Variations on a Theme – Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash is one of my guilty pleasures, one of the things I love to order when we go out for breakfast at a new diner. Home Fries, Coffee, and Corned Beef Hash are the things I rate a diner on – If the home fries are creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside, if the coffee is fresh and hot and doesn’t give me heartburn, and if the corned beef hash has diced potatoes and good corned beef in it, then it’s a place I will highly recommend to anyone within shouting distance looking for a good breakfast.

Some people like their hash with mashed potatoes. That’s how my mother always made hash. Dice up the onions, cook them with the corned beef, add mashed potatoes and mix it up. She would make it for supper when we were kids, she could feed all 4 of us on a can of corned beef, one onion, and 6 mashed potatoes. She never poached eggs in it, never even served it with eggs as far as I can remember. I loved the way she made hash – right up until she started using instant mashed potatoes. It was all downhill from there!

I actually prefer my hash with diced potatoes – shredded is okay, but I like diced better. Use a can of cooked white potatoes, dry them well, chop them up and add the onions and corned beef and get a good crisp on it, if you can. I think it’s more grown up, more intentional looking than the mashed-potato variety. You have to plan for that kind of corned beef hash – at least a little more than you do when you do it with instant mashed potatoes.

I also have a confession to make. I can’t seem to eat corned beef hash without putting *gasp!* catsup on it! (or Ketchup, if you prefer that spelling) I think it’s the combination of hot and salty and meaty with cool and sweet and tangy – makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

Hell, slap a poached egg on there and some sourdough toast and I’m good to go!

When I started following a low-carb diet, it was difficult to do breakfast without eating eggs all the time (hence last week’s scrambled eggs post) and I started looking further afield for things I could eat with the eggs other than bacon, sausage, or ham. Eric tried just cooking a can of corned beef straight up. I thought it was far too salty, and I used way too much catsup to compensate. Then he had a genius idea! He grabbed a package of cubed butternut squash (peeled and chunked), cut it into half inch dice, and fried that up with onions, and then added the corned beef. Viola! Butternut Squash Corned Beef Hash!

Some of my friends who do Keto will say, “That’s not Keto! Butternut Squash has a lot of carbs in it!” Yes, I know that now. I didn’t know that then. 16g of carbs in Butternut Squash versus 37g of carbs in the same amount of potato – sounds to me like Butternut Squash, with its Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C and Magnesium is still a winner. *AND* I use less catsup on it!

Yields 4 servings

Butternut Squash Corned Beef Hash

20 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 1 can corned beef or 8 ounces leftover corned beef
  • 1 medium onion, quarter inch diced
  • Olive oil for cooking (or butter if you prefer)


  1. If you want to, you can use a package of butternut squash from the produce section that's already peeled and cut into chunks. It's more expensive, but it does save time.
  2. Cut the butternut squash into 1/2" dice. Throw them in a bowl that will fit in the microwave, add a little water, and heat them for about 4 to 6 minutes on high. You want them cooked a bit, but not mushy - otherwise it will take forever to cook the hash.
  3. Heat a 10" frying pan, and add the olive oil to coat. When the oil is just shimmering, add the onion and the butternut squash.
  4. Cook until the onion is translucent and the squash starts to get a little browned.
  5. Add the corned beef and mix thoroughly. Cook until the corned beef is heated through.
  6. Serve with poached eggs.

Variations on a Theme:

You could substitute shredded Brussels Sprouts and Shallots for the Squash and Onions.

Sweet potatoes instead of Butternut squash gives the same color, almost the same flavor.

You could use beets instead of butternut squash and make Red Flannel Hash.

You could use parsnips and carrots instead of the squash.

You could use leftover roast beef or diced ham instead of the corned beef. Of course, it won’t be corned beef hash anymore, but it’s still hash and it’s still yummy!