This hot and delicious breakfast casserole filled with sausage, bacon, peppers, onions, spinach and cheese is a comforting and hearty meal any day of the week!
Breakfast Casserole, a Savory Way to Start the Day
There is something about the leisurely weekend mornings in the cooler months that makes me crave a more substantial and comforting breakfast, the kind that'll stick to my ribs, so to speak.
If I’m craving a breakfast with a sweet slant, then I'll make a meal out of hot and fluffy apple flapjacks or pumpkin pancakes, my favorites.
But if I'm hungry for something more on the savory side, it'll be a nice hearty breakfast casserole, one that's comforting and filled with all sorts of delicious tidbits. There's nothing quite like it to start the day off on a cozy note, that's for sure!
How to Make Breakfast Casserole
Because “big flavor” is what I'm aiming for with my breakfast casserole, I fill it chock-full of tasty morsels such as sausage, a touch of smoky bacon, cheese, caramelized peppers and onions, a sprinkle of sun-dried tomatoes and even some spinach.
And besides being absolutely scrumptious, one of the wonderful things about this comforting casserole is that it's one of those recipes that's very easy to throw together at the last minute, or even assemble the day before you plan on serving it for even more ease.
Part of the appeal is that it's meant to be a rustic-style meal, and can simply be baked off (and served) right in the same heavy-bottom skillet that you sauté your ingredients in. And let me tell you, it's absolutely delicious with a cup of hot coffee first thing in the morning!
Here's a quick glance at my breakfast casserole recipe:
- In a cast-iron skillet, I cook up the sausage and bacon, followed by the veggies; then, I set those aside for a moment allowing my skillet to slightly cool.
- Next, I add cubed bread to a large bowl, followed by the cooked sausage, bacon, and veggies.
- Then, I add in the remainder of my ingredients and mix everything until very well until combined.
- I spoon the mixture back into my (slightly cooled) skillet, sprinkle the top with cheese, then cover with foil and bake; then, I uncover and finish baking for a while longer until puffy and golden-brown.
(The full recipe is below...)
Tips & Tidbits for Breakfast Casserole:
- Day old “French” bread is best: French bread is best for this recipe, as the chewy and light texture makes for a perfect puff; and use a loaf that is a day old for best results. You can use fresh, but the day old will have dried just enough to easily soak up the filling.
- Prep ahead for easy breakfast casserole: This recipe can be prepared ahead of time by spooning everything into your prepared skillet, allowing this to completely cool, and then covering with plastic or foil and placing in your fridge. Then, before baking, remove from the fridge about an hour or two before hand to bring to room temp.
- This is a job for your cast-iron skillet: The best type of pan for this is a large cast-iron skillet—it browns your sausage and veggies well, and will make for more even baking giving the bottom a nice, caramelized crust. But you can also use another oven-safe heavy bottom pan or even a baking dish as well. Just mist your skillet or dish with a bit of cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- Under cover: Bake covered with foil for the first 20 minutes to keep things nice and moist; then, remove the foil to allow the breakfast casserole to get that golden-brown top and crispy edges.
- To go the vegetarian route: Feel free to leave out the sausage for a vegetarian option. You can also replace the meat with meatless veggie “crumble” or vegetarian chorizo, which are both great substitutes.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 8
Nutrition Info: 431 calories
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
• Avocado oil (or olive oil)
• 2 links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
• 2 strips bacon, chopped
• 1 onion, diced small
• 1 Anaheim (or bell) pepper, seeded and diced small
• 2 cloves garlic
• Black pepper
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1 (16 ounce) loaf French bread, cubed small
• ¼ cup julienned sun-dried tomato (preferably not packed in oil, or if so, patted dry)
• 1 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 6 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
• 2 eggs, whisked
• 1 ½ cups warm chicken stock
• 1 ½ cups grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese
-Preheat your oven to 375° (if not baking the day of your prep, skip this until you're ready to bake and serve).
-Place a large cast-iron skillet over high or medium-high heat, and allow to get hot; drizzle in a little oil, about 1-2 tablespoons, and crumble in your sausage and your chopped bacon, and brown those until golden and cooked through; use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and place onto a paper towel-lined plate or bowl.
-Drizzle in a bit more oil into the skillet if needed, and add in your diced onion and pepper, plus a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, and saute those for a few minutes until they become golden; then, add in the garlic, the pinch of cayenne and the Italian seasoning, and stir just until aromatic; remove from skillet with slotted spoon and set aside for a moment.
-Carefully wipe out the skillet and set it aside to cool down for a little bit.
-Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together the cubed bread, the sausage/bacon combo, and the veggies; add in the julienned sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and chopped parsley, and mix to combine.
-Drizzle in the melted butter, the whisked eggs and the chicken stock, plus 1 cup of the grated cheese, and using your hands, toss together gently until all ingredient are well combined.
-Lightly mist your cast-iron skillet (or other baking dish) with coking spray, and turn the casserole mixture out into it, pressing very lightly to even the top; sprinkle over the remaining ½ cup cheese, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes; then, uncover and bake 25 minutes more, until golden-brown and puffy.
-Serve while hot!
Hungry for more breakfast recipes? Check these Hash Brown Potato Cakes, this Sweet Potato Hash, or these Blueberry Scones!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2017, and has been updated with even more love!
Can't wait to try your recipe!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Debbie, hope you enjoy!
The Cozy Apron
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I can't wait to be able to try this! It's not the normal Breakfast Casserole. This is healthy (except for the bacon & sausage)! Do you have to use Sweet Italian Sausage? Can this be doubled & how long would it bake? What size baking dish or aluminum foil pan? Thank you!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Susan, so glad to read you're planning on preparing this!
Yes, it is a bit different—flavorful & hearty, yet somehow not heavy.
You don't have to use sweet Italian sausage; you can use spicy, or your favorite kind of sausage, or even none.
And as far as doubling this, you absolutely can! I typically use an aluminum foil (disposable) tin that's around 9x13, but more on the deeper side rather than shallow. Or use a medium-large baking dish.
I would bake this covered for about 40 minutes, and then uncover and bake for another 40 minutes. (If possible, take it out so that it can come to room temp first, rather than putting it into the oven ice cold.)
Hope you enjoy!