Learn how to make crispy cheesy hash browns loaded with bacon and sautéed vegetables. Have you ever made hash browns that ended up a gluey mess? Never again. Make your favorite restaurant quality hash browns at home with a few foolproof tips. Easy, Cheesy Hash Browns are crispy, full of flavor and ready in under 30 minutes.
I remember the first time that I ever made hash browns. I think I was in my early teens. It was a mess. It was basically a pile of gluey, sticky potatoes. Not at all appetizing. I hadn’t yet learned the trick to getting that super crispy outside. Mine were all stuck together and I wanted the shredded potatoes to be separated. It was everything I didn’t want it to be.
After working in a high-end catering company in NYC for half a dozen years, I mastered the latke. We made thousands of these potato pancakes during the holiday season for cocktail parties and catered dinners. That experience taught me how to properly cook shredded potatoes and how to make the crispy, cheesy hash browns of my dreams. Now, I’m going to show you.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY CHEESY HASH BROWNS:
So, what’s the secret? The most important tip is to rinse your potatoes. Then, rinse them again. Now, one more time. This is the biggest mistake when making hash browns. This step can’t be skipped, otherwise you WILL end up with the aforementioned gluey mess. Wringing them out is imperative. If you toss wet potatoes into a pan, what will happen? They will steam, right? That’s not what we want. We crave that crispy, crunchy exterior, so they have to be dry when they hit the pan. Also, the type of potato you choose matters. A waxy potato will not give you that dreamy crunchy exterior and fluffy interior.
I had to mess up quite a few batches until I learned how to make crispy cheesy hash browns that made my potato-loving dreams come true. Hopefully, you can skip ahead to making the best loaded hash browns you’ve ever had. They are super crispy, full of cheesy goodness, bacon, sauteed onions and peppers and perfect for weekends.
- 1 ½ - 2 lbs. Idaho® Norkotah or Russet Burbank Potatoes, about 4 medium potatoes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
- 5 strips bacon, cooked until crispy (recipe below)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake bacon for 15-18 minutes, until crispy. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, cut into ½ inch pieces.
- Fill a medium bowl with cold water. Peel potatoes and grate on a box grater, using the side with large holes. Immediately drop grated potatoes into the water. Drain into a fine mesh colander and rinse until water runs clear. (Two or three times)
- Place drained potatoes into a clean kitchen towel and twist to wring out as much excess water as possible.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a cast iron skillet and sauté the onions and peppers over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add remaining butter to pan. Increase heat to medium high. When butter has melted, add potatoes to pan and let them cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Using a heat proof spatula, break up the potatoes and flip over to brown evenly.
- Continue cooking for 10 minutes, breaking up potatoes and moving them around to cook thoroughly. Reduce heat to medium if potatoes get too brown.
- Add peppers, onions, bacon, cheese and chives, if using.
- Once cheese has melted, remove from heat and serve.
- Rinsing the potatoes to remove starch helps to keep the hash browns crispy and separated instead of gluey and stuck together.
- Wringing out the water will help them to brown and get that delicious crunchy exterior.
- I find that a cast iron skillet gives me the BEST hash browns. It definitely is worth the investment if you don't own one.
MORE BREAKFAST IDEAS:
- Breakfast Casserole
- Baked Eggs in Mini Pepper Cups
- Banana Muffins
- Breakfast Cookies
- Banana Pancakes
- Dutch Puff Pancake