Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Make-aheadBreakfast CasseroleEgg

EASY sausage breakfast casserole! Made with eggs, sharp cheddar cheese, cubed day old bread, and Italian pork sausage. Perfect brunch casserole!

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.

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.

How to Make Breakfast Casserole with Sausage

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

Updated November 29, 2018 : We spiffed up this post a little to make it sparkle! No changes to the recipe.

Sausage Breakfast Casserole Recipe

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  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 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 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)

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.

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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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80 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Pam Green

    Holiday staple in my family for 30 + years. Jones’ bulk pork sausage works very well in this recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • clayton

    All I can say is my family LOVED it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Robin W

    I took this breakfast casserole (only added Jimmy Dean sausage) and it was a definite crowd pleaser at our work potluck breakfast today. I used shredded sharp cheddar with Philadelphia Cream Cheese- 1.5 packages- I think that gave it an extra zing.

  • Adri

    Can you make this recipe in a bundt pan?

  • Felishia Hoffecker

    Would this casserole work well if it were frozen after being assembled? Has anyone tried that yet?

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