Pesto and Red Pepper Roasted Hash Browns

Talk about taking your every day hash brown dish up a notch. Roasted hash browns + chicken sausage + feta + fresh basil. Alone, that would be enough to make me do bad cartwheels across my kitchen floor. But drizzle on the simple homemade pesto red pepper dipping sauce and it doesn’t take more than a bite to realize these hash browns are special.

Special = really delicious.

I’ve made this recipe four or five times since my brother-in-law, Brad, gave it to me, claiming the hash browns were lifechanging. That bold statement didn’t even alert my skepticism because a) he and his wife Cass have great, and very trustworthy, taste in food, b) the recipe originates from Mark and Julie Magleby (of the famed Magleby restaurant family) and c) I mean, hash browns, come on.

Pesto and Red Pepper Roasted Hash Browns

One time last month I needed to make dinner for a family who was moving without a lot of notice. I had these on the menu plan already for my little brood and before ever having tried them myself, I doubled the recipe, slapped them alongside some grilled chicken (with the dipping sauce in small disposable containers), tossed in a salad and grabbed cookies from the freezer on my way out the door. It was a risky move considering they aren’t your every day hash browns + I hadn’t tested the recipe beforehand. But the meal, according to all parties who devoured them, was an absolute hit.

These yummy hash browns have quickly made it onto our short list of side dishes we’ll eat with anything and everything and often just by themselves. I’m so happy I have in-laws who realize the way to my heart is through food (and most importantly recipes that make me look like a rock star).

One Year Ago: Creamy Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust
Two Years Ago: Decadent Chocolate Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting {Gluten-Free!}
Three Years Ago: Creamy Peanut Butter Tart

Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Hash Browns with Sausage and Feta

Yield: Serves 6 as a side dish

Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Hash Browns with Sausage and Feta

Depending on where you live, look for a brand of southern-style hash browns that has minimal ingredients in the list (in my neck of the woods, Western Family is the main brand I can find where the only ingredient is potatoes - imagine that!). Also, instead of using jarred roasted red bell peppers, you can certainly roast your own (especially if you have a gas stovetop) - if doing so, use one large roasted red pepper. Any style of Italian sausage can be used; I'm partial to the chicken sausage from Trader Joe's that comes in uncooked links (simply slice through the casing and press the sausage into the skillet).


    Hash Browns:
  • 1 pound frozen Southern-style (cubed) hash browns (see note above)
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • Chopped fresh basil for garnish
  • Pesto Red Pepper Sauce:
  • 8 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained (see note above)
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the hash browns in a colander and rinse with cool water so they thaw just a bit (this also helps wash away some of the preservatives depending on the brand you use - see note above).
  2. Brown the sausage in a skillet until cooked through. Drain any excess grease.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the hash browns, sausage, onions, seasoning salt and melted butter. Toss to combine.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly on a large, rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender and sizzling, flipping the mixture with a thin metal spatula (or other type of spatula that won't break the potatoes apart) about halfway through. Add minutes to the cooking time if needed.
  5. While the hash browns cook, in a blender or food processor, combine the roasted red peppers, basil pesto, sour cream, and salt. Process until smooth.
  6. Scrape the hash brown mixture onto a serving platter or into a bowl, sprinkle with feta and chopped basil and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with the pesto sauce alongside for drizzling or dipping.

Recipe Source: adapted from Julie and Mark Magleby, passed on to me by my brother-in-law, Brad

Follow along on Instagram and use the hashtag #melskitchencafe to show me the recipes you’re making from here. It’s like the next best thing to cooking and baking (and chatting up a storm) in the kitchen with you!

19 Responses to Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Hash Browns

  1. Miranda says:

    Super lazy question, but I just left the grocery store and forgot to pick up the roasted bell peppers,I have some bell peppers diced and frozen should I try broiling them and adding them to the sauce or just a omit them all together?

  2. Meghan says:

    Mel, I made these hash browns last night and they were epic! I served them with crispy fried eggs and roasted brussels sprouts. My fiancé and I scarfed them down and almost cleaned the entire pan just the two of us (I had to stand guard over them just to secure my leftovers for lunch). That sauce is so light and yummy too – I’m sure we’ll be eating it on everything this week. Thanks for another great one!!

  3. Rayanne says:

    Just made this tonight. So good! Thanks for another great recipe.

  4. Patty says:

    Because of this recipe I made Pesto for the first time ever. Wow! I made this dish, only I used andouille sausage that is already cooked. I simply diced it up, no cooking necessary. Talk about easy! Thank you, Mel for another easy, successful, tasty and satisfying dish.

  5. Jenny says:

    Any ideas on what to do with leftover sauce? It was so yummy but I have tons left over and can’t bear throwing it out! Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      It makes a good spread for panini sandwiches and a delicious sauce for untraditional pizza (topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil)!

  6. Jodi says:

    Oh my gosh this looks amazing. I went to the store yesterday and bought the hash browns. I can’t wait to make this. Thanks Mel!!

  7. Pam says:

    Hi Mel!! I LOVED finally meeting you – you are even more adorable in person 🙂 Excited to give these a try!!

  8. Laura from the Land of Aus says:

    As frozen hash browns here in Australia only come as a shaped product ready to fry (like McDonalds hash browns), could I just dice potatoes quite small & use them? Or would they need to be pre-cooked a bit?
    Thanks for another killer recipe!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Laura – good question. I think you could use very small diced potatoes quite well. You might need to watch the cooking time and add a few minutes as needed.

  9. Helen says:

    I’m so excited to make this!! I love Western Family brand… My store 3 blocks from my house has it .. By far most convenient brand for me to locate 🙂 any advice on pesto brand ? I think I may change up the menu this week and make this… Today!!!
    P.S. … I need to get some aprons, adult and kid sizes.. Any recommendations ?

    • Mel says:

      When I have lots of basil, I make Ina Garten’s basil pesto recipe (amazing and so easy – plus it freezes great). Years like this year, I use Costco’s refrigerated brand. It’s delicious. I’ve only ever made aprons for our family (not anything grand) so I don’t have a good resource for buying. Sorry, Helen!

  10. Jan says:

    Thanks for the perfect side dish for us potato lovers!!! would you please think of adding a freezer to the Best Recipes? Best recipes are my go to on your website. Thanks, Jan

  11. Liz says:

    Sounds so yummy. Thank you Mel.

  12. Kim in MD says:

    Hash browns with sausage, feta and basil? Yum! Topping them with pesto roasted red pepper sauce- amazing!

  13. Sheila says:

    I would never have the confidence or courage to make a dish I have never made and take to a family. This dish sounds easy and delicious. Thank you, Brad, for lovingly sharing this recipe with Mel so the gift can go on blessing so many others too.

  14. Paige says:

    These hash browns look amazing! I wish this was how I was starting my morning today!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *