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Using Thawed Hash Browns in a Casserole

Q:

I want to make a casserole dish ahead of time that calls for thawed hash browns. Can I combine all of the ingredients, defrost the hash browns, and return the uncooked hash browns back to the freezer?

A:

You can do this, but the quality of the thawed and refrozen hash browns will not be as crispy when refrozen and they will hold up for a shorter time period, no more than just a few days to a week. Frozen hash browns are flash frozen very quickly and this is hard to replicate at home, so the potato has a tendency to be soggy.

Another option you might try is to use a package of dehydrated hash browns. That way, you can add water to make how many you want, while the amount that remains unhydrated is still shelf-stable. These products can be found in the grocery aisle where the instant mashed potatoes are sold.