photograph by Matt Hulsman


Yield: 8 to 12 servings.

32 ounces frozen diced or shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
12 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 (10-ounce) can or 1 (12-ounce) box cream of chicken or celery soup
2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon flavored (such as Lawry’s or Old Bay) or regular salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Texas Pete, or to taste (optional)
2½ cups cornflakes
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400º. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or mist with nonstick cooking spray.

Stir together potatoes, Cheddar, soup, sour cream, salt, garlic, pepper, and hot sauce (if using) in a large bowl. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Note: At this point, you can proceed with the recipe or cover and refrigerate overnight, which is what I do on Christmas Eve.

Bake (uncovered) until golden brown on top and bubbling around the edges, about 40 minutes.

Toss together cornflakes, Parmesan, and melted butter in a medium-size bowl. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the casserole. Continue baking until cheese melts and topping is golden brown and crunchy, about 15 minutes.

Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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Sheri Castle hails from Watauga County, but came down off the mountain to go to Carolina and now lives in Fearrington Village. She is a writer, recipe developer, cooking teacher, and popular public speaker. She is fueled by mountains, excellent bourbon, farmers’ markets, and searching for the right word. Sheri believes that stories happen only to those who can tell them. Check her out at