I first tasted a version of this cheesy hash brown casserole at my great grandpa's funeral years ago. A large portion of my family on my mother's side is Mormon, so we travel to Ogden, Utah for the funeral. It was the first Mormon funeral I had been to, and the church community provides a beautiful potluck style of meal after the funeral. One of the classic dishes, I have come to find, is a cheesy hash brown type casserole as a side dish, which is even sometimes called "funeral potatoes". Anyway, I loved the casserole and learned the recipe, and have made it for potlucks at church many times. I decided to turn this casserole into a main dish by adding a good portion of chopped steamed chicken tenderloins. By the way, this is a double recipe for a large sized casserole, I like to make a big casserole since I am often feeding 5-6 adults/teens at each meal, and I like leftovers for lunch.
Here are the ingredients-
about 8 chicken tenderloins cooked and chopped
2 standard sized bags of frozen hash browns slightly thawed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 stick of butter
1 large onion chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
2 cups (roughly) grated cheddar or cheddar blend
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder (less or more as desired)
1 1/2- 2 cups of cornflakes for topping.
Gather your ingredients, be sure your hash browns have sat out for at least half an hour before you prep this casserole, they need to be slightly thawed out so they will break apart and not be in a big frozen clump. Chop your onion and saute it in 4 tablespoons of butter, saute your onions in a large pot that will be big enough to stir together all the ingredients later. This is a lot of butter but it is part of the recipe and will be stirred in with everything else. When the onions have softened and are translucent but not browned take it off the burner and add hash browns, chicken, both cans of soup, one cup of milk (you may need a 1/4 cup more if casserole seems to need it) and 1 cup sour cream along with about 1 cup of shredded cheese (you may want a bit more). Then add between half a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder depending on your preference, then salt and pepper to taste, you don't need much salt because the cheese and soup mix are salty. When casserole is thoroughly mixed transfer to a large greased baking pan, a lasagna sized pan would do well for this size recipe.
Top casserole with another cup of grated cheese lightly cover with foil and bake at 375 F. for about 45 minutes to an hour. Casserole is cooked through when potatoes are cooked through. While casserole is baking make the crunchy topping. Apparently there is often quite a debate about whether or not cheesy hash brown casserole should have at topping or not, I have made it with a topping and without, and I like it both ways. Since this was a main dish dinner casserole I though a topping would be nice. So I melted the other 4 tablespoons of butter and put about 2 cups of classic corn flakes in a ziplock sandwich bag, I slightly crunched up the cornflakes, then transfered them to a small mixing bowl and tossed with melted butter.
When casserole is close to done remove foil, and top with crunchy topping and return to oven to bake until golden and crispy, about another 15-20 minutes, checking frequently so topping doesn't burn. Because of the potatoes and cheese this casserole will be very hot, so it is nice to let it cool for a bit, especially for children.
I like to serve this casserole with a nice serving of steamed broccoli. The whole family loved it and it made for excellent leftovers as well!
If you would like to check out my latest meal plan and grocery haul check out this video below from my YouTube channel.
I am excited this week as my garden has been showing signs that Spring has arrived, the crocus are blooming and other flowers are starting to bud as well. My backyard birds have been very active at the feeders which I always enjoy, we even had a large hawk land in the yard last week! As soon as our spring rains let up I will be eager to prep my veggie beds and plant some more spring flowers.
I hope everyone is having a nice week! Thanks for stopping by! :)
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