Bacon Ranch Hashbrown Casserole

Bacon Hashbrown Casserole

A friend had just stopped by when I was pulling this dish out of the oven for lunch earlier this week. It smelled quite amazing. She asked what it was, so I went down the list of ingredients our lunch included, “bacon, ranch dressing, sour cream, cheese…” Then this is when she said,

“Bacon? Ranch? Cheese? With all that in it, you know it’s going to be good!”

Yep, pretty much.  What’s not to love?

You might also love knowing how easy this is to make. Cook the bacon, stir in the other ingredients, spread it all in a cooking dish, put it into the oven. Easy. It does help if you have premade frozen hashbrowns and a jar of homemade ranch dressing mix ready to go. Just please put the lid on your ranch dressing before you shake it up. Please. I’m only here to help.

A big thanks to Plain Chicken for the idea for this recipe! I’m excited to think about possibilities of ways to continue tweaking this. Maybe add some cooked chicken to the mix? What else can you think of to add to this dish?

Bacon Ranch Hashbrown Casserole
 
Author:
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese
  • 3 cups sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 bag of frozen shredded hashbrowns (about 8 potatoes worth of homemade)
Instructions
  1. Cut bacon into bite-sized pieces and cook.
  2. Drain grease.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together cooked bacon, shredded cheese, sour cream, and ranch dressing mix.
  4. Fold in frozen hashbrowns until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Bake uncovered in a 350° oven for 45-60 minutes or until casserole is lightly browned and bubbly.

Some recipes you’ll need to go along with this one:

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

Homemade Hashbrowns

Lately I’ve been finding really great deals on packaged hashbrowns at the store, so I’ve picked up a few to save me some time. I much prefer homemade, but busyness doesn’t always allow me the luxury. It’s good to be relaxed and flexible about healthy eating, right? Right.

So far I’ve only served this casserole for lunch or dinner. But I also think it would be great for breakfast or brunch!

Want to make Bacon Ranch Hashbrown Casserole ahead and freeze it for later? Here’s how:

Make the casserole as directed. Before baking, cover well and freeze for up to three months. To cook and serve – thaw and bake as directed. Or, cover frozen casserole and place it into a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 225° and bake for 2-3 hours or until casserole has thawed, baked, and is heated through.

Bacon Ranch Hashbrown Casserole - Easy!

Note: This recipe is naturally gluten free. Hold onto this one if you have to avoid gluten – or so that you can bless friends who eat gluten free!

I’ll definitely be making this casserole often! Since it’s freezer-friendly, I’ll likely be making two or three at once so I can have no-brainer meals on hand for busy nights. After all, why dirty up more dishes tomorrow when tomorrow will have enough dirty dishes of its own? Right??

Proof That I Can’t Talk and Cook at the Same Time

I’ve told you this before, but I thought maybe you needed some pictures to back up my claim. I can multitask till the cows come home, but when I try to have a conversation with someone while multitasking in my kitchen, this is when I know that the cows have indeed come home.

So there I was, making cheese. And lunch. While talking to our college-age friend Brittany who was over doing laundry and chatting with me while I did too many things at once. This led to a ranch dressing disaster.

While I was in the “wait one hour before doing something or other with the cheese” process, I got out my Ranch Dressing Mix to make some Spicy Ranch Dressing because I wanted to wow Brittany with the ranchy goodness at lunchtime. (Oh, I wowed her alright.)

I should never talk and cook at the same time.

I loosened my dressing mix jar lid, but somehow – and I can’t imagine what it could have been in my relaxed, stress free kitchen – I got distracted and walked away. Coming back to the jar of dressing mix, I gave it a good shake – which is always a good idea so that the ingredients are mixed well before you put them into the buttermilk/mayo.

Except that this is not at all a good idea when the lid is not securely on your jar. But I had loosened the lid, so off it flew, as did thousands and trillions of tiny ranch dressing mix ingredients.

It doesn’t look like much…

ranch disaster2

But trust me. It was much. All over me. In between my toes. Under my feet. Everywhere.

ranch disaster

That there is a lid that can’t be trusted.

No use crying over spilt ranch, but we all declared that very soon, I would smell ranchy (or would that be…raunchy?). I swept my precious dressing mix into my dustpan and dumped it into the trash. Sad day.

ranch disaster3

Somehow I got lunch on the table, even the Spicy Ranch Dressing.

Too bad this story isn’t over yet. Oh no. That was just the beginning.

About an hour after lunch, I offered to make Chocolate Frappes for Matt and Brittany. (The older boys weren’t home to enjoy one, but slowly I’m pulling them all over to my coffee drinking ways. All except Malachi. He thinks we’re all weird.)

All was well until I tried to talk while pouring the last bit of foamy frappe goodness out of the blender. Blop. It all came out at once. All over the counter, down the front of the dishwasher, and yep – all over my foot and in between my toes. I now had Ranchy Frappe toe jam.

ranch disaster8

This post has no point. It does link you to some delicious recipes, so there’s that. (Chocolate FrappesSpicy Ranch DressingRanch Dressing Mix, and Mozzarella Cheese) Let us wrap up our time together with some lessons learned:

  1. I should stop talking and cooking at the same time. You would think I’d know better by now.
  2. Always be sure the lid is securely on your jar of dressing mix before you shake it. This is obvious.
  3. Frappe foam blops. It just does. Stop being surprised by this, or maybe you can just get out a spoon to help it to ease out nicely.

I’d love to hear what you can do until the cows come home, and maybe the point at which you have crossed the line and realized that the cows have arrived.