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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Egg, Sausage & Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

I didn't know a breakfast casserole would change my life until I met this one.  About 2 years ago I was introduced to this casserole for a big church party. I signed up to help with food, but thought I could pick my own thing to make and bring.  However, I was asked to make and bring this casserole and was handed the recipe.  I'm rarely told what to make, and honestly don't really like to be.  I mean, can you blame me?  Needless to say, I didn't really have high expectations for this casserole.  I'm not sure I'd really had breakfast casserole before this.

But, oh baby, was my life changed after making this. Now it's a family staple.  I made a few slight tweaks, and made sure, after witnessing others are our party, do douse the top with salsa and/or green chile! Mmm. We've made this at least a dozen plus times since. I've taken it to two families after they've had new babies, and been asked for the recipe every time I've shared it.  So you know from that, that it's delicious and pleasing.

The prep on this casserole is easy.  You can throw it together in a matter of 10-15 minutes - and even refrigerate it up to a day before baking and serving.  I love meals like this for those busy days/nights. I can make it in the morning and have it ready to pop in the oven for a quick meal on a hectic night.  I guess I should mention that we actually haven't ever had this for breakfast, except the leftovers. We love it for dinner, or brinner, that is.

The layers in this casserole are all delicious. Try only having one serving...I dare you!  The base of the casserole is hash browns (fresh grated or buy the shredded frozen kind) lightly browned in a bit of butter and seasoned with some garlic salt and pepper.  The hash browns are topped with some seasoned egg, and then with some yummy sausage and onions.  Topped with cheese and baked til hot and bubbly! We like to top half the casserole with colby jack cheese (my kids favorite) and the other half with pepper-jack cheese (my husband and my favorite).  And if you've read through some of my other posts you know that we are true NM folk and love stuff like this topped with green chile.  Salsa is good too, and if you do both, then well, it's just even better.  


Egg, Sausage & Hash-brown Breakfast Casserole


2 pounds frozen hash-browns (or fresh grated potatoes (any variety), rinsed and drained - see **note for using fresh potatoes)
2 tablespoons butter
Garlic salt and pepper to taste
1 pound sausage (I prefer Jimmy Dean Natural Sausage (no nitrates and super yummy))
½ - 1 onion, finely chopped
8 eggs
½ cup milk
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I really like using pepper-jack)
1 teaspoon salt or seasoned salt (I like to use garlic salt)
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2-3 tablespoons green onions, sliced (optional)

NOTES: If you prefer using fresh potatoes, grate them and rinse them of the starch and drain well. I like to drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and a little salt and microwave them for a few minutes (2 minutes at a time, stir, and up to 8 minute) to soften them up before browning. I also like to use pepper-jack cheese on half for my husband and I, who like things a little spicy.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9x13 casserole dish.  
2. In a deep 12” non-stick skillet brown frozen hash-browns in butter (8-10 minutes), season to taste with garlic salt and pepper, cook until lightly browned for best flavor.
3. Once potatoes are browned, dump them and spread lightly across the casserole dish. Top with half the cheese.
4. In same skillet cook sausage and onion until done.  Spread cooked sausage on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle green onions (optional) evenly on top of the sausage.
5. Mix eggs with milk, salt and pepper and pour on top of sausage, sprinkle remaining cheese on top of that. Cover with foil.  
6. At this point you can refrigerate for up to one day.
7. Bake for 30 minutes - remove foil and bake 5-10 more minutes.  Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t get too brown.  

Serve topped with salsa and/or green chile.


lightly adapted from a recipe I got from my friend, Christine, who blogs at I Dig Pinterest.

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