Hash Brown Casserole with Eggs Florentine is the mother of all breakfast and brunch casseroles! The key players are potatoes, spinach, eggs, cheese and prosciutto (if desired). It's all of our favorite classic breakfast foods in one make-ahead dish.
Brunch is my favorite meal of the day -- mostly because it's typically not a "meal of the day."
So when brunch happens, it usually special. Are you with me?
With its striking presentation and combination of delicious flavors and fantastic textures, this hash brown casserole always draws a crowd.
It's gluten-free and can easily be made vegetarian if desired.
What You'll Need
(I often suggest brands I love and use — these are only suggestions and this is not a sponsored post.)
- extra virgin olive oil - I like this one.
- Russet potatoes - Choose potatoes that are firm, smooth and free of sprouts.
- Parmesan cheese - For this recipe, I like it as finely grated as possible -- almost like a powder.
- fresh thyme - Look for perky bunches and avoid any brown, bruised or yellow leaves.
- onion - Choose onions that are firm, heavy for their size and without bruises.
- fresh garlic - Heads of garlic should be firm without any soft spots or green shoots.
- fresh spinach leaves - Get pre-washed spinach leaves for this casserole -- it'll save you a lot of time. Fresh spinach can be very dirty -- it's easy to wash, but for large quantities like in this recipe, it takes a good amount of time.
- white sharp cheddar cheese - I like this thickly grated. You can buy it this way, or grate a chunk of it yourself.
- prosciutto - This should very thinly sliced, which is easy to find.
- salt - I almost always bake and cook with Kosher salt. (It’s coarse and salts foods in a subtle way that enhances their flavor without making them taste salty.)
- black pepper - Preferably freshly ground.
How to Make Hash Brown Casserole with Eggs Florentine
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with olive oil.
- Use a food processor fitted with the blade attachment to grate the potatoes. Then use your hands to squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the potatoes, and add them to an extra large mixing bowl. Combine with 2 eggs, the Parmesan, thyme, salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauté pan, place it over medium heat and add the potato mixture. Cook, stirring often, just enough to make the potatoes slightly tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sautéed potato mixture to the greased baking pan, and mold it along the bottom and sides.
- Place it in the oven and bake until it's golden brown along the edges, about 35 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, coat the same large sauté pan you used for the potatoes with olive oil and place it over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 7 minutes.
- Then add the spinach, in at least 4 batches, cooking each until it's wilted before adding the next. Once all of the spinach has wilted, cook off any remaining liquid that's in the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then add the grated Cheddar and mix it in quickly and evenly before it melts. Set aside.
- When the hash brown crust is done, add an even layer of the thinly sliced prosciutto directly on top.
- Add the spinach mixture and spread it out evenly.
- Then use a spoon to make 9 evenly spaced shallow indentations, and crack an egg into each one.
- Bake in the preheated 375°F oven just until the eggs are cooked, about 25 minutes.- Let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- You can substitute the prosciutto with cooked bacon, or for a vegetarian version of the hash brown casserole, you can omit it.
- If you prefer kale to spinach, you can substitute it. If you do, remove any tough stems, and use a couple of cups less, as it won't shrink as much as spinach does.
- If you want to substitute the Cheddar cheese, Gruyère would be excellent also.
- Cooking times for the hash brown crust might vary depending on how thick or thin you've spread it. Be patient if the edges don't brown by the estimated baking time of 35 minutes. Bake until it's golden. (And if it's golden earlier than the estimated time, remove it from the oven early.)
I don't always suggest short cuts because I do love doing as much as I can from scratch. However, this hash brown casserole does take a good amount of time, and there are a couple steps that lend themselves to a short cut.
- You can use frozen, thawed hash browns. I would get something like this. If you choose to do this, you will follow the same instructions, minus sautéing and baking the potato crust before the other layers are added. The whole casserole will be baked once assembled.
- Buy pre-washed spinach.
- Use pre-grated cheeses.
Can you make it ahead?
- You can make Hash Brown Casserole with Eggs Florentine almost entirely ahead of time.
- Do everything the day before except the eggs, and about 30 minutes before you're ready to serve the next day, crack the eggs on top and bake.
I hope you love this awesome hash brown casserole! Invite a few friends for a casual brunch and enjoy!
More breakfast casserole recipes:
- Hatch Chile Cornbread Casserole
- Poblano Egg and Sausage Casserole
- Bacon Potato Casserole with Eggs
- Mexican Breakfast Casserole
Hash Brown Casserole with Eggs Florentine Recipe
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 8 cups grated Idaho Russet Potatoes (about 4 pounds)
- 11 large eggs, divided
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ cups yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 12 cups packed spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 1 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
- 4 ounces prosciutto, very thinly sliced
- freshly ground black pepper
- Set oven and prepare pan. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Prepare the potatoes
- Use a food processor fitted with the blade attachment to grate the potatoes. Then use your hands to squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the potatoes, and add them to an extra large mixing bowl. (I usually do this about one handful at a time.) Combine with 2 of the eggs, the Parmesan, thyme, salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a large sauté pan, place it over medium heat and add the potato mixture. Cook, stirring often, just enough to make the potatoes slightly tender, about 5 minutes. (Don't wash this pan - you'll need it again!)
- Add the sautéed potato mixture to the greased baking pan, and use your fingers or a small metal spatula to mold it along the bottom and sides.
- Place the pan in the preheated 375°F oven and bake until the potato crust is golden brown along the edges, about 35 minutes. (Keep the oven set to 375°F after you remove the pan.)
Make the spinach mixture
- While the crust is baking, coat the same large sauté pan you used for the potatoes with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and place it over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 7 minutes. Then add the spinach, in at least 4 batches, cooking each until it's wilted before adding the next. Once all of the spinach has wilted, cook off any remaining liquid that's in the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's How to Season to Taste.) Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then add the grated Cheddar and mix it in quickly as it will begin to melt a bit. Set aside.
Assemble and bake
- When the crust is done, add an even layer of the thinly sliced prosciutto directly on top. Follow this with the spinach mixture, spreading it out evenly. Then use a spoon to make 9 evenly spaced shallow indentations, and crack an egg into each one.
- Bake in the preheated 375°F oven just until the eggs are cooked, about 25 minutes.
- Let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
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Thank you, Ilke! They're also cute as rounds in a regular muffin pan. 🙂
Every couple months, a bunch of girlfriends and I get together for what we call "boozy brunch". The host makes brunch, and everyone else brings champagne. I'm making this for them tomorrow! One question - do you think sweet potato would work just as well?
Hi Stefani! Great question -- the starch content of sweet potatoes is very different, so while I think it will still be delicious the texture will be different and I'm not sure it will hold it's shape as well. Have an excellent brunch! I love it!
Thanks Valentina! I'll stick with the russet potatoes. And I'll make sure that we toast you and your delicious recipe!
Just to follow up.... the recipe was a huge success! Everyone had seconds. Thanks so much!
Yay, Stefani! I'm so happy to hear that! 🙂
WoW. I want to have breakfast now!!!!!
Do it! 😀
I think I have this for dinner tonight.
Yay! I hope you love it as much as I do!
My kids loved it! Such a huge hit!
Thanks, Toni! You made my day! 🙂
Ashley - Forking Up
I love that this is gluten free! I bet the crispy potatoes really take eggs florentine to the next level!
They do! Hope you try it. 🙂
We our big brunch fans in our house and this one looks AHHMAZING! I love how it's in one dish, but easy to portion out so everyone gets their little square of delicious. Can't wait to try this!
Exactly. 🙂 Thanks so much, Marissa.
Using hashbrowns as the crust is a brilliant idea!
Thanks so much, Noelle.
I wonder what was I thinking !!!! I have almost missed this beauty ! Share 🙂
Thank you! 😀 Much appreciated!
Where in the WORLD has this recipe been all my life??? I love hash browns and eggs together and this? Well, this just takes it over the top! Absolutely love that you can assemble virtually the whole thing ahead of time.. and yes, I should definitely do brunch more often!!!
Thanks so much, Nancy! I hope you try it and love it as much as we do. xo
David Scott Allen
I think this will be an easy recipe to make for two! Love all the flavors and so glad I have russet potatoes! Hope you are well, my friend. At least, if we have to be in isolation, we have our kitchens!
So true about our kitchens. I seem to be in mine all the time. Even when I'm not cooking. A whole lotta eating going on here! 😉 Thanks for visiting, David and I hope you and Mark are doing well. 🙂 ~Valentina