I wish I had a cute story behind this not-so-cute dish, but the truth is that I saw a hash brown casserole recipe online and wanted to fat-free veganize it. So I did.
I threw out all the butter, the cheese, the sour cream, the cream of chicken-parts soup, as well as the corn flakes on top, and what I had left was a package of hash brown potatoes–and the need for a really good sauce. So I turned to my favorite cheesy sauce, which can magically transform even the most mundane ingredients into instant comfort food.
As you know, I can’t resist the impulse to turn side dishes into one-pot meals, so I chopped up some kale and added a can of chickpeas, which resulted in one of the least attractive casseroles I’ve ever seen (and casseroles aren’t generally known for their beauty). But it tasted rich and comforting, with less than half of the fat of the original (even though my servings are much larger) and none of the cholesterol. And as an added bonus, it’s gluten-free!
Besides being a great main dish, consider this the perfect choice for your next brunch or hearty breakfast. Leftovers keep well—just reheat gently in the oven or taster oven.
For more casseroles (some of them pretty nice looking!) check out my Casseroles Archive of 40+ recipes.
Healthy Hash Brown Casserole
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 cup plain sugar-free non-dairy milk
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup raw cashews or 2 tablespoons tahini optional
- 3 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons salt omit for low-sodium diets
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- black pepper to taste
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 12 ounces kale stems removed and leaves chopped
- 16 ounces frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes thawed (see notes below)
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a 11x9-inch baking dish.
- Place sauce ingredients in blender and blend at high speed until smooth.
- Heat a large, deep non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. (Add water by the tablespoon if needed to prevent sticking.) Stir in the garlic, kale, and 2 tablespoons of water; cover tightly. Cook, stirring every 60 seconds, until kale has wilted to about half its volume.
- Add the sauce, hash browns, and chickpeas. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Pour into prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until casserole is set (no longer liquid in the middle), 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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AshApril 18, 2019 at 4:29 pm
I don’t have nutritional yeast… can I leave that out or will it be a disaster?
I searched substitutes but most say cheese and I’m tying to keep it cheese-free.
Susan VoisinApril 18, 2019 at 4:41 pm
It’ll lose a lot of flavor without nutritional yeast. You might be able to add seasonings to it, but it won’t taste the same. Some recipes you can omit nutritional yeast from without problems, but this one really needs it.
C.April 21, 2019 at 2:24 pm
Just made this, it’s amazing! Will be making it again. Potatoes are life.
RhiannonApril 29, 2019 at 5:54 pm
I’ve been making this recipe regularly for a year or so now. I just wanted to let you know that this has become a staple for our family! I usually sub spinach for the kale (my kid is more likely to eat it that way) and we just love it 😁❤️
Susan VoisinApril 29, 2019 at 10:08 pm
I’m so happy to hear that! ❤️
De DeeJuly 16, 2019 at 8:11 pm
made this recipe today, it will be a regular in my house
its so good, Thank you for sharing
DonnAugust 2, 2019 at 3:50 pm
I have it in the oven right now..could have used a little more Kale and realized I missed putting in the Nutritional Yeast..so pulled it out of the oven and added it.. Hoping it is as good as everyone says! Will let you know!
JFebruary 7, 2020 at 5:23 pm
Will this work with peeled and diced potatoes?
Susan VoisinFebruary 7, 2020 at 6:22 pm
Yes, just make sure they’re evenly diced.
mary schornFebruary 29, 2020 at 9:49 am
Love the recipe, I have also used the sauce from this for Mac n cheese with very good results. Love it both ways. Mary
CamApril 4, 2020 at 11:40 am
Will this work with shredded hash brown?
Susan VoisinApril 4, 2020 at 2:29 pm
Yes, it should.
Alexandria PhillipsJanuary 5, 2021 at 3:47 pm
This turned out amazing!! I had to make a few tweaks because I am running low on groceries and it still came out amazing. I used shredded oil free hash browns. I only has half a cup of oat milk in the fridge so I used that and upped the water and upped the cashews a bit to make up for less milk. I ran out os smoked paprika the other day so i used regular paprika and a little bit of chipotle powder to give it a smokey ness. It was outstanding. I can’t want to try it with cubed potatoes.
Mary Pat AllenFebruary 12, 2021 at 11:40 am
Delicious!! I will be making this again!
CatherineApril 6, 2021 at 12:35 pm
Can I prepare this in the evening, refrigerate overnight, and bake it in the morning?
Susan VoisinApril 6, 2021 at 1:16 pm
I haven’t tried that, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.