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Vegan Hash Brown Casserole

$9.35 Recipe/$1.17 Serving

Vegan hash brown casserole is the perfect egg free breakfast casserole that would be perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!

This savory gluten free hash brown casserole is made with shredded potatoes, a creamy vegan cheese sauce and lots of veggies for a filling and satisfying meal! You can even make it ahead of time, perfect for holiday meals or entertaining! Once you try this, it will quickly become a go-to favorite recipe!

Vegan hash brown casserole being served with a silver spatula.

Why you will love this vegan hash brown casserole

  • Vegan hash browns casserole is comfort food lightened up! Made without eggs or dairy, this gluten free dish is still packed with flavor and pretty simple to make! Everything bakes together in the oven and comes out crispy on the top and creamy in the center!
  • Make your own vegan hash browns or buy them store bought! This recipe is incredibly versatile and can be adjusted based on what you have on hand! Add whatever veggies you love!
  • The creamy vegan cheese sauce has some beans add in for fiber and protein! You won’t even taste them but they help the sauce get thick and creamy in the oven! You are not going to believe how easy this sauce is to make in the blender.
  • Great for picky eaters! This eggless breakfast casserole can easily modified to fit the tastes of you and your family. Omit the added veggies or pack it with more! You can even add sausage, bacon or cheese (regular or vegan) based on what you love.
Ingredients to make hash brown casserole (vegan).
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Ingredients

  • Hash browns – you can make your own (there are tips below) or buy store bought hash browns. Most store bought hash browns do have preservatives added, so if that is something you are trying to avoid, give yourself extra time to make your own hash browns at home (you can even make them ahead and freeze them).
  • Peppers and onions – these are 100% optional but I feel help to take this breakfast casserole to the next level. I like to quickly sauté the onions and peppers to give it more of that caramelized onion flavor but this step can be skipped if you are in a rush.
  • Olive oil (or avocado oil) – use to cook the veggies, you could also spray the skillet with olive oil spray instead.
  • Whatever veggies you have on hand – I used kale in this recipe but have also used asparagus, broccoli, spinach and cauliflower rice. Use whatever you have on hand. You may want to cook asparagus on the stove with the onions and peppers to ensure it’s got good texture after baking.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder, paprika – You don’t want bland, boring food!

Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • Raw cashews (soaked) – soaked cashews get creamy when blending. I typically pour boiling water over the cashews and let them sit for 5-10 minutes while I’m chopping the veggies.
  • White beans (drained and rinsed) – you can use great northern white beans or cannellini beans to help thicken the sauce.
  • Nutritional yeast – this adds a cheesy flavor without the cheese.
  • Spices: Salt, smoked paprika – this gives the cheese sauce a nacho cheese flavor.

How to make vegan hash brown casserole

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375F.
  2. Pour boiling water over your cashews and allow them to sit while you make the potatoes/veggies.
  3. If you are making your own hash browns, you will want to peel your potatoes. Use a hand grater or the attachment on your food processor, grate the potatoes, adding them directly into a large bowl of cold water. If you are using your food processor, stop at half your potatoes and dump them into the cold water. This helps to ensure the potatoes doesn’t start to oxidize and the starches start to turn the potatoes. Let the potatoes sit in the cold water for 10 minutes, then rinse them 1-2 times with fresh water. If you are using store bought hash browns, be sure they are defrosted (you can do this in the fridge overnight).
  4. Squeeze out all the excess water from the potatoes before adding them to the bottom of the casserole dish. Sprinkle potatoes with salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Stir well.
  5. Chop the onion and pepper and sauté them in olive oil for 5-6 minutes over medium heat. Add salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika to the onions and peppers.
  6. If you are adding kale, spinach or asparagus, it can be helpful to add these veggies to the hot pan with the peppers and onion to saute before adding to the potatoes. You can finely chop broccoli or cauliflower and add it directly to the potatoes.
  7. Add the cooked veggies on top of the potatoes in the casserole dish.
  8. Make the cheese sauce. Drain the water from the cashews, rinse and drain the canned beans. Add the cashews, beans, water, nutritional yeast, salt and smoked paprika to the blender and blend on high 1 minute until smooth.
    Steps to make the creamy cheese sauce.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the veggies and potatoes and stir well with a spoon, making sure everything is fully coated.
  10. Cover the casserole dish with foil and place in 375F oven for 45 minutes.
  11. Remove the foil and allow the casserole to finish baking for 15-20 minutes in 375F oven.
  12. Remove and serve hot or room temperature.
    Steps to make vegan hash brown casserole.

Other add-in ingredients

This casserole is perfect just the way it is but you may decide you want to change things up for different flavors. Some great additions to this casserole may include:

  • Whatever veggies you have on hand! Some great options include: chopped broccoli, asparagus, kale, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, peppers.
  • Add some color and spice: Adding drained canned green chilis to the potato and onion and pepper mixture in step 7.
  • Make this smoky and spicy: Adding 1-2 chipotle peppers (from a can of chipotle in adobo) to the cheese sauce before blending.
  • Change the seasonings up: Use 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning over the potatoes in step 4 in place of smoked paprika and garlic powder.

Gluten free hash brown casserole in a white dish.

Top tips

  • Be sure to squeeze excess water from the potatoes. When cooking, potatoes can give off quite a bit of water, which will water down the sauce if you don’t squeeze out the excess water before cooking.
  • Cover the casserole dish when baking. The first time I made this recipe I thought it would be done within 30 minutes and was really upset when it took almost 90 minutes without being covered. Covering the casserole helps to cook the potatoes faster, which allows this dish to be done in about 1 hour.
  • Reduce the cooking time: Can cook the potatoes ahead of time to reduce the overall cooking time. Cook the potatoes on the stove for 8-10 minutes before adding them to the casserole dish. This will reduce cooking time to 30 minutes at 375F uncovered.
  • Use your favorite store bought hash browns or make your own. Making hash browns from potatoes (russets or gold potatoes) is budget friendly but can be a bit of extra work. Potatoes have a lot of starch in them which can make them start to turn grey when cooking if you don’t wash that excess starch off before cooking. Grating potatoes into cold water and rinsing them 1-2 times before squeezing out the excess water is the best way to make sure the potatoes cook well without turning grey.
  • Be sure to soak the cashews! I use a bullet style blender to make the creamy nacho cheese sauce. Allowing the cashews to soak first helps ensure they get nice and creamy when blending.
  • To reduce the prep time: Use store bought hash browns or prepare the hash brown potatoes ahead of time (see notes below with tips). Don’t bother cooking the veggies, instead use veggies that don’t need to be cooked ahead. Some great options are: green onions, peppers, finely chopped broccoli, cauliflower rice, shredded carrots. Simply layer the casserole dish with the potatoes, veggies and top with the sauce and get the dish directly in the oven (covered).
Vegetarian hash brown casserole with a serving removed.
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Vegan hash browns common questions

What to serve with breakfast casserole

Hash brown casseroles are a great savory breakfast option. You can keep the meal 100% savory or serve this as an optional long with sweet breakfast foods as well. For a savory meal, this vegan hash brown casserole would be great alongside of:

How to make hash browns at home

Making hash browns at home is a great way to control the ingredients you are using. Many store bought hash browns (fresh or frozen) come with some added preservatives to preserve the color when cooking. Buying store bought can also mean that the hash browns will be more expensive as well.

Making hash browns at home is pretty easy, however it can be time consuming. There are 2 main methods you can follow when making hash browns at home from scratch that will ensure your potatoes turn out great every time. Which one you decide to follow will depend on how much time you have.

  • The first method involves actually cooking whole potatoes on the stove (or in the instant pot) until the potatoes are just cooked (Cook medium size potatoes 8-10 minutes in boiling water or 7-8 minutes high pressure in instant pot).
    • Once the potatoes are cooked, you allow them to cool for 4 hours (to overnight) and then grate them with a box grater or the grater attachment of your food processor.
    • The benefit to this method is that the potatoes are already cooked, which will drastically reduce the cooking time in any recipe.
      • When using hash browns prepared this way in this recipe, you can cut the cooking time down to 30 minutes, uncovered in a 375F oven.
      • If you want to cook them like traditional hash browns, you just need to brown them 2-3 minutes per side on the stove and they are done.
  • The second method involves peeling the potatoes and grating them with a box grater or your food processor attachment and putting the shredded potatoes directly into a bowl of cold water. If you are using your food processor, stop grating them after about ½ of the potatoes and dump them in the cold water before continuing with the rest of the potatoes. Let the potatoes soak about 15 minutes in the cold water.
    • Drain off the water and rinse the potatoes 1-2 more times with fresh water.
    • Squeeze out all excess water from the potatoes (use your hands or a towel) before adding them to the casserole dish or cooking them.
    • This method helps to wash away any excess starch that will cause your potatoes to turn grey when cooking. This is time consuming but pretty easy. The potatoes are raw and will take longer to cook in this recipe (about 1 hour) or when cooking them on the stove vs. method 1.

How to soak cashews

Soaking cashews is pretty simple and works well no matter what option you choose to follow. I like to use raw cashews because they get soft quickly and blend well. Be sure to discard the soaking liquid after draining the cashews (do not use this water in the recipe). To soak cashews, you can use any of the follow methods:

  • Counter: Cover the cashews with room temperature water and allow them to sit out on the counter 8 hours. Drain the water from soaking.
  • Boil the cashews on the stove: Add water and the cashews to a small pot on the stove. Bring the water to a boil and cook the cashews in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before draining the water off the cashews.
  • Add boiling water over top of the cashews: This is the method I use most often. Bring water to a boil (I use my tea kettle) and pour boiling water over the cashews in a large glass or bowl. Let the cashews sit in the hot water for 5-10 minutes. Drain the water.
  • Microwave the cashews: Add just enough water to cover the cashews in a large jar or bowl. Microwave the cashews for 2:30 minutes (the water will come to a boil in the microwave). Carefully remove from the microwave (use oven mitts) and drain off the water.
Hash brown casserole no eggs in a white casserole dish.

How to make this recipe ahead of time

Prep ahead and bake later: Prep the ingredients for this dish, prepare the casserole but wait to bake the dish until right before serving. You can store this covered in the fridge for 2 days before cooking. Add 5 minutes of cooking time covered if this is cold from the fridge going into the oven.

Prep ahead and bake ahead: If you are serving this for guest and need it prepped ahead and simply warmed up for guests, bake the casserole for 45 minutes covered. Take the casserole out of the oven and allow it to cool. Leave it covered and store in the fridge. When it’s time to serve, turn the oven up to 400F and cook for 20 minutes uncovered before serving.

You can also prep the ingredients separately and wait to prepare the dish until the day you are serving it. The potatoes can sit in water overnight if you are making hash browns from scratch, or if you cook them first, they can just be stored in an airtight container.

How to store vegan hash browns

Store leftover vegan hash browns casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The casserole stays together well when lifting it from the casserole dish and it’s easy to store in individual pieces.

You can also freeze the casserole for up to 3 months before or after cooking. Be sure to allow the casserole to fully cool before storing it in the freezer. You can store it as individual slices in a freezer safe bag or container or as the entire casserole. To store the entire dish, cover the casserole with plastic wrap and foil (to help reduce the freezer burn) for up to 3 months. When it’s time to serve this, allow the casserole to defrost in the fridge overnight and be sure to remove the plastic wrap before heating/reheating in the oven.

Substitutions

  • Hash brown potatoes: You could also use shredded sweet potatoes in place of traditional potatoes. You wouldn’t have to soak these in water before adding them to the bottom of the casserole dish but you will want to squeeze out any excess liquid.
  • Peppers, onions, other veggies: Use whatever veggies you love/have on hand, not all veggies need to be cooked ahead of time. I like to cook onions to give them a more caramelized flavor. If you don’t have time for this step, you could use sliced green onion instead.
  • White beans: I have also tried this recipe with pinto beans and it was just as yummy! The sauce will have a slightly different hue with pinto beans, kidney beans or black beans but they will all work well in this recipe. If you prefer not to add beans, increase the cashews from 2/3 cup to 1 ¼ cup. You may need a bit more water to thin out the sauce as well.
  • Cashews: The cashews help to make a thick and creamy sauce. You could also use hemp hearts (no soaking required) however the flavor will be a bit different.
  • Nutritional yeast: This helps give the sauce a cheesy flavor. Outside of adding cheese (vegan or regular) there really is not much of a replacement. You could add 1 tsp. Dijon mustard to the sauce to give it a bit of umami from omitting the nutritional yeast if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Smoked paprika: If you don’t have this on hand, you could use regular paprika, it just won’t have that same smoky flavor. You could use chili powder + ¼ tsp. dried chipotle powder as a substitute to paprika for a similar flavor.
Vegan hash browns casserole after a serving has been removed.
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Spatula lifting a serving of vegan hash brown casserole.

Vegan Hash Brown Casserole

$9.35 Recipe/$1.17 Serving
Vegan hash brown casserole – gluten free, dairy free, egg free – this healthy comfort food is satisfying, easy to make and perfect for breakfast or brunch. Perfect for holiday meals, healthy breakfast and can be made ahead for busy mornings.
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan hash brown casserole, Vegetarian hash brown casserole
Prep Time: 7 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 7 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 14 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds potatoes or 2 large bags frozen hash browns - $2.49
  • 1 tbsp olive oil - $0.22
  • 1 medium onion - $0.33
  • 1 medium bell pepper - $1.29
  • 2 cups chopped kale (or spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus) - $1.50
  • 3 tsp salt, divided - $0.15
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika, divided - $0.20
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, divided - $0.20
  • 2/3 cup cashews - $1.24
  • 1 can cannellini beans (or great northern white beans) - $0.99
  • 1.25 cups water - $0.00
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast - $0.69
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar - $0.05

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Soak the cashews – I like to pour boiling water over the cashews and let them sit while I cook the veggies and shred the potatoes. See below for other ways to soak cashews.
  • Make the hash browns if needed: Peel the potatoes, grate them with a box grater or grater attachment of the food processor using the large holes. Immediately place the potatoes in cold water and soak 10-15 minutes. Rinse potatoes 1-2 times to remove as much starch as possible.
    If using frozen hash browns, make sure they are defrosted.
  • Squeeze out water from the potatoes using your hands or a clean dish towel.
  • Add the potatoes to the bottom of your casserole dish in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle 1.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp. smoked paprika and 1 tsp garlic over the potatoes and stir well.
  • Preheat a skillet over medium high heat while you chop your veggies.
  • Add the avocado oil to the skillet along with the chopped veggies (onion, pepper, kale or other veggie) and 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp garlic powder and sauté 5-6 minutes until onions are translucent and starting to caramelize.
  • Add cooked veggies on top of the layer of potatoes in casserole dish.
  • Drain water from cashews after soaking, add the cashews to the blender.
  • Drain and rinse the canned beans and add the rinsed beans to the blender with the cashews.
  • Add the water, nutritional yeast, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder to the blender with the cashews and beans. Blend 1 minute until smooth.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the veggies and potatoes and stir well making sure to fully incorporate the sauce into the potatoes.
  • Cover the casserole dish with foil. Place it in the oven for 45 minutes at 375F.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes at 375F to create a crust.
  • Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Tip: Be sure to squeeze excess water from the potatoes. When cooking, potatoes can give off quite a bit of water, which will water down the sauce if you don’t squeeze out the excess water before cooking.
To reduce cooking time:
You can cook the potatoes ahead of time to reduce the cooking time. Cook the potatoes on the stove for 8-10 minutes before adding them to the casserole dish. This will reduce cooking time to 30 minutes at 350F uncovered.
To reduce prep time: 
  • Use store bought hash browns or prepare the hash brown potatoes ahead of time (see notes below with tips).
  • Don’t bother cooking the veggies, instead use veggies that don’t need to be cooked ahead. Some great options are green onions, peppers, finely chopped broccoli, cauliflower rice, shredded carrots. Simply layer the casserole dish with the potatoes, veggies and top with the sauce and get the dish directly in the oven (covered).
Other ways to soak cashews:
  • Counter: Cover the cashews with room temperature water and allow them to sit out on the counter 8 hours. Drain the water from soaking.
  • Boil the cashews on the stove: Add water and the cashews to a small pot on the stove. Bring the water to a boil and cook the cashews in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before draining the water off the cashews.
  • Microwave the cashews: Add just enough water to cover the cashews in a large jar or bowl. Microwave the cashews for 2:30 minutes (the water will come to a boil in the microwave). Carefully remove from the microwave (use oven mitts) and drain off the water.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
275
Fat
 
7
g
Carbohydrates
 
47
g
Fiber
 
8
g
Sugar
 
3
g
Protein
 
11
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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