Church potlucks, family reunions, picnics and buffet dinners are all occasions when you are likely to encounter hash brown potatoes as the main ingredient in a casserole. This version is one from The Krehbiel Family Cookbook. Jerri’s nieces compiled this cookbook to preserve recipes that their mother used when they were growing up.
Phyllis was busy raising four girls, helping out with the lambs on the farm, tending the garden and directing the music at their church, so a lot of her recipes are ones that don’t take much time in the kitchen.
This particular one is very easy to make if you remember to take the hash browns out of the freezer an hour or two before assembling the dish. You stir everything together, put it in a covered baking pan and slip it into a hot oven for an hour.
The result is a rich combination of cheese and potatoes that goes particularly well with a ring of smoked sausage steamed for a few minutes after you take the casserole out of the oven. And it’s even filling enough to serve as the main dish with a salad and bread for a light supper.
2 lbs. frozen hash brown potatoes
2 cups sour cream
1/2 stick butter or oleo
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup onion
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350º and grease a nine by thirteen-inch baking pan.
Thaw the potatoes, melt the butter or oleo and grate the cheese. Chop the onion very fine to about a sixteenth-inch dice.
Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Spread the mixture evenly into the baking pan. Cover and bake for an hour.
NOTE: Jerri’s nieces noted that you can freeze this casserole either before or after baking. If you are baking an uncooked frozen casserole, bake it for about an hour and a half. If reheating a cooked casserole, bake for forty-five to sixty minutes.
This recipe serves as a main dish for six to eight diners or a buffet offering for a dozen or more. You can cut the ingredients in half and bake it in an eight by twelve inch pan if you wish.
One of our friends used to make a very similar casserole that she brought to a church choir potluck one year. Hers had a topping of crunchies. If you want, you could add them to this recipe after it has baked covered a half hour. Sprinkle a cup or two of crushed corn flakes on top, dribble a couple of tablespoons of melted butter over them and bake the casserole uncovered another thirty minutes.