There are several delicious alternatives you can use in place of frozen hash browns:
- Fresh potatoes – Dice or shred potatoes yourself for crispy home fries or hash browns.
- Cauliflower – Shred raw cauliflower florets as a low-carb substitution.
- Sweet potatoes – Shred sweet potatoes or sweet potato tots for a colorful swap.
- Turnips or rutabagas – Use grated turnips or rutabagas for an earthy flavor.
- Parsnips – Shred parsnips into hash for a sweet twist.
- Zucchini or yellow squash – Shred zucchini or summer squash for a low-carb, veggie-filled sub.
With a little creativity, you can find plenty of delicious alternatives to frozen hash browns using fresh veggies, potatoes, or cauliflower. The options are nearly endless!
Using Fresh Potatoes
One of the best substitutions for frozen hash browns is simply using fresh potatoes. By dicing, shredding, or grating your own potatoes, you can make homemade hash browns or home fries easily. Here are some tips for using fresh potatoes:
- Choose starchy potatoes like russets, Yukon Golds, or red potatoes. They contain more starch and will get crispy and browned.
- Peel potatoes if desired, then shred them using a box grater or food processor. You can also dice them into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces.
- Soak shredded or diced potatoes in cold water for 5 minutes to remove starch, then drain and pat very dry.
- Toss potatoes with a little oil, salt, and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry potatoes until browned and crispy, flipping occasionally.
- Try adding onions, peppers, herbs, or other vegetables to the potatoes while cooking.
Making your own fresh hash browns allows you to control the seasonings and customize them just how you like. You’ll need about 3 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes to equal one 16-20 ounce bag of frozen hash browns.
Oven-Baked Home Fries
For a lower fat cooking method, try baking homemade potato hash browns in the oven:
- Use a mandoline slicer or knife to thinly slice 2-3 peeled russet potatoes (about 4 cups sliced).
- Toss the potatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet.
- Bake at 425°F for 20-25 minutes, flipping once, until browned and crisp.
Baking the home fries saves calories compared to frying and allows you to skip oil altogether. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top for the last 2-3 minutes for cheesy potatoes.
A great lower-carb substitution is to use riced cauliflower or cauliflower florets in place of hash browns. Here’s how:
- Start with 1 head of fresh cauliflower. Remove core and chop into florets.
- Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until shredded and ricelike.
- Place in a microwavable bowl with 2 Tbsp water. Cover and microwave 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Drain in a mesh strainer and let cool slightly. Then wrap in a tea towel and squeeze out moisture.
- Toss shredded cauliflower with oil, eggs, salt, and pepper. Fry in a skillet like hash browns.
Cauliflower hash browns will be soft and moist, not crispy. But they make a delicious low-carb breakfast side. Add herbs and spices like paprika or onion powder to boost the flavor.
For baked cauliflower tots, try this easy recipe:
- Pulse 1 head riced cauliflower, 1 egg, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp Parmesan, and seasonings in food processor.
- Form into bite-size tots and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes until browned, flipping once.
These baked cauliflower tots are crispy on the outside with a tender interior. Kids love them too!
Sweet Potatoes or Sweet Potato Tots
Sweet potatoes make for a deliciously colorful and flavorful substitute for hash browns at breakfast. Here are some tasty options:
- Peel and shred 1-2 sweet potatoes. Fry in oil like hash browns.
- Make baked sweet potato tots – shred sweet potato, mix with egg, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, and bake.
- Dice a peeled sweet potato and roast at 400°F until browned and tender.
- Swap canned sweet potato tots in place of frozen hash browns to bake or fry.
- Add diced sweet potato along with potatoes when making home fries.
The natural sugar in sweet potatoes caramelizes when fried or roasted, giving an irresistible hint of sweetness. They pair especially well with eggs, sausage, ham, or chorizo.
Spicy Sweet Potato Hash
This flavorful sweet potato hash is easy to whip up:
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
- Add 2 cups diced peeled sweet potato and 1/2 diced onion. Cook 5 minutes.
- Add 1 diced jalapeno, 1 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp chili powder. Cook until softened and browned.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Top your eggs, meats, or avocado toast with this sweet and spicy hash for a satisfying breakfast!
Turnips or Rutabagas
For an unexpected twist, use turnips or rutabagas in place of potatoes. They have an earthy, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with breakfast foods.
- Peel turnips or rutabagas and shred on a box grater or food processor.
- Squeeze out excess moisture and pat very dry, then toss with oil to coat.
- Fry turnip or rutabaga hash in a skillet until browned and tender, about 15 minutes.
- Season with salt, pepper, herbs like thyme or rosemary, and spices like garlic powder or paprika.
- For oven roasting, toss shredded turnips with oil and bake at 425°F for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway.
Turnips and rutabagas have only 80 calories per cup shredded, making them a lighter swap for starchy potatoes. Their earthy sweetness balances richness from sausage or eggs.
Parsnips are another non-potato option for hash browns with their sweet, nutty flavor. Try them shredded in home fries:
- Peel 2-3 parsnips and shred or dice finely.
- Toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Fry over medium heat until starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Optional mix-ins: rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, onion, bell pepper, kale.
Parsnips get very soft with cooking so add any firmer vegetables or herbs toward the end. Parsnip hash balances rich meats and gamey flavors at breakfast.
Zucchini or Yellow Squash
For a low-carb, vegetable-packed option, use shredded zucchini or yellow squash in place of hash browns. They won’t get crispy but provide moisture and nutrients.
- Shred 2-3 zucchinis or yellow squash using a box grater or food processor.
- Place in a clean towel and squeeze out excess moisture.
- Sauté in butter or oil until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in diced onion, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook until onions are tender.
- Optionally, stir in beaten eggs while cooking to make scramble.
The high water content of zucchini and squash keeps this hash moist and fresh tasting. Eggs blend in perfectly to make a veggie-packed scramble.
For a crisper squash hash, make zucchini fritters:
- Grate 2 zucchinis and squeeze out moisture very well.
- Mix zucchini with 2 beaten eggs, 1/4 cup flour, 2 Tbsp Parmesan, and herbs.
- Form into patties and fry in oil 2-3 minutes per side until golden.
These crispy veggie fritters are delicious on their own or in place of hash browns with breakfast. The eggs and cheese help hold them together.
Tips for Serving Hash Brown Alternatives
To help you enjoy tasty and healthy hash brown alternatives, here are some serving tips:
- Top hashes with a fried egg for extra protein.
- Mix in shredded cheese like cheddar or pepper jack while cooking.
- Serve with Greek yogurt or sour cream for a cool, tangy contrast.
- Spoon hashes over greens for a hearty salad.
- Stuff hashes into a burrito wrap with salsa, beans, and avocado.
- Pile onto a sandwich in place of fries for a filling lunch.
- Enjoy in a bowl with your favorite toppings and a fried egg on top.
Almost any hash can be adapted to different meals throughout the day. Get creative with delicious add-ins like meats, cheeses, beans, salsa, greens, and sauces!
Here is a nutrition comparison of frozen hash browns versus some common substitutions per 1 cup serving:
|Frozen hash browns
|Fresh potato hash
|Sweet potato hash
As you can see, fresh vegetable hashes provide fewer calories and fat compared to frozen and processed hash browns. But you don’t have to sacrifice flavor or texture!
With a variety of fresh veggies, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and homemade potato hash, you have tons of delicious options to substitute for frozen hash browns.
From oven roasted home fries to sweet potato tots, you can whip up satisfying and nourishing hash browns easily at home.
Get creative with seasonings and mix-ins to customize hashes to your taste. Serve them alongside eggs, meats, avocado, cheese, greens, or stuff into wraps and sandwiches.
Taking a homemade approach allows you to skip processed foods and control exactly what goes into your hashes. So don’t be afraid to ditch the frozen bag and try out a new spin on hash browns!