The utter simplicity of hash brown casserole makes it a comfort-food star: Homey shredded potatoes get cozy with butter, cream soup, sour cream, and plenty of cheese. It's a workingman's day-starter. But unless you're the wood-chopping type, you likely won't be able to burn off nearly 500 calories of cheesy potatoes by lunch. The challenge: Keep the mighty comfort-filled portion and whack the calorie count.
We simmer and puree fresh mushrooms and garlic with light sour cream to create a silky sauce, replacing canned mushroom soup, heavy sour cream, and butter to save 176 calories and 11.5g sat fat per serving.
3 of 4Photo: Randy Mayor
Tip #2: Crispier, Tastier Potatoes
Instead of tossing frozen potatoes directly into the dish, we brown them to caramelize the natural sugars and create a crispy crust. Reduced-fat kettle chips top with savory crunch.
4 of 4Photo: Randy Mayor
Tip #3: Up the Umami
Meaty, pan-seared center-cut bacon and earthy mushrooms deliver full savory satisfaction to every bite, allowing us to cut salt in half and save 120mg sodium per serving.