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Cracker Barrel Hash Brown Casserole Recipe
Cracker Barrel Hash Brown Casserole
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Calories: 447
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Recipe Rating: 4.6 (19 reviews)
Menu Description: "Made from scratch in our kitchens using fresh Grade A Fancy Russet potatoes, fresh chopped onion, natural Colby cheese and spices. Baked fresh all day long."

In the late sixties Dan Evins was a Shell Oil "jobber" looking for a new way to market gasoline. He wanted to create a special place that would arouse curiosity, and would pull travelers off the highways. In 1969 he opened the first Cracker Barrel just off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee, offering gas, country-style food, and a selection of antiques for sale. Today there are over 529 stores in 41 states, with each restaurant still designed as a country rest stop and gift store. In fact, those stores which carry an average of 4,500 different items apiece have made Cracker Barrel the largest retailer of American-made finished crafts in the United States.

Those who know Cracker Barrel well love the restaurant for its delicious home-style breakfasts. This casserole, made with hash brown-sliced potatoes, Colby cheese, milk, beef broth, and spices is served with many of the classic breakfast dishes at the restaurant. The recipe here is designed for a skillet that is also safe to put in the oven no plastic handles. If you don't have one of those, you can easily transfer the casserole to a baking dish after it is done cooking on the stove.

Source "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes" by Todd Wilbur.

Photo by Karen Ury.
1 26-ounce bag frozen country style hash browns
2 cups shredded Colby cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned beef broth
2 tablespoons butter, melted
dash garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Combine the frozen hash browns, cheese, and onion in a large bowl. 

3. Combine the milk, beef broth, half the melted butter, the garlic powder, salt and black pepper in another bowl. Mix until well blended, then pour the mixture over the hash browns and mix well.

4. Heat the remaining butter in a large, ovenproof skillet over high heat.

5. When the skillet is hot, spoon in the hash brown mixture. Cook the hash browns, stirring occasionally, until hot and all of the cheese has melted (about 7 minutes).

6. Put the skillet into the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the surface of the hash browns is dark brown.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.

Tidbits: If your skillet isn't ovenproof (because it has a plastic handle, for example), you can also spoon the potatoes into a glass 9x9-inch baking dish and microwave the potatoes until they are hot and the cheese has melted. Then put that baking dish into the 425 degrees F oven until the surface of the hash browns has browned. If you can't find Colby cheese, you can also use Cheddar cheese for this recipe.

Pixie Stephens  
Submitted on: 02/23/14
Nothing but the best always comes from the Cracker Barrel and this recipe taste just as good! I always put onions and garlic in mine with alot of black pepper.
Toni Custer  
Submitted on: 12/21/13
family favorite!
johnna stepanek  
Submitted on: 09/15/13
My family loves this. Easy and foolproof, goes good with pork chops for dinner or eggs for breakfast. love it!
Shannon Delatore  
Submitted on: 12/29/11
I transfer it to the 9x13 dish and it turns out perfect every time. I've made this time and time again!!
Bridget Dempsey  
Submitted on: 01/04/11
Tastes just like the original. It was so easy to make too.
Submitted on: 12/01/08
I have made this recipe for years and my family loves it. To save time I mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Then I transfer it all to a baking dish and bake it. I stir it a few times in the beginning to get the cheese melted throughout.At this point I either bake it to completion or refrigerate to bake at a later date. It is great and my family loves it.
Louise H  
Submitted on: 05/28/08
This was a great recipe! I added about 3 cups of shredded Colby Jack cheese, instead of two, because I couldn't get just the Colby cheese. I also added another half teaspoon to the garlic powder. I used a cast iron frying pan,sprayed with Pam, and it formed a yummy crust on both the top and the bottom. Everyone loved it!
Submitted on: 06/21/07
Very very good. I will definitely make this again. I love the simplicity of this recipe. I made it exact, and it came out fantastic. Next time, I will most definitely transfer it to a greased casserole dish before baking, as it murdered my skillet! And I've never had trouble baking with my skillet before. Other than that, recipe is worth it.
Submitted on: 01/30/07
This is an amazing recipe.... I made it last night and everyone totally loved it. The only thing that is needs added to the recipe is some salt. Yummy
Submitted on: 12/18/06
I have never eaten either the original or the clone because I don't eat cheese but every single time I make this for either a family or work function it disappears within minutes. Everyone says it's very close to the original. Once I made some for a charity breakfast/bake sale at work and the entire pan was gone in less than 5 minutes. Everyone has told me that it's not exact but pretty darn close and they all love it.
Submitted on: 06/13/06
This recipe is excellent-made it for a breakfast function & everyone loved it-the recipe is easy to double too!
Submitted on: 04/19/06
I have been making this for years. My husband always looks forward to it on sunday morning for breakfast.
Submitted on: 03/06/06
A great clone to the real version of this casserole. I added orange bell pepper to the onion and am going to add sausage or ham bits next time. Tremendous results!
Submitted on: 02/03/06
I just made this for a breakfast function at work and it was a huge hit! Great recipe. I will definitely use it again.
Submitted on: 11/17/05
I thought it was a little too salty, next time I will not add salt and will use low sodium beef broth. Otherwise it was very good.
Submitted on: 11/01/05
Really a great recipe, I added more onions and a little sour cream, it turned out really good!!
Submitted on: 07/22/05
A family fav since I got Todds first cookbook. Just use name brand hash browns for the best flavor
Submitted on: 07/19/05
As close as it gets.
Submitted on: 07/18/05
I love almost everything that Cracker Barrel has to offer but this recipe was not to my liking at all. Something seemed to be missing but I'm not sure what. I won't make this one again.