These Smothered Breakfast Hash Browns are covered in cheese and loaded with veggies, ham, and bacon. They take just a few minutes to whip up and are sure to become your new breakfast favorite.
Easy Cheesy Hash Browns
This fully-loaded Smothered Cheesy Hash Browns recipe are one of my family’s all-time favorites. It’s super satisfying and easy to adjust depending on what leftovers and ingredients you happen to have on hand. It’s also a great way to use leftover baked potatoes, holiday ham, or veggies in the fridge.
Depending on how many shortcuts you take (we like to buy Kirkland brand precooked bacon in bulk), a skillet full of Smothered Hash Browns can be ready on the table in just about 30 minutes. They taste just like the iconic Waffle House hash browns but way better.
Serve them up with a side of Sausage Gravy, Strawberry Cream Scones, or Vegetable Quiche, and prepare to be wowed.
Suggested Breakfast Hash Browns Recipe
- If you want to turn this hash brown skillet into the main course, add more veggies! Mushrooms, green peppers, jalapenos, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower would all work great in this recipe. This makes delicious smothered and covered hash browns.
- Skip the meat and make it a veggie skillet.
- Instead of ham and bacon, try adding shredded chicken or hamburger meat.
- Make it spicy by adding a can of green chilis and a touch of cayenne.
Ingredients in Cheesy Hash Brow Potatoes
- Potatoes - this is a great way to use up leftover baked potatoes. If you don’t happen to have leftover potatoes on hand, you can bake some ahead of time, or saute diced potatoes on a hot skillet for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked. We prefer to use a more starchy potato for hash browns like a Russet or Idaho potatoes.
- Avocado Oil - you can also substitute olive oil, bacon grease, butter or even a combination.
- Garlic - you can use fresh garlic or minced garlic in the jar.
- Red Pepper - really any color of bell pepper will work.
- Salt and Pepper
- Ham - you can use leftover ham, breakfast ham or even deli sliced ham.
- Bacon Bits - We like the Kirkland brand pre-cooked bacon - it’s a definite time-saver. However, it is also super simple to make your own bacon bits if you prefer. (See the notes below the recipe)
- Shredded Cheese - we usually use shredded cheddar, but mozzarella, Pepper Jack and Monterey Jack would also taste great. I’ve even been known to mix a little cream cheese in with the shredded cheese and it is de-lish.
How to Make Smothered Hash Browns
- Prep your potatoes. If you don’t have baked potatoes on hand, you will need to either bake some or dice and saute raw potatoes. Once you have 3 whole-cooked and diced potatoes, you can continue on with the recipe.
- Saute the veggies. In a nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet, add 2 tablespoons of oil (or bacon grease or butter) and heat over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and cook until they are translucent and slightly golden, or about 5 minutes. Add the diced baked potatoes, garlic, and bell pepper and toss with a spatula until everything is coated in the oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.
- Brown the potatoes. Allow the potatoes to cook uninterrupted in the skillet over medium heat until they begin to turn golden on one side, or about 3-5 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the potatoes over and cook until golden again, repeating this process 3-4 times until they are completely golden brown on all sides. If they are sticking to the pan, you can add another 2-4 tablespoons of oil. This is such a yummy Idaho spuds Hash browns recipe.
- Add the ham and bacon. Once your potatoes are almost completely cooked, add the ham and bacon bits and toss them so that they warm through before removing the hash browns from the heat.
- Add the cheese and melt. Off of the heat, add 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese and mix, then top with the remaining ½ cups of cheese and cover with a lid for a few minutes until it melts.
- Serve. Once the cheese on top has melted, remove the lid and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Hash Brown Recipe Tips and Tricks
- A couple of simple short cuts are to use leftover baked potatoes and premade bacon bits.
- Using a nonstick skillet will really cut down on the amount of oil you need to use.
- If you want to get a little crust over the top of your Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes, toss the skillet into the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
We prefer starchier potatoes such as Russet potatoes and Idaho potatoes. Waxy potatoes contain more water and don’t crisp up as well.
Since we are using pre-cooked potatoes (rather than shredded hash browns), you shouldn’t have as much of an issue with getting them nice and crispy as the water content will be far lower. Just be sure to use enough oil, and to leave the potatoes alone enough to allow them time to brown on each side.
The fork test is a great way to know whether or not your potatoes are cooked all the way through. Just poke the potato with a fork and if it sticks, keep cooking. If it slides right off, the potatoes are done.
Storing and Reheating
If you have any leftover Smothered Hash Browns, don’t throw them out! They can easily be reheated, or even repurposed and made into a cheesy hashbrown casserole, tossed into soup or made into a new kind of breakfast hash or side dish.
- Refrigerator: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: to reheat hash browns, warm a skillet over medium high heat with a little oil and fry the leftover potatoes until warmed through. You can also preheat your oven to 350 degrees, transfer to an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
- Freezing: you can freeze leftover hash browns in freezer bags for up to 1 month if you want. Just let them thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
Smothered Hash Brown Recipe
- 6 Tablespoons Avocado Oil or vegetable oil
- 1 medium Onion white or yellow, diced
- 3 whole Baked Russet Potatoes* cut into ½" pieces
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic minced
- ½ Red Bell Pepper diced
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ cup Ham diced into ½" pieces
- ⅔ cup Bacon Bits**
- 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- In a nonstick pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil (or bacon grease or butter) and heat over medium high heat. Add the diced onions and cook until they are translucent and slightly golden, or about 5 minutes.
- Add the diced baked potatoes, garlic and bell pepper and toss with a spatula until everything is coated in the oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Allow the potatoes to cook uninterrupted until they begin to turn golden on one side, or about 3-5 minutes.
- Using a spatula, flip the potatoes over and cook until golden again, repeating this process 3-4 times until they are completely golden brown on all sides. If they are sticking to the pan, you can add another 2-4 tablespoons of oil.
- Once your potatoes are almost completely cooked, add the ham and bacon bits and toss them so that they warm through before removing the hash browns from the heat.
- Off of the heat, add 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese and mix, then top with the remaining ½ cups of cheese and cover with a lid for a few minutes until it melts.
- Once the cheese on top has melted, remove the lid and serve immediately. Enjoy!
More of The Best Hash Browns Recipes
- Cheesy Potatoes Hash Browns
- Cheesy Hash Browns Crockpot
- Easy Baked Denver Omelet Casserole
- Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
- Breakfast Potato Casserole
- More Best Breakfast Recipes
- More Best Potato Recipes
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These Smothered Hash Browns are super satisfying and easy to adjust depending on what leftovers and ingredients you happened to have on hand. They are easy, cheesy and sure to become your new breakfast favorite.
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