Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Heavenly Hash Browns

hash browns, gluten free, leftovers, camping, dairy free This post was originally shared as a guest post in a series on frugal gluten-free living over at my friend Hallie’s blog, Daily Bites. Potatoes can be basis of some of the most frugal dishes, as well as some of the most delicious ones. Most of us equate potatoes with comfort food for sure. Of course, as “real food,” naturally gluten-free food, potatoes fit my gfe approach, too. In this post, I share some of my favorite potato recipes as well as some favorites from other blogger friends.  

A short blurb from The Associated Press the other day said that the head of the Washington state Potato Commission, Chris Voigt, is tired of potatoes being linked to junk food. He says potatoes are rich in potassium, fiber and Vitamin C, and have a lot of protein. To spread awareness and potato love, he’s eating 20 plain potatoes a day. For 60 days. Hmmm. Well, he’s right that potatoes often a get a bad rap unnecessarily. Other than in the form of French Fries and potato chips, some folks never eat a potato. That’s too bad, because they can be the basis of healthy and usually very frugal meals. But, 20 potatoes a day and that’s it? I’ll look forward to seeing how he fares on his spud-nik mission. (Update: You can see Voigt’s results here; they are interesting to say the least.)

Most of us can incorporate much fewer potatoes in our diet and reap the benefits from a health standpoint and a frugality one. Potato contains vitamins and minerals, as well as an assortment of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids and polyphenols. Per Wikipedia, “a medium-size 150 g (5.3 oz) potato with the skin provides 27 mg of vitamin C (45% of the Daily Value (DV)), 620 mg of potassium (18% of DV), 0.2 mg vitamin B6 (10% of DV) and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. The fiber content of a potato with skin (2 g) is equivalent to that of many whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals.” Potatoes are well known as complex carbohydrates, but they also contain protein as the commissioner stated. To be honest, that was news to me. Again, per Wikipedia, most of the protein in a potato is contained in a thin layer just under its skin.

There are many varieties of potatoes. (GMO potatoes even exist, too, and were in the market for a while. Monsanto’s New Leaf potatoes were used for McDonald’s French Fries for a while until consumer backlash resulted in them being pulled. Research with GMO potatoes continues, but I found no information via online source to indicate that GMO potatoes are being used commercially in the U.S. at the present time.) Of course, there are more expensive potatoes like Fingerling and Yukon Gold, both of which I do love, but your basic russet or white potato can yield satisfying and healthy results at a much lower cost. Russet potatoes were actually shown to be very high in antioxidants (as shown here) a while back. And you know what, you can buy a 10-lb bag—or often even a 20-lb bag—of potatoes for the same cost as one bag of potato chips!

You can grow your own, too. Even city dwellers can get in on the fun. A 50-gallon garbage can with holes drilled in its bottom and filled with soil makes a great self-contained way to grow a supply of potatoes. (Read more here.) Whether you use a traditional in-ground garden or a container, “digging” potatoes is one of the most fun gardening chores ever. It’s very exciting to find out how many of those gems are hiding under the soil and what exactly they look like. Is there one worthy of posting on eBay for a big payoff? Even when there are no super unique potatoes, the shapes and sizes also fascinate. I’m a sucker for the ones that somehow end up shaped like hearts. A veritable gardening treasure hunt, for sure, and frankly potatoes just have so many uses.

gluten free, dairy free, pantry, gfe, potatoes, staples

That’s why I try to always have potatoes in my pantry. Sometimes a baked potato is just right to round out what I have planned for dinner. When we’re camping, potatoes baked in the coals of our campfire are pretty much a given for part of our evening meal. That cooking method produces the best baked potato. Ever. Period. At home, potatoes often go in the microwave just as they are or get dressed up a bit for Quick and Easy Pan-Baked Potatoes. Other times, a few potatoes get chopped and thrown into my Everything Soup. Potatoes also make wonderful creamy soup with the help of either evaporated milk as in this Baked Potato Soup, or just blended with chicken broth for non-dairy creaminess as in this Slow Cooker Potato-Zucchini Soup. Incidentally, an old rule of thumb for potato soup is to use one potato per person (or double that if you want leftovers). For more of a stew effect, Bombay Potatoes Meet Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Tomato Curry might be your choice.

But by far, the most frequent way I use potatoes is to make hash browns. This dish is a particular favorite when camping because we usually throw a couple extra potatoes in the coals. Even after years of campfire cooking, sometimes a few get burned and sometimes unexpected guests show up (like our neighbor in the mountains), so it pays to have reserve potatoes. However, more often than not, none get burned and we don’t have guests. Then I use the extra potatoes to make hash browns or hash. Okay, I say hash browns, but the chunky potato dish that results is called home fries by some instead of hash browns. However, if you add meat to potatoes made like that, then one calls the dish hash. Confusing, huh? Sometimes the English language defies logic.

We call this dish hash browns no matter how small the potatoes are cut and any time we add other ingredients to the potatoes, well, then we call the dish hash … ham hash, steak hash, etc. Small bits of meat and/or veggies plus a few spices added to the hash browns create a frugal and healthy meal that is never exactly the same, but always comforting and tasty. Think of it the way you think of fried rice or a stir fry; just throw in whatever sounds good. Again, it doesn’t take much. Some leftover ham and green onions, a few shrimp with roasted sweet pepper bits, leftover barbecued chicken with grilled corn cut from the cob, zucchini slices/chunks … or maybe all of the above if you’re cleaning out the refrigerator and feeding a large family or a group of friends who dropped by unexpectedly.

gluten free, dairy free, hash browns, camping, leftovers

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Heavenly Hash Browns
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)


About 2 tbsp vegetable oil (I use extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or a mix of the two)
1 lb potatoes, cut into ½ chunks or slices (about 3 cups)
½ cup chopped onion
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp black pepper
dash cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)


Heat oil in a large, deep skillet.

Add raw potatoes. (If using already cooked potatoes, add them at the point in the instructions below where you uncover your skillet and continue cooking.) Sprinkle with onions, salt, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Cover. Cook on medium low to medium about 10 minutes or so. Stir once or twice during cooking time.

Uncover and up heat to medium high. Cook another 5 minutes or so. Potatoes should be golden with a crispy outside and a tender inside. Onions should be crispy.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking your hash browns, add your pre-cooked meat, seafood, veggies, etc. If adding any uncooked items, add them earlier (maybe even at the beginning) to ensure that all gets cooked well. Additional oil and seasonings may need to be added as well, depending upon how much and what you add.

Shirley’s Notes: I’ve also used butter (dairy or non-dairy) before when making hash browns when camping, and sometimes leftover butter from dipping our artichoke leaves/hearts. Talk about heavenly hash with that variation! If you have non-onion lovers in the family (usually those are our dear children), try using just a little onion powder instead of an onion. You can gradually increase the amount of onion powder to get your non-onion lovers’ taste buds adapted. Son likes the flavor of onions, but not the texture so this was a good option for him when he was growing up. If starting with raw potatoes, try to cut pieces uniformly to ensure even cooking. When I make hash while camping and cooking on a grill, I tend to cut the potatoes into slices rather than cubes for easy flipping and removal from the grill.

gluten-free hash browns, gluten-free home fries, ways to use leftover baked potatoes, gluten free, dairy free, potatoes, recipe

Heavenly Hash Browns with Zucchini

There are lots of other wonderful potato dishes in the gluten-free blogosphere:

Finally, maybe you still have your heart set on potato chips? No worries. Make your own healthy ones using Karina’s (Gluten-Free Goddess) recipe here. I’ve made potato chips using Karina’s recipe and they’re fantastic!

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergen-Free Wednesday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, and Wellness Weekends.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


40 Responses to “Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Heavenly Hash Browns”

  1. Linda on April 18th, 2012 10:24 pm

    We are big potato fans. I don’t think you should overdo it (20 a day!?!) because of the amount of carbs, but I also think they usually get an unnecessary bad reputation. I’m glad you highlighted their nutritional benefits.

    Your hash browns look terrific. I’ll have to give Karina’s chips a try. Thanks for the great information and recipe!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 8:10 pm

      Linda–I enjoy potatoes, too, and was thrilled when I found out the benefits of Russet potatoes a while back, but I don’t think I could eat 20 potatoes for even a single day. Once anyone makes these hash browns one time, it will be so easy to make them the future and one can really get creative or keep these hash dishes very simple. I love Karina’s recipe. Very tasty!


  2. Ali on April 19th, 2012 1:00 am

    Potatoes are heavenly! Just watched the potato video…awesome! Thanks for sharing the link Shirley, I keep hearing about that guy but have not seen his site until now. :)

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 8:19 pm

      Hi Ali–Yes, potatoes are indeed heavenly. ;-) The video is well done, isn’t it? I need to update the post to point it out to folks. Happy to educate you about someone “in your own backyard,” so to speak!


  3. Ina Gawne on April 19th, 2012 8:04 am

    Shirley – we love potatoes in this household too! Don’t think I could do the “20 a day” thing though. One year I bought 2 50lb. sacks of potatoes from a farmer – they were super cheap! (what was I thinking?) We had a lot of hash browns that I froze. Now I miss them…time for some more delicious hash browns!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 8:21 pm

      Ina–I know on the “20 a day” diet! 100 lbs of potatoes … wow! Freezing your hash browns was a good idea though. Potatoes are something I never freeze though. Maybe because they don’t last long enough around here. ;-)


  4. Alta on April 19th, 2012 11:07 am

    Ugh, 20 potatoes a day makes my stomach hurt. I like potatoes, but only once in a while. And making hash browns/hash is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them (especially the crispy bits – I could just peel the crispy parts off of all the potatoes and be happy, LOL!). Thanks for sharing my scalloped potatoes recipe. That is another way, IMHO, that potatoes really shine.

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 8:45 pm

      Alta–The thought makes my stomach hurt, too. Actually it would start hurting at about two I think. I love potatoes for the comfort factor, but this is definitely a time when “too much of a good thing” is NOT a good thing IMHO. Oooh, and I love the crispy bits, too. The potato crispy bits mixed with the onion crispy bits is almost nirvana to me! ;-) And I’ve always loves scalloped potatoes. Your version looks scrumptious! :-)


  5. Angela on April 19th, 2012 12:35 pm

    Thanks Shirley! You have the gift of making even the most simple foods look and sound more delicious than 5-star restaurant food!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 8:46 pm

      Hi Angela–You are a super sweetie! Thanks so much, dear. :-)


  6. Jessica on April 19th, 2012 1:52 pm

    These look amazing! My husband is bound and determined for one of us to make fried potatoes as good as his grandma’s. This might be it! And without the vat of margarine that she used…ewwww!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 8:48 pm

      Thanks, Jessica! I’m sure you’ll eventually make some fried potatoes as good as your husband’s grandmother’s. It would be great if this recipe does the trick for you, or even gets you close. ;-) I agree on that margarine, too.


  7. LisaB on April 19th, 2012 3:07 pm

    I’m working on losing weight, so I’m not eating very many potatoes myself. But I do love them. I drool over pictures of them.
    Check out Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman) Crash Hot Potatoes. These are super-yummy!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 8:52 pm

      Hi LisaB–I’ve linked to Ree’s Crash Potatoes before, but still haven’t made them. Maybe it’s time, as I just got a big bag of potatoes. We’ve been out of potatoes for a while, but I’m restocked now. They come in handy for Mr. GFE. I often eat a sweet potato while he eats the other. :-)


  8. dee m on April 19th, 2012 3:47 pm

    Hello Shirley, this looks heavenly indeed! Potatoes have certainly gotten a bad rap..they are so versitile..we love them with gluten free noodles, sauted with onion, garlic and cabbage, with a bit of garlic salt and coarse pepper.

    I checked out Karina’s chips.. I must admit.. I am a chip fiene…I am cautious with ingredients when purchasing…I use to make my own years back and got away from it.. I make everything else from scratch, why not chips as well.. its time again! :)

    I love that you posted about growing potatoes in a garbage can. We usually put in several feet in our garden, but want to also do some in the can to compare.

    I love all you do, you are such an inspiration for all to stretch themselves.

    I’ve had a book for Artisan breads that I used off and on, it contained gluten free bread recipes in the back of the book. Last night I made a loaf of gluten free bread for the first time, I changed the soy flour to oat with the sorghum instead and used goat milk cheese instead of cheddar. We only eat raw milk cow cheeses and were out. Turned out fab. Its a fermented type dough. Its been many months since I have had bread. We rarely buy anything processed, so buying a loaf of gluten free bread was unheard of here, I bake other breads for my hubby. I am blessed though that he will eat all gluten free foods I make. I know this bread is going to win him over as well. :)

    I also want to say thank you again for being chosen in your “Columbus Salame Contest”.. My package arrived this afternoon….fab-u-lous!! We can’t wait to sink our teeth in… :)

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 8:56 pm

      Hi Dee–All your potato ideas sounds good to me! I think you will enjoy Karina’s potato chips and I’ll be very interested in how you make out with growing some of your potatoes in the garbage can. ;-) Congrats on your bread success, too … that loaf sounds AMAZING! Yippee on getting your salame package, too. :-) Finally, many thanks for the sweet feedback, dear; that really means a lot!


  9. Alisa on April 19th, 2012 3:49 pm

    Those hash browns are right up my flavor alley Shirley! Are GMO potatoes actually in stores? I didn’t think they were. Fortunately, back in the potato days we were only buying organic ones due to the pesticides. Dang, why is it so hard to buy “normal” food!

    I digress, awesome recipe, and thanks for including me in the round up!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:03 pm

      Thanks, Alisa! My additional research seems to indicate that there are no GMO potatoes in the stores now. Hmmm. Previously, I had been told by one of my healthcare providers that there were and my online research had indicated the same. Can’t find that same info now. That’s a very good thing I presume! Thanks for bringing up the topic. Will edit my post. I’m happy to include your potato recipe. You have a bunch of great ones! :-)


  10. InTolerantChef on April 19th, 2012 6:59 pm

    We eat potatoes probably 3 times a week. This week already we’ve had them mashed, roasted and we made grated then baked rostis as well. All delicious! Your reciipe sounds yummy :)

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:04 pm

      Thanks, InTolerant Chef! I love all the ways you eat potatoes–YUM! :-)


  11. Maggie on April 19th, 2012 7:00 pm

    I could never give up potatoes Shirley (well, maybe after eating 20 a day…)! Pete is the potato chef in our house so I will be passing this along to him!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:06 pm

      Hi Maggie–All of us are balking at the 20 potatoes a day—holy mama! Would love to hear about Pete’s potato recipes. ;-)


  12. Kay Guest on April 19th, 2012 9:27 pm

    Dear Shirley,
    Heavenly is right, you sure know what to title your food posts, don’t you?
    I have a photo of myself with a heart-shaped potato. Of course, I had to pose with it, wouldn’t you? :-)
    I am going to try to do a gluten free post tonight, but I am running out of time. Wish me luck!
    Your Captain,

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:09 pm

      Hi Kay–LOL on my titling. And aren’t heart-shaped potatoes cool? I’d like to see that photo. :-)


  13. Jane on April 20th, 2012 10:42 pm

    I love potatoes, but I have never mastered the stove top hash browns — I will definitely try these! I am actually trying growing some potatoes in my garden this year for the first time! I also agree – potatoes over the campfire are the absolute best! Thanks Shirley!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:14 pm

      Oh, Jane, these are so easy! You’ll be a pro after one session. :-) Yippee on growing your own potatoes. They are so fun to dig up at the end of the season; it’s like finding buried treasure!

      We’ll soon be eating campfire potatoes again! Are you guys regular campers?


      • Jane on April 30th, 2012 9:39 am

        We try to be regular campers! We live right in the Colorado mountains with plenty of places to go, so we try to get out during the summer and see what there is to see! I will definitely give these a try – thanks Shirley!

        • Shirley on April 30th, 2012 8:34 pm

          You do have beautiful country to camp in, Jane! So glad you get out and do it! Sadly, so many of our friends no longer camp, so it’s exciting to hear when people do camp. Plus, the food always tastes better and is more fun when camping I think. ;-)


  14. Amber on April 21st, 2012 6:58 pm

    Hi Shirley,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us this week on AFW!! I wish I could have potatoes…and corn! Your pictures have me drooling. Great information too!

    I’m thinking about you and your family during this time. Please take care and take time to be with your loved ones.


    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:22 pm

      Hey Amber–Thanks so much for all your support, dear. It’s truly appreciated!

      If SCD works its magic, it will be worth it as you know to do without those spuds. In some cases, certain foods can be reintroduced later.


  15. Gretchen @gfedge on April 22nd, 2012 9:44 pm

    Fried potatoes made by my husband are the best. When I cook I use red potatoes and then mix them with cooked fresh green beans and onions. You are so right – that can be a meal!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:24 pm

      Gretchen–Fried potatoes made by others have to be good! ;-) I love the sound of your combo though … YUM. Definitely a meal, and a great one!


  16. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on April 23rd, 2012 12:27 pm

    We eat too many potatoes around here to give them up – although I do stick with the organic ones for sure. I have to say that I got hooked on fingerlings a while ago and fell in love with their subtle sweetness. So we use those often.
    Now…I am totally going to try growing my potatoes in a garbage can. I had no room for them in my garden this season!
    And I will definitely be making this recipe. I love your note about how decadent they are if you use butter too. :) I am certain that is how Kurt would be loving this! LOL

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:30 pm

      Kim–I do love the organic potatoes, and fingerlings. Surprisingly, Mr. GFE is not a big fan of fingerlings, so I don’t often make them for us.

      Potatoes do need a lot of garden space, so I hope you have success with the can method!

      You can’t go wrong with this recipe or just about any variation. The artichoke butter version doesn’t even include that much butter, but it tastes totally decadent. ;-)


  17. Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry on April 23rd, 2012 4:12 pm

    Potatoes are my weakness–I could eat them anytime of day! I also happen to love them with onions so this is a recipe I will be trying very soon. :)

    Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesdays! Be sure to check back next week for recipe highlights (including the top 3 reader choice submissions and hostess favorites).

    Be Well!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:33 pm

      Laura–I have to agree that potatoes work for any time of the day, and with onions added potato dishes make me very weak. ;-)

      I’m behind on AFW … must catch up. There’s so much good each week! :-)


  18. Peter Bronski on April 25th, 2012 4:01 pm

    Great recipe, Shirley! And great write-up about potatoes. I agree – they’re too often maligned, sometimes for no good reason. Coming from an athlete’s perspective, Russet, Yukon gold, and sweet potatoes all rotate into my diet as important sources of energy. And like you, I often eat them via hash browns!

    Cheers, Pete

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2012 9:38 pm

      Hey Pete–Ahhh, Yukon Gold … another fave of mine for sure, and I regularly buy sweet potatoes, too. I can even slip some sweet potatoes into my camping hash browns/hash, although Mr. GFE doesn’t care for them normally. ;-) It’s great to hear that they are good for energy for someone as active as you are. :-)


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