Loaded with melty cheese and tangy ranch seasoning, this hamburger hashbrown casserole recipe is an easy meal that will please the whole family. As long as human beings are required to cook family meals on busy nights, casseroles will never go out of style. These effort-saving dishes are loaded with flavorful ingredients, yet minimal fuss is needed to prepare them.
What is it?
My hamburger hash brown casserole recipe features browned ground beef and shredded hash browns tossed with chopped onions, ranch seasoning, sour cream, and plenty of melted cheese. This easy casserole is perfect for feeding a crowd, or the perfect solution when you are craving a comforting family dinner.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butter - Olive oil can be substituted.
- Extra lean ground beef - When making homemade hamburgers or a classic meatloaf, I typically recommend using 80/20 hamburger meat because of the added moisture it provides. However, the sour cream and shredded cheese will lend plenty of moisture to this delicious casserole so I recommend saving yourself some calories by using leaner beef for this easy recipe so it doesn't get too greasy. Anything like 90/10 or even 96/4 hamburger will work perfectly.
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves - ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder can be substituted.
- Shredded hashbrowns - As much as I love my homemade shredded hash browns, I strongly recommend you use the frozen shredded hashbrowns found (or even tater tots) at your local grocery store when making a hashbrown caserole. Using shredded fresh potatoes never works well in casseroles, as they don't sufficiently soften during baking. This is because ice crystals pierce the internal structure of the potato shreds when freezing, which allows them to cook up softer than raw potatoes would.
- Colby-Jack cheese - You can substitute mild cheddar cheese or your favorite cheese.
- Green onions
- Ranch seasoning packet
- Sour cream
How to Make It
Begin making your hamburger hashbrown casserole by cooking the ground beef and diced onions in a large skillet with butter, salt, and black pepper. For maximum flavor, the beef should be well-browned. When you brown ground beef properly, the dark brown crust that begins to form on the crumbles of hamburger is what contains the most flavor. Then add garlic and Worcestershire sauce and cook for an additional two minutes.
Next, combine the ground beef mixture with shredded hash browns, one cup of cheese, and green onions in a large bowl. In a separate dish mix together the ranch seasoning, milk, and sour cream. Then combine everything together in a casserole dish.
This casserole fits perfectly in a 2-quart baking dish. Placing it in a preheated oven set to 375 degrees for 45 minutes will ensure the hash browns are properly cooked. Finally, add a layer of cheese on top of the casserole during the final 15 minutes of baking to ensure it doesn't burn.
How to Customize This Recipe
I make my hashbrown hamburger casserole with simple ingredients like sour cream and ranch seasoning because I love the bright tangy flavor it adds to the dish. However, this is not the only great way to make this delicious recipe.
If you want to get creative and make your own great meal, substituting the ranch seasoning, sour cream, and milk for an equal amount of brown gravy would be a great addition! You can take the gravy to the next level with your choice of flavorings such as onions, mushrooms, thyme, or sage. This would taste incredible with the hashbrown mixture! Although, if using brown gravy, I would probably swap the cheese with Provolone, or something similar to match the new flavor profile a bit better.
More Easy Casserole Recipes
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Casseroles are typically best eaten fresh out of the oven, but any leftovers can be reheated easily in the microwave too. You could also reheat this dish in a 350 degree oven by covering the baking dish with aluminum foil so it doesn't dry out.
Leftovers should be enjoyed within five days. Store the leftover casserole in the refrigerator using an airtight container, or at least cover the baking dish with plastic wrap.
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Hamburger Hash Brown Casserole
- 2 quart Baking dish
- Large skillet
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 16 ounces shredded hash brown potatoes (~4 cups)
- 2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese (divided)
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 1 ounce ranch seasoning packet
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add butter, hamburger, and chopped onions, along with salt and pepper to a skillet set over medium heat. Cook until hamburger is browned and onions are tender. Add Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove mixture from skillet and place in a large bowl with hash browns, 1 cup of cheese, and chopped green onions.
- In a separate dish combine ranch seasoning with sour cream and milk. Mix to combine then add it into the bowl containing the casserole mixture. Mix everything together.
- Pour casserole into a 2-quart baking dish and place in oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese over the top of the casserole and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is beginning to turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.
This recipe was originally published on April 26, 2019, on FoxValleyFoodie.com.