I rather hope this recipe becomes an internet sensation. Because I know I have searched and searched through websites, engines, magazines and books looking for an old-fashioned style hash brown casserole that doesn’t use canned soup. I cannot abide canned soup, so I finally took it upon myself to come up with a can-free casserole. I don’t know why I was so stymied, going without the soup is pretty darn easy. Okay, maybe I stretch the word homemade a bit – I do use frozen hash browns, but as long as they are nothing but potatoes, I am fine with this major timesaver.
I’ve added all the flavors that are reminiscent of southern cooking to me. Chopped green onions, lots of parsley and a hit of paprika in tribute to my grandmother’s garnishing ways, a touch of bacon, and of course pimentos and cheddar cheese. This can be made ahead and popped in the oven to be hot and ready for a family breakfast or brunch. It is rustic and homey, but I happily serve it with my most elegant silver on a holiday table. And sure, it’s great for dinner, too.
The casserole is adapatable too. You could sprinkle some cheese over the top before baking, though I think that leaves an unappealing crust. Swap out the pimentos for green chiles and use Monterrey jack cheese. Leave out the bacon or use ham instead – or country ham.
- 30 ounce bag frozen, shredded hash browns, thawed (potato only)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 8 – 10 green onions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, rinsed and well drained
- 6 strips bacon, cooked and finely chopped
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Drain the potatoes fully in a colander.
- Melt the butter over medium high heat in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir until combined and you have a thick paste. Whisk in the milk and chicken broth and cook until smooth and bubbling and any floury taste is gone. Whisk in the mustard, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg. Set aside to cool.
- Toss the thawed potatoes with the green onions, parsley, pimentos, bacon and cheese together in a large bowl until well mixed. Stir the sour cream into the cooled sauce base. The sauce base will be thick, just keep stirring until it is smooth and combined and add to the potatoes. Stir until everything is combined and evenly distributed. Spoon the hash browns into a well-greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish.
- At this point, the dish can be covered and refrigerated 8 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350° and bake, covered with foil, until heated through and bubbly, about an hour.