Sunday, April 19, 2009

Speedy Breakfast Casserole

A yummy breakfast casserole that can be put together at the last minute - hash browns, sausage or ham, onion, bacon, milk, eggs, salt and pepper - what more could you want to start the day?!

Speedy Breakfast Casserole

I love breakfast casseroles but I hate having to think about building them the night before ... I never think about that the night before!! And besides that, I usually wake up deciding I want a breakfast casserole - I don't usually want it the night before! While occasionally I will construct a night before dish, this breakfast recipe is my go-to for the most part. It's got everything a good breakfast casserole should have - potatoes, cheese, sausage, bacon and eggs. And you can make it right away!

A couple of time-saving tips that I use to make this super-speedy are one, to use pre-cooked sausage. When you get back from the grocery store and have a spare moment, go ahead and cook an entire pound of Jimmy Dean sausage, stick it in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. That way you can skip the step of having to cook the sausage, and frankly, next time you want some homemade biscuits and sausage gravy {you can also use this gravy recipe for that as well}, you've already saved yourself some time there. Or if you want a homemade pizza, you've got this pre-cooked sausage to sprinkle on top! Or if you want a breakfast quesadilla or breakfast burrito, you'll be able to sprinkle some sausage on top before folding your quesadilla {by the way, I'm not a folder, I like 'em flat and with 2 tortillas, like a sandwich} or rolling up your breakfast tortilla.



Same thing with the bacon. Next time you brown up some bacon for a recipe or a meal, cook a few extra slices and store them in a freezer bag in your freezer. That's perfect for this recipe! Plus you've got pre-cooked bacon at the ready to chop up and sprinkle on top of a salad, a baked potato, or to use as a garnish! Of course this breakfast casserole is an excellent dish to make using up some of that leftover holiday ham that you've got stashed in your freezer too! Just substitute the ham in place of the sausage.

And last, I like to use the pre-formed hash brown patties as the first layer, because I almost always have those in the freezer. You can certainly use any other type of frozen bagged hash browns, or be extra frugal and shred up your own potatoes!

So next time you wake up on a Sunday morning and want a hardy, comforting breakfast casserole for breakfast, brunch or even a leisurely Sunday lunch, I hope that you'll give this one a try ... it really is yummy!

Let's make a breakfast casserole!

For this recipe you'll need some hash browns, sausage or ham, onion, bacon, milk, eggs, salt and pepper. Remove the hash brown patties from the freezer to allow them to begin to thaw, while you prep the remaining ingredients.

First we'll start by spraying a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and layering the bottom with some hash browns - enough to cover the bottom of the dish. Roughly I'd say about 2 cups if you're using the loose kind, or shredding your own. You can also use a 1-1/2 to 2 quart square or, as pictured here, a 10 x 6 inch oblong baking dish,  I like to use the hash brown patties because that's the kind I almost always have on hand.



Top that with one cup of shredded cheddar. Or a nice pepper jack cheese would be fantastic here.



Top that with 1 cup of cooked sausage. I used Jimmy Dean regular sausage, but you can certainly use the hot variety if you want to.



And a tablespoon of finely chopped onion.



Sprinkle some cooked and crumbled bacon on top of that. I used 2 slices here. Use more if you like.



Mix up 1-1/2 cups of milk with 4 large eggs, the Cajun seasoning and some salt and pepper. Pour that over the entire dish.



Until it is well covered.



Carefully transfer that to a preheated 350 degree F oven and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let set for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy!



Recipe: Speedy Breakfast Casserole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 6 servings


Ingredients
  • 4 to 6 hash brown patties, slightly thawed
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup of cooked crumbled Jimmy Dean sausage or cooked, diced ham
  • 1 tablespoon of finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups of milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the hash brown patties from the freezer to allow them to begin to thaw, while you prep the remaining ingredients.

Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. If using raw sausage and bacon, cook both until browned. Chop up the bacon and set aside. Layer the baking dish starting with the hash brown patties. On top of that, add the shredded cheese, then the sausage, onion, and bacon. Beat together the milk, eggs, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper and slowly pour over the entire dish.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to one hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to set about 5 minutes before slicing. Double for a 9 x 13 inch casserole.


Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

Cook's Notes: You may substitute about 2-1/2 cups of loose, frozen shredded hash browns (enough to cover the bottom of the dish), thawed and squeezed of any excess water, in this recipe. I prefer to use the hash brown patties for this casserole because they perform much better than the loose ones in a casserole and they are usually preseasoned.

Anytime you substitute frozen hash browns in any casserole form, it is best to thaw them so that they will release any excess water. Then wrap them in paper towels and squeeze the water out so it doesn't release in your casserole. You will also need to season the loose hash browns.

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55 comments:

  1. I love breakfast foods and am very tempted to say heck with breakfast, I'm making it for supper! My kids always seem to eat breakfast foods better at supper time.

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  2. There's absolutely no reason you can't have this as breakfast for dinner! Enjoy!!

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  3. Oh...I just saw Heidi's comment....LOL...LOL...LOL!

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  4. I wasn't hungry until I stopped by here!

    I could eat that RIGHT NOW!

    Ever heard of breakfast for supper....LOL!

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  5. This looks sooo good! Another bookmarked recipe from your site!!!!

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  6. I love breakfast casseroles and you're right...I've never found one that didn't require hours in fridge before cooking.

    Thanks for the recipe and tips!

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  7. This is my kind of breakfast casserole. I can't handle the ones that have bread in them, the bread becomes soggy, and soggy bread kind of freaks me out! :)

    and I bet the pepperjack cheese would be wonderful in this!

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  8. Oh my goodness I just love this! I am making this next Saturday morning! My family will be over the moon! Total eye cany!

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  9. What a great idea for a speedy breakfast cassarole! It looks delicious and is making me so hungry!

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  10. I make a similar casserole but use sliced fried potatoes but it comes out about the same as yours. I love breakfast foods for dinner and we do this one often. Becky

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  11. Shoot yeah y'all I had some leftovers for lunch today! That yardwork makes ya HUNGRY too!! Hope ya like it - yumyum!!

    Thanks everybody for stoppin' by and leaving comments - y'all are the best!

    Mary

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  12. Ohhhh...it looks so yummy. I'm a vegetarian so I'm thinking of red peppers and zucchini instead of sausage and bacon. Delish!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  13. I am curious when using the shredded hash browns, should I fry them up first or put them in there straight from the bag?

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  14. Hi Kylee, I've not done this casserole with anything but the patties. That said, when you make a breakfast casserole with the shredded hash browns you can brown them if you prefer, but I don't see that it would be necessary to. I honestly don't know if it would make that much of a difference!

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  15. Mary,
    I brought this to church on Sunday and it was a hit! I omitted the bacon and used pre-chopped onions to save even more time.

    Thanks for another delicious recipe!

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  16. Hi Sunni! Glad y'all enjoyed it - and thanks so much for taking the time to come back and say so!!

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  17. I made a variation of this last night. I am a single mom whose daughter went to college this fall. Trying to figure out this cooking for just me thing. I used tater tots and made them in a muffin tin. They turned out very nicely. It would make a full muffin tin - 12 muffins - if you use 3 tater tots per tin. They turned out like individual quiche type muffins. Other than that, I followed the recipe pretty close.
    Thanks for giving us these recipes, they look so good.
    Ps.......I scaled down the New Orleans style barbecue shrimp recipe too. My proportions were a little off, but still a very tasty dish.

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  18. Hey Karen! Wow. That sounds great!! Wonderful idea.

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  19. Glad to find this recipe. Most dishes like this make a 9x13 pan which is too much for our family. Happy to see this goes into a 9x9 pan. Definitely going to make this very soon! Thanks :)

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  20. OMG ... I have to quit reading these recipes when I am hungry ... hmmmmm, or do I get hungry reading these recipes ... :o)

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  21. LOL don't worry... I tend to do that to myself, but I do love to eat. Happy Holidays!!

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  22. I make something very similar, I call it breakfast pizza. The only difference between mine and this one is my bottom layer is biscuit dough, par baked -just long enough for the top to NOT be sticky-, then goes the taters, meat, cheese, onions/bell peppers and egg mixture. So good, we have it for dinner frequently.

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  23. This is a quick and easy winner with my family (and wallet)! I found this recipe over winter break and have made it three times now. My next one is planned to be Mexican style, as us here in the southwest always seem to cook... with green chiles, chorizo, and corn or hominy. And lots of red chile, cilantro, and cumin...
    I've also made three casseroles from a frozen $1 bag of cheap ol shoestring fries. *pats self on back*

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    Replies
    1. Hey I like that shoestring idea - you do deserve a pat on the back for that bargain!! It really is quick and easy isn't it, but boy do I like the sounds of that Mexican style one too! I do hope that you'll come back to share with me exactly what you did. I'll be anxiously waiting!

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  24. Do I double EVERYTHING for a 13 x 9 pan????

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  25. Do I double EVERYTHING for a 13x9 pan??? I've made it with a 9x9 dish & it was HEAVENLY:))))

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tricia! Yes, pretty much, though if you're using the hashbrown patties, just use as many as it takes to fill the bottom of the pan. Double all the rest of the goodies & enjoy!

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  26. Looks wonderful! Can I make this the night before?

    Thanks,
    Melissa

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    1. Hey Melissa! I'm sure it would work out but honestly I haven't done it before. This was intended as one of those last minute breakfast casseroles since I have a hard time remembering to put them together the night before! Let us know if you try it & what the texture was like!

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  27. A pregnant girl should never come to a site like this. VERY DANGEROUS!!!!!

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  28. Oh LOL, well I sure hope that you come back! And congratulations!!

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  29. I tried this last evening, to be cooked in the AM for a Birthday gal @ work....It can be prepared the night before and cooked off in the morning. I prepared it exactly as the site advised....It was a huge hit! I could even see this being served at night with a nice green salad. I am certainly planning on making this again...may add more onions and possibly sauteed mushrooms....I added x-tra bacon....excellent dish! Enjoy and thx for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Jules - thanks so much for taking the time to come back by and let me know!

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  30. I love breakfast casseroles, especially for Saturday mornings, things can get hectic quickly, I will be making this on Saturday, thank you for sharing, my guys will flip!!!

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  31. Do you brown the hash brown patties before putting them on the bottom of the casserole?

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    1. I do not, although if you look at the pic up at the top in the tutorial section you'll see that the patties are slightly precooked. That's why I like to use them in this casserole!

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  32. I can't say enough good things about this recipe! I used to shy away from breakfast casseroles because they came out too greasy & the eggs were rubbery. I made this recipe this morning for my family, topping it with extra shredded cheddar & it came out beautifully! I've shared this recipe, and your fantastic site, with all of my friends on Facebook singing it's praises. Thank you again for enabling me to put forth a perfect stick-to-your-ribs breakfast casserole for my family!

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  33. So this looks delicious!! Do you thaw your hashbrown patties then?

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    1. Only to the extent of taking them out and letting them thaw while I prep the other stuff.

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    2. Thank goodness for this comment and your answer! I am going to make this in the morning and that is just what I needed to know. Thank you! -Julie-

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    3. You're welcome! Loose hash browns I do prefer to thaw because they tend to give off liquid & I like to squeeze that out whenever I use them in a casserole. These patties don't do that.

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  34. Mary,

    Could this recipe be done in a crockpot overnight?

    Mary

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  35. HEY! do the patties need to be frozen or thawed before putting in the oven?

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    Replies
    1. Take them out of the freezer while you prep everything else so that they begin to thaw a bit.

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  36. WOW!!! THIS DISH WAS AWESOME, THANK FOR SHARING!!! LOOKING FORWARD IN TRYING OUT OTHER RECIPES:))))

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  37. Mary,
    This looks wonderful. But I have to ask… doesn’t the potatoes get soggy? Are they at all crisp? Do they have any body to them?
    I’m asking because I want to serve this, this weekend; it looks that good. The kids are coming from Atlanta with the baby and they’re just eating machines. I want to serve them something different for Saturday’s breakfast: And this looks great!
    Shouldn’t the patties be toasted first? I know that you said the hash browns came out soggy. I just can’t help but think that a couple of minutes in the fry pan might cure that. I don’t know. But this just looks too good to pass up.

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    Replies
    1. It certainly wouldn't hurt to give them a toast or a pan sear I suppose but the patties do well, though they aren't real crisp like a panfried hashbrown, except on the bottom a bit with a glass pan. You're just using them for a layer of potatoes here, not necessarily as a "hash brown" like you would have with a side of eggs. The patties are preformed and compact and parcooked already so they hold up nicely in the casserole. With frozen loose hashbrowns you'd want to thaw and squeeze out as much as the water as you can because they are loose and get ice crystals on each shred so they can get watery in a casserole. Those would definitely benefit from cooking them in a skillet as well as fresh potatoes because they will indeed release water in the casserole. I've had many compliments on this one so I'm guessing the eating machines would probably dig on this one too!

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    2. This was wonderful, so much so, my wife said that I’m going to have to make it for the church brunch.
      I had to up the quantities because of the ravenous hoards that it was supposed to feed; 2 kids, not counting the 1 yr. old granddaughter, and they’re not young and they’re not at all overweight. If I consumed that much at my folks house, like the kids did here this weekend, my dad would have sent me a bill.
      I more than doubled your recipe, then used a commercial 9’x 18” roasting pan to cook it all in. The one thing I did different was to flash fry the hash brown patties first; just to put a nice crisp on them. It was outstanding. No ‘soggy bottoms.’ Believe it or not, there was nothing left. My wife had 1 patties worth and I had 1-1/2. The kids ate the rest.
      Thank you. God bless.

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    3. PS: For stupid-simple hash browns, I use cheap shoestring fries from Walmart; $1.00 for 32. oz. I get a small handful, nuke them for 15 sec. dice them up, then toss with garlic and onion powder, Slap Ya’ Mama and seasoned salt; toss them in a med. high skillet for about 5 min. or so, and you’ve got hash browns.

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    4. Thanks Chris - those kids really are some eatin' machines aren't they?!

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