Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Make-ahead sausage breakfast casserole is just the dish for a special breakfast or brunch. It’s an easy recipe to customize. Pour some coffee and dig in!

Sausage Breakfast Casserole
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, and a hot and cheesy breakfast casserole easily feeds a crowd.

Video! How to Make Sausage Breakfast Casserole

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Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole

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 by 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!

Tip: Use Day-Old Bread

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.

Sausage Breakfast Casserole
Elise Bauer

Mix Up the Fillings

This recipe takes very well to adaptation. Keep the base of the recipe as is — ten eggs, four cups of milk, and five cups of bread cubes — and you can play around with the rest.

Swap out the ground sausage for ground beef, shredded chicken, or leftover diced ham. Swap out the cheddar cheese for something like Swiss or Monterey Jack. And instead of mushrooms or tomatoes, you could use chopped bell peppers, zucchini, or any other vegetable. If you have leftover cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes, those would also make a good addition.

What to Serve With Breakfast Casserole

A breakfast casserole like this is great served as part of a brunch buffet to a house full of guests. Add a platter of sliced fruit, some yogurt and granola, and a few breakfast pastries, and you're all set. Don't forget the coffee.

How to Tell When Breakfast Casserole is Done

Insert a skewer or toothpick in the center of the casserole. When it’s completely cooked, the skewer will come out dry, not wet. If it's still not set in the center, tent the dish loosely with foil as it finishes baking so the top doesn't dry out.

Variations and Add-ins

Note: The more add-ins, the longer the casserole will take to bake.

  • Substitute bacon, chorizo or breakfast sausage for the Italian sausage
  • Substitute leeks or scallions for the onion
  • Add asparagus
  • Add chopped olives
  • Add a small can of diced mild green chile peppers

What to Serve With Sausage Breakfast Casserole

More Favorite Breakfast Casseroles

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 60 mins
Total Time 85 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings

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 pound Italian pork sausage

  • 10 large eggs, beaten

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 5 cups cubed day-old bread (such as rustic French or Italian loaf), cut into 3/4 to 1-inch 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. Break up the sausage into chunks and cook, working in batches if need be, until cooked on all sides. As you cook the sausage, you can break up the larger chunks into smaller crumbles (which are easier to distribute evenly over the casserole).

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

    Cooking Sausage for breakfast casserole
    Elise Bauer
    browning sausage for breakfast casserole
    Elise Bauer
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and seasonings:

    In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, dry mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper

    whisking the liquid ingredients together
    Elise Bauer
  3. Assemble the casserole:

    Place the cubed bread in a well-buttered 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and mushrooms, if using. Top with the browned crumbled sausage, distributing it evenly. Pour the egg milk mixture evenly over the bread and cheese.

    layered sausage, cheese, and other breakfast casserole ingredients
    Elise Bauer
    breakfast casserole topped with sausage
    Elise Bauer
  4. Cover and chill, if making ahead:

    At this point, the casserole can be covered and chilled in the fridge for several hours or overnight, until ready to bake and serve.

    If baking immediately, let the casserole sit for 10 minutes to give the bread a chance to absorb the milk-egg mixture before putting in the oven.

  5. Preheat the oven:

    When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F.

  6. Bake the casserole:

    Bake uncovered for about 1 hour. Tent with foil if the top begins to brown too quickly.

  7. Serve:

    Let the casserole cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
666 Calories
46g Fat
24g Carbs
39g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 666
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g 58%
Saturated Fat 21g 105%
Cholesterol 333mg 111%
Sodium 1223mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 611mg 47%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 554mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.