Thursday, December 22, 2011

Preparing for Christmas Brunch--Potato Casserole

We're just one week away from Christmas. Lights are on the porch, the tree is up (and has been de-ornamented by our new kitty at least 3 times!), and packages are wrapped. I've made three types of cookies, and hope to get at least one more completed.

A few days ago I shared with you "My Best Cinnamon Rolls" recipe. My family also likes breakfast casseroles with some combination of potatoes, cheese, onions, and creamy wonderfulness. Last year I prepared Cheesy Potato Casserole and shared that recipe with you. This year, I'm going to try a more heart-healthy recipe from the good people at

Hash Brown Casserole with Bacon, Onions, and Cheese
  • 6 bacon slices (see NOTE below)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (32-ounce) package frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) pre-shredded Classic Melts Four Cheese blend, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed 30% reduced-sodium, 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • Cooking spray
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Discard drippings in pan. Add 1 cup onion and garlic to pan; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the potatoes; cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine crumbled bacon, 1/4 cup cheese, green onions, sour cream, salt, pepper, and soup in a large bowl. Add potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Remove casserole from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Bake casserole, covered, at 350ยบ for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly around edges and cheese begins to brown.

6 servings

NOTE: I will make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the bacon and sauteing the onions and garlic in 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Vegetarian bacon (cooked according to package directions) or vegetarian sausage can be added if you wish.

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