When you need an easy dinner that even your pickiest eaters will love, turn to this Chili Hashbrown Casserole. A quick stovetop chili, easy frozen shredded potatoes, and plenty of melty cheese come together in just a few minutes of prep time.
This busy night dinner is budget-friendly and truly easy. Minimal chopping, not too many dishes, and a complete meal in one.
Kids and husbands will all love this recipe. (And so will you.)
- 1 casserole dish 9 x 13 or slightlly smaller
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 (15 ounce ) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans or black beans rinsed
- 1 pound frozen shredded hashbrowns
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Prep. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center.
- Make the chili. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and spices and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the meat, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the beans and tomatoes. Simmer uncovered for fifteen minutes.
- Assemble the casserole. Pour the chili into the casserole dish. Sprinkle potatoes on top and season them with salt. Sprinkle cheese on top of the potatoes.
- Bake. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the chili is bubbling. If you prefer a browned top, broil on low or five minutes. Serve immediately.
This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
- olive oil
- spices (chili powder, garlic powder, cumin)
- ground beef
- canned diced tomatoes
- canned red kidney beans or black beans (pinto beans are fine too!)
- frozen shredded hashbrowns (these are a real time-saver; they go straight from the freezer into the casserole, no prep needed)
- cheddar cheese or a similar blend like cheddar jack (Note: If you grate your own, it will melt better!)
You can use fresh shredded potatoes too, if you’d like. But why? The frozen shredded ones are cheap and ready to go
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Don’t get too worked up about the size of your casserole dish. 9 x 13 is fine; slightly smaller is fine. Relax!
The key ingredients for this recipe are fairly straightforward and most can be found in your pantry.
You probably have most of these things on hand!
Tips for the best casserole
Meat Quality: Use good quality ground beef for better flavor. If you prefer, you could also substitute with ground turkey or even a meatless alternative.
Onion and Spice Mix: Make sure to sauté the onions until they’re soft. This makes them easier to eat and also brings out their natural sweetness which balances well with the spices.
Tomatoes and Beans: You can choose either red kidney beans or black beans based on your preference. If you want, you can even add both for more texture. As for the diced tomatoes, it’s a good idea to drain them slightly so the casserole isn’t too watery.
Hashbrowns: While the recipe calls for frozen hashbrowns, you can certainly shred your own potatoes if you have the time. Just make sure to squeeze out any excess moisture.
Cheese: Don’t be shy with the cheese. If you love cheese, feel free to add more than the recipe calls for.
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Remember, recipes like this are pretty flexible. Substitutions like cheese, beans, or meat are no big deal.
How to store leftover casserole
In the fridge: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days or freeze them for up to two months, then defrost in the fridge
How to make this recipe ahead of time
- Make the recipe, but do not bake it. Freeze, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Defrost overnight in the fridge and then bake as directed in the oven.
- Or, make just the chili ahead of time. It can be made up to three days in advance, and then you can assemble the rest right before baking.
How to bake a casserole recipe in ramekins
Converting a casserole recipe from a 9 x 13 dish to small ramekins requires a shorter cooking time.
For this recipe, instead of the 30-40 minutes needed for a single large casserole dish, you’ll likely need around 20 minutes for the ramekins.
Just keep an eye out for the tell-tale signs of readiness: bubbling chili and a slightly browned, melted cheese top
🍽 Serve it with
Don’t make life too hard. You’ll love these easy, from-scratch sides:
- No-knead dinner rolls are made the night before, with hardly any hands-on time.
- Everyone loves Amish broccoli salad, and it adds something fresh and green to your table.
- A delicious pear cobbler is the perfect cozy dessert.
More dinners for busy nights
Everyone needs more simple dinners, right? Here are some of our favorites:
- Smoky Creamy Chicken Pasta
- Slow Cooker Beef Macaroni
- Bruschetta and Mozzarella Chicken
- Cast Iron Skillet Pork Tenderloin
All of these will earn a spot in your weeknight dinner rotation!