Sausage Breakfast Casserole

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.

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


  • 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)


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.


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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  • Bea Wright

    Add a mexican flare by adding a small can of diced mild green chile peppers

    • Laura ~ RYG

      I love your idea of the mild green chile peppers and I think I’ll add the “optional tomatoes and mushrooms” to increase veggie intake for the day. This looks so much better than eating sponge candy for breakfast. (google this, it’s a phenomenal. Buffalo thing!)

  • Sally

    My mom makes this every year for Christmas morning! She makes it ahead of time, so she just puts it in the over while we’re opening presents. It tastes even better the next day, just heat it up in the microwave.

  • Elaine

    Easy to make and delicious. Next time I will omit the sausage and serve it separately, as it made the casserole too salty. Served with croissants and a fresh fruit salad. Yummy.

  • Lisa

    This is a classic with my family. My mom prepares it the night before and pops it in the oven in the morning, and her guests get a hot breakfast. I like the idea of a veggie version–mushrooms and tomatoes, as suggested, and maybe some chopped zucchini and onions, too, in place of the sausage? Yum!

  • J.R.

    Yum! A staple at our house every Christmas morning.

    This year I spruced it up a bit with some jalapenos and then roasted some red pepper and threw that in there. Delicious!

  • barbara

    We have been making this for Christmas breakfast for as long as I can remember and I’m 53 yrs. old! We make it with low salt diced ham instead of sausauge. Mmmmmm so good!

  • Greg B

    Try it with the maple flavored sausage from Jimmy Dean! My wife makes it that way and it tastes and smells great!!

    • Kathleen

      I’ve been making this casserole since it was published by Jimmy Dean years ago and have used the maple sausage too. Somewhere along the line I forgot about the dry mustard so I’m glad Elise posted it.

  • Paul Shipman

    Elise, any thoughts on preparing ahead and freezing, minus the mushrooms and tomatoes? Seems like everything else would work. This sounds like a great item to have at the ready. I’m not much of a freezer person, but trying to get into that habit.

  • Raquel

    I made this for christmas brunch and it was DELICIOUS! Rave reviews from the family. I used a rosemary olive oil loaf of bread and premium sausage and very sharp cheddar. It came out beautifully. For us, not too salty…YUM.

  • Jane O'Connor

    I’ve made this using just the pork sausage for a breakfast serving 20 people. With fruit, juice and/or coffee, it makes a filling meal to start the day. Everyone loves it.

  • liz

    I make this with Bob Evans hot sausage and leave out all the other seasonings for my book club every year. I also make these little white bread rollup things with cinnamon and sugar. We call it a Winter Wonder(bread) Land.

  • Sally W.

    This might be good with hashbrowns or diced potatoes in it too.

  • Linda

    Hi Elise,

    Thanks for posting another yummy great recipe.
    What kind of white bread did you use in this recipe?

    I would like to share with you my tried and true recipe for Italian freezer sausage. It is easy to make and less salty than sausage you can buy.


    For ever 2 pounds of fresh ground pork
    Add the Following
    1 tsp black peppercorns
    2 tsp of kosher salt
    2 tsp of dried basil
    1/4 tsp of dried garlic, I use the gradules.
    1 1/2 tsp of freshly ground anise seed.
    dash of ground allspice or 4 freshly ground allspice seeds.
    dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes if you want a little heat.

    I use a small oster blender container or you can use a spice grinder. Add allspice seeds, black pepper,anise seed and the salt and grind medium finely. Then add the basil, garlic and blend a few seconds to combine.

    Add the above to the ground pork and mix with your hands or with a wooden spoon in a big bowl.
    I do not use castings. Instead I use sandwich bags dividing the sausage into 1/2 pound portions squeezing out as much as I can of the air in the bag then freeze it. I make pizza every Friday. The sausage never lasts this long at my house but this sausage will keep for 3 months in the freezer compartment of the fridge.

  • Lydia

    I found this recipe in a romance novel years ago and it has been our family’s tradition for Christmas Day ever since. It is delicious and I love that I can make all the preparations the night before! Merry Christmas!

  • Abby

    We had breakfast casserole on Christmas morning, but being from the South, ours had grits, not bread!

  • Terri

    This has also been one of my family’s Christmas favorites. My mom always made it since years ago and now I am making it for my family and have since passed the wonderful recipe on to friends. A couple things we put in it are light cream (you can also use half and half), and a teaspoon of worchestershire, it adds a great flavor.

  • Nicole

    Mmmmm…this is the recipe I love! I’ve never made it myself but I’ve had it several times at brunches it’s definitely a favorite! My husband loves it too and I keep thinking I might start a tradition of making this on a holiday morning. Perhaps New Year’s Day!

  • krista

    I have made this several times. The first time I used ham and it was very salty, the next time I tried it I used low sodium ham.

  • Chris

    We make this recipe with Oscar Mayer “Little Smokies” sausages. Excellent for breakfast and there are never any leftovers. Mmmmmm…..

  • Betsy

    We like it with nice lean breakfast sausage. Each to his own, it’s a great adaptable recipe.

  • Jamie

    This casserole is one of our favorite Christmas traditions. We make it the night before and put it in the oven on Christmas morning when everyone is too excited about Santa’s visit to think about breakfast. We make ours with cornbread.

  • Matt

    We refer to this recipe by no name other then Christmas breakfast and have it every year. Instead of Sausage we use strips of bacon. When this finishes cooking the bacon is deliciously crispy.

  • REC

    To Lydia…. you mention using grits in place of bread…..could you post your recipe as I am just not sure I follow this…. Grits I think would make a perfect side with this… but I could eat a whole pot of grits my self…

  • Jessica

    My mom makes this all the time and especially at Christmas. Half of the people in her sunday school class claim to only come so that they can have some of hers. We call it Sausage Strata and we use seasoned croutons instead of bread. It’s simpler and we think that it tastes better that way. This dish is très yummy!!!

  • Gloriana

    Very nice. I sauteed onions with the sausage and used just a pinch of onion powder. Yummy! Making it the night before made Sunday Brunch a cinch. I plan to experiment with gruyere, prosciutto and mushrooms next time. Thanks for yet another lovely recipe that makes me look like a pro!

  • Amy

    This is our traditional Christmas morning breakfast! I add some green onions for flavor and color.

  • ha3rvey

    I made this to take to work for breakfast one Friday. It was awesome! I subbed turkey breakfast sausage, but that was the only change I made.

    Great recipe. I’ll definitely be making this one again.

  • Alejandra

    Oh this does look yummy!

  • Kate

    My family also has a version of this but with Italian croutons instead of bread and then crispy bacon sprinkled on top for the last ten minutes instead of the sausage. It’s a family brunch staple and since I have two laying hens in my urban backyard, I’m always in charge of the egg dish!

  • Christine

    I had an unexpected visit from a relative (for breakfast) and turned to this delicious breakfast casserole – I followed everything exactly and added tomatoes which added beautiful colour – a great dish (second helpings were asked for!!) thanks for saving the day Elise!

  • Margaret

    This recipe looks delicious. Definitely will be served at Christmas brunch.
    But just wondering if you can make well ahead of time and freeze?

    According to a commenter on another breakfast casserole recipe on this site, yes you can make ahead and freeze. Personally I’ve haven’t done so, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. ~Elise

  • Jeanine

    Made this for Christmas breakfast on the spur of the moment–it was a little moist in the middle, possibly because I didn’t have time to dry out the bread, but everyone liked it. Thanks!

  • Sharon

    This recipe was delicious, thank you! I made it with ciabatta bread, chicken maple sausage, and garlic powder (instead of onion). Plus some chopped green onions. Came out beautifully and everyone was wowed.

  • Monica Pileggi

    I made this for a December brunch and it was a hit! I did add the optional mushrooms. Delicious!!

  • Trudie

    I added red pepper flakes, 2 scallions, 1 tsp. herbes de provence, 2 tsp. parsley, thought it needed a bit of a kick.

    It all depends on the sausage you are using. Some sausage is spicier than others. ~Elise

  • Andrea

    I made this for an early morning get together yesterday and it was quite a hit. Since I’m a vegetarian, I substituted the sausage with crumbled veggie sausage patties, and no one was any wiser. I cut the recipe and used an 8″x8″ dish rather than a 9″x13″ dish, but I should have made the full recipe since it was gone in a flash!

  • Jasmine

    I enjoyed making this dish! It was very easy and fun to make! I will share this with all my close family and friends! I would suggest trying it with other meats such as ham or turkey sausage. The turkey sausage works great!

  • Ashton

    I love this recipe!! It tastes soooo good in the morning. Cucumbers add a refreshing taste and great color to this dish! Me and my friend made this together and we used turkey sausage:) (careful it’s really spicey)


    Another winner on this website. Served for a brunch at our home and the casserole came out PERFECT. Looked exactly like the photo. Now that I know the recipe I can make it really quick with other ingredients like chiles and different kinds of vegetables. Thanks again Elise for making me into the gourmet cook I aspire to be.

  • Karen Suddath

    Lighteded it up and my family liked it even more; 2% cheese, skim milk and turkey sausage.

  • Pamg

    This has been a holiday breakfast tradition in my family for many years. Always used Jones bulk pork sausage.

  • mellody

    Thank you for the recipe. My sister-in-law served it to me when I visited her in the States a few years ago and I was just thinking of this casserole that it would be a nice change to make it for a Christmas breakfast. Well, now we’re a couple of days into Christmas (in Poland we celebrate 2 days, plus tomorrow is Sunday so we get another day of a holiday). Well, anyways, I’ll make it first thing tomorrow morning. Thank you :-)

  • Paula O'Neill

    I make this every year on Christmas morning for my family. Instead of cubed bread, I use shredded hash browns. My kids & grandkids fightover the leftovers to take home. It’s simply delicious. I have made a couple extra dishes using bacon, green pepper & onion, spinach, & asparagus which also makes it so good you just can’t get away from the table. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

  • Nanci

    Thank you for the recipe Elise! This is now staple for Easter Brunch in our house!

  • Leigh Ann

    Left overs make great breakfast burritos as well.

  • Foodiebia

    Delicious recipe! I made it this year to feed 6 people on Christmas morning. It was a huge hit.

  • Beth

    I love, love, love this casserole! I too use Bob Evans sausage, extra sharp cabot cheese, and I top my portion with maple syrup! sinfully delicious! I can’t save it for Christmas though. Have it at least once a month during the winter.

  • Karly

    This casserole spilled all over the dish onto the bottom of the oven. There is either too much milk called for or you need a bigger dish. It won’t be done in an hour.

  • Jenny

    My casserole turned out great. I haven’t eaten any of it yet but the top browned nicely and it smells delicious. I added some extra veggies to make it healthier and so far doesn’t look like there’s any problems with it. Great recipe!

  • Shannon

    I was looking for a way to use up random buns, dinner rolls and bread. Trimmed bottoms and tops from the buns and used Lil Smokies sausages cut into thirds instead of the bulk pork sausage. Very good.

  • davie g

    this is fantastic made it in 5 mins cooked for 50 min added a little chili sauces forgot the mustard stuck it on the bar for customers they loved it well done. its going on my brunch menu

  • Katy

    Have made the same recipe before, but instead of bread, used Hash Browns (either the shredded potatoes or the cubed ones). However you make it, it’s absolutely yummy, especially with hot sauce or salsa.

  • Elana

    I made this for my 6 year old son’s Veteran’s Day Breakfast that they hold annually at his school. This year he is bringing both of his grandpas, one from the Coast Guard and one from the Airforce. I am so proud to serve this dish to honor our men and women in uniform! (By the way, I added green onions and alot more cheese! Mmm! The eggs came from our own hens!)

  • Nellie

    This was great except for one small bit – WAY too much milk.

    I found similar recipes online that called for half the amount of milk so I will do that next time.

    I cooked it longer than the recommended time and it still wasn’t done which I assume was due to the milk issue. Otherwise, it was a hit!

  • kathy nelson

    THis recipe sounds as good as a quiche for Christmas morning brunch. I will be trying it for our family.
    Kathy Nelson
    Claremont, CA

  • Bernadette

    This is a great Breakfast for Christmas morning. I added three more ingredients, I put Aspargus ( cut into bite size pieces. And I use Leeks and scallions instead of onions. Oregano is good also. And I do not put tomatoes in it. Everyone loves it. And yes must use less milk.

  • Jan Huston

    My sister-in-law swears by this recipe. I’m going to make this for Easter Breakfast at church. I will follow advice and use less milk (heavy cream sounded like a good substitute), as I worry about it being soggy in the middle. Also, would prefer to use hash browns (frozen, I presume) as suggested, but wonder how much?

  • Ginny

    Is there a nondairy version? My husband can tolerate Swiss, but not even half that amount of milk. Would almond milk give a reasonable result? No nut allergies in the family, thank goodness

  • Roxana

    Long live the Christmas day breakfast casserole — I’m a huge fan! I’m especially a huge fan of the looks of this recipe — can’t wait to make it!

  • pam

    this sounds so easy & yummy. (can i use gluten free bread & add chopped olives?)

    cheers :-)

  • terismyth

    Looks like a good one for Christmas morning

  • Sue Santoro

    We’re trying to reduce carb and trying not to use potatoes or bread. Is there some other carb friendly veggie or something to use instead?

  • Tracy

    I have a similar recipe from a B&B my Moms friend owned in Ocean Grove Nj ! The key to this dish, I think, Is mixing it all, bread and cheese too, with an electric mixer, kitchen aid . I did it both ways, and the mixer just improves the taste !! This recipe is a winner, My Christmas morning tradition !!

  • Gwyn Walton

    I made this tonight and it was very tasty. Hubby really liked it. Instead of using a oblong casserole dish I baked it in the 4 quart stainless steel saute pan that I cooked the sausage in (I added some fresh chopped onion to the sausage when cooking it). I drained the fat but didn’t wipe the pan out and it was enough to coat the pan with oil. (It did however, need 15 – 20 minutes longer with the one pot dish). I did add 2 freshly copped Roma tomatoes and a cup of sliced mushrooms. Thank you Elise!

  • Wendy lucier

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!