The Traditional Cheesy Potatoes casserole is the most expected item on the table around holidays in my house. We live in Minnesota and there is nothing more comforting during the winter months than potatoes cooked in different ways. Cheesy potatoes bring joy to the Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas.
I remember one year when we were trying to lose some weight and I “dared” to announce my family: ” This year we are not going to have cheesy potatoes for Thanksgiving. I am going to make different salads, low-carb recipes, so we do not gain weight over the holidays”. The reaction was the same from my husband and my daughter: ” WHAT? No cheesy potatoes? Did you lose your mind? There is no real Thanksgiving without cheesy potatoes. Today you skip the cheesy potatoes, tomorrow you are going to serve us what? Tofurky dinner? Cheesy potatoes are a tradition in our house and this is how it should stay! ”
Afraid of a “strike”, as my daughter announced me that if she doesn’t get cheesy potatoes, then she will not come home from college and spend the weekend with us, I decided to keep it the same way we always had Thanksgiving since we moved to Minnesota. So, cheesy potatoes it was!
Many years ago, when we moved to the United States, I had no idea what people ate besides turkey for Thanksgiving, so I started to ask around. I got a bunch of recipes from friends who were more than happy to share their traditions with me.
This particular recipe though comes from a very good friend of mine, Audrey, who, over the years, shared many of her recipes and traditions with us. She is a truly Minnesotan, so her recipes are truly traditional for this part of America.
The recipe requires a can of cream of chicken soup though, which over the years, I found it very salty for the recipe. It is used for binding the ingredients, but I was never a fan of the ingredients listed on the cans, so I decided to change a little bit the recipe and make it more palatable for us.
What I do now is to remove completely from the recipe the can of cream of chicken soup and mix together 2 tablespoons of flour with 3/4 cup of chicken stock. I mix well to get rid of any lumps and pour over the potatoes and the rest of ingredients. The result is a better version of cheesy potatoes that will not make you feel guilty using cans in your cooking. Also, it cuts down the calories and the salt that cans of soups contain.
Note: My friend Audrey, says: “The recipe can be made in a crockpot which can be set up on “Low” for 4-6 hours. Makes it nice to take to potlucks or when you are having company, you can forget it or not have to use oven space. ”
My observation: The recipe is great in the crockpot if you don’t care for the crust that is formed while you are baking it in the oven. We like the crust, but if you prefer moist, crustless cheesy potatoes, the slow cooker is a great option. And indeed, it saves your oven space when you have to bake a lot for the holidays.
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
PS: The pictures show different batches of cheesy potatoes made over the years.
- 2 pounds 1 bag of frozen hash browns thawed
- ½ cup melted butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup chopped onion optional
- 1 (10.5 ounces) can cream of chicken soup
- 12 ounces sour cream
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- Optional topping:
- 2 cups crushed corn flakes mixed with ¼ cup melted butter I dont do this step
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Mix everything together and put the mixture in 9x13 buttered pan.
- Optional: Add the topping of crushed corn flakes mixed with the melter butter
- Bake for 1 hour at 350F.
- Note: The recipe can be also made in a crockpot which can be set up on "Low" for 4-6 hours.
- if you cannot find hash browns in the store, just shred 2 pounds of potatoes, then place them in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the starchy liquid from the potatoes. Now they are ready to be used in the recipe.
- Also, you can replace the can of soup with 1-2 tablespoon flour mixed with ¾ cup chicken broth(or vegetable stock). Bring the mixture to the consistency of thinner sour cream, then pour it over the potatoes and continue with the recipe.