Cheesy Beef and Hash Brown Casserole

It All Starts with Ground Beef

Gary’s fondest childhood memories began with a pound of ground beef. There was usually tomato sauce and pasta in the mix, and some sort of cheese, but it’s hard to overstate the importance of ground beef as a staple meat in the Freilich family dinners. And to that end, it’s hard to overstate the importance of ground beef as a dinnertime staple in the kitchens of Americans from coast to coast.

Hello, comfort food. Hello, casserole. Leftovers will be fought over the next day.

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Cheesy Beef and Hash Brown Casserole

A while back for a website I was editing, I tweaked a very popular cheese, beef and potato casserole recipe.  It included ground beef, a couple of canned items including canned mushroom soup, frozen hashbrowns and a few other sundry ingredients. I never want to judge, and believe you me my freezer is full of frozen vegetables, and my pantry is filled with cans. But I wanted to step back and tackle the idea of this somewhat classic recipe with fresh eyes.

And this is what I came up with, and while I resist the notion of boy food (or boy anything), sometimes it’s hard to fight a buttload of empirical evidence. The boyfolk in my family have long felt as though the One Skillet Cheesy Beefy Macaroni recipe in The Mom 100 is one of the reigning cool weather comfort foods in the house, and this was greeted with similar enthusiasm.

Cheesy Beef and Hash Brown Casserole

Ground Beef Hash Brown Casserole

So, what do we have here: Crispy but tender shredded potatoes top a casserole of juicy ground beef bound together with a creamy cheesy sauce.  A final sprinkle of cheddar cheese melts over all at the end, like a dusting of snow.  It’s the casserole version of a terrific cheeseburger.  Hello, comfort food. Hello, Cheesy Beef and Hash Brown Casserole.  Leftovers will be fought over the next day.

You can make the filling ahead of time, up to a day, then just dump it into the casserole, and finish with the cheesy hashbrowns potato topping (don’t grate the potatoes until shortly before using or they will discolor, which really isn’t that big a deal).

Cheesy Beef and Hash Brown Casserole

The kids can absolute lend a hand in making this dish.  Let them measure the various ingredients. You can also suggest your kids pick an herb or spice other than oregano to change things up (think about thyme, marjoram, basil, or chili powder), maybe add other vegetables that you like, like chopped red peppers (which add nice color, too), spread the potatoes over the casserole, sprinkle on the cheese at the end.

Make a great big green salad to go with this, so you can feel like you’ve achieved dinnertime balance.

Cheesy Beef and Hash Brown Casserole

And because the combination of beef and cheese and a starch is just a tough one to beat.

Other beefy, cheesy dinners:

And to have: 10 Things To Make With Leftover Ground Beef!

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Cheesy Beef and Hash Brown Casserole

Crispy but tender shredded potatoes top a casserole of juicy ground beef bound together with a creamy cheesy sauce.
Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1 8-ounce package, divided
  • 2 large Idaho all-purpose potatoes (about 3/4 pound), peeled and grated


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a shallow 2-quart baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is completely browned. Drain in a colander. Carefully wipe out the skillet, and return it to medium heat.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes, until tender. Add the scallions and the browned ground beef and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the oregano and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer then stir in the sour cream, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Simmer for 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and everything is blended.
  • Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place the shredded potatoes in a clean dishtowel and twist and squeeze over the sink to remove as much water as possible from the potatoes. Shake the potatoes into a medium sized bowl. Toss the shredded potatoes with the remaining tablespoon of oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Evenly distribute the potatoes over the ground beef mixture. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the potatoes are tender and browned on top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of shredded cheese on top of the potatoes and return the casserole to the oven for 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 541.37kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.22g | Protein: 28.65g | Fat: 41.4g | Saturated Fat: 18.5g | Cholesterol: 125.13mg | Sodium: 396.71mg | Potassium: 670.55mg | Fiber: 1.63g | Sugar: 2.95g | Vitamin A: 3174.8IU | Vitamin C: 7.98mg | Calcium: 284.48mg | Iron: 3.19mg

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      1. We love this casserole. I had 4 small potatoes that needed to be cooked so I peeled and chopped them up. To speed things up in cooking time while my hamburger meat was browning in another skillet I put cooking oil added the chopped potatoes and hashbrowns and onions basically made fried potatoes. Also I used canned baby carrots. I drain them put them in a bowl take a knife and chop them up like that because they are soft. And taste so good. When I added the potatoes on top of meat mixture I lightly pressed them on top and went ahead and sprinkled my cheese on top. Taking my spatula and cutting the cheese into the potatoes. I place foil on top and it’s in my oven now. I make a salad as you suggest along with garlic bread. And OH MY the salad just sets it off. This is is a delish dish. I make mine in a 9×13 pan because I add a Xtra can of baby carrots.

  1. I made this last night and it was phenomenal. I did tweak it slightly, I had leftover london broil that I shredded and I used a bell pepper instead of carrots. This will definitely be in my rotation. Thanks Katie for this easy and very tasty meal.

    1. I tweaked it but love the results. Used a bag of refrigerated Southwest hash browns and 1lb 95% grass fed beef for less than half the calories. Delicious.

  2. Omg this is so freaking amazing. I halved the recipe as I only had 1 lb of ground beef unfortunately but still came out great! I halved all the ingredients except the broth, I accidentally used the full 1 cup. I let it simmer longer and added extra cheese to coagulate it.. without exaggerating, I probably quadrupled the cheese, adding maybe 2 cups LOL. I baked for 40 mins and didnt add extra cheese at the end since I added so much. The recipe still turned out great, it was easy to make. The cheese ended up getting crispy. It didnt burn but def dark browned, but it was so amazing. Omg I loved it, I’m going in for seconds. My toddler is going to grandmas later when he gets up from his nap. The real test is, if he likes it!

  3. It was very delicious. My family loved it. I added some red wine to the onion/carrot mix and let it cook off added a nice flavor. Would be delicious to later top with pie pastry also. Would be nice with some cooked broccoli or asparagus mixed in.

  4. I immediately converted this to my Instant Pot, stirring the sour cream and shredded cheese in as I add it to the casserole dish. Top with frozen hashbrowns and brown in oven (or under air fryer lid).

  5. I don’t often leave comments but I had to review this recipe. My husband found it online, made a copy of it and left it on the counter. A hint?
    I made a half recipe since I had only 1 lb of ground beef on hand. The only thing I changed was to use shredded dehydrated hash brown potatoes instead of fresh (from Costco’s) and frozen mixed veggies (carrots, corn, green beans) instead of chopping carrots. Not only was this good, it was awesome. The sour cream and broth added nice flavor and also seemed to tenderize the ground beef. I will definitely be making this again. I think since the base of this is so good, other meat and vegetables could be used. (maybe chicken and broccoli?) I will have fun experimenting with this recipe but really, it is perfect as it is!! Thanks so much!

  6. Made this today, comfort food at it’s best. Plenty for at least 2 meals for 2 people with a salad or a vegetable side. I used Simply Potatoes Hash Brown Style. Budget friendly meal! Will pass along to my
    children with many mouths to feed.

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