You won’t believe how easy it is to turn your favorite Cracker Barrel-inspired shredded potato side dish into a delicious entree! This fabulous cheesy chicken and hash brown casserole recipe uses shredded cooked chicken, plus green beans and sour cream for a tangy, rich and satisfying main dish that no one can resist. It’s quick to prepare in just 5 minutes and bakes in under an hour, and is even terrific to make ahead.
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WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS POST
- Why We Love This Hash Brown Chicken Casserole Recipe
- Kitchen Tools Needed
- Make this Hashbrown Casserole without Soup
- Top Tips For How to Thaw Frozen Hash Browns
- How to Make An Easy Chicken Hashbrown Casserole
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Best Cheesy Chicken and Hash Browns Casserole Recipe
- More Easy Casserole Recipes We Love
Why We Love This Hash Brown Chicken Casserole Recipe
Our classic hash brown casserole (AKA funeral potatoes) has long been the hit of Christmas, potlucks, and family gatherings. This year we decided to pump up the recipe to be an even heartier entree-worthy dish by adding chicken and veggies…and we absolutely hit the nail on the head here!
Fresh or frozen (and thawed) tender shredded potatoes are baked with a creamy cheese sauce, shredded chicken, and yummy green beans.
Everything you want and need for a complete comfort food meal is right there, warm and cozy together in one casserole.
I served this chicken hashbrown casserole for a recent holiday party and guests devoured every bit faster than you could say sleigh bells ring!
But oh, it’s not just scrumptious to eat – this easy recipe is a joy to make. Because the chicken is already cooked, prep time is only 5 minutes.
All of the ingredients are simply combined in a large bowl, then scooped and spread into a large baking dish. Then it’s hands-off in the oven for about 45 minutes. That’s right: you can actually mingle with guests at your own gathering!
Better yet, make ahead! Prepare the hash brown potatoes and chicken casserole up to 3 days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. Or freeze this dish and have it ready to pop in the oven whenever you need a delicious meal with minimal effort.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Shredded hash browns – I prefer Ore Ida frozen or Simply Potatoes fresh.
- Chicken – I used shredded rotisserie chicken or see the notes below to make your own shredded chicken.
- Green beans – I used thawed frozen green beans, but you can use fresh or canned.
- Cheese – I used sharp cheddar, but you can substitute any type of shredded cheese like mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or Colby.
- Light sour cream – this gives a nice tangy flavor and helps to bind the ingredients together. Or you can also use Greek yogurt.
- Cream of chicken condensed soup – you can also use low sodium if preferred.
- Onion – finely chopped.
- Pepper – freshly ground pepper adds a great pop of flavor.
Kitchen Tools Needed
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Make this Hashbrown Casserole without Soup
In a small bowl whisk together 2 teaspoons of corn starch with 1/2 cup of cold chicken stock or broth until combined. Then slowly stir in 1/2 cup of cream. Microwave for 30 seconds heat in a saucepan until thickened.
If you don’t have cream, then use 1 tablespoon of corn starch, with 1/2 cup of chicken stock, and 1/2 cup of whole milk.
Add this homemade cream soup substitute in place of the cream of chicken soup in the recipe below for an equally delicious casserole!
make your own shredded chicken
Stove Top Chicken Breasts
Use a skillet or large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add chicken breasts. Cover with water and several generous pinches of salt. Or use chicken broth instead of water for even more flavor.
Bring to a boil, add the lid, and turn down the heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Check the temperature of chicken breasts with an instant-read thermometer. Chicken is ready at 165 degrees F.
Let cook, then shred.
Baked Chicken Breasts
Preheat your oven to 375º. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the chicken breasts to the sheet, and brush with olive oil. Then, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for 30-45 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken after 30 minutes. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165º.
Once the chicken is cooled, shred it into bite-sized pieces.
Check out my linked posts on meal prep ideas and cook once eat all week meal ideas on how to prep and use shredded chicken.
Top Tips For How to Thaw Frozen Hash Browns
I personally like to thaw my frozen potatoes on a baking sheet at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. They defrost without sitting in water, so the shreds stay nice and tender.
To thaw the hashbrowns faster: Spread the frozen potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 175 degrees F oven.
Alternatively, you can defrost them overnight in the refrigerator. Place the frozen shreds in a colander, and set in a shallow bowl or dish in the fridge so that the water is collected as the potatoes thaw.
Tip: DO NOT rinse hash brown potatoes (frozen or fresh!). The potato shreds soak up water and will make your casserole soggy.
How to Make An Easy Chicken Hashbrown Casserole
Make this easy chicken hashbrown casserole in 4 simple steps:
- Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit, then prepare a 9″x13″ casserole by spraying it with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together hash browns, chicken, green beans, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, sour cream, soup, chopped onions, and pepper.
3. Pour the hashbrown chicken casserole ingredients into the prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining shredded cheese.
4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and golden on top, and the edges are puffy.
Frequently Asked Questions
I recommend thawing hash browns before baking for a few reasons. Cooking hashbrown potatoes frozen can prevent the casserole from baking evenly and leave the center cold. Thawing first makes the casserole bake quicker. And, the condensation on frozen shredded potatoes can water a casserole down.
This hashbrown casserole uses shredded potatoes as the main ingredient. Other potato casserole recipes might use diced potatoes (also called O’Brien potatoes).
You can use fresh potatoes instead of frozen hash browns. Shred or grate the potatoes then rinse the shredded potatoes with cold water and drain completely before using.
Best Cheesy Chicken and Hash Browns Casserole Recipe
Hashbrown Chicken Casserole
- 9' x 13" casserole dish or 4-quart casserole
- 16 ounces (1 small bag) shredded hash browns, fresh or frozen (thawed) (I prefer Ore Ida frozen or Simply Potatoes fresh)
- 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (use rotisserie chicken or see notes to make your own)
- 2 cups (10 ounces) frozen green beans, thawed
- 2 cups (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
- 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
- 1 can (10¼ ounces) cream of chicken condensed soup
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped (1 small onion)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Prepare the casserole dish by spraying it with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together hash browns, chicken, green beans, 1 cup cheddar cheese, sour cream, soup, chopped onions, and pepper.
- Pour hashbrown chicken casserole ingredients into the prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and golden on top, and edges are puffy. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.