Easy Cheesy Mexican Hash Brown Casserole uses potatoes or frozen hash browns, in oven, slow cooker or grill, breakfast, dinner with hamburger, ham and more!
Best Hash Brown Casserole
Why do potatoes make good detectives? Because they keep their eyes peeled. ? Okay, it’s a silly joke, I know. But I want to talk about potatoes, especially hash browns and I thought what a great way to start.
Hash browns are a popular American dish in which potatoes are pan-fried and shredded. They first started showing up on breakfast menus in New York City in the 1890s.
They are very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways such as this cheesy Mexican hash brown casserole.
This easy hash brown casserole recipe is quick and simple and takes only 5 minutes to prepare. Most of us have these ingredients in our pantry anyway.
Our best hash brown casserole recipe can be used as a tasty side dish, a terrific breakfast as our Mexican breakfast casserole or as a delicious main course, our cheesy Mexican hash brown casserole.
As usual, so many options, so little time.
You can make this cheesy hash brown casserole without soup as an easy side dish, just as written.
As always, I think it’s a great idea to make a recipe as written the first time you make it but in this case you don’t have to.
Add extra vegetables because the more you can sneak in there the better! I find with potatoes and cheese, most people, including children, will allow more vegetables than usual to slide by them.
You also have the option of adding a protein or meat to this wonderful hamburger hash brown casserole.
Everything from ground beef and ham to a fried egg (Mexican breakfast casserole) to soy based protein or ground round crumble for all of you vegetarians or vegans out there!
This hamburger hash brown casserole is so versatile it will easily fit into your recipe rotation. You will see.
Mexican Ground Beef and Potatoes
If you’re a fan of cheese and potatoes (and let’s face it, who isn’t?!), this cheesy hamburger hash brown casserole is right up your alley.
As I mentioned, it is great as a meal on its own or as a tasty side dish.
Mexican ground beef and potatoes is suitable for any occasion.
For breakfast, make a Mexican breakfast casserole or for dinner a hamburger hash brown casserole, or as an easy side dish, serve it with one of your favorite salads.
Truly, anything goes.
I like to use a blend of Mozzarella and sharp Cheddar cheese in this recipe but you can use American, Colby-Monterey Jack, Parmesan, Swiss or Gruyere also.
So many cheeses to try, so little time.
Any of them will work well and you can mix them up. I love using combinations of different cheeses.
The next time you are at your local market, ask for a small piece of gruyere cheese and add it the next time you make this dish, or any other cheesy dish.
I am pretty sure you will be glad you did. I was the first time I tried it to get rid of a little bit of cheese I had left in my fridge. I didn’t want to waste it and boy oh boy was I pleasantly surprised.
Even more surprised than pleasantly.
Now I do it on purpose. I ask for small pieces of cheese. Sometimes cheeses that are familiar and sometimes they are new to me.
I always ask about each cheese, no matter who is behind the counter.
Your Mexican ground beef and potatoes dish will thank you!
This was so much cuter to do when my son was young. He could choose and ask for the piece of cheese we were going to try.
When he was growing up, Patrick used to ask for this cheesy Mexican hash brown casserole all the time or at least a version of it when we were out of taco seasoning!
He was eager to help me grate the cheese and thank goodness for that because it was not one of my favorite things to do. It still isn’t.
Especially when it comes to making this recipe, or any other cheesy recipe for that matter. He was a great help.
Then when it was nearly done, he would peek through the oven window watching the cheese bubbling up before I took it out.
There’s something comforting about cheese bubbling. Have you noticed that or is it just me?
When serving this hamburger hash brown casserole and seeing that melting, gooey, cheesy mixture come out of the pan, is a beautiful sight to see and always tastes absolutely delicious to say the least.
Mexican Breakfast Casserole
My neighbor, Renate is in her 80s and has had two hip surgeries. She doesn’t get out much as you can imagine. She also doesn’t cook very often for herself either.
So the idea came to me that I would make this cheesy Mexican hash brown casserole dish for both of us. It was a pleasure to make, easy to put together and took no time at all. She loved it!
This hamburger hash brown casserole can be eaten at any time of day. Renate ate some leftovers of this cheesy hash brown casserole without soup for breakfast and loved it with an egg on top.
I know she somehow fried the egg and enjoyed the yolk running into the hash browns. You could tell by the look on her face that she loved this easy hashbrown casserole recipe for breakfast, just as much as we do!
How versatile is that?!
I usually make this Mexican breakfast casserole with some sausage, bacon or ham included. They are a personal favorite but feel free to add anything your heart desires.
Everything works and works well with this easy hash brown casserole recipe!
Easy Hash Brown Casserole Recipe
If you’re a veggie lover like me, and you want to include a few vegetables in this cheesy Mexican hash brown casserole, there are so many options.
You can saute some diced onions, a few cloves of minced garlic, carrots and celery in a frying pan with a few tablespoons of oil.
Stir-fry or saute for 3 to 5 minutes on medium to medium high heat.
Add garlic once onions have sauteed for a few minutes, as it will burn quite quickly. I add garlic about 30 seconds before I am removing the pan from heat.
Remove veggies from the pan and combine with the rest of the ingredients right before throwing it in the oven.
You can also use 1 cup of frozen corn, beans or peas. They’re already cooked and if frozen, thaw out fast, so no need to put them in until the last minute when putting all the ingredients together.
Canned veggies work well too and can be easily added at the last minute! Make sure you drain them first though.
This easy hash brown casserole recipe is a great way to sneak those veggies in when the kids aren’t looking. Patrick didn’t even notice they were in there, but I did, and that was very gratifying.
Whether you make this recipe as a cheesy Mexican breakfast casserole or a cheesy hamburger hash brown casserole for dinner, you will enjoy being able to include as many vegetables as desired.
You can make this hash brown casserole recipe in the oven or in your crock pot or slow cooker.
I recommend using a condensed cream soup of your choice for the best results in your slow cooker.
In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups of sour cream, 1 can of cream soup, 2 cups of cheese (again, any cheese of your choice), chopped onions, green and red peppers, salt and pepper.
Gradually mix in the hash browns until evenly coated.
Coat the inside of the cooker with cooking spray.
Spoon your hash brown mixture into the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high for 1-1/2 hours, then reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 2-1/2 hours or low for about 6 hours.
I have also left this mixture on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and this cheesy Mexican hash brown casserole turned out great.
And there you have it.
Hamburger Hash Brown Casserole
Not only can this be made as a hamburger hash brown casserole, I’ve discovered that you can use just about any meat you desire, if you desire it.
Not only is cooked ground beef an option to make a hamburger hash brown casserole, which I have done many times, I’ve used leftover roast beef I cooked for dinner that week and LOVED the results.
We enjoyed it so much that now, I plan on using roast beef from the night before and make sure I end up with enough leftovers.
I always prepare the roast beef before I put it into the fridge. This way, when I include it with these delicious hash browns, I just add it right before the dish goes into the oven.
Even using roast beef, pastrami or corned beef sandwich meat are also a great addition and are easy to add right before the casserole goes into the oven!
Cooked ground chicken would work well. So would leftover cooked chicken. I have cooked an extra, seasoned chicken breast the night before I planned on making this easy hash brown casserole recipe.
I always shred or dice the chicken before I throw it into the fridge for the night. All I have to do is add it at the end of the recipe, when you’re mixing all the ingredients together, before throwing it in the oven.
Ham is a another great choice. It’s already cooked and just needs to be cut up into pieces or cubes. Again, you can add ham right before this cheesy hash brown casserole goes into the oven.
There are a variety of sausages to choose from besides the standard breakfast ones.
You can use hot or mild Italian, Bratwurst, Kielbasa, Honey Garlic, etc. to make a Mexican breakfast casserole or a cheesy Mexican hashbrown casserole for anytime of the day!
The list of possibilities goes on.
I made mine with Chorizo sausages. They are cured, fermented, smoked and seasoned with dried red peppers and Ken loved it!
Make sure you cook the sausages first though.
Sausages can be boiled, baked or fried. If you want them to be crispy, fry them.
Put them in the pan and fill it with enough water to cover them and simmer on medium to medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove them from the pan right way so they don’t dry out.
At that point, they are cooked.
Drain the water and then pan fry them for 1 to 2 minutes in a little bit of oil for color and crispness.
Your other option is to cut them up into slices and fry the individual slices. That is what I do with sausages. I love tasting the sliced sausages when they are browned and crispy.
If you didn’t slice your sausages to fry them you will need to slice them before adding them to your cheesy Mexican hash brown casserole. Right before you combine all of your ingredients together to go inside your oven.
Bacon is another great option, especially with our Mexican breakfast casserole but you can definitely serve this for dinner. I’m sure no one will complain!
One of the easiest and less messy ways to cook bacon is in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You can also start with a cold oven and let the bacon cook as the oven warms.
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Make sure it hangs over the edges so you’re sure to capture the grease and for easier clean-up.
- Arrange strips on the foil. If the bacon overlaps slightly, not to worry. It shrinks as it bakes.
- Cook for 10-20 minutes depending on how crispy or chewy you like your bacon.
- Transfer to a paper towel and your done!
You can also microwave your bacon:
- Put 4 or 5 pieces in at a time on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towel,
- Cover the bacon with paper towel so it doesn’t splatter.
- Microwave on high for about 3-5 minutes depending on the desired crispiness you like.
I would then cut up the cooked bacon and mix with the remaining ingredients before putting it in the oven.
Leftover pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork roast or pulled pork will taste great.
I always make a little extra the night before I plan to make this. Shred or dice the pork while still hot and place in the fridge so all I have to do is add it the next day, again, right before everything goes into the oven.
If you’re a vegetarian then you can use veggie ground beef. It’s a soy protein with spices and it tastes just like the real thing. You can find it at just about any grocery store.
Just remember to add it last minute as well.
Hash Brown Casserole without Soup
Cheesy hash brown casseroles without soup are possible and still taste great. As you know, canned soups can be high in sodium and fat, so, if that’s a concern of yours, you have found an amazing recipe for you to try!
I also believe that once you try it you will make it over and over again!
We used canned soup for years before trying to find an alternative. This is a hash brown casserole without soup that we can definitely be proud of.
We have added some taco seasoning to add some flavor but have easily left it out. Especially when I forget that we don’t have any and am in the middle of making this excellent cheesy hash brown casserole without soup recipe.
Regular seasoning will have to do and it works great. Even by just adding seasoned salt, instead of regular salt, and pepper. You will not be disappointed with the results.
Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
If there’s ever a time for comfort food, it’s now. Being cooped up, you want food that is satisfying and this hash brown breakfast casserole is one of those dishes.
My mom used to make it when I was growing up and it brought back some treasured memories.
Hash brown breakfast casserole is a definite crowd-pleaser and is an ideal dish to serve if you’re having overnight guests.
You can make it the night before and pop it in the oven first thing in the morning. Or make in the am, this cheesy hash brown casserole without soup takes no time at all to assemble.
There are several variations of this delightful dish and, to make it heartier, you can add eggs and milk.
After combining a bag of hash browns (20 oz.) with my cooked meat (for example, 1 lb. of crumbled bacon), 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spoon the mixture in a 13 x 9 greased baking dish.
In another large bowl, add 8 large eggs and 2 cups of milk (whole milk is best) until blended and pour over your hash brown mixture.
Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
Then cover it with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese or whatever amount you desire.
Delicious and definitely worth a try!
Ingredients in Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
- sweet pepper
- red or purple onion
- shredded potatoes or frozen, defrosted hash browns
- Mexican blend of cheeses
- taco seasoning
- heavy or whipping cream
- sour cream
- cooked ground beef, chicken, sausage, ham, pork, bacon, soy based protein or any other cooked meat will work and work well
- green onion
How to make this Cheesy Mexican Hash Brown Casserole
Add onions and cook until softened,
Then add your peppers.
At your workstation, place your shredded potatoes in a large bowl.
Dry with paper towel to eliminate as much water as possible.
Combine the potatoes, cheeses, taco seasoning, heavy cream, sour cream, and beef.
Toss or mix thoroughly.
Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and pour mixture into it, smoothing it out into an even layer.
Top with remaining cheese but feel free to add more! I always do.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve with salsa and green onions.
Enjoy every last bite!
As an alternative, you can always make individual hash browns inside muffin cups!
Follow the recipe exactly and instead of pouring the hash brown mixture into a casserole dish prepare a muffin pan with cooking spray.
Spoon hash brown mixture into each muffin tin hole.
Add a little extra cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or golden brown and cooked through.
Frozen Hash Brown Recipes
Making this casserole dish with frozen hash browns is a time-saver and shaves minutes off of your prep time. No need to peel and grate the potatoes.
Make sure the hash browns are thawed. Leave them in the fridge overnight or thaw them 2-3 hours before making your casserole.
You need to be sure to remove as much water as possible from the frozen hash browns too.
This is my favorite frozen hash brown recipe by far. I make it everywhere I go, including camping years ago.
Campfire or Grilled Hash Brown Packets
When Patrick was young, we took him fishing and camping. He still goes fishing with his father to this day.
I used to make this hash brown recipe over a campfire and now they have to do it without me.
Patrick loved to help me pull the hash browns apart and mix the ingredients together. He knows how tasty these hash brown packets are!
I would wrap the mixture in tin foil. This recipe will serve up to four people but make as many hash brown packets as needed.
I bring the hashbrowns frozen and they defrost by the next morning. This may sound nuts but I already have the bacon cooked and crumbled.
I bring it from home already cooked and in a bag.
Same with the cheese and onions. Already bagged and ready to go. I have onion flakes for later on.
Am I the only one who plans their meals camping like this? I sure hope not.
Regardless, my husband or son will always make a bunch of bacon on a campfire or grill if needed.
I haven’t had anyone refuse to make it yet!
Afterall, who can refuse a hash brown packet full of hash browns, bacon, onion and cheese!
- 1 package of hash browns (28 oz.) thawed or about 3 1/2 cups
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded cheese
- 1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Mix the potatoes with the bacon and 1 cup of the cheese
- Add chopped onion or dried onion flakes if desired, I always try to
- Cut four 18 x 12 inch pieces of heavy-duty tin foil or double up regular tin foil
- If possible spray each piece with cooking spray, I try to whenever possible
- Spoon individual portions of the mixture on the dull side of the foil, for the record, this recipe will work if you don’t place the hash brown mixture on the dull side, I have done it myself too many times to count
- Make sure you fold the tin foil around the mixture tightly and seal it, this is super important and I know it first hand, what a mess
- Place the pockets on the campfire or on the grill for 6-9 minutes, depending on the size of your fire
- Open pockets slowly and carefully to allow the steam to escape. Careful! They are really hot and you don’t want to burn yourself
- Sprinkle with with remaining cheese, if desired
- Top each one with a fried egg and salsa, if desired
Hash Brown Potato Casserole
Let’s face it, there’s no such thing as bad comfort food. If it gives you comfort, it’s all good, right? And this cheesy hash brown potato casserole is the ultimate in comfort food.
According to one American study, males prefer hearty meals such as casseroles. Well, there’s no surprise there. This cheesy hash brown casserole without soup recipe definitely fits the bill and Ken and Patrick are living proof of that.
If you want to make your own hash browns you need only three ingredients: salt, oil and potatoes. Ken’s grandma used to make her own.
She used russet potatoes. They have a higher starch content and make the hash browns crispier. Idaho potatoes work great also.
Make sure you squeeze out excess liquid after you shred them with a clean tea towel or paper towels.
Homemade hash browns. It doesn’t get much better than that.
This recipe is simple and delicious and by adding various cheeses, meat, vegetables, you can make a different and tasty casserole every time.
Cheesy Mexican Hash Brown Casserole Video
Cheesy Mexican Hash Brown Casserole
- 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch cake pan or casserole dish
- 1-3 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 3 cups shredded potatoes or frozen hash browns
- 1 cup cheddar, shredded
- 1 cup taco cheese, shredded Mexican blend/etc. - separated into halves
- 1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- cooking spray
- 1 cup cooked ground beef
- salsa, as needed
- green onion, thinly sliced, as needed
- Get out and measure your ingredients.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place your skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add your oil until it shimmers or a drop of water flicks and dances.
- Add onions and cook until softened. Then add your peppers.
- At your work station, place your shredded potatoes in a large bowl.
- Combine the potatoes, cheeses, taco seasoning, heavy cream, sour cream, and beef or protein, if using. Combine until blended together.
- Prepare a casserole dish with cooking spray and pour mixture into it. Smooth top out into an even, flat layer.
- Top with remaining cheese and feel free to add more! Bake for 30-35 minutes or golden, bubbly and heated through.
- Remove from oven and serve with salsa, green onions and maybe a fried egg or two! What a way to start the day! ?
- Enjoy every bite!
Individual Hash Browns
- As an alternative, you can always make individual hash browns inside muffin cups!
- Follow the recipe exactly and instead of pouring the hash brown mixture into a casserole dish prepare a muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Spoon hash brown mixture into each muffin tin hole.
- Add a little extra cheese on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or golden brown and cooked through.
- Easy peasy! Enjoy every bite!