A holiday favorite, Hash Brown Casserole is traditionally made with canned cream of chicken or mushroom soup. Not this version, all the ingredients are from scratch for a healthier, lower sodium side dish you won’t feel guilty about feeding your family. Still rich and creamy, but an elevated version of the classic dish. One of everyone’s favorite side dishes and still topped with cornflakes, of course. 🙂
You know I’m all about the sides. Holiday dinners always have the most stellar side dishes that sometimes overshadow the main dish. That’s cool. I’ll take it all. Especially if everything is made from fresh ingredients and from scratch. SCRATCH. Meaning, no convenience foods what.so.ever. Do you hear me? No canned soup my friends….just toss it out the door. I know it’s quick and convenient but it’s just not good. It’s not. Don’t even pretend that it is. Now, don’t get me wrong….the classic Hash Brown Casserole is delish made with the canned soup but would you eat the soup alone….without anything added? Would you take a spoonful of the gelatinous gray matter and pop it in your mouth….and not spit it out? I bet now. So….like the wine rule…don’t cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink….don’t cook with food you wouldn’t eat by itself. (Flour, nutmeg, garlic powder….that doesn’t count…I’m talking convenience foods here.)
I took it upon myself to come up with a healthier (not really healthy) version of Hash Brown Casserole just in time for Christmas. Just in time to serve it with my Riesling-Cranberry Glazed Spiral Ham. I eliminated the canned soup altogether (if you didn’t already pick that little tidbit up) and replaced it a creamy béchamel-ish type sauce. It was glorious! I’m not foolin’. You will love it.
The sauce comes together in minutes and then it’s just a matter of mixing everything in a giant bowl and dumping it all into a baking dish. All of this can be done up to 24 hours in advance. Just cover and chill in the fridge for the night. The next day, let the dish come to room temperature…whip up your cornflake topping and bake. Done and done. How awesome is that? And I know what you’re thinking….the cornflakes. They’re convenience…they’re processed. Yeah, I know but if you’re ready to start making homemade cornflakes…just let me know. We’ll take on that challenge together. Me and you. Let’s go.
Homemade Hash Brown Casserole
- 2 pounds frozen southern style hash browns, thawed
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups low fat milk
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 vidalia onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
- 1/2 cup low fat greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups cornflakes, crushed
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heatand whisk in the flour cooking until golden. Whisk in the milk and continue to cook until slightly thickened. Add the vegetable broth, nutmeg, garlic powder, salt and pepper and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Continue cooking until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a small sauté pan coated with cooking spray, sauté the onions until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the hash browns, béchamel sauce, onion mixture, cheese, and yogurt. Pour the mixture into a 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray and spread into an even layer.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cornflakes and melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the potatoes and bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve immediately