Bobby’s Lighter Creamy Hash Brown Casserole

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By Bobby Deen

580 Fewer Calories
46g Less Fat

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated shredded hash browns (we used Simply Potatoes™)
2/3 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
6 multi-grain club crackers, coarsely crushed
2 teaspoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 7 x 11-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 6 – 8 minutes.  Add the zucchini, and garlic and cook, stirring until the zucchini is softened, 3 – 4 minutes. Add the flour, stirring to combine. Add the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes until well mixed. Spoon the mixture into the casserole dish. Combine the cheese, crackers, and butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 40 minutes.

Servings:  8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:  1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Per Serving: (Generous 1/2 cup) 141 Cal; 6 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 10 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 131 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 338 mg Sodium; 6 mg Cholesterol

Test Kitchen Tip: A julienne peeler is perfect for cutting zucchini into thin strips. The sharp serrated blade easily creates thin strips, making it perfect for carrots and cucumbers too. You can find this handy little gadget in the housewares section of most stores.

Original recipe courtesy Paula Deen:  Creamy Hash Brown Casserole
Lightened Up recipe courtesy of Bobby Deen and the Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Read More From Deen Bros.

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Reader Comments:


Paula I am so happy to see that Bobby found a "lighter" way for all your fantastic recipes! Keep up the good work, can't wait to see more!! Thanks!

By Helena on January 27, 2011


I love these lighter recipes and all the info accompanying them. Thank you so very much!

By cprapt on January 25, 2011


Bobby, I love these lighter, delicious make-over recipes!!! I truly appreciate the nutrition calculations included at the end of each recipe. Thank you, thank you.

By Pat Noakes on January 12, 2011

Thanks for lightening up these recipes…. really appreciate food to be tasty and healthy!

By Karen F. on December 08, 2010

Would love to see Bobby do a lite cookbook,love Paula’s cooking but I have lost 30 pounds and do not cook like that anymore.

By susan gauba on October 19, 2010

Ahh! I can’t wait to try this! Thank you for making a light version!!

By Moo on October 07, 2010

I would also like to see a lighter side of Paula’s recipes in a cook book.  Come on Bobby hurry up and write a cook book.  We would all appreciate it.

By Anna Parham on September 24, 2010

To print - I hi-lighted just the recipe and then right clicked on the blue area. I thought I would get just the recipe but it printed the whole message, but I did get the recipe.

By Debi Stokes on September 23, 2010

If you’re having probelems printing the recipe. Just drag your mouse across the recipe itself to hightlight, right click to copy, then paste in word and print =). Works great!

By Lorrie Burns on September 23, 2010

I’ve tried three different times to print Bobby’s
“Lighter Creamy Hash Browns”.  It doesn’t print the recipe for this.  Four pages but not the recipe.  What is the problem!!!  Thank You….

By Lois Williams on September 22, 2010

I would love to print Bobby’s recipe—-no way I can….help

By carolyn lawless on September 21, 2010

I am really interested in fixing the hash brown cassrole, I am looking for lite receipes because I need to cut my calorie intake.
Thasnk yo for sharing this.

I thinks the tips you share a very interesting. A lot of things I would have never thought to do.

I also enjoyed our visit to the Lady and Sons a while back I wish I could have seen Paula or any of the family.  Maybe next time I hope to come to Uncle Bubba Bubba’s for my birthday in Novemeber.
Thank You

By Kathy Stewart on September 21, 2010

I was thrilled to see Paula’s recipes that are on the lighter side. If Bobby would put out a book with these wonderful recipes I would definitely buy it!

By Maria on September 21, 2010

I would have liked to see a picture of the finished casserole. I think the one shown is the original recipe since it has potato chips on it.

By JV on September 21, 2010

Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I love Paula’s dishes, but I am glad to see lighter versions as this casserole.
Have you thought of printing a cookbook with Paula’s recipes but in a “lighter” manner? I think it would be hit.
Thanks again.

By Chrissy Haskins on September 21, 2010

Thank you sooo much for the lighter recipes.  I like things to be healthy.

By L. Allen on September 21, 2010

Why can’t we print Bobby’s recipes just like we print Paula’s?

By vicki pierson on September 21, 2010

This sounds fantastic!  Way to go Bobby!

By Robin Houston on September 21, 2010

Paula Deen
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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm