I could eat potatoes at every meal, and just the thought of these cheezy, veggie-loaded vegan hash browns is enough to get me out of bed and into a frenzy of excitement on the laziest of weekend mornings.
These are quite possibly the most delicious hash browns you will ever eat, vegan or not, and eating potatoes, as you know, is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body.
If you try these, be sure to let me know by leaving a comment below or by tagging me @holycowvegan on Instagram.
Why you'll love these vegan hash browns
- They are delicious. Crisp, gooey in bits because of the vegan cheese, and full of flavor and texture.
- They are healthy. These hash browns have those amazing potatoes, yes, but they also have more veggies, including carrots and zucchini, which make them even healthier.
- They are full of flavor. While hash browns can be delicious with just salt and black pepper for seasoning, these loaded vegan hash browns also have cumin, garlic powder, jalapenos and thyme, making them ultra flavorful.
- They are easy. There's not much that's difficult here, and all you need to really remember to do is squeeze out the water from the veggies.
- They are very kid-friendly: Most kids will eat potatoes, and what's not to love about crispy, cheezy, golden-brown hash browns? Jay, for one, loves these. Bonus for you: you'll get more veggies into those picky tummies.
Ingredient shopping list
- Russet potatoes: Russets work best in these hash browns as they are starchy. At a pinch use Yukon gold potatoes.
- Zucchini: Zucchini adds more healthfulness to this recipe, and pretty green shards.
- Carrots: For more veggie freshness and flavor.
- Ground cumin: The smoky flavor of cumin is wonderful in this recipe.
- Jalapenos: Jalapeno peppers add more herby freshness to this hash browns recipe. You can leave it out altogether and use black pepper to season your vegan hash browns, but I strongly recommend using it.
- Thyme: Thyme is wonderful here, but use another savory herb, like rosemary or sage, for just-as-good results.
- Garlic powder: For more flavor.
- Vegan mozzarella shreds: These simply make the recipe more kid-friendly, and those gooey, melty pockets of cheese are simply too good. You can leave it out if you don't want to use it, but I love the cheese in this, and so does Jay.
- Panko breadcrumbs (or gf breadcrumbs): The breadcrumbs help bind these together and make them crispier. You can use regular breadcrumbs or use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you don't do gluten.
- Vegetable oil: You need a little to coat the bottom of the skillet so the hash browns get really crispy. But if you want to make these low-oil or oil-free, you can use a cooking spray or make them directly on a dry, good quality non-stick skillet they won't stick to.
Tips and tricks and how to make the vegan hash browns
- The key to great homemade hash browns is to ensure you grate the potatoes right, using the large holes of the grater, and then squeeze out most of the liquid in them. As we are using more veggies, not just potatoes, grate all three into a colander, salt them, mix, wait about 15 minutes, then squeeze or press out as much liquid as you can. You can also put the veggies in cheesecloth and wring it out to get most of the moisture out.
- I add panko bread crumbs for extra crispy hash browns. You can leave them out, or sub with gluten-free bread crumbs.
- Minced jalapenos and garden-fresh thyme add amazing, summery flavor to these hash browns. You can use other herbs, like rosemary, which is always a winning pairing with potatoes, or cilantro.
- The hash brown "batter" will not look much like a batter, and you might wonder if it will hold together, but don't worry. The breadcrumbs and the cheese and the starch in the potatoes will help glue those veggie strands together once they touch the hot skillet. It also helps to make your hash browns no more than three inches in diameter so they are easy to flip.
- Make sure you press down on the hash browns with a flat spatula as they cook to ensure they make as much contact as possible with the skillet and get crispy.
- I use a little oil to fry these pancakes/latkes/hash browns on a cast iron skillet. But if you are oil-free, you can lightly spritz the skillet with cooking spray.
What to eat with the vegan hash browns?
Hash browns are usually served as a side with other dishes at breakfast, but they make a very satisfying breakfast by themselves. We love them with a hot sauce or a seasoned vegan mayo.
- Vegan Potato Sauerkraut Pancakes
- Vegan Hash Brown Casserole
- Savory Apple Potato Pancakes with Thyme
- Vegan Hash Brown Waffles
- Mexican Sweet Potato Hash with Black Beans and Tofu
Cheezy, Veggie Loaded Vegan Hash Browns
- Large bowl
- Cast iron or non-stick skillet
- 2 medium russet potatoes (peeled if not organic, grate this and other veggies with the largest holes on the grater or food processor)
- 1 large carrot (grated)
- 1 large zucchini (grated)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 jalapeno pepper (minced. Deseed if very sensitive to heat)
- 1 tbsp thyme (minced. Use 1 tsp if using dry)
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (use gluten-free breadcrumbs if gf)
- 6 oz vegan mozzarella shreds
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (optional. Can do these oil-free or with cooking spray)
- Place the grated veggies in a colander. Sprinkle on some salt and leave along for 10-15 minutes. Then squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the veggies. Collect the liquid in a bowl.
- When you tip the bowl with the liquid, you'll see starch from the potatoes collected at the bottom. Discard the liquid but take care not to discard the starch. Then add the grated veggies to the bowl with the starch and mix it in.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
- Heat a cast iron or nonstick griddle. Coat the bottom with oil or cooking spray. If you want to completely avoid any oil, use a very good quality nonstick skillet so the veggies won't stick.
- Using your fingers or a spoon, scoop out a portion of the hash brown batter and place it on the skillet. Use a spoon or spatula to flatten it out into a 3-inch "pancake". Depending on the size of your skillet you can make more hash brown pancakes simultaneously, making sure you leave at least an inch of space between them.
- Press down on the hash browns with the spatula and let them cook about two minutes over high or medium-high heat until golden-brown at the bottom. Flip carefully and continue to cook until the other side is done.
- Serve hot. They'll be crispiest when hot.