Sunday, April 19, 2009

Speedy Sausage and Hash Brown 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?!
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 Sausage and Hash Brown 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. You can substitute frozen tater tots also, though I recommend precooking those to crisp them up a bit before building the casserole.



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!


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Yum

Recipe: Speedy Sausage and Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 55 min

Yield: About 6 servings


Ingredients
  • 4 to 6 hash brown patties, slightly thawed
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup of cooked crumbled breakfast sausage (like Jimmy Dean) 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 uncovered 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.


Cook's Notes: Add in a mixture of sweet green, red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers and/or hot peppers, seeds and membrane removed and diced with the onion; saute until tender. I prefer to use hash brown patties for this casserole because they perform much better than the loose ones in a casserole and they are usually preseasoned. You may substitute frozen tater tots, though I recommend crisping them up a bit before building the casserole. May also top with additional cheese the last few minutes until cheese is melted.

Substituting Frozen Hash Browns: You may also substitute about 2-1/2 cups of loose, frozen shredded hash browns (or enough to cover the bottom of the dish), thawed and squeezed of any excess water. 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 loose hash browns, unless they are preseasoned.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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