Copy Cat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole Recipe


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This is my favorite casserole ever! Copy Cat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown casserole needs just 5 minutes of prep and is absolutely cheesy, delicious and completely irresistible! The perfect breakfast casserole!

Serving spoon of Hashbrown Casserole in a white dish

The Hashbrowns, That’s Why

I love Cracker Barrel but the truth is… I only show up for the hashbrowns.  That’s it. Just the hashbrowns people.

My friend shared her version of that yummy, oh so creamy and cheesy easy Hashbrown Casserole with me and WOW!  Tender shredded hash browns in a rich and creamy cheese sauce, topped with more cheese and baked until hot and bubbly!

This is a perfect breakfast casserole for any holiday morning or just when you’re getting the family together for a delicious breakfast or brunch.  It also makes a perfect side dish for Crispy Oven Parmesan Chicken or even served alongside a Ranch 7 Layer Salad for lunch!

Close up of cheesy baked hashbrown casserole in a white casserole dish

Better Than the Original

There are lots of recipes out there for this cheesy casserole but this is the one I’ve found to be the closest! This hashbrown casserole is made with condensed cream of chicken soup.  I’ve also made it with cream of cheddar soup if you can find it.  Both work perfectly in this recipe! While I’ve had a version of hashbrown casserole without sour cream, I definitely prefer it with, it adds a little bit of creaminess and tang to the recipe.

Since this is a copy cat recipe, my list of ingredients is inevitably different than the original but the flavor is just like my favorite Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole (in fact, it’s even BETTER in my opinion)!  It’s super quick to prepare (5 minutes) and I literally cannot stop eating it. (Dinner, bedtime snack and then breakfast if there is any left)!

Cheesy hashbrown casserole on a stack of white plates.

Toppings

I like to top it with cheese to keep it close to the version I’ve had at Cracker Barrel but if you prefer a nice crunchy topping on your hashbrown casserole, this is also great with cornflakes.  Gently crush 2 cups of cornflakes and toss with 1/4 cup of melted butter, sprinkle over the casserole before baking.

Hashbrown Casserole
4.7 from 13 votes
Review Recipe

Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Holly
Course Casserole
Cuisine American
This is my favorite casserole ever! Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole needs just 5 minutes of prep and is absolutely cheesy, delicious and completely irresistible! The perfect breakfast casserole!

Ingredients

  • 32 oz frozen shredded hash browns defrosted
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 10 1/4 ounce can of cream of chicken soup (or cream of cheddar)
  • 1 pint of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 2 cups grated colby cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl reserving 1/2 cup of cheese for topping.
  3. Place in a greased 9×13 casserole dish and top with reserved cheese.
  4. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 555

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword hashbrown casserole
Note:  This recipe originally appeared on SpendWithPennies.com April, 2013.  Photos updated March, 2016.

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This is my favorite casserole ever! Copy Cat Cracker Barrel casserole needs just 5 minutes of prep and is absolutely cheesy, delicious and completely irresistible! The perfect breakfast casserole!

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

    1. I have only tried the recipe as written, but those sound like great additions. Let me know how it turns out Cynthia!

  1. Hi! I’m going to make this for a get together this weekend. I cannot wait to try it. I wanted to double check what the green herb in the picture is? It made the presentation look so pretty so I wanted to double check :)

  2. i made this yesterday, and it tasted great, but consistency was off. I followed the recipe as directed, but it came out very soupy, and the butter all pooled on top of the casserole. It was visually unappealing, but tasted great, any ideas what I did wrong? Thanks, Nila

      1. Can you recommend ingredient amounts if I am doubling the recipe? Should I double the ingredients exactly following your original recipe? 

  3. Oh My Goodness! This stuff is almost too good to share! I’m not one to change recipes, but sometimes you gotta go with what you got. I was out of colby and had to settle for extra sharp cheddar. When my husby tasted it, he asked if I had been to Cracker Barrel that day and brought home some for him to eat. And this why I made the hash brown casserole, cause every time we go there to eat he always orders it. Thanks for making me a shero today. But actually YOU are the shero!

  4. I have not made this yet, Saturday is breakfast day.  I was wondering if you dilute the soup or not.

  5. My family loved it. I’ve made this recipe 2 times, for Christmas breakfast and Easter brunch. It’s a keeper. Very easy to make.

  6. Can also use chopped green peppers and pimentos. Crush Ritz crackers and sprinkle on top. Pour little bit melted butter on top.

  7. I have been making this recipe for many years, as well. When someone gave it to me it was printed out with exact product names. We’re talking many years back!
    Cheddar cheese, sour cream, sauteed onions and diced hash browns. Some melted butter was added with the sour cream when adding all ingredients into large bowl.

    The topping was crushed potato chips with sour cream and chive.
    For a long time now, I’ve only been able to purchase Sour cream with onion potato chips.

    Oddly enough, I made these for dinner this evening. Eight kiddos for dinner and a sleep over.
    Big appetites, as well. Most everyone had second helpings. There was one square left. It’s a winner.. everyone….just go with it and, enjoy!

  8. I’m not so sure about this recipe. The quantities of fats seemed too high. There’s comfort food and then there’s comfort food! But I typically cook a recipe as instructed the first time so if there’s any problems, it’s not from me improvising. (I only amend sugar — usually cut in half, most recipes are overly sweet and tripling any garlic called for.)

    I did use fresh potatoes since that’s all I had. Took a ridiculous amount of time to bake. But the pan is positively dripping with oil. The basic flavors are great but I’m suspecting I could have cut the butter and sour cream by a hefty margin. The soup is adding the most complexity to the flavor.

    I’m not putting a rating on this because I’m not sure how it turned out but I always get a bit anxious about flubbing a new recipe. I hate wasting the money ruining something.

    1. Definitely using fresh potatoes will increase the cook time, the hash brown potatoes called for in the recipe are already soft.

      Because the dish cooked much longer than stated in the recipe, this can cause the cheeses to seize up releasing oil.
      You can find more information on cooking cheese here.

  9. After reading all the comments, I’d say this is one of the most forgiving recipes..as you can add to or take a way and it still turns out beautifully. With that said, here is what I did. I prepared it last night with refigerated hash browns (2 packages), used 1/4c of unsalted butter with 1 onion chopped and browned onion. Used Cream of mushroom soup (although ANY cream soup does work) I did add sour cream, but found the only thing I had on hand was sour cream/with chives. Hey…there’s a snow storm going on out there!!! I’m using what I have, because I know this recipe is never a failure! I also mixed up Motzerella cheese (again. what I had on hand) and added corn flakes mixed with a little melted butter sprinkled on top for a little crunch. Took out this morning for 30 minutes, before putting it in the oven @ 350 for an hour. Will add Motzerella cheese 15 minutes before taking it out. NOTE: I have made this recipe as written before..many times…it’s a great recipe!!! But sometimes you just have to use what’s at hand and go with it!!! Thank you for yet another winning recipe Holly (I follow you daily!)

    1. I am so glad you were able to make this recipe with what you had on hand Ann! I agree this recipe is extremely flexible and forgiving! There are so many ways to change it up, and they are all yummy way too!

  10. Delicious. The family gobbled it up. Interesting tho….I forgot the butter in the microwave and didn’t add it. Still delish. Less fat too. 

  11. Have not made this recipe yet but plan to for a family New Year get together. Do you think yogurt for sour cream substitute would work?  I’m thinking of adding zucchini as well. 

  12. I used whatever cheese
    I had on hand,the added more onions, added chopped green peppers and some chopped hot banana peppers.

  13. Very similar, if not identical to what we call Funeral Potatoes, because they always show up at luncheons following a funeral, but also a lot of other church and family gatherings. They are made with regular or shredded hash browns. Personally, I prefer the shredded ones. I’m going to try a combo of the Colby & Cheddar cheese next time. P.S. we put crushed corn flakes on top, about the last 15-20 min. of baking.

    1. I made this recipe and added vegan ground beef and it was delicious. Plan on making it without meat for Thanksgiving brunch. This is a five star recipe.

  14. Some of the comments here made me chuckle. Your recipe is fairly close, but not the Cracker Barrel recipe. More funny is some that say in the comments that they got the recipe from a Cracker Barrel employee and it’s even more off (like saying it’s cheddar and not colby or equal salt and pepper). I work at Cracker Barrel and I make the hashbrown casserole every… single.. day.

    Here it is…. I’ll tell you EXACTLY what is in it and how it’s made. I’ll even give you the restaurant quantities and you can figure it out from there:

    6 pounds of shredded frozen potatoes
    2 pounds 2 oz. of COLBY shredded cheese (*NO* cheddar as someone suggested)
    1 restaurant size can of cream of chicken soup **see notes below
    12 ounces of diced onions
    1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
    1 tablespoon salt

    Notes: While I sit here, I can’t think of how many ounces the can of soup is. It’s a big one. However, I think your recipe above of 1 can of cream of chicken soup with a 32 oz bag of frozen hash browns is about right. I would stick with what you have.

    There is NO… sour cream… the cheese IS colby (Cracker barrel only uses cheddar on burgers.. no shreds in the store at all). There is NO butter involved.

    This is the Cracker Barrel way — mix the soup, onions, cheese, salt and pepper together in a big mixer for 1 minute. You add the FROZEN shredded potatoes to it. Mix again for 1 minute. It’s portioned out into 4 pound pans that were sprayed with a food release. There is NO extra cheese topped on it. NONE. It is then baked in a 350 degree convection oven for 30 minutes.

    it’s that simple. None of this other fuss.

    1. This is more of a creamy texture like sour cream. While I haven’t tried it, you could trying adding a little bit of sour cream with some bouillon added in for flavor.

    2. I just tried this recipe with leftover white chicken gravy. I didn’t add the pepper because there was plenty in the gravy. I also substituted 1 Tablespoon dried Minced Onion for the fresh onion. I only used 8oz of Light Sour Cream. It came out so good and moist! The gravy was leftover from a catered meal we had at church so I don’t have a recipe for it. I made this recipe again the same day using Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup and it was drier like it needed milk or something. Hope that helps.

  15. HELP! Need help immediately@

    Want to make this for company at Brunch in the morning.

    The recipe doesn’t say 1 can of CONDENSED chicken soup (such as Campbell’s), it says “chicken soup.” So technically that means a can of prepared soup, not condensed.

    But since so MANY recipes call for a can of condensed soup, and because it seems actual soup might make this recipe too wet, I’m wondering if it MEANS condensed chicken soup (not reconstituted). Can someone who has made this recipe please clarify this for me… like NOW, lol?

    THANKS!

  16. This is a great recipe I have been making it for years. We have always called it church potatoes. We use cheddar cheese with try it with the colby. I make this every Easter it goes great with ham and candied yams. My family can never wait till Easter to have it. Never thought to make it for breakfast what a great brunch idea .

  17. Why doesn’t anyone publish a recipe w? raw potatoes? I grow a bushel+ of beautiful red potatoes and I would dove to find out how to grate and use in these recipes

    1. You could certainly use fresh potatoes in this recipe. They will take slightly longer to cook so I would suggest shredding and slightly steaming them before adding them to this recipe.

  18. Could this be made with the cubed frozen potatoes? I wanna make this and go for a cheese potatoe comfort food type of deal , I prefer whole over hash, do you think it would work ok with this ?

  19. Thank you! I’ve been reading many recipes for cheesy potato casserole, trying to find one that used the ingredients I have and didn’t have too many steps. I was worried about only having minced onions (dried but the tip in the comments about using French Onion dip instead of plain sour cream sounds like a solution to both that and potential blandness. (Now to remember to make onion dip in advance!)
    I have a family holiday party this weekend and I’m not known for my cooking skills. An aunt on the other side of my family is famous for her “cheesy taters,” but … different side and different approach. Again, thanks!

  20. I would love to make this but it’s just my husband and I and we would be eating on this all week. Can it be frozen? That way I could make half and freeze the other half.

  21. oh my…had friends over for chili, crock-pot applesauce, and your potato casserole. They all LOVED the potatoes! Everyone had seconds! Thanks, Lori

  22. I”e been making this for years since a trip to the states, but I top mine with cornflakes and melted butter for a bit of crunch. Is sooooooooo tasty.

  23. Spend with Pennies:

    Girl, this is the recipe right here. I like in the instructions you say to thaw the hash browns. I think that is the trick so that they are crunchy. And, I sauteed my diced onions until they started to brown a little and added them to the mixture once they cooled.

    My family devoured both pans! #aKeeper

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. If you do try it, you may need to increase the cooking time to ensure the potatoes are fully cooked (or pre cook them).

  24. This recipe caught my eye on Pinterest because it is “gluten free”. NOT so unless you are certain to use gluten free soup. Many brands of canned soup contain gluten. Be sure to read can labels and purchase an appropriate gluten free product. We always read labels as we have a family member with Celiac Disease but other people may not be as particular. This sounds like a great recipe but should not be labeled as “gluten free” unless poster identifies gluten free soup brands or include a disclaimer stating the presence of gluten in some canned products. Thank you.

    1. Since I don’t follow a gluten free lifestyle, I do not label any of my recipes as gluten free. If you are seeing that tag on Pinterest, it was auto-generated by Pinterest and unfortunately is out of my control.

      I agree, if you follow a specific way of eating it is always important to read labels.

  25. Do you think this could be prepped/fully mixed and assembled and placed in the fridge the night before? I am traveling a ways and would want to make it as fresh as possible without taking over someone’s kitchen. I feel like nothing would get “soggy”… maybe the frozen hashbrowns would be an issue? Has anyone tried?

    1. It would be just fine prepped ahead of time. You might need to adjust the cooking time slightly longer if the dish is cold.

    2. My family DEMANDS I make this for every holiday (New Years, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas) so I have made this up the night before and put it in the dish. The next day I set it out on the counter and let it come to room temp while I put everything else together and it comes out perfectly every time. And never lasts to the next day. 

    1. I worked at Cracker Barrel for 8 years and we used sour cream and Colby cheese. Sometimes if we ran out of Colby we were permitted to use sharp cheddar. But there was always sour cream in ours. But I’ve heard some restaurants cut it out to save money. If no one notices then it’s no big deal I guess!

      1. So would you just omit the sour cream all together ? Or replace with something else? Personally I am trying to keep the fat and carbs on a low even though this recipe we probably should count carbs lol . I would rather keep sour cream out entirely :)

        1. You can substitute plain greek yogurt for the sour cream, I never use sour cream anymore, Fage brand yogurt is thick like sour cream too. :)

  26. Hi, I make this in the crock pot for potluck at my work, They rave about it and I have to make it all polucks,

    I layer my ingredients and cook on low for 4hrs

    no sour cream in mine,\

    onions
    frozen hash browns (the cube shaped ones)
    pour soup on top of hash browns and spread evenly
    sprinkle cheese on top.
    salt and pepper

    sometimes I put sliced sausage, ham or even ground beef after the onions.

    1. This recipe might not fit in an 8×8 dish. When baking this recipe you’re looking for the cheese to be melted and the center of the casserole to be hot and bubbly so you can certainly use that as guide.

  27. I’ve always made the hashbrown casserole with cornflake topping. With this recipe… Zero leftovers with 4 hungry people.

  28. Do you think this would be good using my crockpot instead? I’d rather not heat up my oven during the summer.

    1. I haven’t made this recipe in a slow cooker before but I do think it would work. I would suggest cooking it at the lowest temperature and keeping an eye on it as dairy can sometimes curdle or separate at higher temperatures.

  29. In my neck of the woods we call these “Funeral Potatoes”. Probably because they are so easy to make and take to a funeral meal. Have been making them for years. I love the idea of using the french onion dip in them and will try that next time I make them.

  30. Left a question a while back, but guess I’ll find out the answer myself, was wondering if it could be made in a slow cooker, my pot luck is tomorrow, guess I’ll make it and find out myself.

    Joyce

    1. Sorry Joyce, I somehow missed your first comment. I haven’t tried this recipe in the slow cooker so I can’t say for sure. I would suggest cooking it on low in the slow cooker as dairy can sometimes separate if the temperature is too high. I would love to hear how it works out for you.

      Enjoy!!

  31. When I saw this on pinterest it was labeled gluten free. There is wheat in cream of chicken soup. There are recipes out there for gluten free cream of chicken soup that could very easily be substituted.

    1. I was unaware that Pinterest had created that label for this recipe. That’s a great tip, thank you Brittney.

  32. Can this be made in a crock pot I am thinking it would be a great pot luck item, maybe add some diced ham to it.

    1. I haven’t tried it in the slow cooker before. If you do try it, just be sure to cook only on low. Dairy tends to separate and often curdle if left in the slow cooker too long. I’d love to hear how it works out for you!

  33. What a delicious recipe with all yummy potatoes. I could eat potatoes every day. My favorite. And all this colby cheese in it. Wow, so yummy! Pinned it:)

    1. yes, or increase cooking time. i found out from experience that sometimes they don’t cook all the way….same with the onion. Probably depends on how fine you chop your onion, though.
      I am so excited to try a new version from my recipe, which is the one posted. Now, will try adding french onion dip, green onions instead, can of jalapenos, bacon, and ham!! And, I LOVE Colby cheese. That is what I always use, even in my tacos!

      1. Colby cheese rocks or even colby jack. It is just a better tasting cheese than cheddar! I am a chef and I use colby in my mac and cheese and in my shrimp and grits!

  34. Can you mix it up the night before and put it in the refrigerator over night, then bake the next morning?

    1. I think that would work just fine. I would take it out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking and just check the time. If it’s still chilled when it goes into the oven, it may need a little extra time.

  35. I make this all the time, it is the same recipe that Timberlodge Steakhouse has,i know because I made it there for a long time.

  36. This looks amazing and I cannot wait to try it! However, I’m going to make it for my boyfriend and he was curious if we could use fresh hash browns? Do you know how the cooking time would change? He’s willing to help shred the potatoes, so I’m willing to sacrifice the simplicity of this recipe for him.

    1. I haven’t tried it that way but from what I’ve read perviously, the potatoes would have to be boiled, cooled and then shredded. I can’t say for sure either way as I haven’t tried it but I would love to hear how it works out for you if you do!

    2. I think you may have just to cook it longer covered at first with fresh potatoes as the frozen are par cooked

    3. Hi Donna , I made my own hash browns n yes it does make a difference in the baking time I had to bake it for like an hour n 5/10 min instead of 45 min n I used milk instead of sour cream n we loved it :) 

  37. I make something similar- but I add 1 can of diced green chiles, about 1/2 packet of dry taco seasoning and replace the diced onion with Green onion. I then bake it about an hour because I like it a little crispier ( bake for the first half hour covered in foil, remove the last 1/2 hour. A great substitute for the defrosted hash browns is “Simply Potatoes” Southwest style hash browns- in the refrigerated aisle. (Use 1 1/2 bags per 9″ x 13″ casserole) they have bell peppers and onions in them already. With the diced green chiles and taco seasoning it gives the potatoes a nice kick. I also add about 1 to 1/2 cups cooked diced ham to make my husband happy. Try it!

    1. I love the simply potato products the southwestern are sure spicy I mix them half with plain hash brown cause I am a whimpy mexican haha thanks Terri –I also made this according to direction and it is so yummy

  38. I made this for our fourth of July picnic today and it was well received for the most part – I found it to be a liittle bland but I don’t eat a cracker barrel for that same reason. Being in southern Louisiana I like food to have a little more pop. The basic recipe is good but I think next time I will add bacon, jalapeños and maybe some ranch mix. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. All of those sound wonderful. Please let us know what you add in and how it is! I love the idea of bacon and jalapeño in there!

      1. Holly, My sister had a store that also served hot food at lunch. Instead of plain sour cream, she would use that French Onion Dip that is also in the refrigerated case. It bumped it up a notch without being overpowering. She also used cheddar cheese. Never tried it with the Colby, but I will give that a try. Thanks!!

        1. Oh wow!!! This recipe combined with french onion dip is amazing! Definitely worth a try and I will be making this again sometime! Thank you Holly and Dianne for sharing!

      2. Can I make this ahead of time and heated up OR can I put it all together and chill overnight in frig and then cook in morning?

        1. I would suggest chilling it overnight and then baking it. You may need to add a little bit of extra time if it is cold out of the fridge.

  39. Just a little helpful hint! I work at Cracker Barrel and we don’t put sour cream in it. We do however add the same amount of salt as pepper!

  40. Your recipe is almost exactly like the one a cracker barrel chef gave to me with the exception of the cheese (sharp cheddar). I love Colby cheese so I can’t wait to try your version. I use the Hungry Jack hashbrown’s in the little cartons you find in the boxed food isle at the grocery store. They have a cheesy version of the potatoes too!