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HAM & CHEESE HASH BROWN CASSEROLE!

HAM & CHEESE HASH BROWN CASSEROLE!
HAM & CHEESE HASH BROWN CASSEROLE!

Ham & Cheese Hash Brown Casserole: A Hearty Breakfast Delight

When it comes to breakfast or brunch, few dishes can match the comforting, satisfying appeal of a Ham & Cheese Hash Brown Casserole. This delicious combination of hash browns, ham, cheese, and a creamy sauce is a crowd-pleaser and perfect for special occasions or lazy weekend mornings. Let’s dive into how to make this mouthwatering dish:

Ingredients:

For the Casserole:

  • 1 package (30 ounces) frozen shredded hash browns
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper (optional, for added color and flavor)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Creamy Sauce:

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat and Prepare:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish to prevent sticking.

2. Mix the Casserole Ingredients:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the frozen hash browns, diced ham, shredded cheddar cheese, diced onion, and diced bell pepper (if using).
  • Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, and then transfer it to the greased baking dish. Spread it out evenly.

3. Prepare the Creamy Sauce:

  • In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, condensed cream of mushroom soup, melted butter, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper until well combined.

4. Pour Over the Casserole:

  • Pour the creamy sauce evenly over the hash brown mixture in the baking dish, ensuring it covers everything.

5. Bake to Perfection:

  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbly, and the top is golden brown.

6. Garnish and Serve:

  • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the top for a pop of color and freshness.
  • Slice and serve while it’s still warm.

Tips:

  1. Variations: Feel free to get creative with this casserole. You can add ingredients like diced tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, or even cooked bacon bits for extra flavor.
  2. Make it Ahead: Prepare the casserole the night before and refrigerate it. When you’re ready to serve, simply bake it as instructed. This is perfect for busy mornings or when you have guests.
  3. Customize the Cheese: While cheddar cheese is a classic choice, you can experiment with other cheese varieties like Swiss, Monterey Jack, or even pepper jack for a spicy kick.
  4. Spice it Up: If you like a bit of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the creamy sauce for a subtle spicy twist.
  5. Serve with Sides: This casserole pairs wonderfully with a side of fresh fruit, a green salad, or some buttered toast for a well-rounded breakfast.

Cook’s Note:

  • Leftovers: If you happen to have any leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat portions in the microwave or oven for a quick and delicious breakfast throughout the week.
  • Freezing: This casserole can also be frozen for longer storage. After baking, allow it to cool completely, then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Label with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 2-3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven until heated through.
  • Customize to Your Taste: Don’t hesitate to customize this recipe to your preferences. You can use turkey or chicken instead of ham if you prefer. Additionally, experiment with different types of cheese for unique flavor combinations.
  • Serve for Any Meal: While this casserole is a breakfast favorite, it’s also suitable for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Pair it with a fresh salad for a complete meal at any time of day.
  • Crowd-Pleasing Dish: This casserole is perfect for gatherings, potlucks, or when you have house guests. It’s easy to make in large batches, and its hearty and creamy nature makes it a crowd-pleaser.

Now, you’re all set to create a delicious Ham & Cheese Hash Brown Casserole that will impress your family and friends. Whether it’s a lazy weekend morning or a special occasion, this dish is sure to satisfy everyone’s appetite. Enjoy your cooking!

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