This hash brown casserole is a rich combination of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and condensed cream of celery soup. A homemade sauce may be used instead of the condensed soup (see below).
The casserole may be altered to suit your taste. Saute some diced celery with the onion or add some bell pepper or green onions to the potatoes. Or omit the onion altogether. Cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken may be substituted for the cream of celery.
If you prefer hash browns with the classic sour cream sauce mixture, take a look at this recipe for a hash brown casserole with sour cream and cheese, or try this recipe for "heavenly" hash browns.
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup (see homemade option, below)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 small package (3 ounces) cream cheese
- 4 cups frozen (thawed) or refrigerated hash brown potatoes
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
- In a saucepan, saute onion in butter slowly until tender. Add the condensed soup, milk, and cream cheese; cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until smooth and bubbly.
- Combine the potatoes and onions in a large bowl and then add the soup mixture. Stir gently to blend the ingredients thoroughly.
- Spoon the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread.
- Cover the baking dish tightly foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Remove foil and top with the shredded cheese.
- Return to oven and continue baking until the cheese is melted and the casserole is lightly browned.
How to Thaw Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes
To thaw frozen hash brown potatoes in the microwave oven, spread them out in a single layer in a microwave-safe baking dish (you might have to do this in batches). Microwave on 100% power for about 30 seconds for each cup of potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to paper towels and pat dry before using them in the recipe.
Alternatively, the potatoes may be thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Spread them out in a container in a shallow layer. Cover and refrigerate until thawed.
Homemade Condensed Soup Replacement
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of finely chopped celery and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 4 tablespoons of flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add 1 cup of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of milk. Cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Omit the condensed soup and add this sauce mixture to the recipe along with the 1/3 cup of milk and the cream cheese.