This cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe is a healthier version of the popular funeral potatoes dish – made with all real ingredients and a healthier homemade cream of chicken soup! Perfect for a holiday brunch, weekend breakfast, or meal prep side!
I have wanted to make a healthier version of Hashbrown Casserole, aka funeral potatoes, ever since I first tasted the classic side at a brunch and couldn’t get enough. Traditional hash brown casserole calls for ingredients like sour cream and cream of chicken soup, both which are not FIX approved and also not ingredients I tend to have on hand. It also calls for over a cup of butter and tons of cheese.
But I love a challenge and knew with some simple swaps, I could remake this cheesy hashbrown casserole into a FIX approved dish that tasted holiday worthy.
Why I love this recipe
- It’s creamy, dreamy, cheesy comfort food deliciousness and doesn’t taste healthier at all.
- It’s a crowd pleaser – my whole family couldn’t get enough.
- It’s SO easy – like crazy simple to put together without a lot of fuss.
- You can make it ahead of time, so it’s perfect for a holiday dinner or Christmas morning breakfast.
- It’s made from simple ingredients and budget friendly.
I love making this cheesy hashbrown casserole as a side for my Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole Cups and Bacon and Egg Cups. These cheesy potatoes make a great dinner side, too, especially with my New York Strip Steak and Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes.
How to Make Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
For this recipe, you will need a batch of my Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute. Tip: freeze several batches of this creamy soup to have on hand to make this and other casseroles!
You will also need:
- Frozen shredded hash browns (about 20-24oz) – I used Cascadian Farm Organic because the only ingredient is organic potatoes. Whatever brand you buy, make sure it’s not loaded with oils and/or salt.
- Onion – I used a yellow onion, but you can swap whatever kind of onion you have on hand.
- Plain Greek yogurt – this is a swap for Sour Cream, but nobody will ever know.
- Shredded sharp cheddar – we are going to use significantly less cheese than traditional hash brown casserole, but using freshly shredded sharp cheddar will ensure the cheesiness is on point. For extra cheesiness, you can, for sure, add more cheese.
- Pecorino Romano cheese (or sub more cheddar) – this is my favorite cheese to use in cooking because it just makes flavors pop and a little goes a long way. And I love using a blend of different cheeses in my creamy recipes (like this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese).
- Butter – Real butter or dairy free butter works great.
- Gluten Free Corn Flakes – I love the buttery cornflake topping of the original, so I used gluten free cornflakes – this is the brand I found at my store. Feel free to sub regular cornflakes (yes, they are 21 Day Fix approved!).
- Salt – There is already a decent amount of salt in the recipe, so if you are sodium sensitive, you can leave it out, but it helps to flavor up the potatoes.
- Garlic powder – This also helps give flavor to the potatoes.
- Black pepper – optional – I leave this out because I don’t love black pepper!
This hearty breakfast casserole comes together so fast in just a few simple steps:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray an 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish with cooking oil spray. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, salt (if using), onions, yogurt, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and homemade condensed soup (I do this right in the pan, but it can get messy!). Mix well. Place mixture in the casserole dish, then sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese and Pecorino Romano on top.
- In a smaller bowl, melt butter and mix with crushed corn flakes. Sprinkle cornflakes on top of the casserole.
- Bake for one hour or until topping is golden brown and potatoes are tender. I like crunch, so I will often broil on low for 1-2 minutes before serving.
- Switch up the topping – you can swap the cornflakes for crushed up crackers, breadcrumbs or panko, or even crumbled bacon bits.
- Add a protein– this would be delicious with some breakfast sausage or ground beef or chicken mixed in. Just cook it first and use it as the bottom layer of your casserole.
- Make it dairy free – this casserole should work well with dairy free sour cream, dairy free cheese, and dairy free butter all in the same measurements.
Meal Prep and Storage
To Prep Ahead: This recipe is a perfect prep ahead holiday side dish. Simply assemble your casserole and place it in your casserole dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Alternately, you can prep and bake your casserole, let it cool, then store in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.
To Store: You can store this right in the casserole pan if you have room in your refrigerator. Just wrap tightly with plastic wrap or place in airtight container.
To Freeze: You can freeze this cheesy hashbrown casserole in a freezer safe container for 3-5 months. I like to portion it into individual servings and freeze in my Souper Cubes for a tasty breakfast to have with my morning eggs. You can thaw in the refrigerator or right in your microwave.
To Reheat: This casserole heats up really well in the microwave in just a few minutes. You can also heat it up in the oven – cover and warm it at 325°F.
I typically do thaw my hash browns for this recipe because they are easier to mix together and they cook faster when they are thawed. In a pinch or if you are short on prep time, you can make this dish without thawing your hash browns first!
You can, but you will need to shred the potatoes first using a hand grater or food processor. Then you will need to soak the shreds in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and dry well before following the steps of this recipe.
Although I have never eaten cracker barrel’s version (but I hear it’s AMAZING) this is not a copycat recipe, per se. If you want it to be more like cracker barrel, double the cheese and top with the additional cheddar. Also do not use the cornflakes.
Growing up, I never heard this term funeral potatoes, but I think if you are from the midwest, it’s pretty common to call this casserole funeral potatoes. This is because they would often be served at group meals, on occasions like a funeral.
Typically one yellow of potatoes is a 1/2 cup. However, going by the calories of hashbrowns, one yellow is closer to one cup of potatoes. The same goes with cornflakes. One cup of cornflakes has the amount of calories in a traditional yellow container food.
More Healthy Comfort Food Recipes
- Healthy Chicken Pot Pie
- Lasagna Roll Ups
- Gluten Free Chicken and Dumplings
- Instant Pot Chicken Curry and Rice
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Healthier Hash Brown Casserole
- 1 recipe Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute see below
- 6½ cups frozen shredded hash browns (about 20-24oz) thawed. FYI – I measured frozen, but used them thawed
- ¼ cup yellow onion, diced about ½ of a small onion
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1⅓ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoon pecorino romano cheese (or sub more cheddar)
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon butter can sub vegan butter
- 1½ cups gluten free cornflakes, crushed can sub regular cornflakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt There is already a decent amount of salt in the recipe, so if you are sensitive, you can leave it out, but it helps to flavor up the potatoes.
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 dash black pepper optional – I leave this out because I don’t love black pepper
- 4 teaspoons gluten free flour
- 4 teaspoons butter
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¾ cup chicken broth or stock
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
For the Healthier Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute:
- In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add in flour, then whisk together, cooking for one minute.
- Raise heat to medium high, and slowly whisk in almond milk and chicken stock. Continue to whisk while the mixture boils for 2-3 minutes. It should begin to thicken. If it’s taking longer than a few minutes, increase the heat. Season with garlic powder and salt.
- After the soup thickens, remove from heat and let it cool (It will thicken more as it cools). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Use in place of your canned condensed cream of chicken soup. It’s also freezer friendly if you want to prep it ahead of time. It yields about 1 cup.
For the Hashbrown Casserole:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray an 8×8 or 9×13 casserole dish with cooking oil spray. In a large bowl, mix hash browns, salt (if using), onions, yogurt, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and homemade condensed soup (I do this right in the pan, but it can get messy!). Mix well. Place mixture in the pan, then sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese and pecorino romano on top.
- In a smaller bowl, melt butter and mix with crushed cornflakes. Sprinkle cornflakes on top of the casserole.
- Bake for one hour or until topping is crispy and potatoes are tender. I like crunch, so I will often broil on low for 1-2 minutes before serving.