What’s the one day of the year most breakfast casseroles are made?
Christmas morning, actually. So many families are hosting family members in town from afar, a hot and cheesy breakfast casserole easily feeds a crowd.
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 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!
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.
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.
More Favorite Breakfast Casseroles
- Bagel Breakfast Casserole with Sausage, Egg, and Cheese
- Baked Blueberry French Toast Casserole
- Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
- Make-Ahead Frittata Squares with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta
- French Toast Breakfast Casserole
How to Make Sausage Breakfast Casserole (VIDEO)
Sausage Breakfast Casserole Recipe
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.
- 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
- 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. 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.
2 In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, dry mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper.
3 Assemble the casserole: 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, distributing it evenly. Pour the egg milk mixture evenly over the bread and cheese.
4 Cover and chill, if making ahead: At this point, the casserole can be covered and chilled in the fridge until ready to bake and serve, up to overnight.
If baking immediately, let the casserole sit for 10 minutes before putting in the oven (to give the bread a chance to absorb the milk-egg mixture.
5 Bake the casserole: When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake uncovered for about one hour. Tent with foil if the top begins to brown too quickly.
6 Serve: Let the casserole cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
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