So let’s talk about one of the internet’s most-searched-for recipes, ever.
If you’re from the east or west coast, or from outside the U.S., you might not totally get this at first. You might think, “Hashbrown casserole? Like, a bag of hashbrowns as the base of a casserole?” The answer to both of those questions is, YES!
Hashbrown Casserole is one of those American Midwest staples that every midwest family seems to know. It’s popular, easy, delicious and… super unhealthy. Normally, it’s full of processed cheese, unhealthy oils, and not just cream, but butter and sour cream, too. (Oy, talk about a dairy storm!)
Since there are a zillion varieties and recipes out there already for this dish—yet very few healthy ones—I wanted to share this healthy version with you so you can give it a try without giving yourself a heart attack (you’ll thank me later!).
Believe it or not, this recipe is healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, great for families, easy, no-sugar-added & delicious!
How to Make Hashbrown Casserole
- Chop 1 small onion and 1 red or orange bell pepper (leave the bell pepper out if you prefer), then saute them in a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil Add a few minced cloves of garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- If adding sausage, cook it now and let it cool before adding to the casserole. Any sausage should be fully cooked before you add it. (See note in recipe card.) I usually leave it out, and my sister always adds it (you do you!).
- Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
- Dump in a bag of frozen hashbrowns and shake the pan to evenly distribute them.
- Whisk together 10 eggs with a little milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk works), salt and pepper.
- Add the slightly cooled veggies to the top of the hashbrowns in an even layer. Add a cup of grated cheese on top if you’re using cheese.
- Pour the egg mixture all over the top.
- Bake immediately, or cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, then bake it in the morning. I find it best overnight in the fridge because the eggs have time to soak into the hashbrowns.
What’s in hashbrown casserole? You just need a bag of hashbrowns, eggs, onion, bell pepper & garlic (or veggies of your choice), olive oil or butter, salt and pepper, and cheese if you want to use it to make an awesome hashbrown casserole.
Now, if you’re from the midwest, when you realize that there isn’t any cheese in this recipe, you might go into a little bit of shock. You may even accuse me of blasphemy. I’m ok with that. If you can’t handle it and just need to have some cheese in your hashbrown casserole, then sprinkle 3/4 cup of a high-quality grated cheddar (grass-fed cheese is best) on top of the hashbrowns. But give it a try without, first! it’s still delicious without it, and you might end up loving the cheese-less/dairy-free version!
Should I let the hashbrowns defrost first in hash brown casserole? The short answer is yes. Most food cooks better when it’s closer to room temperature. It’s best to assemble the casserole the night before or let the hashbrowns defrost on your counter for an hour if using them right away.
Healthy hash brown casserole starts with healthy ingredients. Choose hashbrowns that aren’t loaded with artificial flavors or chemical preservatives. I buy the organic frozen hashbrowns at the health food store. They cost a little more, but I think it’s worth it. Potatoes are actually on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” (you know, that list that shows which produce gets sprayed with the highest amounts of pesticides), so it’s best to get your potatoes/hashbrowns organic if you can. So if you can swing it, always try to get the best ingredients possible. After all, you are what you eat!
We call this Breakfast a la Angie in my family because my sister Angela makes this just about every weekend now since she ventured into gluten-free eating. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser, even for the non-gluten-free eaters.
Angie sprinkles about a 1/2 cup of cooked (and cooled) organic breakfast sausage on top of the hashbrowns while assembling the dish, which is another option if you love sausage or want some added protein. If you’re going for a gluten-free and dairy-free version of this dish, though, make sure your sausage is GF and DF, too!Print
Healthy Hashbrown Casserole Recipe
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional substitute: ghee)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or pressed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- a few spins of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 16-ounce package organic hashbrowns
- 10 eggs, preferably organic or pasture-raised
- ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk, or any milk of choice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- a few spins of freshly ground black pepper
- Garnish: Chives, avocado, and salsa
- In a 9 x 13 inch pan, sprayed with grapeseed oil, extra-virgin olive oil, or another healthy cooking spray, spread the entire package of hashbrowns in the bottom of the pan. Layer in the sauteed veggies.
- In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, unsweetened almond milk, salt and pepper. Whisk together, then pour over the hashbrowns and veggies. Cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
- The next morning, preheat the oven 350°F. Pull the casserole dish out of the fridge to let it come to room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the eggs are set and the top is crisp.
- Garnish with chopped chives, and serve with sliced avocado & fermented salsa (or another salsa of your choice).
We love this recipe as-is, but here are two variations if you can’t live without these things:
-If desired, sprinkle 1/2 cup cooked (and cooled) organic breakfast sausage on top of the hashbrowns while assembling the dish.
– If desired, sprinkle 3/4 cup of a high-quality grated cheddar (grass-fed cheese is best) on top of the hashbrowns while assembling the dish.
Watch: Healthy Hashbrown Casserole Recipe Video
Click play to join me in my kitchen and watch the full episode from this bonus preview of Series 3 of Elizabeth Eats on FMTV!
Are you a die-hard hashbrown casserole fan, or is this your first venture into this midwest staple? Give it a try, and let us know in the comments below how it turns out!
Thank you for creating and posting a dairy- free recipe. My middle child is now dairy free and it’s challenging to find family favorites like hashbrown casserole dairy free. It turned out well and she was able to eat it without regret 😊
Helen, so glad to hear it! 🙂 ~E
Must try it. Don’t think we have frozen hash browns in N.Z. Is it just plain grated potato?
Hi Lynley! Yes, you can use a grated potato, if you do that, put the grated potato in cheesecloth or a fine mesh kitchen bag (like a nut milk bag) and squeeze out the extra liquid because fresh potatoes hold a lot of water. Just get some of the water out. Let us know how it turns out. ~E
This is definitely a similar recipe that we do for most our holiday and family get-together mornings!! We also do the “Angela,” and add sausage as well as sautéed mushrooms to our veggies. I may try to omit the cheese to see if anyone notices!
Thanks for the great recipe reminder with great updates!
Jena, I love the idea of adding sautéed mushrooms! I’ll have to try that. And glad to hear that you like it Angela-Style, too 😉 Thanks for stopping by to comment. ~E