Another delicious Cracker Barrel copycat recipe, this Cracker Barrel Potato Casserole is easy and quick enough for busy weeknights but delicious enough for special occasions.
Copycat Cheesy Cracker Barrel Potato Casserole Recipe
You know those delicious recipes you serve at a get-together and everyone wants the recipe… and then you share it and everyone goes, “That’s it?!”
This is one of those dishes.
This cheesy hashbrown potato casserole is so indulgent, delicious, creamy, cheesy and satisfying… yet it takes literally 5 minutes to prepare and all you have to do is:
- Stir together the ingredients
- Pour into a greased casserole dish
- Top with more cheese and melted butter and bake
Yup, that’s it.
The secret that makes this cheesy potato casserole more creamy and buttery than others is adding the butter at the end. This prevents the potatoes from soaking up the butter too quickly, and instead allows it to slowly bake into the recipe, allowing the sour cream enough time to soften the potatoes.
I’ve served this potato casserole as a indulgent brunch dish or a side dish – it’s perfect for everything from BBQ to Thanksgiving. No one is ever unhappy to find out that this delicious dish is on the menu!
You can use shredded or cubed hashbrowns to make this recipe. I developed mine using cubed, frozen hashbrowns because those are more readily available where I live.
I have made this recipe with canned cream of chicken soup and also by modifying my homemade cream of chicken soup, both with excellent results. I’ve added the instructions on how to make a homemade soup base in the recipe card notes. (Note that the recipe is changed from my original homemade cream of chicken soup to be thicker, to match more with the canned soup consistency.)
Variations for Cheesy Hashbrown Potato Casserole
We love this recipe so much – I’m always looking for an excuse to make it and have come up with some fun variations to keep it exciting and delicious. I’ve also made it for lactose-free and vegetarian guests:
- Taco-Style: use taco seasoning in place of the salt and pepper called for in the recipe and stir in cooked beef seasoned well with taco seasoning.
- Crunchy Topping: just like in our famous funeral potatoes, I love adding a crunchy topping of 2 cups corn flakes mixed with 1/2 cup melted butter before baking this cheesy hashbrown casserole
- Ranch Style: add a packet of ranch seasoning or two tablespoons of our homemade ranch seasoning to bring a zesty twist to this casserole
- With Chicken: add some cooked, chopped chicken to add some protein to this dish – you can season the chicken however you’d like.
- With Sausage: add chopped, cooked sausage to make this a filling breakfast option
- Vegetarian: swap out the cream of chicken soup for a cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup – the flavor won’t be exact but it will still be delicious!
- Lactose-Free: this dish will be slightly sweet so you may want to add more seasoning. Use 1 1/2 cups lactose-free sour cream and a very melty lactose-free cheese. In my experience, lactose-free cheese doesn’t get quite as melty as normal cheese so the additional sour cream is necessary.
Can I use fresh potatoes instead of hashbrowns in potato casserole? …Yes, you can use freshly chopped or shredded potatoes in this recipe but you need to remove some of the starch content by thoroughly rinsing the potatoes and then patting them dry. Place the potatoes in a colander and rinse for 3-4 minutes, stirring well or tossing with your hands. Dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. (If the starch is not reduced/removed, it will thicken and dry out your casserole.)
Can you freeze cheesy hashbrown potato casserole? Personally, I’ve found that freezing this recipe dries it out. I am tempted to try doubling the amount of cream of chicken soup and sour cream next time I try to freeze it to see if that helps, but I have not tried that yet so I can’t guarantee results. Since this recipe only takes a few minutes to prepare, for me it’s not really worth meal prepping and freezing it.
More Delicious Potato Recipes
- Authentic Irish Colcannon Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
- Creamy Dill Potatoes
- Crispy Hasselback Potatoes
- Southern Loaded Potato Skins
Cheesy Hashbrown Potato Casserole Ingredients
- Hashbrowns, thawed <– ensure that they are thawed completely before making the recipe as frozen will take longer to bake and change the consistency of the recipe
- Small Onion, diced
- Sour Cream
- Cream of Chicken Soup, not prepared
- Butter, melted
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Shredded Cheese <– use freshly grated cheese for best results as pre-shredded cheese contains additives to prevent clumping which will make the cheese drier
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: this recipe makes two 8″ x 8″ casserole dishes – one can be frozen, if desired, or you can make one 8″ x 16″ casserole dish.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
- 9″ x 13″ Casserole Dish <– I love these Pyrex dishes with fitted lids for easy transportation to parties or leftover storage
How to Make Cheesy Hashbrown Potato Casserole
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease your casserole dish and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the hashbrowns, onion, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper, and approximately 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese.
Stir together until fully combined and then fold out into the prepared casserole dish.
Top with remaining shredded cheese.
Pour the melted butter overtop of the cheese – do not stir in.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until cheese is melted and golden, and the butter is fully absorbed.
(You can turn the oven to broil for a couple minutes if you want the cheese more crunchy.)
Grab your free printable for Copycat Cracker Barrel Potato Casserole recipe:
- 8 cups hashbrowns, thawed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup cream of chicken soup, not prepared (approximately 1 small can)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease your casserole dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the hashbrowns, onion, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper, and approximately 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese.
- Stir together until fully combined and then fold out into the prepared casserole dish.
- Top with remaining shredded cheese.
- Pour the melted butter overtop of the cheese - do not stir in.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until cheese is melted and golden, and the butter is fully absorbed.
- (You can turn the oven to broil for a couple minutes if you want the cheese more crunchy.)
To replace the canned soup in this recipe, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then add 1 diced small onion and 2 sliced garlic cloves. Cook for 2 minutes, then add 1 1/2 cups cubed chicken and cook until chicken reaches 165F.
Add 1/4 cup flour and 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, and stir to coat the chicken. Add 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup milk. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 5 minutes.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 531Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 934mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
This is simply the best cheesy potato casserole recipe you will ever make – quick, easy and utterly delicious. I hope your family loves it as much as mine does!