I started getting into breakfast casseroles as the ideal “grab and go breakfast” towards the end of last summer. After a few months of experimentation, I’ve found a few tricks that lead to (near) casserole perfection:
- Use a 13×9 pan. For awhile, I struggled with casseroles in 8×8 pans that took forever to bake in the middle and ended up with the dreaded styrofoam-y eggs on the edges. After finding this recipe from Multiply Delicious and embracing the larger baking dish, I have said (a very enthusiastic) “Farewell!” to runny middles and packing material edges.
- Shred your sweet potato. Little chunks of sweet potato are fine, but the shredded sweet potato makes a nicer consistency for eating. Or, it could be, that when one is consuming sweet potatoes all. the. time. it hides it a little bit and makes it more of “oh, there’s sweet potato in this, cool” than “yep, eating sweet potatoes. again.” That distinction totally makes sense, right?…
- Use a flavorful sausage (in my world this is code for “spicy!”). Okay, this one’s just personal preference, but, if you use a nicely flavored sausage, it helps to add a little bit of excitement to the overall dish without overwhelming the other flavors or requiring much additional seasoning.
- Frozen greens, all the way. I hate chopping spinach leaves (even worse? washing them. blech!). Thawing out some frozen greens works fabulously in a casserole, and skips that tedious step.
The following recipe is the general template I follow these days. Breakfast casseroles are ideal for using up odds and ends of vegetables and meats that are languishing in the refrigerator, so do not feel rule-bound in any way shape or form. Play with spices and veggies to keep breakfast interesting!
- 1 lb. sausage of choice (I love hot Italian or chorizo)
- 1 large onion, diced or sliced thinly
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded
- 1/2 lb. frozen spinach, thawed
- 12 eggs, scrambled
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 and use your butter to grease a 13×9 pan.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage until brown. Remove cooked sausage from pan, making sure to leave all that tasty fat! Throw in the onions and saute for a few minutes. Add in the sweet potatoes and cook until everything is softened.
- Scramble your eggs with a little bit of salt and pepper.
- Layer the sweet potatoes on the bottom of your baking dish. Top with cooked sausage. Layer the greens on top of this (sometimes you’ll end up getting a beautiful, tri-color casserole in the end…and sometimes not). Last, pour the egg mixture evenly across the dish.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set.
- Eat! (And slice and store for easy breakfasts throughout the week).
How to mix it up? Add mushrooms; top with tomato slices; throw your cheese of choice into the mix; leeks instead of onions; kale instead of spinach; shredded zucchini instead of sweet potato…
What’s your favorite breakfast casserole combination?