Cheddar Hash Brown Crust

By Ann Fulton

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Some time ago, I shared a recipe that was essentially a speedy solution to a missing ingredient.  When I found myself without the ingredients needed to fill the intended recipe–sort of a quiche in a crispy, cheesy potato crust–I made the crust as planned and filled it with what I had on hand.  Everyone here loved it, and I’ve made this improvised meal several times since.

Because this crust is an excellent alternative to a traditional flour-based crust (and because I am soon going to share the meal I intended to make that evening some time ago), I thought it worth sharing as a recipe all by itself.  Once you see the various filling options I have devised, you may like to use this recipe as a foundation for your own savory creations.

How would you fill this crust?

Cheddar Hash Brown Crust
Shredded cheese flavors the potatoes--no butter or additional fat needed--while the eggs serve as a binder and enhance the texture. Whereas a flour crust can become mushy when wet ingredients are added, this gluten-free base stands up quite well to various fillings. Especially well suited to quiche and frittata-type recipes, use this crust as a foundation for your own savory creations. As an option, you can double the recipe and prepare in a 9×13 pan, adding a few minutes to the cooking time, as necessary.
Yields 1 9-inch round crust
Ingredients
  • 3 cups frozen, shredded (not cubed) hash brown potatoes, thawed and moisture removed (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Stir in the cheese, followed by the hash browns. Mix well.
  3. Press the hash brown mixture evenly onto the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden brown.
  5. Use as a crust for egg and quiche recipes or other savory dishes.
Notes
  • It is best to measure the potatoes while they are still frozen, as they will squish down once thawed. To thaw quickly, place the potatoes in a colander and run warm water over them. For a crisp, golden crust, be sure to squeeze the excess moisture out of the potatoes no matter which way you thaw them. For most effective removal of excess water, I like to wring them out in a clean tea towel.
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This easy egg scramble started as a way to deal with a kitchen oversight and turned into a much-loved meal. Leftovers are delicious gently reheated.  For a tasty and quick breakfast sandwich, rewarm a piece and serve in a toasted regular or mini bagel.  Extra cheese optional.

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 Potato Crusted Broccoli and Bacon Frittata is another delicious meal that uses this crust.

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Comments

  1. Louise Balansiak

    Years ago I use to make taco pie with hash brown crust. The kids loved it and now I have grandchildren . Unfortunately I’ve lost the recipe thanks to you for the recipe for hash brown crust now I can make them a taco pie

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      That’s wonderful, Louise, and feel free to share what you add to the hash brown crust. It sounds fabulous!

      Reply
  2. carol gronli

    I am looking for any recipe that is NOT a quiche that uses hash brown potatoes as the pie crust. Keep the eggs out as well. There has to be a recipe that doesn’t use eggs to bind the ingredients with. I’d love to use this idea but hate quiche. Anything?

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Carol, Are you opposed to using the eggs in this crust? Or are you okay with them in the crust and simply want a non-eggy filling? I can envision something Tex-Mex in this crust. Without eggs, there wouldn’t be the same degree of binding, so you’d be hard pressed to cut wedges, but some sort of chili base or taco pie would be good.

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Betty, I would bake it the day before and then reheat or bake with a filling the next day. If you let the uncooked potatoes sit overnight, they will likely brown.

      Reply
    1. Ann

      I haven’t done that but love the sound of it, Bertie! Thanks for a great idea. New recipe using this crust is coming soon…

      Reply
      1. Valerie Brooks

        Can you make the crust ahead of time or does it get soggy? I make a similar dish using a hash brown crust cooked until starting to crisp then mix hash browns, onion, bell pepper, eggs, can of cream of celery soup, can of green chili’s, some sour cream, ham or sausage( I prefer Jimmy Dean sausage when using sausage) and cheese, salt pepper and any other spices anyone wants. I make the crust and cook it then add the other ingredients that have been mixed together and bake. Unfortunately the crust can get soggy. I would like to find a recipe for the crust that I can fix a day or 2 ahead and add the other ingredients last minute so that the crust remains crisp but has the ability to be fixed the day or 2 ahead.

        Reply
        1. Ann Post author

          Valerie, You can absolutely prepare this crust in advance. It shouldn’t get mushy (just cool completely before wrapping and refrigerating), and if you want to crisp it up a bit you could heat it for a few minutes in the oven before filling.

          Reply
  3. Margo, Thrift at Home

    ooooh, I see great breakfast possibilities here. I think I would wilt some spinach and saute some mushrooms to go in. . . maybe add a white sauce. . . Could also see just making this by itself, almost like an oven-baked rosti, which would be quick and easy for busy school mornings.

    Reply