Whether hosting guests, shuttling a young family to their many activities, or preparing for a special holiday event, mornings can get very hectic. When others are placing demands on your time, but you still need or want to deliver a hearty breakfast, plan ahead and start the night before.
Hosting a group of professionals for an early morning meeting meant serving breakfast, but I didn’t want to get up an extra two hours early to make it happen. So, this recipe started from an overnight casserole which I sourced from The Chunky Chef. Because I wanted to also pair my eggs with fresh huckleberry scones, I didn’t want my eggs to also be full of bread. I considered what I might serve as individual dishes in a breakfast buffet and immediately had confidence I could adapt the recipe to include hashbrowns instead.
Loaded Breakfast Casserole
- 1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
- 8-10 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 8 large eggs
- 2 2/3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground dry mustard
- 1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 tbsp fresh minced parsley)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 16 oz frozen hash browns
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere or raclette cheese
- minced fresh parsley for garnish
- chopped fresh chives for garnish
- In a large skillet, brown and crumble sausage until browed. Drain and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, dry mustard, parsley, pepper and paprika.
- Add hashbrowns to a greased 3 quart baking dish. Top with crumbled sausage, bacon and 3/4 of the combined cheese. Pour egg custard over the top, using a spoon to gently push any potatoes down into the custard. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheeses.
- Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator, uncover, and let sit at room temperature while oven preheats to 350°F. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes, until firm and lightly golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let rest 5-10 minutes. Serve hot, topped with garnishes.
Whenever making a baked egg dish with cheese, try to remember that cheese has oil in it. If you don’t let your eggs rest at the end of baking, you can be falsely convinced the eggs are not done because there is too much “liquid” standing. Another reason your casserole may have excess water could be from the vegetables in your dish. This can be alleviated by sautéing vegetables before putting them in the casserole. Since this is an overnight recipe, that may or may not be a good choice for your timeline. Use a thermometer and if it reaches 160°, the dish is done. Does the egg mixture bounce when touched, or does it sink? If it bounces, the eggs are done and your dish needs to rest so the oils can settle a bit. Be careful, overbaking your eggs can make them rubbery.
Serve your breakfast casserole with fresh fruit and biscuits, scones or cinnamon rolls, and then sit down and enjoy it yourself. You’ll be so glad you took a little bit of time the night before so you can enjoy this beautiful morning with your family and/or guests.
Blessings to you!