The weather is hinting at fall as I’m writing this and comfort foods are beginning to slip into my consciousness. I was suddenly craving a creamy potato dish with grilled meat the other day. I decided to try making a classic potato casserole while I was doing a Whole30. This Healthy Hashbrown Casserole was the result and it was amazing!
What Makes a Casserole
Growing up in Texas, casseroles were a big part of my life. Lots of people hate them but I love them and they are a bit nostalgic for me as that is all my mom made. We rarely had meat and veggies as separate components on the plate. (A nightmare for my sister who didn’t like her food to touch.) They typically involve some sort of meat, veggies and some kind of binding component like cheese or canned soups. Most recipes include both. Being on Whole30, I had to figure a way around this.
Subs for Canned Soup
For my Healthy Hashbrown Casserole, it started with figuring out how to make a sub for canned cream of chicken soup. I have made something similar for a couple of prior posts, Chicken Broccoli Casserole and Paleo Chicken Enchilada Casserole. But then I came up with the perfect version of homemade Cream of Chicken Soup. It’s not quite as thick as canned soup, but it’s way better for you. See the post other ways to use it.
Is Healthy Hashbrown Casserole Vegan?
Yes and No. The original recipe is not since it contains ghee (clarified butter) and chicken stock. You could certainly use avocado or olive oil instead of ghee and mushroom stock instead of chicken to make it vegan. (Vegetable broth would be too weakly flavored.) If you do this, feel free to add finely chopped mushrooms to the mix. With these two swaps, you have an equally creamy, vegan hashbrown casserole.
Tips for Making Healthy Hashbrown Casserole
- This is best made with frozen hashbrowns.
- Thaw in the fridge for several hours before using.
- If you don’t have time to thaw, make the sauce right before assembling so the sauce can thaw the hashbrowns while mixing together.
- This is a perfect make ahead dish as it actually thickens as it sits in the fridge. Make and bake up to a day or two ahead. Reheat at 375 degrees until hot then turn the broiler on for a few minutes to crispy up the edges.
- Make this in individual little serving dishes for a fun presentation.
- Reheat portions in air fryer for extra crispy hashbrown edges.
Make It a Main Dish
You can easily make this into a main dish casserole that’s perfect for breakfast or dinner. Add 3 cups of your favorite meat – ham, cooked and seasoned ground beef, chopped smoked or grilled chicken, or sausage.
Ways to Serve with Hashbrown Casserole
- Serve for breakfast with eggs and fruit
- Make it brunch by serving with smoked salmon on a mixed green salad dressed with lemon and olive oil
- Bring it to your next picnic, potluck or barbecue for a very popular side dish (No one will know it doesn’t have dairy.)
- Make it a complete dinner by serving with grilled meat, chicken or fish along with a salad or roasted broccoli
The Best Healthy Hashbrown Casserole | Paleo & Whole30 FriendlyCourse: SidesCuisine: Southern
You can half this recipe and make in an 8″ square pan.
2 recipes prepared Dairy Free Cream of Chicken Soup
- Soup Ingredients (if not premade)
2 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup almond flour
2 cups chicken broth
4 tsp Magic Salt (or 2 tsp salt + 1 tsp each granulated garlic and pepper)
2 cups dairy free yogurt
- Remaining Casserole Ingredients
32 oz package frozen hashbrowns, thawed
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
Ghee or spray avocado oil for pan
Optional toppings: 6 slices cooked bacon, chopped and additional green onions
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- If you forgot to thaw the hashbrowns out, set them out while you gather all the other ingredients.
- If you haven’t prepared the soup ahead of time, make it first.
- Directions to Make Cream of Chicken Soup (Skip if premade)
- Melt the ghee and olive oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan.
- Mix the tapioca and almond flours together in a small bowl or on a plate.
- Add to the melted oil and whisk well until completely combined and bubbly.
- Add the broth and seasonings then whisk well until very thick. You will see the whisk making very defined “waves” in the mixture when it’s really thick.
- Turn off heat and whisk in yogurt.
- Assembling Casserole
- In a VERY large bowl, combine hashbrowns, soup, granulated onion, apple cider vinegar and green onions.
- Brush a 9 x 13 pan with ghee or spray with avocado oil.
- Evenly spread the hashbrown mixture into the pan.
- Place in oven and bake for an hour or until bubbly and brown around the edges.
- Turn on broiler and let brown completely. (Watch closely as it will burn quickly.)
- If using bacon and green onions, sprinkle them evenly over the top before serving.
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