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.
By the way.... I'm interrupting the post here to remind you that this is a blog, not just a recipe site. If you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, tips and such in a post, as always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down the page! 
When you get back from the grocery store and have a spare moment, go ahead and cook an entire pound of breakfast 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 my Speedy Sausage and Hash Brown 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 buttering, or 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 whatever your favorite brand is.

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.


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