilled meats. But it’s also perfect to take to holiday parties as a side dish!

Kids and adults love it! I like to make it up early in the day and pull it out of the refrigerator shortly before baking it.

I never use frozen hash browns, but I’m weird like that. If you want to save yourself some time, I would definitely recommend starting with frozen hash browns.

The best part about this gluten-free recipe – if I haven’t convinced you to try it yet – is that it tastes great!

What is your favorite go-to potato recipe? 

Brigette is a full-time wife and mother who is blessed with three amazing bundles of energy (ages 6, 4, and 2). She enjoys music, experimenting in the kitchen, homeschooling her children, finding great deals, long-distance running, and anything chocolate.

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  • Jen Krausz says:

    This sounds and looks great! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Jen D says:

    Ok, I just want to make sure I understand. If I’m using frozen hashbrowns, I do not need to boil them, or thaw them out before using? Thanks! I can’t wait to try this!

  • amybee says:

    Have you tried it using skim milk?

    • Brigette says:

      No, but only because I never buy skim (my husband is a whole-milk-only kind of guy). I know you could use it – it obviously won’t be as rich, but it should still be good (especially if that’s the kind of milk you are already used to).

  • Sarah says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I wonder if my picky little one would eat it…

    And the key to a smooth, non-lumpy flour, butter/oil, milk mixture on the stove (without frantic whisking…actually I don’t even use a whisk, just a regular old spoon) is to add the milk slowly and stir it in a bit at a time. You have to incorporate each little bit of milk before adding some more, otherwise you get the lumps and you’ll never get them out.

    • I find it also helps to have the milk at room temperature too, or even just not really cold out of the fridge.

      • Brigette says:

        Thanks for the ideas, ladies! I do try to add the milk gradually, but I’m pretty sure I am too impatient and that’s a big part of my problem! I’ve never tried milk at room temperature, so I will definitely be trying that. 🙂

        • me says:

          There’s a flour in a can called Wondra Flour. It’s extra fine fine fine sifted flour and it dissolves but doesn’t clump. Its about 1.50 at target and a little goes a long way. If you’re ready to tackle again, try that.

          You might even be able to pulverize flour down in the vitamixer to get the fine texture that would help with clumps.

          • Brigette says:

            Wow! That sounds like something I *have* to have. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

            • Brandette W. says:

              I second the Wondra flour. I never ever have success with sauces thickening etc until I tried Wondra. It mixes in effortlessly and there really are NO clumps! Best invention for us “roux-challenged” girls.

              Also, I want to THANK YOU for all the excellent posts you have done on your sister’s site lately. I have enjoyed each and every one and always look forward to your next. I love this new series Crystal has started with you sharing your families favorite recipes. All of them are easy recipes us Mom’s can make, don’t cost much to make, and use whole easy-to-find ingredients (especially at Aldi) which is what I love. So thank you from the bottom of my heart and I hope you keep this series up for a long time to come!

              • Brigette says:

                Awww – thanks! This makes me so happy. 🙂 It’s been fun to do, and I always learn so much – about things like Wondra flour! Thanks for sharing your expertise. 🙂

      • If you continue to stir it will prevent lumpy gravy or sauce, has been my experience. From start to finish, stir and stir. I have been making gravy, sauces and roux for 40 years and never had a lumpy sauce or gravy.

    • Susan says:

      I don’t see flour mentioned in the recipe? Am I missing something?

    • Katherine says:

      I do not see any flour in the recipe. How can it be lumpy without flour?

  • I am always on the lookout for great breakfast dishes I can take to MOPS or other breakfast potlucks, or just make for my family on the weekends. I have yet to find a cheesy potato recipe that I love, so I’m really excited to try this! Thanks!

  • Christine says:

    does it freeze/thaw well after baking ?
    would be great to thaw and just heat thru on a grill v. firing up oven in the summer.

    • Brigette says:

      I can’t remember if I’ve ever frozen this (it tastes great for several days as leftovers in the fridge, so we always eat it up), but I know other family members who freeze it successfully. They use frozen hash browns vs homemade (frozen tend to be a bit heartier)… On the grill sounds fabulous!!!

  • This looks wonderful – but my husband can’t eat cheese! 🙁
    Might have to make this for a church potluck instead….

    A note about lumpy sauces – set aside a small amount of the liquid (say 1/2 c or so) before heating and whisk in the thickener (flour, cornstarch, etc) in small amounts with a small wisk into that 1/2 c until smooth. Then add to whatever you’re heating up! Gets rids of the lumps every time!

    Have a great day,

  • Amy says:

    Thank you for a gluten free recipe! We need those!

    • Brigette says:

      You are welcome! I am the only one with wheat allergies in my family, so I usually cook to feed the majority… But yes! We DO need more good gf recipes!

      • Cheri A says:

        Use cornstarch or tapioca or potato starch instead of the flour so that you can enjoy it too! My daughter and hubby are gluten-free here.

  • Charity says:

    Wow! This looks so delicious! I’ve been resting in bed this week from our home birth of our 10lb. 14oz. baby boy….but when I’m on my feet again this is going to be one of the first recipes I make. Yummy!

    • Janet says:

      Oh my word!!! You are my hero! All the best and may you feel better soon.

    • Brigette says:

      Oooooh! Congratulations!!!! I hope you are able to gets lots of rest and snuggle time with your little (big! :)) guy. Wish I lived close and could whip this up for you! And I second the “hero” comment!

    • Julie says:

      Wow, that is quite a “bundle of joy”. Congratulations!

  • Paula says:

    Sounds yummy! One question – to be sure – no need to grease the pan?

  • Yay! I am going to dairy-free this soon! Will use DF shredded cheese, no parmesan, and try the cornflakes trick on top. 🙂 My kids have never had a hashbrown casserole. Can’t wait to try. Thanks!

  • Lana says:

    Thank you SO much for this real food recipe! Pinned!

  • Starla says:

    Ok…just saw this recipe today and decided to make it for dinner tonight. I used frozen hashbrowns and paired it with balsamic chicken and a salad. Delish!! The whole family gobbled it up – every yummy bite! Thanks for a great new go to hashbrown recipe!

  • Lori in NC says:

    I made it for dinner tonight, too — yum! All four of us ate it. (smile) Added onion powder, ground pepper and some kosher salt. Used the frozen hashbrowns – so easy!

    • Brigette says:

      Frozen hashbrowns do make this super easy to put together! I’m so happy you liked it. 🙂

      • Jill says:

        Brigette, what is your blog? You always post such great recipes here and I’ve been meaning to check out your blog and see what kinds of things you have on your site.

        Thank you.

        • Brigette says:

          Aww! You’re so nice! Actually, I don’t have a blog…maybe someday when my kids are a little older, and I can get Crystal (my sister) to teach me a few basic “tech-y” things that I don’t have a clue about. 🙂 But thanks for asking!!

  • Carla says:

    I think I have tried this recipe before, or one very similar, using the frozen hash browns. I know it was absolutely delicious! I must have misplaced the recipe in my “pile of recipes” that seem to end up in a box. So, THANK YOU for sharing it. I am so happy to have it. I hope all the readers try it and enjoy it 🙂

    • CJ says:

      My favorite recent discovery is Hungry Jack Hash Browns. They come dehydrated in a milk carton-like box in the boxed potato aisle. Just add hot water to the carton, let sit for 10 minutes, squeeze out the water and cook. Very convenient and yummy! I never seem to have room in the freezer so I’m glad to have these in my pantry for a quick meal.

    • Brigette says:

      I’m so happy I could help you “find” your lost recipe! Hope it’s even better than what you remember. 🙂

  • Liz says:

    Do you use the powdered or shredded Parmesan cheese? Does it make a big difference with the taste?

    • Brigette says:

      Confession: I use the kind in the green can. 🙁 I am very confident that it would taste even better with *real* parmesan cheese, but I haven’t worked that one into our food budget just yet. 🙂 So just use whatever you normally buy!

      • Brigette says:

        To clarify: “can” = little plastic cylinder. I assume that’s the “powdered” kind you are referring to. Even though it’s “real,” the kind that comes in a block is sooo much better.

    • Brigette says:

      Powdered or shredded is fine (as long as it’s not imitation ;)). I prefer shredded, but have made it with both.

      • Delphine says:

        I found out a few years ago, when i was on a tight food budget, that the real parmesan turned out to be cheaper for us! I know it’s a lot of money to buy the block but it last forever! A lot longer than the can. Because it tastes so much better, you need less. And i just use a fine grater. It doesn’t turn bad either in a zip lock bag in the fridge.

  • Denise G. says:

    I also wondered about what kind of Parmesan cheese you use.

    • Brigette says:

      Any kind will work! I usually use the Kraft shredded kind in the green plastic container, but only because it’s the most budget friendly. 🙂 Ocasionally I get the bagged shredded Sargento brand. I’m guessing that the “real” stuff that you shred off a block would be even better. Just use whatever you normally buy and like.

  • Mel says:

    This was so good, just what I needed after the 30 plus degree drop in temperate this week!

  • Charlene says:

    So, instead of boiling the potatoes, I have made homemade hashbrowns from left over baked potatoes also. I may try that trick for this recipe. I love hashbrown casserole, but we are trying to limit the amount of canned soup we use, due to the sodium content. This looks like a winner–with ingredients we normally have on hand! Thanks a lot!
    I enjoy your recipes a lot! I figured out I can do a search of your name on the Money Saving Mom website to find some of them. I have used a lot off of this site. What did we do before the internet?? 🙂

  • Charlene says:

    I have seen another way to make hashbrowns is to bake potatoes, and then shred them. That would be a way to avoid dealing with boiling water maybe. I will have to try this. I love hashbrown casserole, but we are trying to keep sodium down, and canned soup has lots of sodium, so I am excited about a non soup recipe!
    I have enjoyed your recipes on this site. Actually, I have enjoyed a lot of recipes from this site, but I have figured out to look for yours, I can do a search with your name, and find the ones you post. I enjoy the story behind the post, so I remember the recipe. Keep them coming! 🙂

    • Brigette says:

      Good idea about the baked potatoes! The next time I bake some for dinner, I’ll have to bake up some extra ones just to give it a try.

      Thanks so much for the sweet comments about the recipes I post! It makes me so happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed them. 🙂

      • Charlene says:

        Hey, sorry for the duplicate message. My internet is being pretty wacky, and the first message disappeared. I didn’t hit submit or anything, so I didn’t know it had posted…

  • Sarah says:

    Made this tonight and it was a winner! My husband took one bite and said “Keep this recipe”. Usually he eats an entire serving of something and then sits for a few minutes before telling me what he thinks of it.

    I’d love to know if it can be frozen successfully (either after cooking, or before cooking when using the fresh boiled potatoes) as I am trying to stock up my freezer with food for when our second little one arrives.

    • Brigette says:

      This comment totally made my day! 🙂 As far as freezing it using the fresh boiled potatoes, I have to be honest and say I’m not for sure. I know my relatives freeze up leftovers sucessfully (they use frozen hashbrowns), and I’ve frozen up the leftovers on occasion for my husband’s lunches (I use fresh boiled), and he’s always eaten it. But I don’t know if it tastes just as good after being frozen/thawed. The next time I make it, I will have to experiment. 🙂 Sorry I can’t be of more help. Congrats on your upcoming arrival!!!

  • Cheri G says:

    ok, help me out here. Several people in comments mention the use of flour. I don’t see this as part of the recipe. Am I missing something here?

    • Brigette says:

      There is NO flour in this recipe.

      In the post, I mentioned that I like this recipe because it doesn’t use flour – because I have trouble with making a smooth sauce (no flour lumps) in recipes that do call for it. So people were just commenting to offer some helpful ideas for me to incorporate in OTHER recipes.

      Hopefully this makes sense and helps clear up confusion. 🙂

  • Jan J. says:

    This was delicious! I added cooked ground beef cooked with garlic and lots of onion and made it a one-dish meal and it was a hit with my kids. Nothing processed was my favorite part!

  • Chris says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it with fresh potatoes and it was delish! My son took some in a thermos along with a side salad for lunch today. But the best part is my left-over hatin’ husband ate some with eggs for breakfast! YAHOO! 🙂

  • Tracie says:

    Quick question…..Would it cook faster if I used thawed hashbrown potatoes? Or is there a reason to use them frozen. Thanks! 🙂

    • Brigette says:

      It works either way. Obviously, if you’re making your own, they aren’t going to be frozen. :)If you’re using frozen, no need to thaw (just would add an extra step). You can also use the shredded refrigerated kind. The cooking time might vary slightly, which is why I’ve allowed 50-60 min. Hope that makes sense!

  • Rachel says:

    You mentioned ham in your menu planning. Are you putting ham in it or just serving it on the side? Could you put meat in it to make a 1 dish meal?

    • Brigette says:

      I don’t know if Crystal will see this comment, so I’ll answer for her, since we talked about it. 🙂 She is going to add the ham in, to make it a one dish meal. This will work with any leftover cooked meat (hamburger, sausage, etc) – anything that sounds good and/or you want to use up!

  • Jennifer says:

    I love cheesy potatos. Now I’m hungry but the good news is I believe I have everything I need at home. I’m going to have to make some when I get off work tonight.

  • Have you ever been grocery shopping, while really tired, in a hurry, and have forgotten your recipe at home? Who am I kidding, of course you have! I accidentally bought more than double the frozen hash brown pototoes I needed for a breakfast crockpot dish (OOPS!) so your recipe gives me something to do with all those extra potoatoes. lol The best part is, I have everything I need on hand.
    A couple items: For the folks wondering about freezing, reserve an individual serving from this recipe, then freeze and try it in a few weeks.
    For the folks talking about putting milk on the counter to warm to room temperature, FYI, for EVERY 20 minutes that milk goes unrefrigerated, the bacteria in the milk DOUBLES. Some folks have stronger stomachs than others, so not sure that this will work so well for some people. Just FYI! I think the safer route would be to slowly heat the milk on the stove, stirring constantly so it doesn’t scald.
    Looking forward to trying this recipe tonight. Thanks for posting!

  • Tammy says:

    Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe! I made it today for my MOPS group, and my husband was hoping to get a taste of it, but I brought home an empty casserole dish! I can’t believe how delicious it was without any “cream of” soup. I’ll definitely be keeping this one for future brunches! I used frozen hashbrown potatoes, mixed it all up and stuck it in the fridge over night, and baked in the morning. So easy and simple, yet delicious!

    • Brigette says:

      I am so glad you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to let me know – comments like this totally make my day!!

  • Yarelis says:

    I made this a few nights ago with homemade hashbrowns. It was delicious! My husband and kids loved it. Thank you for the recipe. I like the suggestion of putting meat in the casserole for a one pot meal. Will try this next time.

  • Roan says:

    Wonderful recipe! I used frozen hash browns and skim milk (what we drink) and it was delicious! Rave reviews from the family…I followed the recipe, made no adjustments -perfect!

  • Kimberly says:

    Substituting pasta for potatoes works great in this recipe. Macaroni and cheese!

  • LaVonne says:

    Hi Brigette,

    Can I prepare this recipe the night before and not bake it until the afternoon on the following day? Thanks much!

  • val says:

    I have made this recipe several times now, love that you don’t have any sour cream or cream cheese in this recipe.

    I do add a little onion (that I sauté for a few minutes in a tiny bit of oil), I use skim milk and add even less butter and it turns out fantastic, such a crowd pleaser. I keep trying to blog it on my own blog, but it goes too fast… 🙂

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  • I just wanted to share a sure fire recipe for a white sauce. If you use 1 tablespoon butter or margarine to 1 tablespoon flour to 1/2 cup of milk, your sauce will not have lumps in it. This proportion works no matter how much you are needing. Hope this helps.

  • debbie says:

    this is one of my childrens’ favorite meals so i make it practically all the time. sometimes i leave it as-is for a side dish, but lots of time i add diced ham as a main dish and it is delicious. if your family likes onions, you can add some sliced green onions to it before baking and it comes out scrumptious! a family favorite for sure!

  • How do you grate the potatoes?

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m interested in making this for Easter, but am wondering how it thickens, without any flour etc. Afraid I’ll end up with soupy potatoes….

  • jan says:

    can you make this ahead and refrigerate before baking? Has anyone done this?

  • Emily says:

    So should I use 4 tablespoons butter or 2? This looks amazing! I’ll be making it tomorrow for Thanksgiving!!

  • Patrece says:

    To make a perfect flour thickener without EVER having lumps, use a bit of butter, or sausage drippings, etc… and add the flour directly to the pan with the butter of other “fatty drippings”. Stir the flour in with a spatula, whisk, spoon, whatever, until it absorbs all of the fat and gets a smooth consistency. This is the absolute BEST way to make sausage gravy as well!

  • Mary Slowik says:

    Made for Easter dinner, followed the direction to the T using frozen hash browns. It was DELICIOUS, easy and will definitely make again especially for special occasions.

  • Joanne Peterson says:

    This was my pretty much mother’s recipe for her scalloped potatoes. She didn’t use parmesan cheese, and instead used extra cheddar, or real American cheese The potatoes were also parboiled, and then she sliced the potatoes instead of shredding them and baked them in a slow oven, or a nesco if making them for a crowd. Everyone liked them.

  • Wanda says:

    I tried the recipe it is fantastic but I added a little extra to it I added bacon bits and cut up green little onions in it it came out fabulous

  • Lilly b says:

    This is kind of random/weird but could I use heavy cream instead of milk?

  • brittany says:

    would this be ok to make the day before a gathering? and what’s the best route to do so if I can?
    cook first then store or store then cook? thanks

  • Nikki says:

    I add some cooked diced ham and a packet of powdered ranch seasoning before baking for an easy one dish meal. It’s my teenagers favorite!

  • Lindsay says:

    I have made this recipe before and it’s always the first thing we run out of… a huge hit!

    I am curious though, is there a way to make this in a slow cooker/crock pot? I want to use this recipe because I know it’s so good!

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