We are turning our favorite cheesy potato casserole into a complete, filling meal with this Beef Hashbrown Casserole recipe! Ground beef bulks up everyone’s favorite potato side, making it extra satisfying, with all the creamy sauce, cheese, and hashbrowns you love from the original.
Hashbrown casserole has been one of my favorite side dishes since I was little—and even as an adult, it’s my go-to order when I’m at Cracker Barrel. When it comes to the perfect comfort food, it doesn’t get any better than cheese and potatoes!
This ground beef hashbrown casserole is a heartier version of the classic dish. Ground beef adds protein and makes it an all-in-one dinner that’s ideal for busy weeknights—or as a more filling side dish to help you stretch a main course a little further, an in turn makes it very budget friendly.
While my family loves this as an easy weeknight meal, it’s also the kind of crowd-pleaser you’ll love bring to a potluck or family gathering for the holidays. Plus, you can make it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat!
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Kid-friendly – If you have picky kids to feed, this hashbrown hamburger casserole is an easy way to get them to eat their dinner! There aren’t any complex flavors or ingredients, just lots of cheesy, beefy goodness. The whole family will love it!
- Easy to prep ahead – Make it when you have extra time and heat it up when you’re ready for dinner. It’s also great for when you’re hosting a brunch—making it in advance frees up your time for entertaining!
- No fancy ingredients – All you need for this recipe is ground beef, hashbrowns, canned soup, cheese, and a few other simple ingredients.
- Feeds a crowd – One of the best things about dishes like this ground beef and hashrbown casserole is that they can feed a lot of people. Perfect for potlucks and get-togethers with family and friends!
This ground beef hashbrown casserole recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few minutes of prep for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use for how to make hashbrown beef casserole to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Lean ground beef – I use lean ground beef in this recipe to keep the fat content in check. This also means there’s less grease to drain!
- Yellow onion – While a white onion works too, I prefer yellow because it has a milder flavor.
- Frozen hash brown potatoes – I recommend using the shredded kind, not diced.
- Butter – Melt the butter in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl.
- Salt and ground pepper – To enhance the overall flavor of the recipe.
- Condensed cream of chicken soup – Use store bought, or make the sauce from scratch. You can also substitute cream of celery, or cream of mushroom soup here for a flavor twist.
- Sour cream – Sour cream adds a bit of tanginess.
- Sharp cheddar cheese – You can use any kind of shredded cheese here, but I prefer sharp cheddar.
Make sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full quantities and ingredients list.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Use a different soup – Swap the cream of chicken soup with cream of celery or cheddar cheese soup for a different flavor profile.
- Make it meatless – Follow the recipe for our classic Hashbrown Casserole here.
- Spice it up – Add some heat with jalapeño peppers or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Make it for brunch – Swap the ground beef with cooked crumbled breakfast sausage to make this dish perfect for brunch.
- Add some crunch – Sprinkle crushed Ritz crackers, rice krispies or cornflakes tossed with melted butter, or French fried onions on top of the casserole before baking.
Recipe Step by Step
I am going to highlight a few key steps in the recipe here, but make sure to jump down to the recipe card for comprehensive instructions on how to make ground beef hashbrown casserole.
- Step 1 – Brown the ground beef and onion.
- Step 2 – Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- Step 3 – Stir everything together.
- Step 4 – Transfer to a casserole dish, add the remaining cheese, and bake.
- Finely chop the onion – You don’t want large pieces of onions in your casserole, so make sure to finely chop it.
- Drain the ground beef mixture well – This will keep your beef hashbrown casserole from being overly greasy.
- Be careful not to overbake – The key to a creamy casserole is not overcooking it. Keep an eye on it as it bakes and once the edges start bubbling, your hashbrown beef casserole is done!
- Let it rest – After baking, let the casserole sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it allows the creamy sauce to thicken a bit.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Use precooked ground beef – If you have cooked ground beef in the freezer or want to meal prep for the week by browning a big batch of ground beef over the weekend, you can get a little head start on this recipe.
- Buy diced onion – You can find pre-diced onions in the produce section and it will save you some time on prepping this beef hashbrown casserole!
- Assemble ahead of time – If you don’t have much time for prepping dinners during the week, you can assemble the entire casserole in advance so all you have to do is pop it in the oven.
Freezer Meal Instructions
Making this hamburger hashbrown casserole recipe into a freezer meal is simple! Follow the steps below and you can store this recipe in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To freeze before cooking
- Assemble the casserole in the baking dish as directed. Cover tightly with a layer of plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil.
- Label and date, then place in the freezer.
- To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight then bake according to the original recipe instructions.
How to Freeze Beef Hashbrown Casserole After Cooking
- Divide into individual portions and freeze separately or wrap the entire casserole with plastic wrap.
- Label and date, then place in the freezer.
- To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then cover with foil and bake at 350ºF until warmed through.
What to Serve with Ground Beef Hashbrown Casserole
Since this protein based dinner has the delicious flavors of old-fashioned comfort food, it will pair well with many of your favorite classic side dishes.
Choose one or several of these side dishes to create a wholesome, well-rounded dinner. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Sautéed Mushrooms with Garlic Butter
- Brown Butter Broccoli
- 3 Minute Instant Pot Corn on the Cob with Garlic Butter
- Garlic Bread
- House salad
Ground Beef Hashbrown Casserole Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making this recipe, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
This casserole is a great main dish or hearty side for dinner, but you can also serve it with breakfast or brunch. Try serving it alongside bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes, and fresh fruit for brunch. For dinner, pair it with chicken breasts or pork chops as a side or a vegetable if you’re serving the casserole as your main dish.
Yes, you can substitute fresh potatoes for frozen hashbrowns in this recipe. Shred them in a food processor or with a box grater, then wrap the shredded potatoes in a clean dish towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.
Yes, you can make this easy meal ahead of time. Just assemble the beef hashbrown casserole as directed and refrigerate up to a day before baking. You may need to adjust the baking time depending on how cold your casserole is when it goes in the oven.
More EASY Ground Beef Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my easy beef recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 30 ounces frozen hash brown potatoes, shredded (1 bag)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 10.75 ounce condensed cream of chicken soup, (1 can)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion over medium heat. Break up the beef as it cooks, and once done drain any excess fat or liquid.
- Combine the the melted butter, salt, pepper, soup, sour cream in a large bowl. Mix in the hash browns, cooked ground beef and onions, and one cup cheese and stir until evenly combined.
- Grease 9×13 or large baking dish, then transfer the mixture in the dish evenly as possible. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the casserole.
- Bake the hashbrown casserole at 350˚F for 45 minutes. Optional: turn the oven to broil and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the top is crispy and browned and the edges are bubbling.