The evolution of this recipe began when Reid cooked an entire meal for me for the very first time one ‘monthiversary’ (as we called them) senior year in high school. He made salad, steak, and this cheesy hashbrown casserole as the side.
I loved it so much he made sure to include his mom’s recipe (below) for the dish in his binder of recipes he took to college, and then I proceeded to make it for quite possibly every single AZX (Texas A&M service organization) potluck event we had for four years.
I began changing up the recipe most recently after I’d served it at a dinner with friends in California where one guest came up to Reid and I after the meal to let us know that she’s a vegetarian so she’s usually sad at group gatherings but loved the potatoes! We gave panicked looks at one another then silently agreed to take our secret that there was cream of chicken soup included to the grave… until now I guess. So, now I make it with cream of potato soup for potlucks and it can be vegetarian for less possible confusion.
Made it for the first time today with these recipe alterations for our Millhouse Friendsgiving luncheon and it came out delicious as always. I especially love using the potatoes O’Brien now.
cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe
ingredients + ritual
- Coat a 9×13 metal lasagna pan (or glass casserole dish) with Pam nonstick spray, especially the corners and sides.
- Dump in a thawed freezer bag of southern style hashbrown potatoes O’Brien and shake the pan to spread out evenly.
- Sprinkle some salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika, and cayenne over the potatoes.
- Combine sour cream, cream of whatever soup, and large bag of finely shredded cheddar cheese then spread out over the potatoes.
- Add some more paprika, because pretty. Also take note of our cute RV-themed potholder, thanks Aunt Maggi! 😉
- Crush handfuls of corn flakes over the cheesy mixture until your casserole is sufficiently topped.
- Melt a stick of salted butter for less than a minute in the microwave, then pour over the crushed corn flakes in a slow stream to distribute the butter love all around the topping.
- Bake at 355 degrees for 44 minutes, and if it’s not browned + bubbling enough then crank it up to 375 for a final 5 minute blast before running out the door to your potluck.
So good, didn’t even get a pic when I pulled it out of the oven until after the ladies had their way with it.