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Crispy cheesy hash browns recipe

This crispy cheesy hash browns recipe is loaded with bacon and sautéed vegetables. Make your favorite restaurant style hash browns at home with a few foolproof tips. Easy, cheesy hash browns that are crispy, full of flavor and ready in under 30 minutes.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my strawberry scone recipe and my sausage and potato breakfast casserole recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my breakfast and brunch recipes in one place.

hash browns with cheese

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Why you should make this recipe

  • Crispy, crunchy hash browns – If you’ve ever made hash browns that were a gray and gluey mess, this recipe is for you.
  • Quick & easy – This recipe is done in 30 minutes.
  • Great for gatherings – Everyone loves hash browns, and you can double the recipe to feed a big group.

Crispy cheesy hash browns

This loaded hash browns recipe is perfect for Sunday brunch. Cheesy and full of bacon and vegetables, they could be a meal on their own.

There are a couple of tips and tricks to making perfect hash browns that are crispy, yet tender and fluffy inside, and I’m going to tell you exactly how to do it.

Shredded potatoes with bacon, cheese and chives.

Ingredients

  • Russet potatoes – The type of potato matters. Russets are best. Waxy potatoes will not give you that dreamy crunchy exterior and fluffy interior.  
  • Onion – A yellow onion is my go-to here.
  • Bell pepper – Any color of pepper that you like works here. I prefer red or yellow.
  • Bacon – Crispy bacon gives the potatoes amazing flavor.
  • Cheddar jack cheese – This is my favorite, but use whatever you like.
  • Butter – You can swap out butter for oil, if you are dairy-free.
  • Salt & pepper – Everything needs seasoning.
  • Chives or scallions – Gives these hash browns a bit of color and another layer of flavor.
Hash browns in cast iron pan.

How to make crispy hash browns from scratch

Making the best loaded hash browns you’ve ever had is within your reach. Restaurant style shredded potatoes that are super crispy and full of cheese, bacon, onions and peppers. They are perfect for weekends.

  1. First, preheat the oven and cook the bacon until very crispy.
  2. While the bacon is in the oven, fill a large bowl with cold water. Then, peel and grate the potatoes. Add the grated potatoes to the water.
  3. Drain the potatoes and repeat one or two more times, until the water is clear.
  4. Place the drained potatoes onto a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much water as possible.
  5. Cook over medium high heat in a buttered cast iron pan until crispy and cooked through.
Loaded hash browns on plate.

The most important tip is to rinse your potatoes. This step can’t be skipped, otherwise you will end up with gluey potatoes.

The second most important tip is to wring them dry. If you toss wet potatoes into a pan, what will happen? They will steam. That’s not what we want. We crave that crispy, crunchy exterior, so they have to be dry when they hit the pan. 

Cast iron hash browns

A cast iron pan will give you great results, and it is my preferred pan for potatoes. Cast iron heats very evenly, and it maintains heat, which is what we want. It works on a variety of surfaces, whether you have a gas stove, an electric stove or an induction cooktop.

Hash browns in cast iron skillet.

It’s the perfect vessel for cooking hash browns and will yield the best results. If you don’t own one, I highly recommend getting yourself a cast iron pan.

Hash browns Q&A

How do I make hash browns crispy?

Choosing the correct potato, rinsing the shredded potatoes and drying them before adding to the pan are all factors in making the perfect hash browns.

Why should I soak potatoes before making hash browns?

Potatoes have a lot of starch. Rinsing them helps to remove some of that starch so they don’t stick together in a gluey mess, but rather stay separated pieces of shredded potato.

How long can I soak potatoes in water?

Do not soak longer than overnight. Store them in the water in the refrigerator.

Cast iron shredded potatoes with sunny side up egg.

Variations and substitutions

  • Omit the bacon to make them vegetarian.
  • Omit the bacon and cheese to make them vegan.
  • Fold them into an omelet – delicious!

Serving suggestions

For a Sunday brunch at home, serve these crispy, cheesy hash browns with a batch of my Restaurant-style Bloody Mary’s and fresh cherry scones.

Helpful tools and equipment

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Yield: 6 servings

How to Make Crispy Cheesy Hash Browns

How to Make Crispy Cheesy Hash Browns

Make your favorite restaurant quality, crispy cheesy hash browns at home. Easy, full of flavor and ready in under 30 minutes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ - 2 lbs. Russet 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)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F // 200°C. 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.
  2. 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 repeat until water runs clear. (Two or three times)
  3. Place drained potatoes into a clean kitchen towel and twist to wring out as much excess water as possible.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Using a heat proof spatula, break up the potatoes and flip over to brown evenly.
  7. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, breaking up potatoes and moving them around to cook thoroughly. Reduce heat to medium if potatoes get too brown.
  8. Add crispy bacon, onions, peppers and cheese, stir to combine.
  9. Once cheese has melted, remove from heat, top with chopped chives and serve.

Notes

Chef’s Notes:
- 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.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 542Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 808mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 16g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

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