This Slow Cooker Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole recipe is the richest and most creamy side dish you will ever make!
There’s nothing quite like a cheesy hash brown casserole to comfort you on a cold winter day, and this slow cooker version is just as creamy and delicious as the classic, but with the added convenience of cooking in your crockpot!
Whether you’re serving it at a potluck or family gathering, or just want a cozy side dish for dinner, this crock pot cheesy hashbrown casserole is sure to please.
Why We Love This Slow Cooker Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
Shredded potatoes slow cooked using a Crock Pot into creamy, cheesy hashbrowns and loaded with even more cheese… what’s not to love?
Our Cracker Barrel copycat cheesy hash brown casserole recipe has long been a big hit on the blog and at home.
After all, it’s simple to make with shredded potatoes and includes lots of yummy shredded cheddar cheese.
But, there are times when you don’t have the oven space for it, like during the holidays, parties, or family dinners.
So, we decided to see if you could make it in the slow cooker and it was just as delicious as oven baked!
We used Colby jack shredded cheese to balance the cheddar with a pleasantly light flavor.
Plus, it melts very well to create that beautifully thick and gooey slice of cheesy casserole that you crave, and it’s slow-cooked to perfection in your Crock Pot.
Serve it for family dinner night, potlucks, or barbecues – and I promise you will be asked to make it again and again!
Ingredients For Making Slow Cooker Hash Brown Casserole
- Shredded hash browns – fresh or frozen (I prefer Ore Ida or Simply Potatoes brands)
- Colby jack cheese or sharp cheddar – freshly shredded is best
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Dry ranch dressing mix – see our DIY recipe in the recipe
- Green onions – chopped green part only
Tips for Thawing Crock Pot Hash Brown Casserole
If you use Ore Ida or other frozen hash browns to make this Crock Pot cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe, they will need to be thawed before making it.
To make the process a bit quicker, place the baking sheet in a 175°F oven for 15 minutes.
You also have the option to thaw the hashbrowns in the refrigerator overnight. Put them frozen in a colander in the fridge with a dish underneath to catch moisture.
Whether fresh or frozen, DO NOT RINSE the hash browns. Shredded potatoes will soak up the water and release moisture into your casserole. No one wants that!
For the best texture and taste, I suggest you keep thawed hash brown potatoes in the fridge for no more than 3 days before using them.
How to Make crockpot hashbrown casserole without sour cream
To substitute sour cream, use a 1:1 ratio of either plain Greek yogurt, cream cheese, or cottage cheese in place of the sour cream.
I recommend using full-fat versions for the richest cheesy hashbrown potato casserole.
How to Make Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole using Crock Pot
Slow cooker preparation. Spray the cooking oil inside the slow cooker liner to help prevent sticking.
Make the hash brown mixture. Mix together thawed hash browns, chopped onions, 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, sour cream, softened cream cheese, dry ranch dressing, and pepper in a large bowl.
Slow cook the hashbrowns. Put the hash brown mixture in the crock pot. Cover it and cook it on high for 3 1/2 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
Check it every 2 hours (if possible) as some slow cookers cook hotter and faster than others.
Ready to Serve. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese on top and garnish with green onions before serving.
- Mix in some chopped cooked bacon or crumbled sausage for a hearty breakfast casserole.
- Stir in a can of green chiles or diced jalapeños for a bit of spice.
- Add some frozen corn, diced bell peppers, or other veggies to make it a complete meal.
- Use gluten-free hash browns to make this slow cooker dish gluten-free.
- Replace the ranch dressing with Italian seasoning for a flavor change.
- Try other shredded cheese like pepper jack, Swiss, or Gouda. Gruyere would be delicious too!
- Use Velveeta or American cheese instead of shredded cheese for an extra cheesy casserole.
What to Serve with Crock Pot Hash Browns
This cheesy, gooey, rich, and satisfying Crock pot hashbrown casserole is great with all your favorite comfort foods!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
For the easiest prep and reheating, I highly recommend you use a foil pan to make and freeze the casserole. That way, you can quickly go from freezer to oven!
Make the cheesy hash brown casserole recipe as guided, but do not bake. Instead, wrap the casserole with a layer or two of foil and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Bake from frozen (uncovered) in a 375°F oven as directed in the original recipe, but add another 15 minutes to the cooking time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure you can! As-is, this is cheesy hashbrown casserole recipe is vegetarian. However, you can add cooked chopped ham or turkey, crumbled cooked bacon, or cooked and crumbled sausage.
I love to double the recipe of this Cracker Barrel cheesy hash brown recipe. I cook one, then add another to a foil casserole container to freeze – see our hash brown casserole for baking directions.
Then, I have one to serve the family that night and one in the freezer. You never know when you’ll need to bring a hot dish to a BBQ or potluck or offer as part of a meal train.
The baked casserole will keep well for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Let the leftovers cool completely before transferring them to a sealed container and storing them in the fridge.
(Better Than Cracker Barrel!) Slow Cooker Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole Recipe
Slow Cooker Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
- Crock Pot or slow cooker
- ½ cup melted butter
- 30 ounces shredded hash browns, fresh or frozen (thawed) (I prefer Ore Ida or Simply Potatoes brands)
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 3 cups Colby jack cheese or sharp cheddar (divided) freshly shredded
- 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix (see our DIY homemade ranch dressing recipe in recipe notes)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped green part only
- Prepare the slow cooker by spraying the liner with cooking oil.
- In a very large bowl, mix together thawed hash browns, chopped onions, 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, sour cream, softened cream cheese, dry ranch dressing, and pepper.
- Pour hash brown mixture into the prepared crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 3 1/2 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Check it every 2 hours (if possible) as some slow cookers cook hotter and faster than others.
- Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese and green onions before serving.