This copycat hash brown casserole is an incredibly comforting side dish you'll want to make for both breakfast spreads and dinner parties alike. We opted to ditch the canned creamed soup and make a homemade cheese sauce instead. The result is a homey rendition of the classic Cracker Barrel dish.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic powder, onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until sizzling all over and light golden, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth, return to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream and 1 1/2 cups of the Cheddar. Add the hash browns and toss until coated in the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the hash brown mixture to the prepared baking dish, then top with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar. Bake until browned and bubbling at the edges, about 45 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 475 degrees F and continue to bake until the top is crisp and browned all over, about 5 minutes.
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