21 October 2011

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole - Vegan MoFo #16

One of my favorite childhood travel foods was the cheesy hashbrown casserole from Cracker Barrel. See, when I was a kid, I spent a few weeks every summer down in Florida with my grandparents. Along the drive there and back, we would stop at Cracker Barrel restaurants and eat. I was a picky kid, so a lot of times I only ate the hashbrown casserole. It still sticks out in my mind as something comforting and reminiscent of being carefree...and being crammed in the back seat with 2 of my cousins for the long drive from Michigan to Florida. But, I digress...

I did some searching online to get the original recipe for the hashbrown casserole and discovered that a lot of the "cook-alike" recipes contained LARD (yes, lard) and/or chicken stock. Icky. Seriously icky! Who would've thought there would be chicken stock? I sure as hell didn't anticipate that one. So, it seemed I was on my own to create my own vegan version. I took stock of my fridge and decided I could totally make it vegan. It was much easier than I thought, but I do warn you- it isn't healthy. There is kind of a lot of added fat to make it taste so awesome. And it does taste awesome. I ate the whole dish for breakfast. Oink oink.

Makes 1 large serving or 2 small sides.

What I used:
  • 1/4 bag frozen hashbrowns
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 TB coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 TB Earth Balance
  • 2-3 TB cheddar Daiya (you can use more, but that's all I had left)
  • lots of salt and pepper
  • a little garlic powder (just a dash or two)
What I did:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Get a small oven-safe baking dish out and have it ready.
  2. In a nonstick skillet or pan with lid (over a medium heat), melt the coconut oil. When hot, add the potatoes and stir well to lightly cover the potatoes with the oil. Cook about 4 minutes like this. 
  3. Add the onions and the spices, and mix again. Cover the pot and cook about 4 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the cheese. Once it starts to melt, you will remove the pot from the heat. Scoop the potatoes out into the small baking dish. Add the Earth Balance in small dabs over the top of the casserole. Then bake for 15 minutes. It should just be starting to brown a little at the edges. Then turn on the broiler and cook about 3 minutes, or until the top is as crispy as you want. Taste for salt and pepper and add more as needed. Mine needed a lot of salt.

MMMMM! You know you want it!

A year ago today, I posted my recipe for Minestrone Soup! It's perfect for chilly Autumn days :)


  1. Sounds great! Gotta make this as a breakfast treat next lie in.

  2. Well. I want to eat this RIGHT NOW. But no potatoes or hashbrowns in sight.....

  3. Girl, I loved the hashbrown casserole at Cracker Barrel (pre-v days). Thanks for posting this recipe. I'll definitely need to try this.

  4. I made this Sunday night with some yummy "cheesy" spinach tofu scramble and it was AH-MAH-ZING! This will definitely be a staple in our house. I actually used regular canola oil and left off the butter to cut calories and it was fantastic. Thanks for sharing. By they way, I absolutely love your blog. I stumbled acrossed in about a month ago and can't get enough. Keep the recipes coming!

  5. Thank you all! I'm so glad you guys are down with the hashbrown casserole! I was wondering if anyone else would ever crave that stuff as bad as I do. I might have to make it again tomorrow.

  6. Adria, I'm super stoked that you liked it! I have been craving it for ages. I'm really glad that you were able to make substitutions that work for you. I really love hearing about the ways people make my recipes work for their tastes/on-hand ingredients. Rock on! And, thank you so very much on your kind words! I will keep on blogging new ideas and recipes all the time. I hope I live up to your hype :D