Hash Brown Vegan Breakfast Casserole

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Sometime back, we were having Sunday brunch at my sister’s house after church, and I needed to come up with a healthy version of a vegan breakfast casserole to take. This is the amazing Hash Brown Casserole that ended up happening in my kitchen!

hash brown casserole on blue plate with baking dish in background

Everyone–and I do mean EVERYONE–absolutely loved this vegan potato casserole. I was actually shocked at the accolades that were coming my way over this new whole food plant-based (WFPB) breakfast recipe.

This oil and dairy-free version of the traditional American hash brown casserole is delicious and heart-healthy. With potatoes, onions, red bell peppers, creamy vegan cheese sauce, and smoked paprika, there is no skimping on taste. No artery-clogging butter and eggs either.

When I need to take a vegan brunch dish to gatherings, this healthy plant-based casserole is my first pick followed by my vegan quiche recipe or healthy sweet potato muffins.

hash brown casserole in glass baking dish after baked

Hash browns for breakfast

We love hash browns and normally just make them quickly in the waffle iron or panini maker, but this dish needed to be something in the breakfast casserole category--think colorful, warm, and cheesy.

A perfect make-ahead vegan breakfast casserole, this recipe will quickly become a new family favorite just like it did for us.

hash brown casserole on pink plate with casserole dish in background

How to make vegan hash brown casserole

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

In my opinion, other than the hash browns themselves, the star ingredient for this casserole is the homemade vegan cheese sauce.

You will want to make this cheese sauce first thing. It’s really easy to make and even freezes well. I usually already have some on hand in my freezer which shortens the steps to making any of my recipes that require cheese such as vegan nachos, broccoli casserole, and dairy-free scalloped potatoes.

Making this terrific cheese sauce is as simple as boiling a pot of potatoes, onions, and carrots, adding them to a blender with cashews (or white beans), spices, and blending it until smooth. 

vegan cheese sauce in blender

I have a Vitamix blender and so don’t take the time to soak my cashews. That thing is powerful and everything that goes into it comes out creamy. However, if your blender isn’t jet engine speed, soaking the cashews in warm water for at least 30 minutes before adding to this recipe will help this recipe come out more creamy. 

This recipe makes a little more sauce than you actually need for the casserole, so you’ll have some leftovers to try with other recipes. Once the cheese sauce is complete, set it to the side.

To make the casserole, dice the onion and red bell pepper into small chunks, and go ahead and dice up the fresh spinach leaves as well.

diced red bell pepper, onion, and spinach on brown cutting board

In a large bowl, mix together onions, red bell peppers, frozen hash browns, cheese sauce, and spices. Make sure to use a nice big bowl so you’ll have plenty of room for stirring.

hash browns, veggies, and vegan cheese sauce in stainless bowl

Then, toss in the shredded spinach leaves and lightly mix again.

hash brown casserole ingredients in stainless bowl with white spoon

Line a 9″x 13″ baking dish with parchment paper. This allows the casserole to be cooked without oil. You could use a silicone baking dish if desired.

parchment paper lining an empty casserole dish

Pour the hash brown mixture into a baking dish and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. If making in a crockpot, cook on low for approximately 2 hours. 

hash brown casserole in glass baking dish before cooked

Remove from oven and serve warm. Believe me, this is going to be the best breakfast casserole you’ve eaten!

Everyone at our family gathering loved this breakfast casserole, along with the Banana Oat Pancakes that I took as well.  I came home with empty dishes which is always a good feeling, and there were many requests for a recipe.

*Original publish date November 2017.

Choosing frozen hash browns

When shopping for frozen hash browns, check the ingredient list well. You will want to buy the ones that are only shredded potatoes and have no added oil, salt, or other ingredients.

I have found that off-brands such as Aldi, Walmart, and other grocery stores are perfectly compliant and quite inexpensive.

A number of people have asked if they could shred their own fresh potatoes for this. The answer is yes, but you will need to remove as much of the water from them as possible first.

hash brown breakfast casserole on blue plate close up

Pro tips & suggestions

  • Prep ahead- To make this vegan potato casserole even faster, I sometimes dice and freeze the onion and red pepper ahead to time to use in this casserole.
  • Cheese sauce- I often freeze the cheese sauce to use in other recipes, so I always have some on-hand.
  • Frozen hash browns- When purchasing frozen hash brown, read the label to make sure the only ingredient is potatoes. Aldi’s brand is perfect for this recipe. Off-brands of hash browns often work well and have only potatoes as an ingredient.
  • Baking dish- I use a 9″x 13″ baking dish.

We love breakfast casseroles because they’re…

  • Easy to make ahead
  • Great for family brunches
  • Perfect for holidays
  • Filling
  • Comforting
  • Delicious!

More vegan breakfast recipes:

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

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hash brown breakfast casserole on blue plate close up
4.48 from 343 votes

Vegan Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

Author: EatPlant-Based.com
This oil and dairy-free version of the traditional American hash brown casserole is delicious and hearty-healthy. With potatoes, onions, red bell peppers, creamy vegan cheese sauce, and smoked paprika, there is no skimping on taste. No artery-clogging butter and eggs either! Vegan Breakfast Casserole is amazing!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

Hash Brown Casserole

  • 1 30 oz package frozen shredded hash browns oil-free version (or 4 cups freshly shredded)
  • 3/4 cup onions diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 3/4 cup fresh spinach leaves shredded
  • 1 cup No Cheese Sauce recipe below
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry steak seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon ground smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste

Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup carrots diced
  • 1/4 cup onions diced
  • 1 cup broth from veggies
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews or 1/2 cup white beans
  • 4 tablepoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch paprika
  • 1/2 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

Hash Brown Casserole

  • Begin by making the cheese sauce using the recipe below. This recipe makes a little more sauce than you actually need for the casserole, so you'll have a little leftover to try with other recipes. Once the cheese sauce is complete, set it to the side.
  • To make the casserole, dice the onion and red bell pepper into small chunks, and go ahead and dice up the fresh spinach leaves as well.
  • In a large bowl, mix together onions, red bell peppers, frozen hash browns, cheese sauce, and spices. Make sure to use a nice big bowl so you'll have plenty of room for stirring.
  • Toss in shredded spinach leaves and lightly mix again.
  • Line a 9"x13" baking dish with parchment paper. This allows the casserole to be cooked without oil. You could use a silicone baking dish if desired.
  • Pour hash brown mixture into the baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and serve warm.

Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • In a medium pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in the pot and allow to cook until veggies are tender-- approximately 15 minutes. Cooking time will vary based on how small the veggies are diced.
  • When veggies are tender, drain and place them in the blender. NOTE: reserve 1 cup of the broth, and add to blender. Add all the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.
  • Now, it's ready to use in this Hash Brown recipe. Cheese Sauce is also fabulous in nacho cheese dip, veggie pizza, mac-n-cheese, topping for steamed broccoli, or anything else you need a creamy, cheesy sauce in. It makes approximately 1 quart and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Video

Notes

Pro Tips & Suggestions:
  1. Prep ahead- To make this vegan potato casserole even faster, I sometimes dice and freeze the onion and red pepper ahead to time to use in this casserole.
  2. Cheese sauce- I often freeze the cheese sauce to use in other recipes, so I always have some on hand.
  3. Frozen hash browns- When purchasing frozen hash brown, read the label to make sure the only ingredient is potatoes. Aldi's brand is perfect for this recipe. Off brands of hash browns often work well and have only potatoes as an ingredient.
  4. Baking dish- I use a 9"x13" baking dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.2g | Protein: 8.1g | Fat: 5g | Fiber: 5.4g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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146 Comments

  1. The hash brown casserole and the cheese sauce recipe is delicious! This is definitely a keeper!

  2. This is probably the best breakfast casserole I have ever made. I served it the past two years on Christmas morning (beautiful red, green and gold colors!) but it’s so good I think I have to start making it much more often. Love that you don’t sautee the veggies before baking; leaves them nice and crispy. The cheese sauce is so delicious it can be eaten with a spoon like soup!!! I will add my modifications here: I double all the veggies you call for, and I top with a layer of panko bread crumbs and cheedar cheez shreds. I also bake covered for 40 minutes, uncovered for 10 minutes, and broil for 2 minutes at the end to give it a crispy browned finish. I also prepare the entire thing the night before, except for baking, so it’s easy to pop into the oven from the refrigerator when you wake up.

  3. Hi Terri,
    This was very tasty. The vegan cheese sauce is THE BEST! I’ll make it constantly. 😉

    For some reason, it took almost an hour in my oven for the casserole to get hot all the way through (at 30 minutes it really hot at all) I check the oven temp with a thermometer, and other things I bake don’t take longer, so I’m not sure what was going on. At first I thought it might be because I used a Pyrex (glass) 9 x 13 baking dish, but I think you also use a glass dish. If you have any thoughts, please let me know.

    Also: I’ve had trouble finding a brand of nutritional yeast that I like. Do you think the brand you recommend here is different from others, in terms of flavor? Are there other brands you think are as good, flavor-wise?

    Many thanks for any thoughts and for the great recipes!

    1. Hi Lisa- I am so glad that you love the cheese sauce! For the casserole, what type of frozen hashbrowns did you use? If you used homemade shredded potatoes, that could be the problem because they hold so much moisture. As far as nutritional yeast flakes go, I like to use the Anthony’s brand.

      1. Thanks for the reply, Terri. I used a 30-oz bag of frozen hash browns. Other ingredients were as in the recipe, and I haven’t had trouble with my oven temp being off when I bake other stuff. Wonder what the deal was? Maybe my freezer is insanely cold?! Anyway, I’ll definitely make the casserole again—it’s soooo good. I’ll just plan on a longer cooking time.

  4. I want to make this to transport and you say a crock pot can be used. Do I just put the casserole together as if I am using the 9X13 but in the crock pot and the only thing that changes is cooking it for 2 hours? Anything else I need to know? Thank you!!!

  5. Do you put the hash browns in while they’re still frozen? Wouldn’t that make the casserole watery? I just want to make sure I’m making this as intended. Thanks!

  6. Pretty good but I was tempted to cook the onions and peppers before adding them to the hash browns. I really wish I had, because even after 40 minutes in the oven they were still crunchy. Otherwise it was good!

  7. If you use fresh, grated potatoes, should they be boiled first or is raw okay? Thank you! I’m very anxious to try this recipe!

  8. Really, really good! Everyone liked it. My tweaks: used the whole red pepper and whole bag of baby spinach. Also added diced water chestnuts for some crunch. That “cheese” sauce is so very good! I use it on lots of things!

  9. Jackpot! This dish is delicious but the cheese sauce is next level! I initially held back on the amount of salt but it needs the full measure. Will definitely make this again. Thank you.

  10. I just found this recipe and can’t wait to try it. I noticed that you recommended non-fortified nutritional yeast. I don’t really know the pro’s and con’s of fortified vs unfortified, but I’m hoping it’s okay to use a fortified brand, such as Bragg’s or Bob’s Red Mill because those are the ones I have on hand.

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