This copycat Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole copycat recipe is the perfect cheesy, tangy, make-ahead hashbrown casserole from the popular chain restaurant! This can be made in advance and baked in the morning for brunch, or eaten as a side dish all week long! Pro Tip: This is really really really good with Cajun Glazed Bacon on the side!
How are you doing on restaurant food? Back in restaurants? Outside? Inside? More takeout than you've ever imagined?
I know people love to hate on chain restaurants, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love 'em. To that end, Cracker Barrel is yummy and Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole is the only side dish worth getting, honestly.
(unless you are feeding a toddler on a road trip and the carrots work really well as a near-baby food substitute, trust)
I stand by it.
We have SO MANY good restaurants where we live that, I'll be honest, Cracker Barrel trips are usually reserved for car trips.
But that doesn't mean we can't make copycat hashbrown casserole at home.
So that's exactly what we're doing.
This is copycat top secret Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole. It has just a few REALLY easy ingredients, has hardly any prep work (you have to chop an onion, you can do it), can be made in advance, IS EASILY GLUTEN FREE (check labels obviously), and really is just all around a very delicious brunch recipe.
I have tried BOATLOADS of versions of this recipe, and, to me, this is the closest thing I've come to the real Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole recipe.
Sidebar, if you're into potato recipes that can be made in advance, twice baked potatoes are very, very nice to have in the freezer!
Get some ingredients! Frozen hashbrowns, cream of chicken soup, butter, chopped onion, salt and pep, grated cheddar (do it yourself or use bagged, your call!), and sour cream. YUM, you know?
- I love all frozen hashbrowns, but I particularly like any that are labeled as seasoned; they have just a little bit of extra flavor and are so delicious! For size/shape, I usually use frozen shredded hashbrowns, but any frozen hashbrowns work great!
- Gluten Free: Check labels, but there are GREAT canned soups that are gluten free. I particularly like the Pacific Brand for GF canned soups.
- If you prefer to make this vegetarian, use cream of cheese or cream of mushroom soup instead of the chicken soup. Both are delicious!
- The butter and sour cream serve to add creaminess to the dish - don't skip them, and use full-fat sour cream unless there's a specific medical reason not to.
Step By Step Instructions
Melt the butter is a really complicated prep step for this hashbrown casserole recipe. I microwave butter for 15 seconds at a time until it's melted - time usually depends on if the butter is straight out of the fridge or has been softening on the counter.
Add it to a big bowl with the rest of the ingredients!
I like lots of black pepper in this recipe for flavor. Add several grinds of black pepper to the mixture, then stir everything together.
Top with some more cheese if you saved any, then the casserole goes into the oven to bake.
Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. The casserole is baked for just about an hour, maybe a little less, until the whole thing is hot and bubbly and the cheese is slightly browned.
And, done. I can't TELL YOU how delicious this is. It's creamy, cheesy, savory, and just all around absolutely delicious.
Hashbrown Casserole FAQ and Make Ahead Notes
Would not do this. It would WORK, but not be the same. Hashbrowns aren't just grated potato, they've got some oil and sometimes spices and other stuff that keeps them separate-but-equal (but in a good way), and a grated potato wouldn't have the same effect.
One million times yes! Honestly it can go either way. You can make this in advance and NOT bake it, then bake it for an hour before you'd like to eat, or you can bake it and reheat it (covered with foil, until warmed through) and it'll still be delicious.
For me, yes! I prefer to make the casserole and keep it unbaked in the freezer, then bake until hot and bubbly. Leftovers can be frozen as well, just thaw and reheat either in the microwave or oven. Note that if you freeze the unbaked casserole, the potatoes may change to a gray color, but the taste won't be affected.
Nope! No eggs in this (or almost any other) version.
I love this for breakfast, with bacon and eggs and fruit. HOWEVER, hashbrown casserole is not particular about when it is served.
- For a larger brunch spread, this would be delicious with pancakes and/or quiche.
- For lunch, the casserole with some green salad and marinated grilled chicken would be bomb.
- For dinner, hash brown casserole, pork roast, and green beans just sound VERY delicious to me.
This entire recipe is suuuuper forgiving, so easy to throw together, and the resulting creamy, cheesy, tangy casserole is just so yummy. I love it so much.
And, not to be outdone, this Cajun glazed bacon is one of our favorite "omg when I come visit can you make THE BACON" recipes. If you haven't made it, HIGHLY recommend a batch with this casserole. Enjoy this!
Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole
- 1 pound frozen hashbrowns thawed or not, doesn't matter
- 1 can cream of chicken soup sub cream of mushroom or celery for vegetarian
- ½ stick butter melted
- ¼ onion finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon EACH salt and pepper
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Combine all ingredients except for a bit of the cheese in a large bowl.
- Spray a medium baking dish with cooking spray and spread the mixture into the dish. Top with any remaining cheese.
- Bake the casserole uncovered for 45-60 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned on top. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving if you can stand it. Enjoy!