As-You-Like-It Breakfast Casserole

On vacation, 5 o’clock pm, having too much fun to realize that nothing has been planned for dinner, fridge mostly empty, remembering that uh oh, I’m the one in charge of feeding my friend’s children that night. Oops! Open the refrigerator door, see half a dozen eggs, half a carton of milk, some cheddar cheese, leftover sausage from biscuits and gravy the day before, a little broccoli, a leftover ear of corn (cooked). Open the freezer and see half a loaf of sliced bread. Saved. Whew. The kids will not have boxed Mac-n-cheese for dinner.

Have you ever made a breakfast casserole? The basic ingredients are eggs, cheese, milk, and bread. It’s the easiest thing in the world to put together. We have a sausage breakfast casserole on the site that is one of my favorites. The great thing about a breakfast casserole is that you can add almost anything you want to the base. Italian sausage is my all time favorite, but bacon or ham will do too. Or make it veggie, with zucchini, broccoli, basil and onions. The first time I served this to the kids they insisted that it had to go on the website. The name they picked was “Open Fridge Breakfast Bake” because basically that’s what I did – opened the fridge, put everything I could find into a casserole dish, and baked it. A few days later we cooked it again (this time Reilly, the 11-year old helped) so we could get some photos. Do you have a favorite breakfast casserole combo? If so, let us know about it in the comments.

The ingredient proportions are estimates. The more eggs, the firmer, and less likely to deflate, the casserole will be. Mushrooms tend to hold a lot of moisture, so if you use a lot of them, you may want to sauté them first to release some of their water. Sausage should be browned and cooked through first. Can also uses spices such as curry and cumin.

Ingredients

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  • 6-10 eggs
  • 2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices bread, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Additions

  • 1 cup corn (cooked or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli (cooked or raw, raw will turn out crunchier)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup cubed ham and/or cooked Italian sausage
  • A few slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de provence, or other dried herbs, or a Tbsp of fresh chopped herbs such as basil, rosemary, or thyme
  • 13 x 9 inch casserole dish

Method

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1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the milk and cheese. Add the bread and carefully stir until all pieces of bread are moistened (don't over mix or the bread may disintegrate). Add additions. Add salt and pepper to taste (if using Italian sausage, you won't need either.) Butter a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish. Pour mix into casserole dish.

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2 Bake in oven for 50 minutes to an hour, until the top is browned and the center springs back when touched. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Main Ingredients

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