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.
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WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS POST
- Easy Instant Pot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
- Using Pan In Pot Pressure Cooking
- Kitchen Tools Needed
- Ingredients needed for this Recipe
- How To Make The Best Instant Pot Hash Brown Casserole (Like Cracker Barrel but better!)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Pressure Cooker Cheesy Potatoes Recipe
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 duos.
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.
Using 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.
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 an entree (see FAQs below 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.
Kitchen Tools Needed
- Instant Pot or any pressure cooker
- Springform pan, or a cake pan lined with foil
- Silicone sling, or foil to make your own sling (see below)
- (Optional) Air fryer lid, air fryer, or oven – to brown the top of the cheesy potato casserole
How to make a foil sling: tear two 30″ strips of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold the strip into thirds, lengthwise. You can use the ends of the foil to make handles for lowering and raising the pan. Place them in the bottom of the pot so they form a cross and place the pan on top.
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.
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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
- Cheddar cheese
- Garlic powder – the secret to the most flavorful Instant Pot hash browns
See the 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.
How To Make The Best Instant Pot Hash Brown Casserole (Like Cracker Barrel but better!)
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.
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 it 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.
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!
Frequently Asked Questions
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 saucepan 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.
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.
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.
Pressure Cooker Cheesy Potatoes Recipe
Instant Pot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
- 7" cake pan or freeform pan
- sling (see notes for how to make a foil sling)
- Air fryer lid, air fryer, or oven - to brown the top of the cheesy potato casserole (optional)
- 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
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup water
- 16 ounces diced ham
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.
- Add trivet to Instant Pot pan and pour 1 cup of water into the bottom. 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 on the trivet. 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.
6 thoughts on “Instant Pot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole”
I see that you are using a springform pan, any problem with leakage?
I’ve never had a leakage problem with the springform pan. Just be sure to wrap it in foil (so that the water doesn’t leak into the pan during pressure cooking) as shown in the post.
Can this be made straight in the pot?
I do not think pressure cooking it straight in the pot will work. You might, however, be able to add the ingredients to the Instant Pot and use the “bake” setting on the air fryer lid to bake it right in the pot without pressure cooking it. Pressure cooking uses the steam from the fluid in the pot to pressure cook – which is why this recipe is pressure cooked in a pan setting inside the Instant Pot.
This looks great and I have to try it! You don’t put a short rack over the water to set the pan on??
Yes, you do put the trivet in! Thanks so much for asking and I’ve modified the directions to make that clear.