Hash Brown Casserole {Without Cream Soup}

Hash brown casserole

Traditional hash brown casserole (similar to Cracker Barrel), but updated without cream soup! Comforting, delicious, and can also be made in the slow cooker or frozen and made at a later date!

Hash Brown Casserole is one of those versatile foods that can be eaten for breakfast or dinner (or in my case, breakfast, lunch AND dinner). You throw all the ingredients together, pop it in the oven, and an hour later, without hardly any thought, dinner is on the table. And the cool thing about this recipe is that you can cook it in the slow cooker! Sweet deal, eh?

Hash brown casserole 5


There are so many versions of this recipe out there, and they pretty much all call for the same few ingredients, which means this recipe is tried and true, baby! I’m pretty sure Cracker Barrel is responsible for making this recipe popular. My variation simply takes out the cream soup. I replace it with a homemade cream soup substitute (this can be used with any casserole, by the way!) which does add on about 5 extra minutes to the preparation time, however, it’s worth it!

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Here’s what you’ll love about this recipe. 1. You can cook it in the oven or your crock pot. 2. There’s lots of gooey sharp cheddar involved. 3. You can make this ahead and freeze it. 4. Your family or loved ones will love you for making it!

Hash brown casserole 4

Tip 1: You may choose to sauté’ the onion before adding it to the casserole to ensure that the onions cook through. Otherwise, be sure to cook this casserole for the entire time suggested, or you’ll end up with crunchy onions. And who likes crunchy onions?

Tip 2: Make sure you start with thawed hash browns. I put my bag of hash browns in the fridge the night before I knew I was going to use them. They were perfectly thawed by the time I needed them.

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Hash Brown Casserole {Without Cream Soup}

Hash brown casserole

Prep Time: 15mn
Cook Time: 1hr 15mn
Total Time: 1hr 30mn


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • Dash of salt and pepper
Need to convert the measurements? Click here!


  • 30-32 ounces frozen shredded hash browns – thawed
  • 1 batch cream soup substitute
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 of a small onion – diced
  • 2 cups cubed ham
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Need to convert the measurements? Click here!


  1. In a small sauce pan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Slowly stir in chicken broth, then milk. Stir until it begins to thicken. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Season with a dash of salt and pepper.


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together thawed hash brown potatoes and melted butter.
  3. Stir in cream soup substitute, sour cream, onion, ham, and 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Stir well.
  4. Season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese (or more if you’d like).
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Slow Cooker Instructions: Combine all ingredients and cook in your slow cooker for 5-6 hours on low.

Freezer Instructions: Assemble casserole. Do not bake. Cover well and store in your freezer for up to 3 months. Allow casserole to thaw completely in your refrigerator before baking, following the instructions above.

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Comments (69)

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  1. Stephanie

    This recipe looks and sounds the kids

    • Stephanie

      Sorry! Sticky keys and a lagging cell phone…i was saying, looks and sounds delicious! I am looking for a breakfast casserole i can make in muffin tins. have you tried baking this recipe in a muffin tin? With or without paper or aluminum liners?

      • Hi Stephanie, I haven’t tried making this in muffin tins, but I don’t see why you couldn’t! You’d definitely have to adjust the baking time to maybe half? And I’d definitely saute’ the onion before mixing everything together. Lastly, I’d probably grease the muffin tins instead of using liners, I think you’d get better results. Let me know how it turns out! :)

  2. Stephanie

    Thank you for the tips, i will be trying the muffin pan route this weekend and will let you know how it goes! If all goes well, my husbands coworkers will be eating breakfast casserole at work! :) love your site and recipes! Keep up the good work! :)

    • What lucky co-workers your hubby has that you’re willing to send food for them. Can’t wait to hear how the hash brown muffin cups turn out!

  3. Marie J

    Thank you so much. This recipe is a life saver (out of cream of mushroom soup). The only thing different I do is to bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 1 hour (uncovered). This is the first time this website came up on a search for me. I will definitely be back!

    • Hi Marie! Glad the recipe was a life saver! I might have to try the higher temp for a shorter period of time the next time I decide to make this. I’m all for shaving off a little time! :)

  4. Hi Stephanie, am going to make this, will be making the cream substitute. Love the idea of this. Don’t like canned soups.

  5. Linda

    I have made the dry mix for Whatever Soup mix for many years. Found it on the Internet. Great in casseroles, Chicken ala King, scalloped potatoes, etc. Bet it would be great in this recipe as well.

  6. Linda

    Will save you time searching for:
    “Cream of Whatever Soup Mix”
    2 cups powdered nonfat milk
    3/4 cup cornstarch
    1/4 cup instant chicken bouillon
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    OPTIONAL: 2 Tablespoon onion flakes
    Make this mix up in advance & use in casseroles & other recipes calling for canned cream of whatever soup. This makes the equivalent of 9 cans of soup.
    (From Miserly Moms)
    To Prepare:
    1/3 cup soup mix
    1-1/4 cup water

    Hope you like this.

    • Phil K.

      Oh AWSOME a GLUTEN FREE Cream of whatever soup mix! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

  7. Brittany

    This has been one of our favorites since you posted it. We have had it many times and each time it’s just as delicious! Another fast recipe too :)

  8. Michele

    Stephanie, this looks truly scrumptious and low cal, right? Ha! Love that you did not use canned cream- of-something soup! thanks for the recipe!

  9. Vicky

    Has anyone tried this recipe with the frozen tater tots? That’s all I have in freezer at the moment. Thanks!

  10. Diane

    Linda, that cream of whatever soup mix , do I have to heat it before adding to recipes, or just add it cold?

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