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Sausage Egg Breakfast Casserole: One Mixing Bowl, One Baking Dish, One More Morning Survival Tactic

August 30, 2010

Posted by:  Jenny

I’m a big fan of casseroles, mostly out of laziness.  What’s better than getting credit for preparing a meal when said meal can be assembled using only one dish?   And the lack of effort doesn’t stop with the chef, either.  No, those consuming the casserole also forego the harrowing debate of whether to take a bite of chicken, broccoli, or rice next.  No need to worry about balance or even glance at your plate that often; just grab a spoon and shovel it in by the mouthful because it’s all mixed up to perfection right there in that warm, gooey heap of goodness.

Dinner casseroles are a staple in many homes because they provided a needed break to overworked parents tasked with cooking for a family, but why reserve these mashed-up masterpieces for the evening meal?   The breakfast casserole is the perfect solution for those who aren’t only dog-tired when they trudge home from work or the market or taking their ungrateful brats to various extracurricular activities, but those who maintain that fatigue straight into the blessed start of another Day o’ Delight.   I don’t know about normal people, but as for me, I’m never more exhausted than when I just woke up.  The noise of an alarm clock can make me break into a cold sweat no matter what time of the day I hear it.   Unfortunately, Morning is an acquaintance that visits everyday no matter how often I insist it isn’t welcome in my home, not unlike the little cousins I grew up next door to as a child.   In Morning’s defense, it doesn’t usually borrow my Barbies and return them with chopped hair and a missing arm, at least.

Anyway, back to the breakfast casserole.  The beauty about this blend of first-meal favorites is that you make it the night before, stick that bad boy in the refrigerator while you get a few hours of sleep before someone calls your number by mistake at 3 A.M. and wakes up you, the baby, and the dog, and just pop it into the oven (the casserole, not the baby or the dog) an hour before it’s time to eat.  Perfect for someone like me who’d rather work at night and save up all possible opportunities for laziness until the witching hour has passed.

I actually made this casserole for a Mother’s Day brunch, and it saved me a lot of time to be able to prepare it the night before.  I intended it to play second fiddle to pancakes and blueberry syrup, but it was the unexpected star of the show even though the pancakes insisted that their name get top billing.  Like I told them, talent trumps marketing, but they switched agents anyway.

Sausage and Egg Casserole:

Ingredients:

  • Garlic Cheddar Croutons (I bought a $1 bag at Wal-Mart and they were fine.  Use whatever brand you want, and you just need enough to cover the bottom of your casserole dish.)
  • One pound ground sausage (For a spicy casserole, I used Jimmy Dean Hot; for a milder, sweeter casserole, I used Jimmy Dean Maple.  For the most part, the men preferred the spicy casserole, and the women liked the mild.)
  • 8 eggs
  • One cup half-n-half
  • One cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • One teaspoon mustard powder
  • OPTIONAL: diced red and green bell pepper and cayenne pepper seasoning for a spicier casserole

Directions:

  • Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.  Spread a layer of croutons in the bottom of the dish, and spread half of the cheese over the croutons.  As you see in my picture, I just dumped the whole bag in and several croutons snuck up the side of the dish.  Avoid this n00bish mistake.
  • Brown sausage in skillet; drain grease. (If you’re hardcore, you can mix a spoonful of your sausage grease into the egg mixture.  You only go around once, friend, so you might as well enjoy it.)
  • Beat the eggs and stir in the half-n-half, mustard powder, and cooked sausage (and any other seasonings, peppers, etc. you may have used).    Pour over the cheese and croutons.
  • Top the casserole with the leftover ½ cup of cheese.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Bake covered at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

My little cousin who doesn’t really like sausage enjoyed this casserole.  I personally don’t like eggs that much, but I liked this dish as well.  You’ll be surprised at how the croutons absorb the liquid and bake into a fluffy bottom crust.  If you asked me to state a preference between the spicy and mild, I’d say I really liked the contrast of the sweet maple sausage with the savory eggs and cheese.  Either way you make it, it’s still an easy breakfast or brunch  for the Perpetual A.M. Zombie.

Recipe modified from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Christmas-Breakfast-Sausage-Casserole

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2010 3:11 am

    Oooh this sounds so good. I bet it would be awesome with Tater Tots on the bottom or mixed in!

    • August 31, 2010 3:19 am

      I haven’t tried it that way myself, but I see several reviewers on the original site talk about adding shredded hashbrowns to the mix to make it more filling. I figure it must be good, because how can potatoes make anything bad?

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