Holidays are a time where tradition becomes very important to many families. Christmas especially. It can be tradition for families to participate in certain activities during the holidays, and it can be tradition for families to eat certain foods. My family had strict meal traditions during the holidays pretty much as long as I can remember. From the traditional Ukrainian dinner we ate on Christmas eve, to the seemingly never changing dessert platter that was always available and constantly replenished, to the foods we ate on Christmas morning.
When I was a kid, Christmas morning looked like this: us kids would get up super early. We were allowed to open our stockings only (no presents!) before the adults got up. My grandma would usually get up early too, and start getting breakfast out. She’d put out a breakfast treat platter containing homemade donuts and cinnamon buns, as well as a fruit plate. This was our morning “snack” (aka a large breakfast to most people). Then we’d wait for the hot breakfast which consisted of this Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole (we called them Schwarties Potatoes), an egg casserole, fried sausage, fried eggs and toast. It’s a miracle we could even eat again later in the day after that.
When my husband first tried this super cheesy, rich, creamy casserole, he insisted I get the recipe. I did, and true to my dietitian ways, I have altered it a little bit to make it a little healthier – but it’s still not exactly healthy. It’s basically mac and cheese with potatoes instead of mac. However, it’s got a little less fat than the original recipe, and tastes just as great.
Now that I’m in charge of my own holiday menu, this one doesn’t always make the Christmas morning cut. I opt for a fresh dish of homemade cinnamon buns or monkey bread instead, along with fruit salad. Besides, who wants to wait until you’re done eating a morning feast to open presents? I do find some way to serve it though – perhaps for Christmas eve breakfast, or New Years day. After all, nothing cures a champagne hangover better than a comfort food casserole full of cheese and potatoes.
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy free butter alternative
- 1 small onion minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 14 ounce can reduced sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- pinch cayenne
- 1 pound frozen hashbrowns the diced kind
- 2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (or more Cheddar or a mix of the two)
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x9 baking dish or similar sized casserole dish.
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Transfer onions to a large bowl.
Add condensed soup, yogurt, cheddar, pepper, salt and cayenne and stir together until well mixed. Stir in hashbrowns. Transfer hashbrown mixture to prepared baking dish.
Bake at 350°F for 60-90 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top. Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
To make ahead: prepare until the end of step 3. The hashbrown mixture can be refrigerated up to 24 hours in the baking dish. Cook as directed.
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole Nutrition Notes:
This cheesy hashbrown casserole is gluten free, as long as the condensed soup you choose is also gluten free.