hash brown casserole on table

Easy Hash Brown Casserole (Gluten Free)


Our make-ahead Easy Hash Brown Casserole makes this traditional holiday side dish a little bit healthier by making it from scratch and leaving out the canned cream of soup. It comes together quickly but is creamy and comforting as always!

hash brown casserole on table

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Burgers’ Smokehouse, but all opinions are our own.

The Story Behind Our Easy Hash Brown Casserole

My mother-in-law passed away a few years ago, but she and I shared a love of cooking and cookbooks. She told me a few weeks before she went to be with the Lord that she was really excited about the cookbook I was writing at the time and hoped to be able to see it. Sadly, she did not. However, before she died, she gave me something I will always treasure–all of her recipes in one hand-typed cookbook.

One of those treasured recipes is her Hash Brown Casserole. My husband and I always looked forward to Easter and Thanksgiving meals at his parents’ house, which had to include that decadent side dish from the 50s era. Man, is it good!

How to Make Hash Brown Casserole from Scratch

I decided to bring the spirit of my MIL’s recipe into the 2000’s by making it from scratch and adding the best bacon on earth–Burgers’ Smokehouse Bacon. These upgrades left my co-blogger, Polly, declaring it “the best hash brown casserole I’ve ever had.”

hash brown casserole on table

The Burgers’ bacon, plus the homemade cream of chicken soup, is really what takes this casserole to a whole new level. My favorite Burgers’ bacon options are their Applewood Smoked Bacon and their Uncured Country Bacon.

Hy-Vee and several other grocery store chains carry Burgers’ products all over the nation at a very affordable price. Or you can order their bacon online here.

By making this hash brown casserole from scratch, I was able to leave out the canned cream of chicken soup, which contains icky additives and ingredients I can’t pronounce. I also made the casserole gluten-free for those guests avoiding gluten (hi, that’s me). Let me assure you, this homemade Hash Brown Casserole still screams “creamy, cheesy comfort food”.

hash brown casserole on table

Here’s the rundown of how this hash brown casserole recipe comes together:

  1. Saute onions and garlic in a little butter to build flavor.
  2. Stir in a mixture of chicken broth, half and half (or milk), cornstarch, and seasonings to create a thick sauce. Then, stir in a little more butter…because why not?!
  3. Combine the hash browns, Burgers’ Smokehouse Bacon bits, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and the cream of chicken sauce. Place in a casserole dish.
  4. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top…because why not?!…and bake until golden and bubbly.
hash brown casserole on table

A Perfect Make-Ahead Side Dish

Since this hash brown casserole is often made for a holiday meal or group of people, it can be helpful to assemble it ahead of time. Thankfully, this dish lends itself to prepping ahead without compromising the taste or texture at all! Simply follow the recipe instructions below but do not bake it. Once your hash brown casserole is assembled, you can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days, until you’re ready to stick it in the oven.

hash brown casserole on table

What to Serve with Our Easy Hash Brown Casserole

Looking for some ideas for what to serve with a hash brown casserole? Try our Simple Easter Menu Plan or these great pairing suggestions:

  1. Serve it alongside a big, flavorful salad like our Strawberry Fields Salad or Autumn Chopped Salad. The fresh greens and light dressing pair perfectly with a creamy, cheesy potato dish.
  2. If it’s a holiday meal, our hash brown casserole goes perfectly with a baked ham (my absolute favorite is from Burgers’ Smokehouse).
  3. Lastly, some dinner rolls finish off the menu for a super simple holiday meal or special occasion.
hash brown casserole on table

Your family and friends will enjoy this decadent holiday side dish. They’ll never know you made it days in advance and only spent minutes prepping it. Happy Easy Hash Brown Casserole making!

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hash brown casserole on table

Easy Hash Brown Casserole (Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1216 servings 1x
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This creamy, comforting Hash Brown Casserole is made from scratch, requires no canned cream soup, and is gluten-free. Perfect side for a holiday table!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley, crushed in hand
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt (only use 1 teaspoon if including bacon)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (30 ounce) bag of shredded hash browns, thawed
  • 1(16 ounce) container sour cream (recommend: full-fat Daisy brand)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby Jack cheese (or your favorite shredded cheese)
  • 1 pound your favorite Burgers’ Smokehouse Bacon*, cooked and chopped finely (find at Hy-Vee and other local grocery stores)

*All of Burgers’ bacon is gluten-free, but you’ll see it clearly labeled on the Burgers’ Uncured Country Bacon.


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 9×13 casserole dish with butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the chicken broth, half and half, cornstarch, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic at the end for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  4. Whisk in the creamy cornstarch mixture to the onions. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until thick and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, and let cool.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the thawed hash browns, cooled cream sauce, sour cream, cheese, and bacon. Place in the casserole dish, smoothing it out evenly. (Note: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, until edges are bubbly and top is golden.
hash brown casserole on table

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4 replies
  1. Emily says:

    Hi, this looks so good – but is it possible to make the hash browns from scratch? I don’t live in the US and ready made hash browns is not available…..thanks for any suggestions!

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      Hi Maegan. I’ve never tried fully cooking and freezing the whole casserole, so I’m not sure how it would do. Sorry! Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m so glad you like our book.

      Reply