Nana Recipe Wednesday–Scalloped Hash Browns

by Sarah on May 7, 2014

Undercover Caterer :: Nana's Scalloped Hash Browns

Holy junk food Batman!  This recipe (along with next weeks) led to the most cringe-inducing grocery shopping trip I have ever been a part of.  In my cart: Cake mix, marshmallows, Jell-o, cream of mushroom soup, corn flakes, Cool Whip, and frozen hash browns.  I was forced to go through the self-check out because I was too ashamed for anyone to see my stealth junk-food shopping experience.  The checker would either be horrified or curious, and of course start asking questions about my diet and I just wasn’t up for it.  I swiped my stash and slunk out of there before I ran into some neighbors.

Undercover Caterer :: Nana's Scalloped Hash Browns

It was the 50’s…or maybe the 60’s…convenience foods were all the rage. Nana was busy running Camp Fire Girls and SIGHT (a vision care organization for low-income children and adults), organizing fund raisers for local politicians, playing bridge and generally being awesome, so we can excuse her for an occasional short cut recipe.  I have to admit, though, I was a little scared to try this.

But is was surprisingly quite good.  Like, really good.  And why not, it’s approximately 75% fat, 20% starch and 5% crunchy things.  That equals 100% satisfying.

Undercover Caterer :: Nana's Scalloped Hash Browns

Nana wrote that you could also make this using tater tots, and you could top with either buttered breadcrumbs OR buttered cornflakes.  I went with the plain hash browns and cornflakes.  I think the tot version is worth a go, though.

Undercover Caterer :: Nana's Scalloped Hash Browns

I will admit to adding and changing a couple of things–I sauteed the onion first, and figured while I was there, I added a minced jalapeno and some red bell pepper.  You can do it my way or Nana’s, whatever floats your boat.

Nana's Scalloped Hash Browns


  • 1 big bag frozen hash browns or tater tots (2 lbs--my bag was a little more), thawed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 2-3 cups corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • olive oil, salt, pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 Pyrex pan (or two smaller vessels). Set aside.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno and cook until softened. Add red bell pepper and garlic and cook until softened and the garlic is fragrant. Season with salt. Push the vegetables to the side and melt 1/4 of the butter in the pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the thawed potatoes, sour cream, soup, vegetable mixture and season with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Mix till combined.
  • Spoon potatoes into the Pyrex dish(es). (I used two dishes and froze half)
  • Melt the other 1/4 cup butter in a medium bowl in the microwave. Add corn flakes and parmesan cheese and mix to combine. Sprinkle buttered cornflakes (or breadcrumbs, whichever you choose) over the top of the potatoes.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until heated through, bubbly and browned.

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