One of our family favorites for decades has been hash brown casserole. It was often a side dish on holidays, without the ham. Later we added diced ham and made it a one dish meal. Regardless, we absolutely loved it. There were never leftovers when I made this dish. In my 5 years of blogging, I’m ashamed I’ve never posted the casserole!
Originally the recipe called for a can of cream of potato soup, a can of cream of celery soup and a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. We kept adding cheese to it and eventually decided to use cheese soup as well. Cream of potato soup doesn’t add much flavor to the dish and celery, well I’m not a fan anyway. You could add a little chopped celery to add that back into the flavor profile but you really won’t miss it.
I use a Dutch oven, spraying it well with cooking spray. I use a mallet and bang the bag of hash browns until they’re all separated. Being frozen for a while in the freezer makes them cling together in big chunks and it’s hard to incorporate the soups later. So beat up those hash browns well then add them to the Dutch oven.
I also freeze ham after the holidays and it’s usually one big frozen chunk. I beat that with the mallet as well before adding the 2 cups of ham to the Dutch oven.
I add a cup or so of sour cream, just eyeballing it. No need to be all fussy and measure it. A little more sour cream isn’t going to be a bad thing. It’s actually a good thing! Finally I add the 2 cans of cheddar cheese soup. I use Campbell’s Healthy Request brand to avoid the extra msg my family needs to avoid.
Stir the contents with a large spoon as well as you can. Yes, it’s annoying and sticks together and all that. Just do the best you can. It will cook well no matter how you stir it. It’s accommodating like that.
Then into the oven, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. I stir it after an hour but that’s not really necessary. I just like to stir stuff. This time I did because I added cubed zucchini and summer squash. I added them the last 30 minutes, just to heat them through. They didn’t add a great deal of flavor but they did add a nice touch of texture.
Serve the casserole hot with a little more cheese sprinkled on top for garnish. Maybe some diced green onions (I was out of those). It’s creamy and cheesy and totally satisfying as a meal with a side veg or salad.
I’ve even been known to throw veg right into the casserole. Broccoli, peas, whatever you like in a cheesy dish will work here. It’s very versatile.
Cheesy Zucchini and Ham Hash Brown Casserole
Hash browns loaded with cheese and ham and zucchini in a simple baked dish. Great as a side or a one dish meal!
- 32 oz bag frozen shredded hash browns
- 2 cups ham; diced
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cans cheddar cheese soup
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups zucchini and summer squash; cut into quarters (optional or use any veg you prefer)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Spray a Dutch oven with cooking spray or grease well.
Break up hash browns into smaller pieces before opening bag. Pour into Dutch oven.
Break up diced ham if frozen. Add to Dutch oven.
Add sour cream and soups and stir well. I added about a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Your salt will vary depending on what brand of soup you use. Taste test!
Bake, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. After an hour add the squash or whatever veg you prefer.
Serve garnished with shredded cheese and diced green onions if desired.