The Cozy Cook

Hash Brown Casserole (Cracker Barrel Copycat!)

This Hash Brown Casserole tastes just like the real Cracker Barrel recipe and is easy to make with just 6 ingredients! Plus, it’s make-ahead and freezer friendly!

Be sure to serve this with my fluffy scrambled eggs  and buttermilk biscuits!

Wooden Spoon Scooping Cracker Barrel Hashbrown casserole out of a white casserole dish.

Hash Brown Casserole

Welcome to one of my favorite comfort food recipes on the blog! (And I have a lot of them.)

Not only can you make this 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!

How to Make it

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Pro Tip: I like to use Lamb Weston Thick Cut Hash Browns. They’re nice and thick and hold up well in this casserole!

  1. Thaw the hash browns and pat them dry.
  2. Set 1 cup cheddar cheese aside. Combine remaining ingredients.
  3. Place in a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  4. Cover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes.
  5. Remove cover and increase heat to 400° Bake for 5-10 more minutes.
  6. Let it sit for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Should I Thaw Frozen Hash Browns Before Cooking

Yes. The consistency is much better if you thaw them out and pat them dry prior to assembly. It also takes twice as long for the casserole to bake if the hash browns are frozen.

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.

Can I Make Hash Brown Casserole The Day Before

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.

Can You Freeze Hash Brown Casserole

Yes. You can assemble and freeze this casserole prior to baking. When ready to serve, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as outlined.

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.
    • 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.
  • Pat them completely dry before proceeding.

Crock Pot Method

  • Assemble as indicated in recipe, reserving some of the cheese for the top. Place in a lightly greased Crock Pot.
  • Heat on low for 4-5 hours or high for 3+1/2. 
  • Top with cheese, cover until melted, then serve.
  • Note: Crock Pots vary in terms of temperature so you may want to check on it periodically as it cooks.

A wooden spoon laying across a white casserole dish filled with cracker barrel hashbrown casserole.

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 minutes of baking!

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Storing Leftovers

  • Leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container and are best if used within 3 days.
  • 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 20-25 minutes.
    • You can also microwave them until heated through.

Overhead view of a wooden spoon laying in a white casserole dish that's full of hashbrown casserole.

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Overhead view of a white casserole dish filled with hashbrown casserole with a wooden spoon scooping it up.

Hash Brown Casserole (Cracker Barrel Copycat!)

4.97 from 28 ratings
This Hashbrown Casserole tastes just like the Cracker Barrel version and is so easy to throw together and serve with breakfast, or even dinner. (Plus, leftovers are freezer friendly!)

Ingredients

  • 32 oz. frozen hash browns, thawed*
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 10.5 oz. cream of chicken soup, (cream of cheddar works too)
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2.5 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • 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.
  • Pat them dry of excess water.
  • Set 1 cup of cheddar cheese aside.
  • Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Place it in a greased 9x13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove cover and increase heat to 400°. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the top begins to crisp and brown slightly.
  • Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Notes

*They only have 28 oz. bags at my grocery store, so I use that and leave everything else the same. Frozen Cubed Hash Browns may also be used.
If using fresh potatoes, measure out about 10 cups.

Crock Pot Method

  • Assemble as indicated in recipe, reserving some of the cheese to top it with. Place in a lightly greased Crock Pot.
  • Heat on low for 4-5 hours or high for 3+1/2. 
  • Top with cheese, cover until melted, then serve.
  • Note: Crock Pots vary in terms of temperature so you may want to check on it periodically as it cooks.

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.

Storing Leftovers

  • Leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container and are best if used within 3 days.
  • 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 20-25 minutes.
    • You can also microwave them until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 664kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 48g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 971mg, Potassium: 799mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1060IU, Vitamin C: 16.3mg, Calcium: 294mg, Iron: 1.3mg

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116 comments on “Hash Brown Casserole (Cracker Barrel Copycat!)”

  1. This was absolutely delicious. I also added a pound of diced ham.

    • Hi Sharon! I am so happy that you enjoyed this recipe, I LOVE that you added ham, I will definitely be trying that! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review! -Stephanie

  2. Can I double this in my crockpot and increase time? I don’t want it to be too mushy!!

  3. Did you ever have the Cracker Barrel’s Saturday Night Special Chicken and Rice.
    I loved it and wish someone who is good at making copycat recipes would try making it. They took it off the menu.
    It was chicken tenders cooked in a chicken mushroom gravy served over seasoned rice. There are several who have recipes online but they use cream of mushroom soup. It is not that kind of gravy, no milk.

  4. This was absolutely DELICIOUS!! My husband couldn’t stop eating this, even long after he finished his meal, lol. Will definitely be making this again. I have a cookout to go to and this is what I plan on taking to contribute. I looked at increasing the servings on the recipe but I’m afraid if I mess with it like that it won’t turn out as yummy. So I’ll just 2 or 3 separate casseroles as there is a large number of people going. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!!

    • I’m so happy this was such a hit Toni!😍 My husband loves this one too! If you want to experiment with making more servings you can always hover over where it says ‘servings’ on my recipe card and use the slide bar to adjust the serving size. All ingredient amount will automatically adjust! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  5. Try subbing cream of bacon for the cream of chicken!!! Always a hit in my house!!

  6. Great recipe, thank you!  I did scale back on the butter and used cream of celery, I also added a cup of shredded broccoli stem since I had some that I needed to use.  Halved the sour cream and it was still delicious.  I shredded two potatoes(was close to 32 oz) and this recipe made ALOT of food.  I keep forgetting my husband and I are recent empty nesters!  Oh and I also crumbled some crackers to add to the cheese on top…… 

  7. If I double the hash brown casserole, how would i adjust the cooking time?

    • Hi Wendy! If you are able to cook them in 2 separate casserole dishes, then no adjustment would be needed. If you use just one, I’m not quite sure how much extra cooking time would be needed, maybe an additional 25 minutes or so?

  8. You have been to Cracker Barrel and I am wondering if you have had their Chicken and Rice and if you could try to make a recipe for that. They were so good and now they don’t have them for their Saturday nigh special. I really miss them.

    • Hi Nanci! Unfortunately I don’t have a recipe for that at this time, Cracker Barrel is farther away from us now but if I ever nail a recipe down I will let you know! 🙂

  9. Can cream of mushroom be a substitute for the cream of chicken?

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