This cheesy hash brown casserole only requires 4 ingredients and is made without canned soup. It's an easy comfort food side dish that's great to serve for brunch, holidays, potlucks or weeknight dinners.
Cheesy Potatoes. Hashbrown Casserole. Funeral Potatoes. There are many different hashbrown and potato casserole recipes and names out there. Often times they are made with condensed soup mix, sour cream and/or melted butter. While many are delicious, I find these recipes can often become too rich and heavy.
While this recipe is rich with the addition of heavy cream, it's not as heavy feeling as some other recipes. This is simplicity at it's finest.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Simple ingredients - Only 4 ingredients are needed to make this recipe. Nothing fancy. I bet you'll have most of them in your kitchen at any given time.
- One pan recipe - These potatoes are made and served right in the baking dish. No extra mixing bowls to wash!
- Rich & creamy flavor - Don't let the simplicity fool you, the flavor of these potatoes is out of this world. This is comfort food at it's finest.
Unlike other recipes for cheesy potatoes, this one requires only a few basic ingredients. No sour cream or canned creamed soup needed!
- Frozen hash browns - Don't try to get fancy here. Frozen store-bought hash browns work best for this recipe. Allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight. Fresh potatoes will create too much liquid. Frozen diced potatoes would also work!
- Heavy whipping cream - To create the most perfect creamy sauce for the cheesy hash browns. This is not a low-fat recipe. Everything in moderation, right?
- Sharp cheddar cheese - 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese is the star of the show to make these hash browns nice and cheesy.
- Salt - To enhance flavors.
- OPTIONAL - I like to sprinkle a little paprika on the top for added color, but this is totally optional!
- Prep the pan - Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Layer the potatoes - Spread ½ of the hash browns in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese & a half of the salt. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes, cheese and salt.
- Add the cream - Pour heavy whipping cream over the whole pan. Do not stir! Sprinkle with paprika if desired, for some extra color.
- Bake - Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until bubbly and the cheese starts to brown.
I love serving these potatoes with thick-sliced ham, making them a perfect addition to an Easter meal. Steam a vegetable or serve with a garden salad to add some color to your plate (and for some balance).
Serving them with other proteins like steak or chicken breast would also be great options. I remember having a steak at a fancy steakhouse once and it was served with potatoes like this. So. Good.
They are also a great way to kick up your next brunch as a variation to traditional hash browns. Serve with some bacon, eggs cooked your way & some fresh fruit and all will be right in the world.
This dish is also a popular potluck recipe as it's easy to scale up to feed a large crowd and it goes a long way. You will be the star of the show when you show up with a big pan of these!
The heavy cream gives the casserole it's delicious richness, but if you would prefer not to use heavy cream, half & half could be substituted. I would not recommend using milk as it could result in a watery casserole. I have not tested this recipe with any dairy substitutes.
You can also make these cheesy potatoes without thawing the hashbrowns first. Assemble the casserole the same way, just using potatoes are that still frozen. Cover and refrigerate 8-12 hours, then bake. Note that the baking time may increase. I'd recommend taking the baking dish out of the fridge about an hour before baking.
Yes! To freeze before baking, assemble the casserole then wrap with plastic wrap then tin foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer 24 hours before baking to allow it to thaw. If you are making this ahead of time to freeze, there is no need to thaw the hash browns before assembling.
Using fresh potatoes contain too much water and will make the casserole more watery. This is an example of when store-bought is better! Also make sure you are using a 30 oz. bag of hash browns for the right potato to cream ratio.
Other Comfort Food Recipes You'll Love
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4-Ingredient Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole (Without Soup)
- 30 oz. bag shredded hash browns thawed
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp. paprika optional*
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9X13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour ½ bag of hashbrowns in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese & half of salt evenly on top.
- Pour the rest of the hashbrowns on top and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese & the rest of the salt.
- Pour heavy whipping cream over the whole pan. Do not stir! Sprinkle paprika over the top, if desired.
- Bake uncovered 50-60 minutes until hot and bubbly.
I haven’t tried this but the photo doesn’t seem to match the recipe. Was something left out?
Nope! Just hash browns, cheese, cream and salt are needed for this cheesy hash brown recipe! I sprinkle a little paprika on top for color and garnished with some parsley, but these are optional.
Can you freeze the potatoes and reheat them another day. I'm trying to make as many side dishes ahead of our party and just warm them up the day of the party. I'm not sure if they will be dried out after they are reheated.
Hi Dee! Yes I think you could make and freeze this. I would just assemble everything and freeze it without baking it a first time. I'd take it out of the freezer the day before your party to let it thaw completely. I'd love to know how it turns out!
Robin, you are correct. The photo that shows on the Foodtalk email (before you click to see the recipe) is actually for Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes, from another Foodtalk email. I had just printed off the chicken recipe when I saw the same picture showing for this hash brown casserole recipe. They both look delicious!
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will contact Foodtalk about the error.
Can this be cut in half and baked in an 8x8 pan? How long do you think it would take? Thanks.
I think that would work just fine! I'd start checking it after about 30 minutes. I'd say it would probably take around 40 total.
I love how easy this is! So good!