Ah, the venerable casserole. It’s a stalwart of the American kitchen, and for many people is often their first foray into home cooking. While its star has risen and fallen in terms of vogue, it has recently seen a resurgence. It remains a versatile and beloved staple of family meals, perhaps due to its infinite variety; you can make one with tuna, hamburger, or even Tater Tots. The recipe below is one my favorite takes on the casserole, and utilizes a mix of hash brown potatoes, cheddar cheese, and corn flakes (!) for a nice layer of crunch on the top.

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Family Dinners: Mary’s Potato Dish

Family Dinners: Mary’s Potato Dish


  • 2 pound bag of frozen hash browns
  • 6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 cups corn flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt one stick (4 ounces) of the butter. In a large bowl, combine the hash browns, melted butter, onion, soup, cheddar cheese, sour cream and granulated garlic. Place the mixture into a 9-by 13-inch baking pan or casserole dish.
  2. Melt the remaining ½ stick (2 ounces) of butter. Place the corn flakes in a zip lock bag, and use your hands to smash them. Add the melted butter and mix thoroughly. Spread on top of the potato mixture. Bake uncovered for one hour and 15 minutes.
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March 12, 2021 — Mary DiSomma