April 16, 2019

Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole

A creamy, cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe made with French onion dip instead of sour cream that’s even better than Cracker Barrel’s!


Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole | A creamy, cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe made with French onion dip instead of sour cream that’s even better than Cracker Barrel’s!

A few years ago I decided to make a big Christmas dinner for some friends of ours who’d had a rough couple of months to try to make things easier for them during the holidays.

Side note: if you’re ever looking for a way to help someone out at Christmas, cooking a meal is a great idea because receiving food never feels like taking a hand-out which can be hard for hardworking, proud folks.

I made the typical Southern Christmas dinner of baked ham, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, etc. and was looking for one more casserole-type dish that I could make because they’re just so easy to travel with and reheat.

Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole | A creamy, cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe made with French onion dip instead of sour cream that’s even better than Cracker Barrel’s!

I decided I wanted to make a hashbrown casserole and realized I’d never actually made one before! Which seems odd since it just seems like something everybody ought to know how to make!

I looked through a few cookbooks and on some of my favorite recipe blogs to learn the basics: frozen hashbrowns, cream of something soup, sour cream and cheese. Some recipes called for onion and some didn’t.

I wanted to add onions to mine but I knew not everyone likes them so I had an idea… I decided to use cream of onion soup (which wasn’t rocket science) but I also decided to use French onion dip instead of sour cream!

Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole | A creamy, cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe made with French onion dip instead of sour cream that’s even better than Cracker Barrel’s!

The French onion dip is my secret weapon for a more flavorful casserole! French onion dip is just sour cream, onions, herbs and spices which is so much more flavorful than plain sour cream!

I pretty-much doubled everything I made that day to keep half for our own Christmas dinner and was pretty excited to try the hashbrown casserole since I’d never made one before. And we loved it!

It’s very much like the Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole but without the diced onion. It’s super creamy and cheesy and has the best combination of flavors!

Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole | A creamy, cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe made with French onion dip instead of sour cream that’s even better than Cracker Barrel’s!

To make this super easy and super tasty hashbrown casserole, all you'll need are the following ingredients:
  • Frozen hashbrown potatoes
  • Cream of onion soup
  • French onion dip
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Seasonings
  • Melted butter

Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole | A creamy, cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe made with French onion dip instead of sour cream that’s even better than Cracker Barrel’s!

I’ll mention this in the recipe instructions below but I want to share with you a tip I’ve learned making this over the years since that first time. You want to defrost the frozen hashbrown potatoes just enough that the shreds loosen up and can be stirred into the other ingredients but not so much that they become too mushy.

And to illustrate that, you can see that I didn’t do that in this batch because the potatoes didn’t hold their shape enough! I set out to cook this for y’all then remembered an appointment I had forgotten about and had to throw everything in the fridge and leave!

I didn’t get to make this until the next day and by then the hashbrowns had set in the fridge and gotten somewhat mushy. So, this will be one of those do as I say, not as I do recipes! It tastes the same – and is still delicious! – but the texture isn’t as good.

Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole | A creamy, cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe made with French onion dip instead of sour cream that’s even better than Cracker Barrel’s!


Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole


Yield: 16-18 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 50 Mtotal time: 60 M
A creamy, cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe made with French onion dip instead of sour cream that’s even better than Cracker Barrel’s!

ingredients:

  • 1 30-oz bag frozen hashbrown potatoes
  • 1 can cream of onion soup
  • 1 pint French onion dip (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 8-oz block cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

instructions:

How to cook Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole

  1. Allow hashbrowns to defrost just long enough to loosen the shreds so that the potatoes can be stirred into the other ingredients. When I’ve let them completely defrost they tend to break up too much when stirred (such as in the pictures above!).
  2. Shred cheese then set aside about one cup to top the casserole with before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine cream of onion soup, French onion dip, salt, garlic powder and pepper in a large mixing bowl then stir well. Add cheese (reserving 1 cup for later) and potatoes then gently fold to combine.
  4. Spoon mixture into a greased 13x9 casserole dish then top with remaining cheese. Drizzle melted butter over cheese then bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly around the edges. Enjoy!

NOTES:

Use any refrigerated, sour cream based French onion dip such as Dean’s, Heluva Good or Aldi’s (the Aldi brand one is my favorite!)
You can substitute sour cream for the French onion dip if needed (maybe consider adding a little extra seasoning if so).
Substitute cream of cheddar or cream of chicken soup if desired.
hash brown, hashbrown, casserole, cracker barrel, french onion, sour cream, cheese, potatoes, easy, recipe, how to, best
Created using The Recipes Generator


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This recipe was shared at the Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday!

Secret Ingredient Hashbrown Casserole | A creamy, cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe made with French onion dip instead of sour cream that’s even better than Cracker Barrel’s!


17 comments:

  1. Do you think this will work if I leave out the cheese?

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    Replies
    1. Why would you want to leave out the cheese.....??

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    2. I think so, it just might not be as pretty on top ;)

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  2. would like to make this ahead for easter. do you think this would freeze well?

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    Replies
    1. I tend to not like potato dishes after they've been frozen but since this starts with frozen hashbrowns I don't see why not!

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  3. Sounds yummy, I'll have to give it a try!

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  4. What a genius idea! I'll bet that adds great flavor. I can't wait to try it!

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  5. What a genius idea! I'll bet that adds great flavor. I can't wait to try it!

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  6. I made these yesterday for an early Easter dinner and they were delicious!!!

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  7. Made this yesterday for Easter dinner and it was a huge hit! Delicious!

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  8. Made this yesterday for Mother's day it turned out good.

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  9. We made this 2 nights ago....OUTSTANDING!

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  10. Yum! I bet the French onion dip added so much flavor. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  11. I have always used French Onion Dip! Sour Cream and Chive dip is also good! I prefer sharp cheddar cheese, too. It just seems like it gives it some extra zip!

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  12. my grocery store doesn't carry cream of onion soup; is there a substitute I could use?

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  13. I made this today and OMG it is seriously delicious! My only addition was additional cooking time of approximately 20 extra mins. I started about 55 mins and increased by 10 min increments until the middle looks golden and bubbly like the sides. My oven may not cook as hot as others though so cooks use your judgement. Hubby and I think we could add diced ham and this would be a perfect week night casserole. My goal was a great side dish for Thanksgiving and this is definitely going to be on the menu!

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  14. I love the diced onion on the old school recipe. Would it be too much if I added some to this?

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy