I finally found the trick to recreating Cracker Barrel’s famous Hashbrown Casserole at home. Many of the copycat recipes I found online are heavy on ingredients like eggs, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup. With some trial and error, this is the recipe I’ll be using going forward when the craving strikes.
Buttery, cheesy, crispy on top, tender inside, and with lots of flavor, just like the original version, this isn’t a wet and mushy casserole. The potatoes are firm—basically, strings of potatoes suspended in a casserole form, and they’re delicious.
The Trick To Making This Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole
I found that using frozen hashbrown potatoes, even after thawing, are easy to overcook and become soggy when baked as a casserole. Using refrigerated hashbrowns fixes that problem.
Refrigerated hashbrowns hold their shape and have a better texture—less powdery and wet, and won’t break apart when mixed. My grocery store carries them next to the refrigerated breakfast sausage. Two brands I recommend: Resers and Simply Potatoes.
Then, instead of pouring, spoon the hashbrown mixture into the baking dish to avoid weighing the potatoes down.
Preheat the oven to 400°F:
Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine the ingredients:
Combine the hashbrowns, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper in a large bowl. Gently stir with a silicone spatula to evenly incorporate the spices.
Add the condensed cream of chicken soup, butter, and onion, and stir to combine. Fold in the cheese until evenly distributed.
Bake the casserole:
Lightly spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish, being careful not to press down on the hashbrowns.
NOTE: I found that sprinkling cheese on top wasn’t necessary—many existing copycat recipes do, but there isn’t much of a cheese topping on the original version. Rather the cheese throughout gives it an orange-golden color and a crispness on top. Feel free to sprinkle cheese on top if you’d like.
Bake the casserole for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crisp. Serve warm.
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