I Need Some Mo Monday’s: Hash Brown Casserole

We’ve teamed up with Morgan Hawthorne, daughter of Marjorie, to bring you exclusive access to her delicious recipes. From veggie side dishes to cozy comfort food to party-worthy cocktails, every Monday in December, we’re unveiling a dish — or drink — worth drooling over.

Our first foray into the kitchen, courtesy of Ms. Morgan, is the hash brown casserole. (Tastebuds are yelling: OMG.)

“I REALLY love Cracker Barrel. It’s often been a sore spot in my household because my New Yorker husband has some odd infatuation with IHOP that I just can’t quite get down with. Anywhoo, this one breakfast item on Cracker Barrel’s menu I just literally can’t get enough of. No matter how many thousands of calories my pancake breakfast already is, this side item is happening. So I would love to take credit for barricading myself into my kitchen and not coming out until I made the perfect copy-cat version of this recipe to share with you, but my girlfriend’s mom, lovingly called Mama Mary, already did that for me. Here’s her recipe for the Cracker Barrel hash brown casserole. I’m putting this recipe in my side dishes category, but honestly just make yourself a big bowl of this bad boy and sit down somewhere and be happy.”

1 16 oz bag of shredded hash brown potatoes
1 small yellow onion, chopped
8 oz Velveeta cheese, small cubes (or you can buy the pre-shredded velveeta in the dairy section)
8 oz sour cream
1/2 can cream of chicken
3 teaspoons Lawry’s seasoning salt
1.5 teaspoons onion powder
1.5 teaspoons of garlic paste (or minced garlic)
Black pepper to taste
16 oz bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 ritz crackers, crushed

*Yields 18 servings

Preheat oven to 375 F
1. Chop onion and sauté in the skillet with shredded potatoes in 6 T oil until the potatoes are just softened. (You can use the potatoes straight from the freezer.)
2. Add all dry seasonings stop potatoes
3. Cube and melt velvet into the potatoes
4. Add sour cream and cream of chicken and astir to combine.
5. Grease a casserole dish (I used butter, but cooking spray or a little oil will do fine.)
6. Place entire mixture into an even layer in the dish.
7. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and then crushed crackers
8. Bake at 375 until cheese is bubbly and just a little golden brown around the edges.

For more of Morgan’s recipes, click here.