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ATK Kids

Make a Giant Sheet-Pan Hash Brown

Why make a bunch of mini–hash browns when you can make one big one?

Trader Joe’s frozen hash brown patties are a grocery-list regular for me: Just pop them in the oven (or the air fryer for crispy results in minutes) and they’re ready to be dunked in a mountain of ketchup. 

But when paging through the brand-new ATK Kids cookbook, The Complete Cookbook for Teen Chefs, I stopped dead in my tracks mid–breakfast chapter. Why? These hash browns. I mean, just look at all those crispy, craggy bits! Preshaped hash browns just don’t have that going for them. What’s the secret?

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It turns out that there are several techniques at play here that produce that wonderful crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside texture. When former Cook’s Country Senior Editor Cecelia Jenkins developed the original recipe (which ATK Kids Test Cook Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn adapted for teens), she made a few discoveries. First, soaking the shredded potatoes in cold water removed excess surface starch that would have made the hash browns gummy. Then, draining the potato shreds and squeezing out excess water with a clean dish towel encouraged browning in the oven.

All too often, hash browns cook up as a compact potato cake—good, but not what we want here. To get those multidimensional craggy shreds, you shouldn’t pack the potatoes down on the baking sheet. Instead, lightly distribute them on the baking sheet. Finally, for 360-degree crispiness, break up the hash browns and flip them toward the end of the cooking time.

When Andrea adapted this recipe for the teen cookbook, she scaled down the recipe a bit—and gave more explicit cooking instructions—to make things manageable for teenage chefs. Perfect for a teen-assembled breakfast or brunch feast, these sheet-pan hash browns are in a breakfast potato league all their own.