Thursday, February 28, 2013
Spicy Sausage Breakfast Casserole
I have a cookie recipe I could post, but… considering the last 5 out of 6 recipes I have posted have been a dessert, I figured it was about time I break that cycle. The funny thing is, you would think upon reading my blog that I just bake bake bake all the time. That is not true. I actually cook more than I bake. But, due to this time of year & the lack of daylight, along with my own lack of time, my dinners just don’t get photographed. We’ve been eating a lot of easy meals, slow cooker meals, soups made on Sunday (but not finished until it’s dark), and old favorites.
One thing that has remained constant is our love of a good weekend breakfast. You won’t often catch us eating a bowl of cereal on the weekend (or weekday for that matter). We like a variety including pancakes, waffles, scones, overnight French toast, fried egg sandwiches, biscuits (<- another recipe I need to post!), quiche or frittata, or we’ll go out for breakfast. One thing not in our rotation is breakfast casserole. Well, it was about time we remedy that. Luckily my friend Beth of Eat.Drink.Smile has a recipe that was a great starting point. Her recipe started out with eggs, bread, sausage, & green onion. She told me she likes to throw in various veggie combinations. I decided to go with spinach & mushroom, because if it works in a quiche, it’s sure to work in a casserole! Also, I was really lucky to have some of my dad’s homemade breakfast sausage on hand. One of his new hobbies is grinding his own sausages, along with making his own bacon, perfecting smoked brisket, and making pulled pork. (Nathan certainly does not mind visiting my parents, because he loves getting to eat all the meat!)
This turned out SO delicious! And I love breakfast recipes that you prep the night before. I first discovered that convenience with these Overnight Yeasted Waffles, and have since also made Overnight French Toast. I like that we now have a savory overnight option. This recipe would be great to serve to company, or bring to a brunch as it would feed a crowd. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would like a casserole with bread in it. I have a hatred/fear of soggy bread. But obviously if I can overcome that to enjoy french toast, anything is possible, right?
Spicy Sausage & Egg Breakfast Casserole
1 lb pork breakfast sausage
½ cup minced onion
3 cups spinach
1 cup mushrooms (I used baby bella)
10 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups milk (I used 1%)
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
5 cups cubed bread*
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp black pepper
In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. Transfer from skillet to a paper towel lined plate to absorb grease.
Return skillet to heat. (Do not drain grease.) Add onion and sauté until golden. Add mushrooms and spinach then sauté until wilted. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt; stir well.
Distribute half the bread evenly in a buttered 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Sprinkle with half the pepper, half the cheese, half the sausage and half the veggies. Repeat layering using remaining bread, pepper, cheese, sausage and onions. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole.
Refrigerate up to 12 hours before baking.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until eggs are set.
*Beth’s tip regarding bread: “For the bread, I used a variety of types, mostly thick crusty kinds. When I have extra bread that’s getting stale, I always cube it up and put it in a ziploc bag in the freezer to be used for just this kind of thing. As long as you’re letting it soak overnight like I did, the bread will soften up and work perfectly in your casserole.” And I will mention the bread I used was not crusty at all. It was a thick whole wheat bread, and it was actually pretty soft. But it still worked great.
adapted from Eat.Drink.Smile.