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Easy Breakfast Casserole with Potatoes and Ham

Serves 12     adjust servings

This Cheesy Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole is everything you need on Christmas morning! (Or anytime you have guests for breakfast!) Frozen hashbrowns are baked til crispy, then topped with eggs, cheese, and black forest ham. It's an overnight recipe, so you have more time for stockings in the morning! Make ahead breakfasts are always a win at the holidays.  

Ingredients

  • 1 package (30 oz) frozen shredded hashbrowns
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (packed) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (packed) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups black forest ham*, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/3 cups evaporated milk OR cream
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray, or grease with butter.
  3. Dump the bag of frozen hashbrowns into the pan. (There is no need to thaw first.)
  4. Melt a stick of butter in a small bowl, and pour evenly over the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper. Use a spoon to gently toss it all together, then spread it out so that it's even. 
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and lightly browned on top. You can even nab a forkful to make sure they are done if you like.  
  6. Remove the casserole and reduce the oven temperature to 350.
  7. Layer the Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese over the top of the potatoes. Add the ham. You can either leave it layered or use a spoon to gently toss the cheese and potatoes and ham together. Either way is fine. (I like to toss for a more even distribution.)
  8. In a large bowl or stand mixer, whisk together 8 eggs, evaporated milk OR cream, seasoned salt, kosher salt, pepper, dry mustard, and onion powder. Beat well.
  9. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top of the casserole, making sure everything gets wet.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. It is done when bubbly, when the edges start to brown and the center doesn't wiggle when you shake the pan.
  11. If the center of the casserole looks very wobbly but the top is starting to brown too much, cover with foil for the last few minutes of baking. 

Overnight instructions:

  1. Follow instructions through step 5 (bake the potatoes at 400.) Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  2. Follow the instructions above for layering the cheese and ham. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together 8 eggs, evaporated milk OR cream, seasoned salt, kosher salt, pepper, dry mustard, and onion powder. Beat well.
  4.  Cover the egg mixture and refrigerate overnight.**
  5. In the morning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Whisk the egg mixture once more, then pour over the potatoes in the casserole dish.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. It is done when bubbly, when the edges start to brown and the center doesn't wiggle when you shake the pan.
  8. If the center of the casserole looks very wobbly but the top is starting to brown too much, cover with foil for the last few minutes of baking. 

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