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Smoked Hashbrown Casserole

First up your pellet grill, this loaded and Smoked Hashbrown Casserole is made on our Traeger grill, and full of all the homemade cheese sauce, ranch, bacon, and sour cream. Equally as good for breakfast or as a side dish to your meal, this casserole is endlessly customizable.

Traeger Hashbrown Casserole Recipe

Hashbrown casserole is a staple around here. Whether it is a breakfast version that incorporates a bunch of scrambled eggs or the classic side that you’ll see next to a ham on Easter or any of the fall holidays, cheese sauce + potatoes is always a good idea.

For this recipe, we changed things up a bit from my Traeger Funeral Potatoes which include the classic “cream of” soup with mayo and sour cream, and are making a cheese sauce from scratch using a “secret” ingredient that chefs have been using for years and years.

More Easy Traeger Recipes here!

Loaded Potato Casserole shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

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  • milk
  • sodium citrate
  • shredded potatoes (refrigerated)
  • cubed potatoes (refrigerated)
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • ranch dressing mix
  • bacon

More great BREAKFAST RECIPES here!

How to make Smoked Hashbrown Casserole

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.


Preheat your smoker

225° is right where you want it! We use the pellet grill, but use what you’ve got!


Make the cheese sauce

I made my own homemade cheese sauce here, but if you want to cheat you can totally use a couple of cans of cream of cheddar soup. Just thin it out a pourable consistency. I recommend getting yourself some sodium citrate


Mix it up

Sour cream, ranch mix, potatoes, cheese sauce. All of it. Spoon it into a greased grill-safe pan. Toss the butter on top and then the rest of the cheese and the bacon.


Smoke it

Mine took about 45 minutes to be done. Your mileage may vary. The potatoes are done when they are tender and the cheese sauce is bubbly. If you need to move things along, bumping up the temp to 275° will get the job done faster, but there will be less smoke flavor in the end result.



Whether you are serving this next to a double-smoked ham or a big heaping pile of homemade scrambled eggs, your family is going to love this!

Try this White Chocolate Bark for dessert!

What is sodium citrate & why is it awesome?

Sodium citrate is also known as citric acid or sour salt. It has been widely used in commercially packaged foods as a flavor and a preservative. The explosion of modernist cuisine and molecular gastronomy in recent years has also found it used by chefs as an emulsifier and for spherification.

For this easy cheese sauce, we’re using it as an emulsifier. Usually, cheese sauce is a risky business. Too hot, it can break. Not hot enough, and things won’t melt together properly. The sodium citrate takes the gamble out of cheese sauce completely.

Want the smoothest queso ever? YOU got it. Have a favorite cheese you’d love to sauce up but it isn’t the BEST melter you’ve ever seen? NO PROBLEM.

More Potato Recipes here!

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Loaded Traeger Hashbrowns FAQ

What if you don’t have/want to use sodium citrate?

If you don’t have this ingredient, I’d recommend using your favorite pre-made cheese sauce or a couple of cans of “cream of cheddar”.

Does this make good leftovers?

These potatoes re-heat SO well. You can even put this casserole together a day ahead of time, smoke it, and then just re-heat it on the grill, in the oven, or even in a slow cooker, when it comes time to eat.

What are some good stir-in options to change this up?

Want to go full breakfast? Chop up some cooked sausages, whip up 6 eggs, and mix those in with the hashbrowns. My sister-in-law makes a fabulous egg casserole with green chiles, and that would work really well with this dish too.

More recipes to love!

Yield: 12 servings

Traeger Loaded Hashbrown Casserole

Traeger Loaded Hashbrown Casserole

Homemade cheese sauce gets combined with sour cream, ranch, bacon, and all of the freshly shredded hashbrowns to make a hashbrowns casserole for all occasions.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon sodium citrate
  • 1 20-ounce bag shredded potatoes (refrigerated)
  • 1 20-ounce bag cubed potatoes (refrigerated)
  • 6 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ranch dressing mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold
  • 2 cups chopped crispy bacon


  1. Preheat your pellet grill or smoker to 225°.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat your milk over medium heat until it is simmering. Stir in the sodium citrate until it is dissolved and remove the pan from the heat. 
  3. Slowly stir in 4 cups of your shredded cheese. If you use pre-shredded cheese that is coated with something that makes it not stick together, it may have an impact on the consistency of the final result. You can still use this, but you may need to add extra milk once all the cheese is melted. Ideally, you want the cheese sauce to be pourable. If you dip a chip in it, it should coat the chip, but you should not be able to scoop it out.
  4. Mix the cheese sauce, sour cream, and ranch dressing mix together until it is well-combined. Stir in the potatoes until they are evenly coated.
  5. Grease a 9x13 inch grill-safe baking dish. Spoon the potato mixture into the greased pan and spread evenly. Slice the butter into 6 slices and place on top of the potatoes. Top with the remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese and your crispy chopped bacon.
  6. Place the pan into your pellet grill and let it smoke for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly. If the top starts to brown, shield with foil.
  7. Remove from the grill and serve hot.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 527Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 910mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 21g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.


Friday 1st of December 2023

Definitely needs more cooking time than 45 mins to an hour at 225. Disappointed that its been on for an hour and potatoes are still raw.

Nicole Johnson

Friday 1st of December 2023

The potatoes in the shredded and cubed refrigerated potatoes products are partially cooked already, so there shouldn't be any possibility of them being raw. If you are using fresh potatoes, the cook time would be drastically different.

Also, the cook times for these are always estimates, and will depend a LOT on your particular smoker, your weather outside your cooker, how many times you open the grill to check on it, and a number of other factors. That's why I specifically say, "45 minutes to an hour, or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly". For me, when I made this, in the summer of 2021, it only took about an hour. If I was making it today, in December, when external temps are dipping below freezing, I'd expect it to take longer.


Wednesday 16th of August 2023

Could you make this ahead and freeze it

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 16th of August 2023

I haven't tried freezing this dish, but I'd be a bit nervous because of all the milk and sour cream in it. Sometimes those don't come back as well after being frozen. If you try it, let me know!


Thursday 17th of February 2022

Why is the cook time 1 hr 30 min and then it says to cook it 45 min?

Nicole Johnson

Thursday 17th of February 2022

Cook and prep times are just estimates. The time on the grill in the recipe is 45-60 minutes (or until golden brown), but it also takes about 20 minutes to make the cheese sauce, and depending on when you preheat your smoker, I ballparked it. ;)

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