Sausage Breakfast Casserole

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

What’s the one day of the year most breakfast casseroles are made? Christmas day! Christmas morning, actually. So many families are hosting family members in town from afar, a hot and cheesy breakfast casserole easily feeds a crowd.

You can assemble it the night before and just plop it in the oven in the morning. This way you, the cook, can enjoy the festivities of the morning with your guests instead futzing about in the kitchen.

This recipe is inspired from a Jimmy Dean sausage ad pulled from a magazine 20 years ago. We’ve changed some of the ratios, but the idea remains the same—cubed rustic bread in a casserole dish, topped with grated cheddar, browned crumbled sausage, and some chopped tomatoes and mushrooms if you want, with a milk egg mixture poured over, and the whole thing baked until puffy and browned.

Cut it into squares to serve!

Updated, first posted 2006

Sausage Breakfast Casserole Recipe

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  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6-8

Bread that is a little bit dry will hold up better in the casserole and provide more structure, which is why breakfast casseroles tend to call for "day old" bread. If your bread is fresh or soft, after you cube it, spread it out on a sheet pan and put it in a 200°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of Italian pork sausage
  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 5 cups cubed day old bread (we recommend rustic French or Italian loaf), cut into 3/4-inch to 1 inch-wide cubes
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 cup peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes (optional)

Method

1 Brown the sausage: Heat a skillet on medium high. Break up the sausage into chunks and cook, working in batches if need be, until browned on all sides. As you cook the sausage, you can break up the larger chunks into smaller pieces.

When lightly browned, remove from pan to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess fat.

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2 Whisk the eggs, milk, dry mustard, onion powder, salt, pepper: In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, dry mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper.

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3 Layer bread, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms in casserole dish, top with egg mixture: Place the cubed bread in a well buttered 9x13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and mushrooms if using. Top with the browned crumbled sausage. Pour the egg milk mixture evenly over the bread and cheese.

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4 Chill if making ahead, or bake for one hour: At this stage you can cover and chill overnight, if you want to prepare ahead. If not, let sit for 10 minutes before putting in the oven (so that the bread absorbs the milk egg mixture). Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake uncovered for about one hour. Tent with foil if the top begins to brown too quickly.

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Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Showing 4 of 65 Comments

  • Marisa

    My husband LOVES this stuff, (only we don’t add the veggies or onion powder because he would disown me!, lol) nor do I add the mustard but I do add garlic powder and oregano! And instead of sandwich bread I use crescent rolls that have been cooked and cubed! Holy cow it’s good! It gives it almost a sweet savory taste!

  • Helen

    I made this just before Xmas. I didn’t have access to spicy Italian sausage so I used Clonakilty black pudding. I’m Irish! I crumbled it over the dish. My god…it was so tasty.

  • Don Ugent

    We prepared this the night before Christmas, subbing bacon for the sausage and refrigerated it over night. Baked it about an hour before our gusts arrived. It was fabulous and lots of compliments. Will make it regular for Christmas brunch.

  • Karl Lembke

    Ever since finding the basic recipe (called “French Toast Casserole”), I’ve been cooking variations as my whimsy strikes.
    For the breakfast potluck at work on Christmas Eve, I made a “Ham And Cheese On Rye” casserole.
    The bread was equal parts Jewish rye and dark rye.
    I soaked that in the egg-milk mixture (with a tablespoon and a half of grainy mustard) overnight and folded in a pound of diced ham and a pound of diced smoked Gouda cheese.
    Baked at 350° in a casserole pan for 45 miuntes, wrapped it up in foil, and took it to the potluck.
    Brought back an empty casserole dish.
    The rye flavor was pronounced and gave the dish character. The mustard was a note in the background, and was just right. Both the ham and cheese came through nicely and didn’t overwhelm.
    I will be making this again, and may try making a Reuben casserole in the near future.

  • Wendy lucier

    Made this today and it was amazing! We have some leftovers. Can we freeze them or just put in fridge? Thanks!!

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