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Instant Pot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

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My Instant Pot cheesy hash browns recipe is a perfect Cracker Barrel hash brown casserole copycat. It’s a rich and yummy casserole that’s great to serve for breakfast or for dinner! Make these pressure cooker cheesy potatoes with or without ham as a hearty side or satisfying main dish.

a close up scoop of the instant pot cheesy hash brown potatoes
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Easy Instant Pot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

You are really going to love this one, folks. Today I am sharing with you my copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel’s hash brown casserole that I converted for the Instant Pot.

I’ve been making this dish for years and my family asks for it every Christmas and Easter. To say it’s a family favorite is an understatement.

I just love how easy it is to make potatoes in the Instant Pot. And, this recipe is the perfect example of how potatoes and pressure cooking are the perfect duo.

Tender shredded potatoes are pressure cooked with a luscious cream of chicken and sour cream combo, plus plenty of cheddar cheese. Together these simple fridge staples become a rich, gooey and cheesy, amazingly delicious casserole.

Pan In Pot Pressure Cooking

This recipe uses what is called the pan in pot method of pressure cooking. Rather than making the shredded potato casserole right in the liner pot, a smaller cake pan or springform pan is used.

By using the pan inside the pressure cooker, there is virtually no mess inside the larger Instant Pot liner. You will have an actual casserole dish to serve from. And, this is ideal for potlucks and outdoor BBQs since you can keep the dish warm until serving.

A pan of cheesy potato casserole ready to serve with an instant pot in the background

Even if you plan to serve as a side, don’t be surprised if it becomes the main star of the meal!

I also like to call this dish mock scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin, because it’s basically the same ingredients. But, this recipe is easier to make thanks to hash browns and the handy Instant Pot.

The prep work is wonderfully minimum, especially if you used packaged ingredients that are ready to go.

Just combine, stir and cook.

Instant Pot cheesy hash brown casserole is ideal for breakfast or dinner, as a side or turn it into an entree (see FAQs for ideas). It is great for using up leftover ham, or can even be made vegetarian-friendly.

However you choose to prepare and serve, these pressure cooker cheesy potatoes are sure to be a hit.

Equipment Needed for this recipe

(the items I use are linked below)

  • pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot
  • a 7″ – 7.5″ springform pan, or a 7″ – 7.5″ cake pan lined with foil
  • silicone sling, or foil to make your own sling*
  • Optional: air fryer lid, air fryer, or oven to brown the top of the cheesy potato casserole

*Make your own foil sling by tearing a 30″ strip of heavy-duty aluminum foil and folding the strip into thirds, lengthwise. You can use the ends of the foil to make handles for lowering and raising the pan.

sling, round pan, instant pot air fryer lid, and instant pot in background

If you are an Instant Pot Duo Crisp or Ninja Foodie owner, then this recipe is perfect!

Pressure cook your cheesy hash brown casserole by using the pan in pot method, then use the air fryer to crisp the cheese topping into a golden finish. As the owner of the Instant Pot air fryer lid, I use that as my air fryer.

Ingredients needed for this Recipe

This simple 7 ingredient recipe for this uses some of your favorite staples you likely keep on hand.

  • Hash brown potatoes – freshly shredded or frozen
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Sour cream
  • Onion
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Garlic powder – the secret to the most flavorful Instant Pot hash browns

See FAQs below to make this hash brown casserole without soup.

Prepare this copycat Cracker Barrel hash brown casserole as is, or turn it into a main dish. Occasionally, I add ham to make it into a deliciously cheesy entree. Make pressure cooker cheesy potatoes with ham – just add 16 ounces or two cups of cooked diced ham.

grated hash browns, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, grated sharp cheddar cheese, onion, and garlic powder

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST INSTANT POT HASH BROWN BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

This delicious side dish or main meal is ready in less than an hour, and only requires 3 simple steps to prepare:

Assemble the casserole

First, lightly grease the pan with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl add the hash browns (defrosted from frozen or freshly grated), soup, sour cream, diced onions, garlic powder, diced ham (if using) and half of the shredded cheese.

Stir to combine, and transfer to the prepared pan for the pan in pot pressure cooking. Top evenly with the remaining cheese. Cover the pan with a large piece of aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick spray, so that the cheese does not stick to the foil.

a green bowl of shredded potato mixture ready to be stirred

Pressure cook the Casserole

Next, pour one cup of water into the pressure cooker, and use your silicone or aluminum foil sling to lower the pan into the Instant Pot. Cover with the lid and lock into place, and make sure the pressure valve is sealed.

Cook on HIGH pressure for 35 minutes. Once the cycle is over, let the IP do a natural release for 5 minutes before doing a quick release of the pressure. Use pot holders to carefully grab the sling and lift the casserole out of the cooker.

the hash brown mixture is in the pan ready to be covered and pressure cooked, a green bowl and cooking spray is in the background

Brown the cheesy potatoes (optional)

  • With an air fryer IP: Carefully drain the water from the Instant Pot, and use the sling to lower the casserole back into the pressure cooker. Air Fry or Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until brown and bubbly on top. Or,
  • Brown in the oven: Broil the casserole in the oven for 5 minutes, until the top is bubbling and browned.

Whether you brown the mock scalloped potatoes with ham (or without), let the casserole sit and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will help the dish to stay firm and not spread out so much when plated.

See below the recipe for more easy Instant Pot side dish recipes!

A pan of this copycat version of Cracker Barrel's hash brown casserole on a red silicone sling with an instant pot in the background

Frequently Asked QUestions

Can I make hash brown casserole without soup?

Yes, you can make this hash brown casserole recipe without soup. Here is a quick substitution: mix 1 tablespoon flour, 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and 1/2 cup milk. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. When melted, use a whisk to stir in the flour and continue whisking until smooth and bubbly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Turn heat to low and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly, until the soup thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

What other ingredients can you add to this recipe?

I love to add chopped pieces of leftover ham to my Instant Pot hash brown breakfast casserole. Feel free to add other cooked proteins you prefer, like sliced or crumbled breakfast sausage, chorizo, or chopped bacon.

You can also add cooked veggies to the recipe, such as sliced and sauteed mushrooms, diced peppers, or nearly any other hearty vegetables you like. But do not add super moist veggies that won’t hold up well to pressure cooking, like zucchini or leafy greens.

What main dishes should I serve with Instant Pot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole?

Enjoy on its own, or pair rich and tangy IP hash browns with your favorite mains. It is the perfect side for Crock Pot Ham, Instant Pot Chicken Tenderloins, Buttermilk Brined Pork Chops, or Seared Chicken Breasts with gravy.

GET the Full PRESSURE COOKER CHEESY POTATOES REcipe HERE:

A pan of cheesy hash brown casseroles with instant pot in the background
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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

Instant Pot Cracker Barrel cheesy hash brown casserole recipe is perfect to make in the pressure cooker as a side or main dish, for breakfast or dinner.
Course Entree, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesy potatoes with ham, cracker barrel copycat recipes, cracker barrel hash brown casserole, instant pot breakfast casserole, instant pot casserole, instant pot cheesy hash brown casserole
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Time to bring Instant Pot to pressure and to release 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 231kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker)
  • 7" cake pan or freeform pan
  • sling (see notes for how to make a foil sling)

Ingredients

  • 1 (20 ounce) package fresh shredded hash brown potatoes (can substitute 16 ounces of frozen hash browns, if thawed)
  • 1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup (see notes below for canned soup substitution)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup water

optional

  • 16 ounces diced ham

Instructions

Pressure cooking Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

  • Lightly grease 7" – 7.5" cake pan or springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together hash browns, soup, sour cream, onion, 1 cup of cheese, garlic powder, and ham (if using). Add to prepared pan. Cover with remaining grated cheese.
  • Tear off a long piece of aluminum foil, about 18" long. Spray the underside of the foil with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Wrap the hash brown casserole pan in foil across the top and under the bottom of the pan. This is to keep the water from getting into the pan during the pressure cooking cycle.
  • Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot pot/pan. Place foil-wrapped pan with cheesy potatoes into a silicon sling or foil sling (see notes below for making a foil sling). Lower the sling with the pan of hash browns into the Instant Pot. Secure lid and twist the pressure valve to seal (if needed). Select high pressure for 35 minutes.
  • When pressure cycle is over, allow a 5 minute natural release. Then perform a quick release to release the remaining pressure. Using pot holders, lift sling from the Instant Pot and carefully remove the foil from the springform pan.
  • If serving without browning (see below), let cheesy hash brown casserole cool for at least 10 minutes if using springform pan to ensure that the casserole stays together and doesn’t spread out.

Browning the cheesy hash brown casserole with air fryer lid, air fryer, or oven (optional)

  • Using pot holders, carefully drain water from Instant Pot liner. Place the casserole back on the sling. Lower the sling back into the Instant Pot or place in your air fryer.
  • Set air fryer to 350º for 5-10 minutes, until golden and bubbly on top. If you don't have an air fryer or air fryer lid, you can broil the hash browns casserole in your oven.
  • If using a springform pan, let cheesy hash brown casserole cool for at least 10 minutes to ensure that the casserole stays together and doesn’t spread out.

Notes

*Make a foil sling: tear off a 30″ strip of heavy-duty foil. Fold the strip into thirds, lengthwise. Use the ends to make a handle for lowering and raising the pan. 
To make this recipe without canned soup: mix 1 tablespoon flour, 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and 1/2 cup milk. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. When melted, use a whisk to stir in the flour and continue whisking until smooth and bubbly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Turn heat to low and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly, until the soup thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Nutritional facts are calculated without ham.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 268mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 617IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 317mg | Iron: 1mg

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