Hash Browns are a delicious and satisfying addition to breakfast or “brinner” (breakfast for dinner). They’re great to add to your dish if you’re wanting a more filling breakfast to get you through a busy day or a relaxing weekend brunch with the family. They can be slightly tedious to make from scratch, but we found out since we acquired our first panini press (sandwich press) recently that they can be made in half the time with this fabulous kitchen tool.
Hash Browns – Panini Style
Of course you don’t need a panini press to make hash browns, we just happened to discover that it’s just so convenient to make them this way. It’s faster since both sides cook at the same time and the presentation is great with them turning into little semi-flattened nests. They get that nice crisp on the edges without all the added cooking oil too.
If you don’t have a panini press, you can make these the same way as the recipe says up until the sandwich press part. Use a spatula to press down your scoop of potato mixture and then flip after the first side browns well through to the edges. These would basically cook more like fritters if you’re still looking to make these hash brown nests as the pictures show.
Homemade Hash Browns vs Prepackaged Frozen Hash Browns
As you know if you’ve read any of my other posts I always need to add in my two cents about homemade vs store bought food. I just can’t help myself, it’s my prerogative. Believe me, we’ve made our share of frozen hash browns and still might lose our way at times and they might find their way into our freezer, but we try to avoid them if at all possible.
Fresh Potato Hash browns
Some possible food additives in frozen hash browns are Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate, (sodium acid pyrophosphate) and Sodium Bisulfite. They are added to retain color and freshness. Now, these are not the worst ingredients possible when speaking of the big picture in processed food, especially since they are both quite widespread in so many foods. They’re both nearly impossible to avoid, but my motto is avoid it when possible simply by cooking from scratch. They are GRAS ingredients (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the FDA. That means they’re considered safe in small amounts, but they have been shown in some studies to have potential side effects and can cause issues down the road if one consumes a lot of processed food containing such ingredients.
Fresh Shredded Potato
So, just because I want to always know what I put into my body as well as my family’s I just avoid such food when feasible. Nothing earth shattering here. I just say, why not if I can?! Plus…food made from scratch, made with love and real ingredients just always tastes better.
So, try some homemade hash browns with fresh shredded potato for a change and taste the difference. It really doesn’t take that much more effort than using frozen. You don’t even have to peel these taters.
How to Make Panini Press Hash Browns
It’s very simple to make these hash browns. Just shred the unpeeled washed potatoes. I like to use my Cuisinart for a speedy shred. Then soak the shredded potatoes in water for just 10 minutes to get out some of that starch (You can skip this step if you need to, they still turn out great.) While you’re waiting, start heating up your panini press. After the potatoes soak, drain and squeeze as much of the water out as you can. I like to use a clean kitchen towel. Then coat the potato shreds with olive oil, then your seasonings. Once your panini press is heated up, spray a little cooking oil on the grates and add 1/4 cup dollops on the panini press and cook.
Panini Press Hash Browns Ingredients
The ingredients are as simple as they could be.
Russet Potatoes– I use skin on russet potatoes, just washed and scrubbed, no peeling needed. All the great nutrients are in that skin.
Olive Oil– I use extra virgin olive oil to coat the shredded potatoes. It helps the seasoning stick to the potatoes and helps your has browns crisp up.
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
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Panini Press Hash Browns
- 1.5 lb Organic Russet Potatoes shredded
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp granulated garlic
- 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
- *Optional- Cooking oil spray
- After shredding, soak the potatoes in water for 10 minutes. (I’ve made these plenty of times without soaking and they turn out great, so if you’re short on time you can skip this step.)
- Preheat panini press. (medium -med.high if there’s a setting, ours is one setting)
- Squeeze out excess water from shredded potato with a clean kitchen towel. No need to squeeze to death, just majority of excess water out.
- Place squeezed out potato shreds in a large bowl. Add olive oil, coat and combine just till all potato covered.
- Add sea salt, pepper, onion powder, granulated garlic, smoked paprika and combine.
- I do spray the grates of the panini press with a little avocado oil because it helps crisp and brown the hash browns a little more. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out the mix into little piles onto panini press. Gently press down just to squish down the rounds a tad. Leave some space between top and bottom plates just so they’re not completely flattened out.
- Set a timer for 8 minutes, but watch them closely in case your panini press is hotter. Ours take exactly 8 minutes, but you can let go 9 minutes if want them more brown. (Also check for potato doneness in middle)
- Keep the hash browns warm in the oven on a wire rack to retain crispiness till ready to serve.
- Optional– Add a little shredded cheese or a small slice of your favorite cheese and set panini press on “melt” after the initial cook is complete for just a minute for cheese hash browns.