This Breakfast Casserole is a perfect way to whip up something hearty and savory for a brunch potluck, and this came to mind immediately when I wondered what to make for Easter, besides corn niblets in butter and mashed potatoes to go with some ham guests were bringing. This recipe has sausage in it so is not vegetarian, but you could substitute for it as long as it is something seasoned well.
I’m sad to report that my refrigerator/freezer seems to be dying a slow death. We hope that maybe we might be able to repair it, but since this came with the house when we purchased it, who knows how old it is and maybe it’s time to replace it.
One of the great things about this breakfast casserole recipe is that it’s really more of a guideline than rule. You can throw all sorts of things into it and it will still be great- which is useful when you have things chilled instead of frozen in your freezer and you want to start using everything you have before it goes bad.
When I did the inventory of my freezer, I knew that by doing a breakfast casserole besides using the eggs, cheese, and milk in my refrigerator section, I’d be able to get rid of one of the frozen half loaves of bread I tend to squirrel away because I can never eat a whole loaf. I added in some frozen Aidell’s chicken bacon pineapple sausage (yes, egg AND chicken together!) and a partially used bag of frozen broccoli. I also used some leftover parsley and celery from a DIY 3 day juice cleanse from last week, and the other half of onions and a jalapeño from a guacamole recipe (I’ll be sharing that at the end of the month in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo post on a guacamole bar!).
Topped with green onions and parsley, this hodge podge of getting rid of misc things was still really tasty and all came together! You can use any combination of vegetables and meats you’d like (such as ground meat or bacon).
- 1/4 loaf of old bread (a few days old so it is a bit harder), chopped into 1 inch cube pieces
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 diced large chicken sausages or 1 pound ground sausage or seasoned meat
- 1 diced jalapeño
- 3 stalks of green onions, chopped
- 2 cups chopped broccoli, cooked. I roasted mine in the oven with simple salt and pepper at 400F for 40 minutes
- 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice, divided in half. I often use cheddar or pepper jack but this time I used Emmentaler Swiss
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup milk (I used low fat)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and distribute the cubed bread.
- In a large sauté pan, sweat the onions and celery in the olive oil until the onions brown slightly. add in your meat and finish until the meat is cooked and browned. Pour the contents of the pan over the bread and let absorb the flavors. This is when I roasted my broccoli and chopped the green onions and jalapeño and shredded cheese…
- Top the dish with the jalapeño and a big handful of the green onion. Then add in a layer of 1 cup of the cheese, followed by the broccoli. You can fold everything together, but I left it in layers.
- In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs and milk together and then pour into your casserole dish. Cover and let refrigerate overnight (or at least as many hours as you can) so all the flavors have a chance to marry.
- When it’s time to bake, preheat the oven to 375 F. Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes until the egg has risen and a skewer through should come out clean.
- Remove the dish from oven and top with the parsley. Let cool for 15 minutes at least for it to firm up before cutting to serve.
I love that the breakfast casserole has your breakfast egg, but is also packed with lots of veggies here.
You can add color by using red and orange bell peppers, squash, your call. You could use spinach or kale or cauliflower or any number of vegetables. Depending on how many veggies you put in, you might adjust your egg/milk ratio- this had a lot of veggies so I used 6 eggs, but other versions have called for 8 or even 12, which also means that this is easy to scale up for a big group.
I used sliced up sausages, but you could easily used browned ground meat instead, or even a lot of crumbled bacon! As I said, this is a great, very adaptable recipe once you know the basics of the bread (and you can use any kind of bread you’d like- including croissant bread!), eggs, milk, and then meat and vegetable additions per your taste.
For instance, below I made it with some leftover Easter ham with some leftover cauliflower and broccoli and bread I had- just threw it all together because I had old bread, aging meat and veggies… ok, buy some eggs, casserole time!
What would you put in your egg casserole?