I have been a “freezer cook” or “mega cook for over twenty-five years. Throughout this time, I have done everything as small as making two casseroles and freezing one for later all the way to mega cooking enough meatloaves for six months–and so many things in between! I share some of these on my blog (see Crunchy Ranch Chicken), and as I add tweaks and suggestions to make them healthier, I will continue to do so. You do not have to be interested in freezer cooking specifically to enjoy these recipes. For example, the one I share below is one that we did in bulk for a luncheon that fed over one hundred and one that a friend used for our daughter’s rehearsal dinner–and I have served it at graduation parties with well over 150 guests! Bulk cooking, mega cooking, freezer cooking—they are ways to help others in need, ways to bless others who are not trained or experienced in an area that you are experienced in. We have found cooking to truly be a way to help others and serve others!

 

 

This recipe was one of my first freezer recipes over two decades ago. It is so simple, freezes beautifully for bulk cooking, and everybody loves it. It is not very sour-creamy-tasting like many others, so children love it too. It uses convenient frozen hash browns, but you can definitely use real ones instead. It is given here to feed twelve, twenty-four, and thirty-six (single, doubled, and tripled).

 

Oh…and a note about the cottage cheese. Trust me! You can’t taste it AT ALL. I despise cottage cheese. I despise it so much that I actually wrote a Dr. Seuss spin-off about how badly I dislike it:

I will not eat that cottage cheese.
I will not eat it in the trees.
I will not eat it in my car.
I will not eat it near or far.
I will not eat that cottage cheese.
You can’t make me–don’t say please.

 

Yeah…that’s some serious cottage cheese hatred there!

 

Suffice it to say, I would never eat something that tastes cottage-cheesey!

 

I mentioned that it doesn’t taste sour-creamy either. This is just a perfect potato casserole to me. Creamy, cheesy, easy, and delicious. As is. With the store bought items and frozen potatoes.

 

However, this potato dish has another secret to it–you can make it low carb and absolutely NOBODY would guess it didn’t contain potatoes. SERIOUSLY! There are enough wonderful flavors in this that the power of dilution works to mask the flavor of the potato substitute. (See Low Carb Variation below!) You’ll want to check out my 6 Tests for Potato Substitutes also–though you can see below that I recommend turnips for this dish. Radishes would also work well and would likely “fake” your testers! 🙂

 

Here are some variations or tips for different kinds of cooks and eaters:

 

 

Family/Group Cooking

+No changes are needed! This is simple to put together for large amounts!

 

+Be sure it is frozen flat. If it is tilted even a little, the cream can run out and make a huge mess! (Once it is frozen, you can stack them easily….don’t stack them until they are frozen solid!)

 

+Allow sitting time once it is removed from the oven. It helps it set up better.

 

+If using real potatoes, I recommend that you bake or boil them, then when they are cooled just enough to handle, shred them and fold continue as directed. (Note that you can also cube them in tiny cubes, but I prefer shredded for this recipe.)

 

+I use foil pans with lids from the wholesale club for freezer entrees as they are super deep

 

+If baking more than one at a time or baking with other oven dishes, you will need to increase the time quite a bit.

 

+I have made this into a one-dish casserole by folding in ham cubes or cooked meatballs during the last 30 minutes! Just add salad or a non-starchy veggie or two!

 

 

Low Carb Options

+Turnips that are cooked and shredded for this recipe will be indistinguishable. With all the cheesy goodness, nobody will know that they are not potatoes. (Don’t tell them!)

 

+May also use radishes prepared the same way as turnips. They are small and time consuming to prepare, but the taste will be good with the other ingredients. Daikon radishes are larger and may be eaiser to work with. Some low carbers swear by daikon radishes as potato subs!.

 

+I recommend the shredding option for low carb substitutes. The cheese and other flavors spread out well among the shreds, even moreso than cubed.

 

+Low carb potato substitutions (see article above) can be firm and hard to handle. I recommend that you clean and peel as needed and microwave, bake, or boil then when cool enough to handle, shred them. Shredding uncooked turnips or radishes can be challenging (unless you have a great processor with a shredder attachment).

 

+If you want this dish to be super low carb, you could substitute half cream and half unflavored almond milk for the half and half. This will be lower carb than half and half alone (though not significantly lower).

 

+See REAL FOOD options for cheese subs.

 

 

Real Food Options

+As suggested in the Low Carb Options, you can definitely use real potatoes for this rather than frozen hash browns. If using real potatoes, I recommend that you bake or boil them, then when they are cooled just enough to handle, shred them and fold continue as directed. (Note that you can also cube them in tiny cubes, but I prefer shredded for this recipe.)

 

+In place of the Velveeta, you can use other softer, easily-meltable cheese, such as farmer’s cheese, goat cheese, unprocessed American, etc.

 

+This has a lot of real foods in it if you can handle dairy–can use real potatoes, half and half, cheese, cottage cheese—no canned soups or seasoning packet, etc. Can easily be made into a real foods dish!

 

+For even more nutrition, try a combination of red and Yukon gold potatoes and carrots–all shredded and precooked.

 

 

Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

 

 

Best, Creamiest Potato Casserole (12 Servings)
Author: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 -32 oz bag hash browns, cubed or shredded, frozen
  • ½ cup butter ½ cup = 1 stick
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 pound Velveeta Cheese (may use another ¼ lb)
  • 1 - 24 oz cottage cheese (small curd; may use 4-6 oz more)
Instructions
  1. Pour hash browns in very deep, greased, 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Melt butter, half and half, and Velveeta in micro or on stove top.
  3. Dissolve cottage cheese in hot mixture until heated through some.
  4. Pour over hash browns.
  5. Let sit at least one hour or overnight in fridge if using immediately and
  6. follow baking instr below.
  7. Freeze covered tightly with foil and label as shown below.
  8. Label: Date/Cheesy Potato Casserole/Thaw. Bake uncovered for one to ½ hours at 350 convection or 1½-1¾ regular. Stir every 30 minutes or so. (Not cooked yet.)
  9. Note: Freeze unstacked until thoroughly frozen.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 353 Fat: 23 Carbohydrates: 20 Sugar: 6 Protein: 16

 

 

 

Best, Creamiest Potato Casserole (24 Servings)
Author: 
Serves: 24 servings
 
(Doubled)
Ingredients
  • 2 -32 oz bags hash browns, cubed or shredded, frozen
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 4 cups half and half
  • 2 pounds Velveeta Cheese, may use another ½ lb
  • 2 - 24 oz containers cottage cheese; small curd; may use 6-8 oz more)
Instructions
  1. Pour hash browns in two deep, greased, 9 x 13 baking dishes.
  2. Melt butter, half and half, and Velveeta in micro or on stove top.
  3. Dissolve cottage cheese in hot mixture until heated through some.
  4. Pour over hash browns.
  5. Let sit at least one hour or overnight in fridge if using immediately and
  6. follow baking instr below.
  7. Freeze covered tightly with foil and label as shown below.
  8. Label: Date/Cheesy Potato Casserole/Thaw. Bake uncovered for one to ½ hours at 350 convection or 1½-1¾ regular.Stir every 30 minutes or so. (Not cooked yet.)
  9. Note: Freeze unstacked until thoroughly frozen.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 353 Fat: 23 Carbohydrates: 20 Sugar: 6 Protein: 16

 

 

Best, Creamiest Potato Casserole (36 Servings)
Author: 
Serves: 36 servings
 
(Tripled)
Ingredients
  • 3 - 32 oz bags hash browns, cubed or shredded, frozen
  • 1½ cup butter (3 sticks)
  • 6 cups half and half
  • 3 Pound Velveeta Cheese (may use another pound)
  • 3 - 24 oz containers cottage cheese (small curd; may use 10-12 ounces more)
Instructions
  1. Pour hash browns in three deep, greased, 9 x 13 baking dishes.
  2. Melt butter, half and half, and Velveeta in micro or on stove top.
  3. Dissolve cottage cheese in hot mixture until heated through some.
  4. Pour over hash browns.
  5. Let sit at least one hour or overnight in fridge if using immediately and
  6. follow baking instr below.
  7. Freeze covered tightly with foil and label as shown below.
  8. Label: Date/Cheesy Potato Casserole/Thaw. Bake uncovered for one to ½ hours at 350 convection or 1½-1¾ regular. Stir every 30 minutes or so. (Not cooked yet.)
  9. Note: Freeze unstacked until thoroughly frozen.
  10. P.S. What are your favorite potato casseroles? Do you make any in the crock pot or Instant Pot? Is your family Team Sour Cream or no?
Nutrition Information
Calories: 353 Fat: 23 Carbohydrates: 20 Sugar: 6 Protein: 16

 

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