Make ahead, freezer friendly cheesy hashbrown casserole. Eat it right away or freeze for later.
I love cheesy hashbrown casserole. Actually, who am I kidding? I love any dish with potatoes. I would eat this casserole for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch… any time!
It’s so simple to make. Just stirring everything together, placing in a baking dish, and bake. That’s all there is to it.
The problem is.. it takes a long time to bake. If you need breakfast in a pinch, this wouldn’t be something that you would make.
I’ve solved that problem. I actually make a few batches of cheesy hashbrown casserole and then throw them in the freezer. Now I have the perfect breakfast, lunch, or dinner side dish whenever I need it.
You can heat it up in the microwave or oven.
I used aluminum pans for mine which worked great for heating in the oven but wouldn’t be a good choice if you want to microwave it later. I’d suggest lining your baking dish with foil before cooking the first time so that you can just pull the whole casserole out and wrap up for the freezer.
I also put cheese on mine for the first round. If you are trying to heat it up fast after frozen, it goes quicker if you stir it a couple times while heating. The cheese on top will get stirred in so you can skip the cheese topping until you get it almost reheated and then add the cheese.
Add some additional flavors to the casserole by including chopped peppers, cooked sausage, cooked ham, cooked bacon, sprinkling on chives, or add a little hot sauce to the mixture before cooking.
What is your favorite side dish to freeze or make ahead of time?
Want to make some other great side dishes? Check out these recipes!
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
- 1 30 oz bag frozen hashbrowns thawed
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 2 tbsp dried or fresh chopped onion can use more if you really like onions
- 16 oz sour cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese for topping
Place the bag of frozen hashbrowns in the refrigerator to thaw. You’ll want to do this a few hours before you plan to make the casserole. Your other option, if you need them to thaw faster, is to microwave them in a microwave safe bowl. To ensure there isn’t moisture present after microwaving, place the hashbrowns in a paper towel and squeeze out any moisture.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. If freezing overnight, spray an aluminum pan or line your baking dish with aluminum foil before spraying.
Combine the thawed hashbrowns, melted butter, cream of chicken soup, chopped onion, and sour cream in a large bowl. Add the 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and mix until combined.
Spoon the hashbrown mixture into your baking dish/aluminum pan and spread evenly. If you are serving immediately after cooking, place the 1/4 cup of extra cheddar cheese on top. If you are freezing for later, i’d skip this step and put it on when you reheat it.
Bake the casserole for 45 minutes or until cooked through and all of the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately, or if freezing, set aside to completely cool. Once cooled, wrap up in aluminum foil or place a lid on an aluminum pan and freeze until ready to use.
To reheat frozen casserole: If in an aluminum pan, preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook for about 30 minutes. I stir mine every 10 minutes once it’s able to be stirred. Once it’s almost done, you can spread it out evenly again and top with cheese to be melted in oven. If you used something other than aluminum to freeze your casserole, you can place on a microwave safe plate or container and microwave for approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring to ensure all of it is cooked evenly. You can then top with cheese and put back in microwave or finish in the oven using an oven safe container.
You can also used frozen diced potatoes for this casserole.
Want to add some extra flavor? Add things like peppers, cooked sausage, cooked ham, cooked bacon, or other flavor add-ins.