The best recipes from the kitchen of The Real Matt Daddy.

Breakfast Casserole

Meaty, cheesy, eggy goodness.... mmmmm.

There is no shortage of varieties for this recipe.  But breakfast casserole (some call it "Christmas Morning Eggs" - because that's a perfect time to make them) can be done really well, or really terribly (the "fluffy" one).  I have tried several varieties of this recipe, and this is the one that I feel makes a perfect breakfast casserole.  I have included some optional variations that you can try for yourself, and I will also include low-fat substitutes for anyone that wants the guilt-free pleasures of meaty, cheesy, eggy goodness.


1 lb. breakfast sausage (healthy option: Use a "breakfast flavored" ground turkey instead.)

6 slices of bacon (healthy option: Use no bacon, but who wants to do that?  Nobody. So, use turkey bacon - but make sure you use the thicker cut style that actually looks like meat, not the thin-cut microwavable kind that looks like Beggin' Strips)

6-8 slices of white bread crusts trimmed and both sides buttered depending on the size of your pan and bread slices (healthy option: Use wheat or twelve grain and only butter the bottom.)

8-10 eggs If you use 6 slices of bread, try 8 eggs, if you use 8 slices of bread or if you like a thicker, eggier casserole, try 10 eggs.  (healthy option: Use 10 eggs, but only 5 yolks, but you will get a fluffier casserole.)

1 cup of Half & Half (healthy option: Use 2% milk instead.)

2 cups of shredded cheese, either mild cheddar or three cheese blend (healthy option: Use 1 cup of cheese.)
1 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp pepper (optional)

COOK sausage in a skillet until done.  Drain and crumble. COOK bacon slices until crispy, crumble and set aside. 

GREASE a glass pan 9"x13" pan. Trim the crusts off of the bread slices, butter, and place buttered side down into bottom of the pan. If you have room, you can fill in some of the gaps with your crusts (pictured).  

Sprinkle half of your cheese (1 cup) over the bread.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, Half & Half, salt & pepper (if using) until well blended. GENTLY pour mixture over the bread and cheese.  It does not look as though I have enough, and this is where many recipes go wrong.  I have plenty!  The bread can only soak up so much egg mixture.  If you have too much, you end up with a fluffy casserole.  If you want something fluffy, eat a cotton ball.

Next, sprinkle the sausage crumbles over the egg mixture and distribute evenly.  Use a spoon to push crumbles into gaps between bread slices. Then, do the same with the bacon.  Leaving the bacon toward the top means that it will stay crispy and not get mushy as it cooks the next morning.
Top with the remaining cheese.

Use a spoon to press it all together so that some of the egg mixture is forced to the top.  This will help make the casserole cook evenly and have that flat, not fluffy, texture we're looking for.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.  This is crucial.  You're letting the bread soak up all of the egg mixture and the flavors are commingling like college students on spring break.  Finally, bake the next morning at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes (until flat and golden brown).

Serving Options: 
Heinz 57: Top casserole with some ketchup with about 10 minutes left to bake.
Booker T. and the M.G.'s - Toss the sausage with some diced green onions before placing in the baking dish.
Vermont Special - Top casserole with some maple syrup with about 10 minutes left to bake.
Southwestern - Toss the sausage with a can of diced tomatoes that has been drained and season with a little paprika, chili, garlic and onion powders.
South of the Border - Serve with sour cream and salsa.
The Amish - Add cooked potato hash to the mix.  Did you want noodles with that too?


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