These Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives will be the star of your next brunch gathering!

blue ramekins filled with Cheesy Hash Browns


Who doesn’t love that cheesy sour cream hash brown casserole that shows up time after time at family gatherings and potlucks? It seems that this same basic recipe has been around forever, but I never tire of its comforting flavors. My mom and youngest sister are famous for keeping this scrumptious recipe on our plates, racking up extra points of favor from my husband each and every time they serve it.

I decided to take this tried and true recipe and step it up a notch or two. With just one bite, I know you’ll agree that these Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives are as good as this dish gets!


Hash Brown Cups with Bacon

I am excited, and so honored, to be on the Kitchen Conversations team again this year with Land O’Lakes. Their butter, plus so many other Land O Lakes products, are staples in our kitchen. And I love knowing that their headquarters are just down the road from me here in Minnesota, home base for this farmer-owned cooperative.

To begin this new year with Land O’Lakes, they asked me to share a brunch recipe. I couldn’t resist the idea of individually portioned hash brown cups that could be made a day in advance. Because on the morning of hosting a brunch, I hope that my kitchen is clean and shiny, and that all I have to do is pop dishes in the oven and make the table pretty for guests. I hope you find this recipe as irresistible as I do!

Pancakes on a plate for Pin a Meal. Give a Meal

Land O’Lakes is partnering once again with Feeding America® to kick off their third year of the Pin a Meal. Give a Meal. campaign, and my cheesy hash brown cups were made in the spirit of giving back. Help us reach our goal of donating 3.5 million meals to hungry families in need of nourishment. By pinning my Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives, or another recipe of your choice, you will contribute 10 meals to Feeding America. And to provide even more meals, simply pin additional recipes from Land O’Lakes here. To learn more about this campaign, visit here.

Land O’Lakes is also offering another fun way to support Pin A Meal. Give a Meal. this year — a live online cooking event with Ree, The Pioneer Woman, and Becky from the Land O’Lakes Test Kitchen. The event takes place on Wednesday, April 1 at noon ET. Ree and Becky will be cooking their signature Feeding America® recipes live through an online video stream from Ree’s ranch and answering your spring cooking and baking questions.

The best part? All day on April 1, for each recipe pinned from the Land O’Lakes Pin A Meal. Give A Meal board Land O’Lakes will double their Feeding America® donation from 10 meals per pin to 20 meals per pin.  

Participating in the event is simple!

  • RSVP by clicking the link here: A reminder will be automatically added to your calendar and you’ll be sent a confirmation email recapping all the event details.
  • At noon on April 1, return to the same link where you RSVP’d and tune in for the live cooking event.
  • Share your questions for Ree and Becky on Twitter using #PinAMeal and they may answer them live during the event.
  • All day on April 1, pin recipes included in the Land O’Lakes Pin A Meal. Give a Meal program to help double the amount of meal donations.

I’ll be participating along with fellow bloggers The Little Kitchen, Two Peas and Their Pod, A Spicy Perspective, Bake at 350, and Fifteen Spatulas. We hope you will join us!

crushed corn flakes mixed with butter and canola oil

I used the Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil in this recipe for cheesy hash brown cups. Simply take the tub out of the refrigerator a few minutes before you’re ready to start, and it will be perfectly creamy and easy to measure.

The butter with canola oil is mixed with crushed corn flakes cereal and a touch of garlic powder for an awesome crunchy topping. It is also incorporated into the hash brown mixture and used to create an easy creamy substitute for the cans of cream soup that are listed in the traditional recipe. No canned soups here!

Hash Brown Cups with a tub of land o lakes butter

Another really great twist to the traditional hash brown casserole recipe is that I added bacon to these hash brown cups. Because bacon is never, ever a bad thing. Especially when it comes to brunch.

Also, because our girls are head over heels for anything with sharp cheddar these days, I incorporated sharp cheddar in lieu of the more common mild or medium. This punches up the flavor even more.

Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives

Hash brown casserole from a big ol’ pan or slow cooker is fine, and you’ll never see me pass up a helping of it. I, in fact, will still continue to make it that way, too, for the common potluck gathering. But when I’m looking to serve this tasty dish with a bit of entertaining flair, I’ll be using this recipe right here, baked in pretty ramekins. It is always fun to see how much people enjoy being served an individually portioned dish. It’s like they just received the most amazing gift, which makes the hostess in me smile.

Pin a meal to give a meal campaign

Please take a moment to pin these cheesy hash browns cups. Your simple gesture will have a huge impact on families across America, providing both nourishment and hope.

Also be sure to check out the delicious recipes created by my Kitchen Conversations friends. For each recipe that you pin, you will contribute 10 meals to Feeding America. Thank you so much!

Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives

Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives

Yield: 8 servings
prep time: 35 minutes
cook time: 40 minutes
total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
These Make-Ahead Cheesy Hash Brown Cups with Bacon and Chives will be the star of your next brunch gathering!
5 Stars (1 Review)


for the cream soup substitute:

for the hash brown mixture:

  • ½ lb. bacon
  • 4 T. Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil
  • c. finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 lb. frozen hash brown potatoes no need to thaw
  • ½ c. reduced fat sour cream
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ c. finely chopped fresh chives divided
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

for the corn flakes topping:


for the cream soup substitute:

  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the Butter with Canola Oil. Whisk in flour. This will be thick. Let mixture cook for a minute or two, stirring once or twice, until it browns just a bit. Then slowly stir in chicken broth while gently whisking at the same time, to smooth out the butter/flour mixture.
  • Then slowly add half and half, while gently whisking until smooth. Let mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove pan from heat and set aside.

for the hash brown mixture:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Place eight 8-ounce ramekins or custard cups on a large baking pan and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, gently fry the bacon until chewy-crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. When cool enough to handle, chop bacon into small pieces and set aside.
  • Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the skillet and return skillet to stove top over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of Butter with Canola Oil to melt. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat.
  • Reserve 3 tablespoons of the chopped bacon; set aside. Add remaining chopped bacon and onion/garlic mixture to a large bowl. Stir in hash brown potatoes. Then add prepared cream soup substitute, sour cream, and cheese.
  • Gently melt remaining 3 tablespoons Butter with Canola Oil in a small bowl in the microwave, and drizzle over hash brown mixture. Fold to fully incorporate, then add 3 tablespoons of chopped chives and fold mixture again. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Divide hash brown mixture evenly between the eight ramekins.

for the corn flakes topping:

  • In a small bowl, briefly microwave the Butter with Canola Oil to melt. Stir in crushed corn flakes cereal. Sprinkle with garlic powder and stir to incorporate. Divide mixture evenly over the tops of the hash brown mixture in the ramekins.
  • Add the reserved 3 tablespoons of bacon around the edge of the corn flakes topping, dividing evenly between the eight ramekins. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
  • If baking immediately, place pan with ramekins in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and the tops have browned a bit. If baking later in the day, or the following day, cover the pan of ramekins with foil and place pan in refrigerator. Remove pan from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and the tops have browned a bit. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes prior to serving. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of chopped chives, dividing evenly amongst the eight ramekins.


Adapted from the cheesy sour cream hash brown recipe that my mom and sister Jessica often serve, originally from the Braun-German cookbook from my dad’s side of the family.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 562kcal Carbohydrates: 25g Protein: 21g Fat: 43g Saturated Fat: 19g Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 93mg Sodium: 1280mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

The Land O’Lakes Foundation will donate $1 to Feeding America® for every recipe pinned or repinned between March 2, 2015 and April 30, 2015. (Pin any Land O’Lakes recipe or submit any recipe pin at $1 helps provide 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks. Land O’Lakes guarantees a minimum of 3.5 million meals (monetary equivalent of $350,000).

Disclosure: a farmgirl’s dabbles has partnered with Land O’Lakes for an exclusive endorsement of Land O Lakes® Butter for their Kitchen Conversations blogger program. All opinions are my own.