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Nothing satisfies like this Easy Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole! It’s loaded with eggs, ham, cheese, and of course, shredded potatoes, all seasoned perfectly and baked to savory, comforting perfection. This makes a fantastic Christmas morning or weekend breakfast and can even be made ahead so there is less prep in the morning.
We love celebrating Christmas or Easter morning with something sweet like Cinnamon Rolls or Star Bread, and a savory option, like this one. Some of our other favorites are my Green Chili Egg Casserole or Biscuits and Gravy Casserole.
Overnight Breakfast Casserole
I love, love, love a good savory breakfast casserole. A group of moms in my area used to do a back-to-school brunch where everybody would drop off their kids on the first day then meet up and enjoy a relaxed brunch, potluck style, and sampling all of the breakfast casseroles was my favorite part.
The ones made with hashbrowns were always the best! It’s so satisfying to slice into a casserole that is fully loaded with all sorts of delicious meat and cheese and potatoes. It’s so hearty and filling, and it’s become one of our favorite things to do breakfast casseroles for holidays, even though that’s not something I grew up with.
I love being able to prep this easy breakfast casserole with ham and hashbrowns the night before while the kids are still settling down. Then the kitchen is all clean and tidy before I go to sleep and all I have to do in the morning is preheat the oven and bake!
Not that it’s much work at all to begin with. You could easily make the whole thing in the morning. It just takes an extra 30 minutes to bake the hashbrowns first before adding the eggs, ham, and cheese.
I don’t just save this recipe for holidays, either. It’s also a great dish to make AFTER the holidays to use up some of that leftover holiday ham! I will make a breakfast casserole and freeze individual slices for easy breakfasts during the week sometimes. Then you can just reheat individual servings in the microwave.
Sometimes I even take the reheated casserole and wrap it up in a warmed flour tortilla with a little sour cream and salsa (and maybe an extra strip or two of bacon if I’m feeling extra ambitious) and it’s an instant breakfast burrito that my kids love!
- Frozen hashbrowns: You don’t even need to thaw the hashbrowns first before using them. Just throw the frozen hashbrowns into your baking dish and proceed to Go!
- Eggs: Where would be without eggs for breakfast? They are a great, healthy protein and are delicious in this dish. There are just enough to bind the casserole together without making it overly “eggy”.
- Ham: If I have leftover ham on hand or in the freezer, that’s my preferred choice. But you can pick up a couple of ham steaks at the store (they are usually in the breakfast meats section) and dice those up instead, which is why I did when I made this breakfast casserole.
- Evaporated milk: I like the extra richness of using a can of evaporated milk in this casserole, but you could also sub whole milk. You can even use half-and-half or cream for an extra rich and delicious breakfast casserole.
- Cheese: Pepper Jack and sharp cheddar are my favorite combo for this breakfast casserole because they melt well and give great flavor, but Montery Jack is a good alternative.
- Butter: A stick of melted butter gets drizzled over the hashbrowns before they are baked and helps crisp them up a bit before adding the other ingredients, as well as adding wonderful flavor.
- Salt, pepper, and spices: A little kosher salt, seasoned salt, pepper, onion powder, and smoked paprika give this casserole a flavor boost! Nobody wants a bland breakfast!
- Green onions: The fresh taste and crunch of some chopped green onions sprinkled over the casserole after baking is the perfect way to garnish this dish.
How to Make
- Bake the hashbrowns: Start by dumping the frozen hashbrowns into a 9×13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray for easier cleanup. There is no need to thaw the potatoes first! Drizzle them with melted butter and season with a little salt and pepper, before baking them in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes until just starting to brown a bit on top.
- Make the egg mixture: While the hashbrowns are baking, whisk together some eggs, evaporated milk, seasoned salt, salt, pepper, onion powder, and smoked paprika (one of my favorite ingredients of all time) in a large bowl and set aside.
- Assemble: When the hashbrowns are ready, sprinkle the shredded cheese and diced ham on top and lightly toss them together a bit so the ham and cheese are evenly dispersed throughout the breakfast casserole. Pour the egg mixture over the top, making sure to pour around the edges of the pan and not just the center so that it is evenly distributed. OVERNIGHT OPTION: At this point, you can stick the casserole in the fridge overnight or proceed straight to baking.
- Bake: Decrease the oven temp to 350 degrees F (or preheat if you went the overnight route and are now baking in the morning). Bake the breakfast casserole for 40-45 minutes until it is browning around the edges and the middle is set and no longer jiggly. You might need to cover the casserole with foil if it looks like it is browning too quickly.
- Slice & enjoy!: Sprinkle the chopped green onions over the hashbrown breakfast casserole, then slice into generous squares and serve! This is especially delicious with some fresh fruit on the side.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions
If you want to make this into an overnight breakfast casserole, just prep to the point of baking the whole thing, then refrigerate it overnight and bake in the morning.
I recommend freezing the baked casserole as individual servings rather than as a whole thing. That way they can be easily reheated in the microwave for a quick, filling breakfast whenever you want one. Just let the baked casserole cool, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange individual slices so they aren’t touching. Freeze for 2-3 hours, then transfer the now-frozen slices to a freezer-safe ziploc bag for longer storage of up to 2 months.
- Add some veggies! Want more veggies in your life? Add in a chopped yellow onion with the hashbrowns and butter before baking. Finely dice two red, orange, yellow, or green peppers and add them along with the diced ham.
- Tater tot breakfast casserole: You could use tater tots or country potatoes instead of hashbrowns. There is no need to bake the tater tots first like you do with the hashbrowns.
- Bacon or sausage: If you don’t have ham on hand and don’t feel like running to the store, a pound of cooked and crumbled bacon or sausage is another great option.
More favorite breakfast ideas
- Biscuits & Sausage Gravy
- Belgian Waffles
- The BEST Homemade French Toast
- Toasted Coconut Pancakes
- Macaroni & Eggs (a family favorite)
- Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs
- Blueberry Muffins
- Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
- 1 (30-ounce) package frozen shredded hashbrowns
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 8 large eggs
- 1 and 1/3 cups evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 and 1/2 cups Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 and 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups diced ham, either leftover or 2 (7-ounce) ham steaks
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Dump the frozen hashbrowns into the baking dish. Drizzle with the melted butter and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Toss, then spread in an even layer.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the hashbrowns are lightly browned on top and softened. While the hashbrowns are baking, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, seasoned salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, onion powder, and smoked paprika in a large bowl. Beat well and set aside.
- Remove the hashbrowns from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F or turn it off if using the overnight approach.
- Sprinkle the ham and shredded cheese over the potatoes, tossing a bit to combine. Pour the seasoned egg mixture evenly over the potatoes, making sure to get some around the edges of the pan. At this point, the casserole can be baked immediately or refrigerated overnight and baked in the morning.
- Make sure to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F if using the overnight approach. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges start to brown slightly and the center is just set and doesn't jiggle. Check on the casserole at the 25-30 minute point to see if it is browning too much and cover with foil, if needed.
- Garnish with the chopped green onions, then cut into large squares and serve hot.
- I like to use leftover ham or buy breakfast ham steaks for this casserole, which can usually be found near the breakfast meats in the grocery store.
- Alternatively, 1 pound of cooked and crumbled sausage or bacon can be used in place of the diced ham.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 654mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 16g
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.