Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole is my husband's current favorite lunch to take along to the office. I make a large batch and freeze single-serving portions in 2-cup glass Pyrex storage dishes, which he then re-heats in a toaster oven at work. He eats this as a main course for lunch, but it also makes a delicious side dish at any time of day.
Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
- 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, preferably of the rich yellow nutrient-dense dense type
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped small
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 1&1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp fine-ground celtic sea salt
- 6 Tb white rice flour*
- 16 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- Two-16 ounce bags of organic frozen hashbrowns (regular and southern-style both work fine; I use either Cascadia Farms or Sno-Pac Southern Style Organic has browns)
- Melt the butter in a very large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for about 10-15 minutes, until the onion is translucent and soft. I like to use a bamboo spatula to saute the onion. It's okay if the onion takes on a bit of brown, caramelized color while cooking.
- In the meantime, mince the garlic. Shred the cheese using the large side of a box grater.
- Combine the milk and broth in a large bowl. Whisk the liquid while pouring in the rice flour. Whisk it well, so there are no lumps.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- When the onion is done, add the minced garlic and saute just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Whisk the broth and milk mixture into the pan with the onion. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes. This mixture will get rather thick because of the rice flour, but that is just what it should do. Turn off the heat.
- Fold the frozen hash browns into the onion/gravy mixture. If you did not use a very large skillet, you may need to use a large bowl for this.
- In a 9X13 glass baking dish, layer half of the hash brown mixture, then half of the shredded cheese, then the remaining hash brown mixture, and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the casserole for about 45 minutes, until bubbling and lightly browned. If desired, the broiler can be turned on for the last 3-5 minutes to brown the cheese, but watch it carefully as it can burn easily with the broiler on!
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.