These Hash Brown Potatoes Bird Nests were developed as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. I’m a member of the Collective Bias community and I was compensated for my work, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.
Close your eyes and picture bundles of parslied shredded hash brown potatoes, diced ham, cheese, and seasonings, formed into the shape of bird nests, then baked up until golden brown. Now picture popping them into your mouth with a bit of spicy aioli on the top. Fabulous, right?!
These easy cheesy hash brown potatoes bird nests are creamy, spicy, crunchy, and delicious, and they can be served up as an appetizer or a side dish at your Spring party or Easter Brunch. Come into the virtual kitchen and I’ll show you how quick, easy, and fun these are to make!
Easter will be here before I know it, so I thought I’d better get my act together early this year and plan out a nice Easter brunch for Brian and I. Last year was a disaster. Not a bit of planning took place, so I threw together a non-traditional dinner at the last minute. I refuse to be a slacker this year!
Not having family to entertain doesn’t stifle my desire to prepare a nice meal for us to enjoy. Appetizers are a must, as are things like hot cross buns, crisp asparagus with homemade kumquat poppy seed dressing, potatoes, and a lamb roast.
Like most guys, Brian loves creamy mashed potatoes, but even he said he wanted something lighter this year. We’re both trying to kick some excess weight, so at first, I thought I’d just make us baked potatoes.
Seriously, Becca? How boring can you be? I was over at Walmart picking up a few things anyway, so I thought I’d peruse the aisles and see what recipe inspiration I could think of.
When I was walking past the woven straw Easter baskets, That’s when the inspiration kicked in and I decided to try my hand at making little Easter baskets made out of potatoes. Then I saw the green Easter grass and even more ideas flew into my head. Ooooo, green grass in the potato baskets!
What food would best resemble grass? Hash brown potatoes, of course! I tossed a bag of Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes into my cart and kept on movin’. I needed to figure out how to make them green.
Some of you know that I stopped using food coloring last year, so I wanted to use a food source that had lots of chlorophyll in it (that’s what makes naturally green things green). I was going to pick up some spinach to try, but then I remembered that I had a big bunch of parsley at home, and hello… parsley tastes amazing with potatoes! I had a game plan and was super excited to head home and get my plan into action!
Cook down the parsley with some water, reduce it a little bit, and bring on the Spring color! I strained out the parsley and I was left with a nice liquid to soak my frozen shredded potatoes in. I didn’t thaw them or anything… just tossed ’em up a bit to make sure everything was covered. I let them sit in the liquid for about 10 minutes and then I stirred in some diced ham, cheese, and seasonings. Trust me, gang…these are seriously that easy to make!
I flipped the oven on to 425 and let it heat up while I assembled everything. Oh, before I forget, please be sure to spritz the wells of the cupcake pan with olive oil to prevent sticking. Otherwise, you’re bound to have a struggle removing the delicate hash brown potatoes baskets.
Which I then realized no longer looked like Easter baskets. Umm, Easter baskets have handles, Bec. These were hash brown potatoes BIRD NESTS!
Incredibly easy to make, absolutely adorable to look at, and trust me, positively yummi to eat!
With a recipe this perfect to serve for brunch, do we really need anything else? Well, yes. But these cheesy hash brown potatoes with ham just might be the star of the show!
So tell me…What’s YOUR favorite thing to eat for brunch?
Here’s the recipe for my hash brown potatoes nests!
Easy Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes Nests with Spicy Aioli
Bundles of parslied shredded potatoes, diced ham, and cheese are nestled together and baked up until golden brown. Served with a side of spicy aioli, these are sure to be a beautiful Easter brunch side dish!
- Grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large bunch flat or curly leaf parsley, stems removed (about 2 cups parsley)
- 8 ounces tap water
- 4 cups frozen Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar-jack)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (more if desired, to taste)
For Spicy Aioli
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons Sriracha or similar hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1/8 teaspoon (small pinch) kosher or sea salt
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Use a pastry brush or paper towel to grease wells of a 12-cup muffin pan with oil; set pan aside.
- Place parsley into a small saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Strain liquid into a large mixing bowl, Add 2 Tablespoons of cooked parsley to the bowl and discard remaining parsley.
- Add frozen shredded potatoes to the bowl with parsley water. Stir to coat and allow mixture to absorb into potatoes for 5-10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Fill wells of muffin pan with potato mixture and use back of a spoon to press mixture against bottom and sides of each well Drizzle or brush tops with a little more oil (this will help them develop a nice golden, crispy top).
- Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown, but still slightly moist in the center. Remove pan from oven and allow nests to cool in pan for 2 minutes.
- Run an offset spatula or the edge of a butter knife along the inside edge of the wells to help release the nests from the pan. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm, topped with aioli and additional chopped parsley, if desired.
- Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Use a spoon to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and Sriracha, if desired.
For more Easter recipe and decorating inspiration, check out my Easter Pinterest Board!