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Chicken Hashbrown Casserole

Chicken Hashbrown Casserole: A Comfort Food Classic

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When it comes to comfort food, casseroles are a go-to favorite. They are easy to prepare, packed with flavor, and perfect for feeding a crowd. This Chicken Hashbrown Casserole combines tender shredded chicken, creamy hashbrowns, and a crispy cornflake topping to create a dish that is both hearty and satisfying. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a detailed, step-by-step recipe, along with cooking notes, variations, and answers to frequently asked questions. Plus, we’ll explore keto and low-carb versions to accommodate different dietary needs.

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Ingredients

  • 20 oz frozen hashbrowns
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 10.5 oz can of cream of chicken soup (or homemade version)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 lb shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 4 tbsp melted butter

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Thaw the Hashbrowns: Thaw the frozen hashbrowns by leaving them at room temperature for about 30 minutes or microwaving them on a low setting until they are soft.
  3. Shred the Chicken: If you haven’t already, cook and shred the chicken. You can use a rotisserie chicken for convenience or cook chicken breasts and shred them with two forks.

Step 2: Mix the Casserole Base

  1. Combine the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the thawed hashbrowns, shredded cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and milk. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
  2. Add the Chicken: Fold in the shredded chicken until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Step 3: Assemble the Casserole

  1. Prepare the Baking Dish: Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Spread the Mixture: Pour the hashbrown and chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.

Step 4: Add the Topping

  1. Prepare the Cornflake Topping: In a small mixing bowl, combine the crushed corn flakes and melted butter. Stir until the corn flakes are evenly coated.
  2. Top the Casserole: Sprinkle the cornflake mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.

Step 5: Bake the Casserole

  1. Bake: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbly around the edges.
  2. Cool Before Serving: Allow the casserole to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. This will help it set and make it easier to cut into portions.

Cooking Notes

  • Hashbrowns: You can use either shredded or cubed hashbrowns for this recipe. Just make sure they are fully thawed before mixing them with the other ingredients.
  • Cheese: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese. A blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack works well, or you can try using mozzarella for a milder flavor.
  • Soup: If you prefer not to use canned soup, you can make a homemade version by combining chicken broth, milk, and a roux made from butter and flour.
  • Chicken: Rotisserie chicken is a great time-saver, but you can also use leftover cooked chicken or quickly cook chicken breasts in a skillet or oven.

Variations

1. Broccoli Chicken Hashbrown Casserole

  • Ingredients: Add 2 cups of steamed broccoli florets to the hashbrown mixture.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, folding the steamed broccoli into the mixture along with the chicken.

2. Spicy Chicken Hashbrown Casserole

  • Ingredients: Add 1-2 chopped jalapeños and 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the hashbrown mixture.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, incorporating the jalapeños and red pepper flakes into the mixture.

3. Mexican Chicken Hashbrown Casserole

  • Ingredients: Add 1 can of drained black beans, 1 cup of corn, and 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning to the hashbrown mixture. Use a blend of cheddar and pepper jack cheese.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, folding the beans, corn, and taco seasoning into the mixture along with the chicken.

Keto and Low-Carb Version

Keto Chicken Hashbrown Casserole

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 lb shredded cooked chicken
    • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 cup full-fat cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup chicken broth
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 2 cups riced cauliflower (as a substitute for hashbrowns)
    • 1 cup crushed pork rinds (as a substitute for corn flakes)
    • 4 tbsp melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare the Riced Cauliflower: Microwave the riced cauliflower until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked riced cauliflower, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, heavy cream, chicken broth, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir until well combined.
  4. Add the Chicken: Fold in the shredded chicken until it is evenly distributed.
  5. Prepare the Baking Dish: Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  6. Spread the Mixture: Pour the cauliflower and chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  7. Prepare the Topping: In a small mixing bowl, combine the crushed pork rinds and melted butter. Stir until the pork rinds are evenly coated.
  8. Top the Casserole: Sprinkle the pork rind mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.
  9. Bake: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbly around the edges.
  10. Cool Before Serving: Allow the casserole to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the casserole a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate it until ready to bake. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time if it’s cold from the fridge.

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2. Can I freeze Chicken Hashbrown Casserole?

Absolutely! You can freeze the casserole before or after baking. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

3. What can I use instead of corn flakes for the topping?

For a crunchy topping, you can use crushed Ritz crackers, crushed potato chips, or panko breadcrumbs as alternatives to corn flakes.

4. How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or cover the entire dish with foil and reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.

5. Can I use fresh potatoes instead of frozen hashbrowns?

Yes, you can use fresh potatoes. Peel and grate the potatoes, then soak them in cold water for 10 minutes to remove excess starch. Drain and pat them dry before using them in the recipe.

6. Can I make this dish gluten-free?

Yes, use gluten-free cream of chicken soup and ensure all other ingredients, like corn flakes or alternative toppings, are gluten-free.

7. What can I serve with Chicken Hashbrown Casserole?

This casserole pairs well with a simple green salad, roasted vegetables, or steamed green beans.

8. Can I use other types of cheese?

Yes, feel free to experiment with different cheese blends. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a mix of Italian cheeses would all work well in this recipe.

Chicken Hashbrown Casserole is a comforting and delicious dish that combines tender chicken, creamy hashbrowns, and a crispy cornflake topping. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or try one of the variations, this casserole is sure to become a family favorite. With detailed instructions, cooking notes, and answers to common questions, you’ll be able to create a perfect casserole every time. Enjoy this hearty and flavorful meal with your loved ones, and don’t hesitate to experiment with different ingredients to make it your own!