Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole

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A cheesy and savory Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole is perfect for brunch. This casserole is made from scratch — you won’t find cream of condensed soups in this recipe! Refrigerated hash browns are tossed with a creamy mushroom and onion base and lots of cheese. Top the casserole with cooked and chopped bacon and fresh chives!

Pair this casserole with some other brunch favorites like homemade crepes, this ham and cheese quiche, or this country breakfast egg skillet.

Close-up view of Crockpot Hashbrown Casserole, with a wooden spoon scooping up a serving.

Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole

This cheesy and rich hash browns casserole is loaded with flavor and makes such a great addition to your breakfast or brunch! It also makes a great holiday side dish — we have a hash brown casserole just about every major holiday — Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving — you name it! A cheesy hash brown casserole like this one pairs exceptionally well with a holiday ham or turkey.

It’s especially nice to have a hash brown casserole recipe that can be prepared in the slow cooker if you need to save oven space for a main dish. This casserole “bakes” up perfectly in a slow cooker and can stay warm for serving. If you’re craving that classic crispy hash brown casserole topping, simply transfer the slow cooker base (so long as it is oven safe) into the oven to broil for a few minutes. Another secret to keeping this casserole from not getting soggy? Layering paper towels in between the casserole and lid. The paper towels gather steam and liquid keeping the casserole from becoming overly gooey or wet.

A unique aspect of this recipe is that we don’t use any cream of condensed soups, which is the base for most hash brown casserole recipes.  Since this recipe does not contain any creamy condensed soups, we make a creamy base from scratch. It takes a bit more prep time, but it’s so worth it for freshness and flavor (plus no questionable added ingredients to be concerned about!). 

Process shots of Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole: saute onion and mushrooms; Add seasonings; flour; cook and stir for a minute; stir in milk; and sour cream; combine well; add refrigerated hash browns; add sauce and hashbrowns to the slow cooker.

Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole ingredients

  • Butter: We use unsalted butter so we can perfectly control the amount of salt that goes into this casserole.
  • Yellow onion: The onion adds loads of flavor and texture, so dice it into small pieces so it can be well distributed in the casserole.
  • Mushrooms: Any variety works, and I prefer Baby Bella or Cremini mushrooms.
  • Seasonings: The seasonings make this casserole! We use quite a bit — dried parsley, dried thyme, chicken bouillon powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and of course salt and pepper. Don’t underestimate the power of salt and pepper in this casserole; potatoes need a good amount of salt and pepper to bring out the flavor. Don’t be afraid to add more at the end to really make the flavors sing.
  • Flour: White, all-purpose flour will thicken this creamy base.
  • Chicken broth: This adds more flavor and seasoning to the base.
  • Milk: I use whole milk for a thicker and creamier base, but 1% or 2% will also work. I don’t recommend a milk alternative or skim milk.
  • Sour cream: Low-fat, fat free, or regular — any works. Obviously, full fat sour cream is going to be the creamiest, but we’ve tried all different kinds and there isn’t too much of a noticeable difference.
  • Dijon mustard: It adds a nice depth of flavor to the casserole.
  • Hash browns: I recommend fresh, refrigerated hash browns (as opposed to frozen) for this casserole. I use Simply Potatoes® hash browns (not sponsored). They use only real ingredients and are fresh, not frozen, which makes this casserole that much better. You can find these hash browns in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, usually near the eggs.
  • Extra- sharp Cheddar cheese: Freshly grated cheese is best since it melts better into the casserole. (Packaged cheese has a cellulose coating that makes it resistant to melting. It can also make the casserole greasy.)

Adding protein to this casserole

We love adding freshly cooked and chopped bacon to the top of this casserole. If you’re wanting to make Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole more of a meal (rather than a side dish), I recommend adding some type of protein — either bacon to top it with or add some chopped ham or sausage to the slow cooker.

I recommend smoked (already cooked) diced ham and/or sausage. Simply stir in either (or both) along with everything else in the crockpot. If using raw sausage, brown it before adding it to the casserole.

Garnish

Since this is a rich and cheesy casserole, herbs cut the richness and add a fresh flavor. We love fresh chives or freshly chopped parsley. Fresh thyme would also pair nicely.

Process shots: Adding cheese to the slow cooker; stirring everything together and letting it cook; adding bacon and chives; finished dish ready to serve.

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Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole

5 from 9 votes
A cheesy and savory Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole is perfect for brunch. This casserole is made from scratch -- you won't find cream of condensed soups in this recipe! Refrigerated hash browns are tossed with a creamy mushroom and onion base and lots of cheese. Top the casserole with cooked and chopped bacon and fresh chives!
Print Recipe

Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole

5 from 9 votes
A cheesy and savory Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole is perfect for brunch. This casserole is made from scratch -- you won't find cream of condensed soups in this recipe! Refrigerated hash browns are tossed with a creamy mushroom and onion base and lots of cheese. Top the casserole with cooked and chopped bacon and fresh chives!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Crockpot Hashbrown Casserole
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 -8 as a side
Calories 445kcal
Cost $6.89

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (125g) finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup (40g) finely diced mushrooms (I use baby bella)
  • 3 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons EACH: chicken bouillon powder, dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/3 cup (43g) white, all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (375g) whole milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (355g) chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup (240g) sour cream
  • 2 packages refrigerated shredded hashbrowns (each package is 20 oz; 567g)
  • 3 cups (290g) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Optional toppings: 7 slices cooked and chopped bacon, fresh chives

Instructions

  • PREP: Spray a large slow cooker (I use a 6-quart crockpot) with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • MUSHROOMS AND ONION: In a large and deep skillet, over medium heat, add the butter. As the butter is melting down, add in the finely diced onion and finely diced mushrooms. Sauté, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat if anything is burning.
  • GARLIC AND SEASONINGS: To the skillet, add in the minced garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, dried thyme, and salt and pepper to taste (I add in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, but add to preference -- depending on how salty the chicken broth you is, use you may want less). Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until a thick dough forms. Cook for about 1 minute to eliminate the raw flour taste.
  • MILK AND BROTH: Gradually, while whisking constantly, add in the milk, cooking until thickened. Continue in the same manner with the chicken broth. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened. Stir in the Dijon mustard.
  • SOUR CREAM AND HASH BROWNS: Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Pour this creamy mixture into the base of the prepared slow cooker. Add both bags of hash browns and the freshly grated Cheddar cheese (See Note 1). Stir everything together and press into one even layer (Quickly wipe down the edges of the crockpot to avoid burning).
  • COOK: Place a few sheets of paper towel in between the lid and the crockpot (this helps gather steam and liquid to keep the casserole from getting soggy). Cook on high for 2-3 hours (See Note 2). Remove the lid and if desired, place the casserole (I add the crockpot base -- mine is oven safe) in the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes to get a crispier top and edges). Taste casserole and adjust seasonings -- add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • TOP AND ENJOY: Garnish the casserole with toppings of your choice such as cooked and chopped bacon, thinly sliced chives, etc.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Freshly grated cheese is preferred over packaged cheese (which has a tendency to get greasy and not melt as well). This casserole is very cheesy -- you may want less cheese (2 cups). Alternatively, you can use two types of cheese such as 2 cups Cheddar and 1 cup Parmesan.
Note 2: Watch carefully depending your slow cooker -- if you have a really hot one it may be done sooner and a cooler one may take longer. Each applicance is different. Mine typically takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 8as a side | Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.1g | Protein: 17.9g | Fat: 29.9g | Cholesterol: 83.8mg | Sodium: 581.2mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 3.8g

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37 Comments

  1. This looks so delicious, Chelsea! I love summer, but I also love the food that comes with fall, like this casserole. Can’t wait to try it!

  2. I would have to grate the potatoes myself but I wouldn’t mind because I really want to try this. It sounds like it would make good packed lunches too.

  3. 5 stars
    I have a weak spot for hash brown casseroles, they just scream comfort to me. This looks delish Chelsea! And I’m so with you on the freshly shredded cheese…always.

  4. 5 stars
    You had me at…NO cream of whatever soup! I hate cream of soups, just my taste buds fault. So I continually hunt for crock pot recipes that do not use them, or come up with my own ideas for substitutes. This recipe is right up my alley, thanks and bless your heart.
    Sister From the South,
    LindY G

  5. Yeah I think that should work great!! I’d try 350 degrees for like 30-35 minutes. Really not sure on exactly how long though since I’ve never tried it in the oven so just keep a close eye on it 🙂

  6. This looks great, might be going on the menu this weekend since we’re going to have some visitors. May I ask what kind of crock pot you have that has a programmable delay? I’ve looked and looked for this feature but never seem to find it.

  7. Took this to a brunch this past Saturday – it was a hit! Mine was a bit creamier than the pictures and had a little burning on sides of my crockpot – but it still tasted good! I didn’t add bacon to it but had bacon as a topping for those that wanted bacon. Great breakfast recipe that does not include eggs. If making for myself would probably add bacon and or sausage crumbles directly into pot.

    1. So happy to hear this was such a huge hit! 🙂 And for some reason my pictures make a lot of the creamy goodness disappear, but yes it is supposed to be super creamy! 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

    1. I haven’t tried frozen, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t work if you let them thaw a bit before adding! I hope you enjoy 🙂

  8. I saw your recipe posted on BROWN EYED BAKER,,,,so decided to check it out.
    I really like that you don’t have any “canned” soups in it. I am making this next time
    I have family staying over….OR maybe before that cause it looks/sounds delicious!

    1. I hope you love it! I’m not sure a crockpot could handle three times this recipe, but if you separated it into 2 crockpots it should be fine 🙂

  9. Would love to try this! I’m looking for potato recipes as I have a 5 gallon bucket of garden potatoes that need to be used….I can shred them myself in the food processor, but about how many cups of potatoes do you think I would need for this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Anna, it comes in step 5, if you have any other questions let me know. I hope you enjoy this 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I love love love this recipe! It’s always a hit for me. I forgot to get sour cream. Any idea if I can forgo it or what I can use as a substitute?

  11. 5 stars
    This sounds delicious! I love all kinds of casseroles, but especially ones with potato. I think adding some diced green & red pepper would add a bit of color to this one.

  12. Hi, I can imagine what the finished product may look like, but sometimes I’m totally blind…is there a photo of the way it looks once it is cooked?? It sounds delish but the final photos is usually how I know if I want to try a new recipe! 🙂 Thank you in advance!!!

  13. 5 stars
    Made with real potatoes and low sodium stock. I cooked in the oven for 45 minutes until potatoes were soft then popped into my crockpot to keep warm. Absolutely delicious!

  14. Would I be able to make the base the night before and add the potatoes to the base and cook the day of a party? I need to make a hashbrown casserole for work and I don’t want to be up at the crack of dawn. ????

    1. I think that would work great! I’d add the potatoes just before cooking so they don’t brown 🙂

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