This easy breakfast casserole recipe with eggs, potatoes and sausage is a perfect dish to serve for any meal, even beyond breakfast and brunch. It combines nutrient-dense eggs with spiced Italian sausage, oozy mozzarella or cheddar cheese, and sweet bell peppers for a tasty, balanced meal.
Preparing the Perfect Breakfast Casserole
Breakfast casseroles require a fair amount of cook time. But once the eggs are cooked, you don’t want to leave them sitting in the oven until the meat and veggies are tender. This would cause the eggs to dry out.
For this reason, all the filling components for this sausage breakfast casserole are cooked in advance before hitting the baking dish. I pre-blanch the potatoes in boiling water. Then I sauté the vegetable mixture and spiced sausage in a skillet. That way all parts are cooked by the time the eggs are set. This is also a good idea for your favourite quiche recipes or frittata recipes.
Another excellent way of ensuring perfectly tender, custard-like eggs in your easy breakfast casserole is to incorporate fat. In the case of this breakfast casserole, shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese and a ⅓ cup milk lighten up the egg mixture. They make the casserole delightfully fluffy.
Also, try not to overbake your eggs. A good rule of thumb is to cook the casserole until the middle has the slightest movement but is otherwise set. This casserole dish has a total time of 30 minutes for baking.
A Healthy Breakfast Casserole with Potatoes
I like to call this easy breakfast a healthy breakfast casserole because unlike most breakfast casserole recipes, it is made entirely from scratch and with only whole food ingredients. Instead of frozen hash browns, I make this breakfast casserole with fresh potatoes that are parboiled before baking.
I even make my potato breakfast casserole with sausage that I flavor myself by simply mixing ground pork with spices. Additionally, as with all shredded cheese recipes, I recommend shredding your own from a block of mozzarella or cheddar cheese to add to your egg mixture for this sausage egg potato casserole. It's so quick and easy to do (and cheaper), while you get to avoid all the added stuff (wood pulp etc.) in pre-shredded cheddar cheese.
A Clean-Out-the-Fridge Dish
Any egg recipe is excellent for using up leftovers in the refrigerator. An easy meal to prepare when you might be low on almost everything else. Generally, before a grocery shop, many people tend to have eggs, milk, blocks of mozzarella or cheddar cheese. And vegetables like broccoli and mushrooms, or greens like spinach that are just past their prime for fresh eating.
If you have some bacon or ham that need to be used, that works well in place of the sausage. This easy breakfast casserole is the place to use them whether you want to enjoy this baked casserole dish for breakfast or make breakfast for dinner. "Brinner" is a favorite around our house.
Substitutions for Restricted Diets
If you have a dietary restriction or are short on an ingredient, it is still possible to prepare this breakfast casserole recipe. For lactose-free diets, use your favourite lactose-free milk and cheese to make this a dairy-free egg recipe with excellent results.
For gluten-free, this casserole contains all traditionally gluten-free ingredients. However, you should always read cheese labels to make sure the cheese doesn’t contain wheat. Additionally, it is beneficial to ensure that the cheese wasn’t processed in a facility that also makes gluten-filled products.
Although cheddar cheese and mozzarella are recommended, you could really use anything that becomes similarly melty and stretchy. Swiss, Gruyere, and Gouda would all be excellent choices to add to your egg mixture. Don’t use drier cheeses like Parmesan or crumbly ones like goat cheese or feta. They won’t sufficiently melt into the egg mixture giving the breakfast casserole that creamy texture.
How Far in Advance Can you Prep an Egg Bake?
This egg casserole recipe can also easily be turned into a make-ahead breakfast casserole. Which is perfect to serve to guests who are staying overnight during the holidays or any other time of year. You can completely prepare everything the night before. In the morning, all you do is take the pan with the sausage egg casserole from the fridge and pop it in the oven.
Half an hour later a complete breakfast is ready to be served. Well, you should probably brew a pot of coffee (or tea) as well and some crusty bread with this casserole dish is never a bad idea either.
Tips for Preparing this Breakfast Casserole
- Don’t Overmix: When you mix the eggs with the milk, cheese, and black pepper, mix just until combined. If over combined, the egg mixture could souffle in the oven due to too much air.
- Rest the Casserole: Allow your casserole to rest for at least 10 minutes after coming out of the oven. This will make your egg bake easier to slice so that it comes out in clean, attractive pieces!
- Don’t Overbake: Just set, custardy eggs are heavenly. You can test whether the eggs are done by shaking the baking dish gently. If the eggs are completely set with just a slight jiggle in the middle, they will be perfect.
You can store any leftovers of this egg casserole in an airtight container in the fridge. For food safety reasons, you shouldn’t keep cooked eggs in your fridge for longer than three or four days. But this overnight breakfast casserole likely isn’t going to last that long anyway.
The casserole can be frozen AFTER baking. Just wrap it well to prevent freezer burn or it taking on smells from the freezer. Then defrost in the fridge overnight and re-heat in the oven again. Or if you only want to reheat individual servings, be sure to cut up the casserole before freezing, and wrapping in smaller servings. Smaller servings can also be re-heated in the microwave or on the stovetop on low heat in a covered pan.
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Breakfast Casserole with Eggs, Potatoes and Sausage
- 20 ounces (600 g) potatoes peeled & cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 pound Italian sausage*
- 1 onion diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups shredded mild cheese from a block of mozzarella or mild cheddar
- 6 large eggs
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- sliced green onion
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the potato dices in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
- Remove casings from sausage, unless you are making your own mix like me. Heat a large skillet to medium-high and cook the sausage until browned. Break it up in the process. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon. Leave 1 tablespoon of grease.
- Cook the onion and red pepper in the sausage grease for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a couple more minutes. Fill into a large baking dish (9x13 inches) together with sausage and potato dices.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and black pepper. Add 1.5 cups of the shredded cheese and stir to combine everything. Pour into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes.
- Let the breakfast casserole rest for a few minutes. Add sliced green onion and serve hot.
Recipe inspired by Gimme Some Oven
A typical breakfast casserole comprises eggs, potatoes, and sausage, along with cheese and various vegetables for added flavor and texture.
Unlike a frittata, a breakfast casserole involves pre-cooked ingredients layered in a baking dish, while a frittata is cooked in a skillet and finished under the broiler, resulting in a different texture and cooking method.
To ensure food safety, the overnight breakfast casserole can be stored in the fridge for up to three or four days before it should be consumed or frozen.
To determine doneness, gently shake the baking dish; if the eggs are set with a slight jiggle in the middle, the casserole is perfectly cooked and ready to be served.