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Live Well. Eat Well.

Recipe Rescue: Hash Brown Casserole

Hash brown casserole is comfort food at its best, but not so comforting for your waistline. Try this healthier version that's cuts out fat and calories but keeps all the flavor! A perfect dish for your next brunch or potluck. (Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe!)

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Typical Recipe:
  • 1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes

  • 1 stick melted butter

  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

  • 1/2 cup chopped onions

  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes or breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Changes Made:

  • 1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

  • 2 sticks melted butter: Replaced with light sour cream for richness and creaminess without all the fat

  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup: Used 98% fat free version

  • 1/2 cup chopped onions

  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese: Switched to reduced-fat sharp cheddar

  • 1 teaspoon salt: Cut in half
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes or breadcrumbs: Cut down amount to 1/2 cup and used
  • 1/4 cup melted butter: Cut down to 1 tablespoon

    Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

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    Hash Brown Casserole (Printable PDF Version)

    Makes 8 servings


    32 oz package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed (or 8 cups shredded fresh potatoes)*

    1 medium onion, halved and sliced thinly

    1 can 98% fat free condensed cream of chicken soup**

    8 oz fat-free sour cream

    8 oz shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided

    Salt and pepper to taste

    1 tablespoon butter, melted

    ½ cup breadcrumbs


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 13x9" casserole dish.
    2. Squeeze any excess moisture out of potatoes with paper towels.
    3. In a large bowl, mix together potatoes, onion, condensed soup, sour cream, and 4 oz (1 cup) cheddar cheese. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
    4. In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs and melted butter with a fork.
    5. Pour potato mixture into prepared dish and top with remaining cheese, followed by the butter and breadcrumb mixture.
    6. Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes or until bubbly. If desired, broil on high for 1-2 minutes for additional browning. Watch carefully so topping doesn't burn.

    *Alternate version: Substitute 8 cups shredded zucchini in place of potatoes to cut down calories and carbohydrates further. As with potatoes, make sure to squeeze out any excess moisture with paper towels.

    **You could also try using cream of mushroom or cream of potato. For extra cheesiness, use a low-fat condensed cheddar soup.

    Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.