Southwestern Hashbrown Casserole Recipe

Christmas is all about traditions in our family.  Black Friday shopping, riding through town to look at Christmas lights while blasting Christmas music and drinking our first glass of eggnog of the season while decorating the tree, Mommy and Daddy secretly spiking their eggnog, crafting on Christmas Eve, and baking sprinkle cookies, just to name a few. Repeating these traditions through the years brings back memories of years past.

Christmas Casserole Ingredients Christmas Casserole Ingredients

Decorating the tree always gets us laughing about our first Christmas together; Jon and I didn’t know to trim the bottom off of the tree trunk and our tree was brown by Christmas. Or the year we tied the tree to the top of the car through the open windows. We managed to tie our doors shut and instead of redoing it the correct way we both decided to just climb in through the windows despite the whole crowd at the tree lot laughing at us. How about the year the twins trashed my tree by throwing giant grapefruits into it over and over again? There was barely a needle left on that tree and I was forced to get a new one. That will always be remembered as The Year We Had Two Christmas Trees. We may just have really bad luck when it comes to trees.

 

Whisking Eggs Whisking Eggs

As far as Christmas Day goes we don’t have many traditions, the day is pretty relaxed and we just go with flow. There are however two traditions we never miss. For one, we never leave our house, heck we rarely change out of our PJ’s. If you want to see the kids come on over, our doors are always open and everyone is welcome but we will never pull our kids away from the excitement of the day to go house hopping from family to family. Our second tradition for the day is breakfast! I always make two dishes for Christmas breakfast, overnight cinnamon rolls and this Southwestern Hash Brown Casserole. Both get made the day before and go into the oven the second we wake up Christmas morning to be ready to eat by the time we finish opening gifts.

 

Cooking Veggies Cooking Veggies

While the kids enjoy the sugary goodness of the cinnamon rolls I really love the flavors of the Southwestern Hash Brown Casserole. Ham, peppers, onions, cilantro, and cheese are all mixed with hash browns and egg then baked to golden savory perfection. It is an all in one breakfast that has also turned into Christmas Day lunch on more than one occasion. It allows me to relax and fully enjoy my husband and children on our favorite day of the year. I can play with new toys, color in new coloring books, tinker with new electronics, steal candy from the kid’s stockings, and simply scoop up a plate of food when my stomach calls for it.

Ready to Cook Ready to Cook

This year I’m making things even easier on myself by introducing Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs to our yearly traditions. Instead of chopping fresh herbs I’ll simply pour them right in and get back to crafting with the kids in no time. When it comes to Christmas traditions I’ll take every extra minute I can get to enjoy them with my family. After all this is what the season is all about.

Ready to Eat! Ready to Eat!

Blogger Note: Not feeling jolly about the southwestern flare of this casserole? Try going Italian! Roasted red peppers, pancetta, onion, parmesan, and Litehouse’s Instantly Fresh Basil or Italian Herb Blend will do the trick.

Southwestern Hashbrown Casserole

Serves 8 | Finish in 1 hour 15 minutes
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Complete breakfast in one scoop! Hash browns are combined with cheese, peppers, onions, jalapeno, cilantro and egg then baked to golden perfection! A Christmas morning tradition in the Hersey house.

Ingredients

32oz. bag of country style hash browns 1 lb. ham chopped 8 oz. cheddar cheese grated 6 eggs 1 c. milk 2 green bell peppers finely chopped 1 red onion finely chopped 1 Tbsp. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Jalapeno, chopped 2 tsp. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Cilantro 1 ½ tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a sauté pan over medium heat cook the peppers, onion, ham, and jalapeno until soft. Remove from heat and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, Litehouse Instantly Fresh Cilantro, salt, and pepper. In a large bowl toss together hash browns, cheese, sauted ham and veggies, and egg mixture. Pour into a greased 9X13 casserole dish. Cover with foil. Cook in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 30 minutes. Serve hot with an array of salsa and hot sauces for topping.


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