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Easy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Serves 10-12     adjust servings

I'm in love with this Overnight Easy Sausage Breakfast Casserole! It is everything you love about breakfast wrapped up in one dish: cheesy eggs, sausage, hash browns, peppers and onions! You can make ahead or last minute. It's a great overnight option for Christmas Eve! 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 (30 or 32 ounce) package (diced OR shredded) hash brown potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 and 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (packed)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (packed)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/3 cups half and half, cream, evaporated milk, or whole milk*
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon if using table salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make the potato layer. While it's heating up, add 1/2 cup butter to a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Place in the oven so that it melts. 
  3. When the butter is melted, take it out and tilt the pan around so that the edges of the pan are greased. Add a 30 ounce package of frozen (diced or shredded is fine) hash browns. You don't have to thaw them first. 
  4. Mix it together with the butter so everything is coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  5. Place the pan back in the oven and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, until the potatoes are mostly cooked and some are starting to lightly brown. Remove from the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 350.
  6. Prepare the sausage layer. Meanwhile, chop up 1/2 a green pepper and 1/2 a red pepper. Chop half of a small onion (no more than 3/4 cup or less). Make sure all the veggies are chopped small. (If you want, you can skip all the vegetables entirely! No need to make any adjustments.)
  7. Add 1 pound breakfast sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Regular, the bulk kind) and all the veggies to a skillet set over medium high heat. Break up the sausage and saute for 5-7 minutes, until the sausage is browned and the onion is getting soft. Drain the grease if there is any. 
  8. Add the cooked sausage mixture on top of the baked hash browns. You can spread it out so that it is a layer on top of the potatoes, or you can stir it in so everything is evenly distributed. (I like to stir.) 
  9. Add cheese. Sprinkle 1 and 1/2 cups Monterey Jack and 1 and 1/2 cups cheddar cheese over the top.
  10. Make the egg mixture. In a large bowl or stand mixer (or you can use a blender!), use a whisk to stir together 8 eggs, 1 and 1/3 cups half and half,* 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard. 
  11. Pour the egg mixture over the casserole, making sure to distribute evenly. (See notes for overnight instructions!)
  12. Bake at 350 (remember to lower the oven temperature) for about 35-45 minutes, until the edges are browned and bubbly, and the center doesn't jiggle a lot when you shake the pan. 
  13. Take out of the oven and let set for 5 minutes before serving. 
  14. Store leftovers in the fridge. They will keep for about 5 days.
  15. This recipe is great for freezing! I like to freeze individual portions of the baked casserole so that I can pop them out one at a time and microwave for a lovely mid morning breakfast of casserole champions. 

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