Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole is a classic dish that has won many’s hearts and taste buds. Inspired by the home-style cooking at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, this casserole is a comforting and irresistible delight.
With its creamy texture, cheesy goodness, and the perfect balance of flavors, it’s no wonder this dish has become a staple on breakfast and brunch tables. Made with simple ingredients like hashbrowns, onions, cream of chicken soup, and a generous helping of Colby Jack cheese, this casserole is a crowd-pleaser that brings warmth and nostalgia to any gathering.
Whether served as a side dish or the meal’s star, the Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole is sure to satisfy and leave everyone coming back for seconds.
Ingredients Of Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole
Each ingredient plays a crucial role in creating the distinct flavor and texture of the Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole, resulting in a deliciously creamy and cheesy dish that many love.
Frozen hashbrowns are pre-shredded or diced potatoes that have been blanched and then frozen. They provide convenience and a consistent texture to the casserole, ensuring each bite has that familiar shredded potato goodness.
Diced onion adds depth of flavor and a touch of sweetness to the casserole. When cooked, onions become soft and aromatic, infusing the dish with their savory essence and balancing out the richness of the other ingredients.
Cream of Chicken Soup
Cream of chicken soup is a condensed soup that adds creaminess, richness, and a subtle chicken flavor to the casserole. It acts as a binding agent, helping to hold the ingredients together and creating a luscious and cohesive texture.
Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
Colby Jack cheese is a mild and creamy cheese made from a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack. It melts beautifully when shredded, creating gooey, cheesy pockets throughout the casserole. Its rich and slightly tangy flavor adds depth and indulgence to the dish.
Melted butter serves multiple purposes in the casserole. It adds richness and a velvety mouthfeel, making the dish more luxurious. The butter also helps to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients, adding a subtle nuttiness that complements the creamy and cheesy components.
Salt and Black Pepper
These essential seasonings provide a balanced and well-rounded flavor profile to the casserole. Salt enhances the taste of the other ingredients, while black pepper adds subtle warmth and depth. Together, they ensure that the dish is properly seasoned and deliciously savory.
Tips To Make Tasty Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole
- Thaw the hashbrowns completely before using them to ensure even cooking and a consistent texture.
- Sauté the diced onions before adding them to the casserole for enhanced flavor and a softer texture.
- Substitute half of the melted butter with sour cream or Greek yogurt for extra richness.
- Experiment with different seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, or dried herbs to add depth and complexity to the flavor.
- Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after baking to set and cool slightly before serving for easier slicing and better texture.
Different Toppings For Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole
Some delicious toppings to consider for your Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole include a blend of shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan cheeses, a crispy cornflake topping, sliced jalapeños for a spicy kick, a breadcrumb mixture with fresh herbs, and crumbled bacon for added smokiness and flavor.
These toppings can enhance the taste and texture of the casserole, providing a delightful and customized experience for your taste buds. Get creative and try different combinations to find your favorite topping for this delicious dish.
Which Cheese Is To Be Used In This Recipe?
The recipe calls for shredded Colby Jack cheese, a combination of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses. However, you can experiment with different cheese options based on your preferences.
Some good alternatives include shredded cheddar cheese, a blend of cheddar and mozzarella, or even a sharp or smoked cheese for a bolder flavor. Feel free to customize and experiment with different cheeses to create your perfect Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole.
Can I Make Hashbrown Casserole A Day Before?
Yes, you can make hashbrown casserole the day before. Prepare the casserole as instructed, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, simply bake it according to the recipe instructions. This make-ahead option allows the flavors to develop and saves you time on the day of serving.
How To Store Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole?
- Once cooled, transfer the leftover casserole to an airtight container or cover the baking dish tightly with foil.
- Store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days to maintain its freshness.
- Label the container with the date to keep track of its shelf life.
- Avoid freezing the casserole; the texture may change upon thawing and reheating.
What Is The Best Way To Reheat Hashbrown Casserole?
The best way to reheat hashbrown casserole is in the oven, which helps retain the original texture and flavors. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius), place the casserole in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until heated.
For a faster option, the microwave can be used by transferring portions onto a microwave-safe plate, covering, and heating in 1-2 minute intervals until thoroughly heated.
Another alternative is using an air fryer by preheating it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius), placing the casserole in the air fryer basket, and cooking for about 5-7 minutes or until heated and crispy on top.
What To Serve With Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole?
You can serve Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole as a main or a side dish, and your family will surely enjoy it. But here are some of the favorite dishes to serve with this hashbrown casserole.
- Grilled or roasted meats like chicken, beef, or turkey.
- Fresh green salads with a tangy vinaigrette dressing to balance the richness of the casserole.
- Steamed vegetables like broccoli or asparagus for a healthy and well-rounded meal.
- Breakfast or brunch items such as scrambled eggs, bacon, or sausage to create a complete morning spread.
Is Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole Healthy?
While Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole is undoubtedly delicious, it is not considered a health-conscious dish. It typically contains ingredients like cream of chicken soup, cheese, and butter, contributing to its rich and indulgent taste. The casserole is relatively high in calories, fat, and sodium.
However, you can modify it by using low-sodium ingredients, reduced-fat cheese, or more vegetables to make it slightly healthier. It’s best enjoyed in moderation as an occasional treat rather than a regular dietary staple.
Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole Recipe
- Large mixing bowl
- Baking dish (greased)
- Mixing spatula
- 1 pound thawed frozen hashbrowns
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 4 oz shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Grease a baking dish lightly and set it aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the thawed hashbrowns, diced onion, cream of chicken soup, shredded Colby Jack cheese, melted butter, salt, and black pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Spread the mixture lightly and evenly in the greased baking dish, ensuring it is distributed in an even layer.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sides of the casserole turn golden brown.
- Once baked, remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to settle and the casserole to set.
- Serve the Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole as a side dish or part of a breakfast spread. It pairs well with various dishes and is a delicious addition to any meal.
- Enjoy your homemade Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole!
- For a crispy texture, sprinkle crushed cornflakes or breadcrumbs on top of the casserole before baking.
- Add a dash of hot sauce or sprinkle some red pepper flakes into the mixture to add heat.
- For a vegetarian version, substitute cream of mushroom or celery soup for the cream of chicken soup.
- You can use mild cheddar cheese instead of Colby Jack if you prefer a milder flavor.
- Double the ingredients and use a larger baking dish to make a larger batch for a crowd. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- For added flavor and variety, feel free to customize the recipe with additional ingredients such as cooked bacon, diced bell peppers, or chopped green chilies.
Nutritional Facts (per serving, based on 6 servings)
- Calories: 305
- Total Fat: 19g
- Saturated Fat: 11g
- Trans Fat: 0.5g
- Cholesterol: 50mg
- Sodium: 730mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 25g
- Dietary Fiber: 2g
- Sugars: 2g
- Protein: 9g