Another easy one pot wonder! Karen shares a great breakfast or brunch meal. An overnight breakfast casserole or breakfast bake, which is perfect for Christmas morning, Thanksgiving or any occasion when you have a house full.
I am a huge lover of easy family meals, especially when time is tight or you have a house full, so, a one tray bake or a one pot meal is the perfect solution for a no-stress way to feed the masses! My last post on Great British Chefs was an easy one pot winter wonder, Spanish Chicken and Rice
, which is a wonderful supper dish; however, today I am turning my attention to breakfast (or brunch) and my latest one pot winter wonder is an overnight breakfast casserole, (breakfast bake) which is perfect for Christmas morning or Thanksgiving for my chums across the pond.
I first came across these “breakfast casseroles” when I lived in the States – essentially, they are layered gratins or bakes, sometimes called a Strata
, which are similar to a baked frittata or a savoury bread pudding; they can be made with cubed stale bread or potatoes, but the key ingredients are eggs and cheese, which are always added to “bind” the bake or casserole together. Breakfast casseroles can be meaty, as mine is today, or vegetarian and they are usually assembled the night before, which makes for an easy breakfast or brunch next day.
You can use leftovers in them, such as post-Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter ham, stuffing, sausages and potatoes, and if you don’t have any leftovers, then a quick sauté of some bacon and sausage is easy enough to do. My recipe for Overnight Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
is made with freshly fried bacon and sausage, but I have offered all sorts of alternative ingredients below, for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Another idea for a thrifty breakfast casserole is to use left over pasta too, like a breakfast pasta bake, and why not, I have often had a slice of cold pizza for my brekkie in the past!
The recipe for my Overnight Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
is below, with some step-by-step photos, but I want to share some other alternative ingredient ideas first.
Breakfast Casserole Ingredients List:
Cream cheese mixed with the eggs
Meat, Fish and Leftovers Options:
Cooked chicken or turkey
Crumbled cooked bacon
Basic Ingredients Options:
Cold cooked potatoes
Basically, as long as there are at least 6 large eggs to bind the casserole together, and the potato or bread ratio is at least 50% of the rest of the breakfast bake ingredients, you can be as adventurous as you like! I always make one of these breakfast casseroles for Christmas day morning, and in the past I have experimented and have made a bagel and smoked salmon version - bound with a cream cheese and egg mixture with added dill, which has always been well received, as you can imagine. Although my recipe today uses 2 pans/trays, this is essentially a one pot wonder which uses a minimum of pots and pans, and is a fabulous way to start the weekend!
Overnight Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
(Serves 6 to 8 people)
250g (about 12) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed and shredded
150g grated mature Cheddar cheese
6 pork sausages, skins removed and crumbled
100g bacon lardons, or streaky bacon cut into small dice
6 large free-range eggs, beaten with salt and black pepper to taste
6 to 12 small cocktail or cherry tomatoes, halved
1. On the day of cooking:
Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6 and grease a square oven proof dish, approx. 20cms x 24cms.
Shred half of the hash browns into the base of the dish. Scatter over half of the grated cheese.
3. Fry the crumbled sausage and bacon bits in a frying pan until the sausage is coloured and the bacon is crispy. Drain the meat and scatter it over the cheese and potato mixture.
4. Add the rest of the shredded hash brown potatoes and then pour the beaten eggs over, pushing down the ingredients with the back of a fork.
5. Arrange the tomatoes on top and then add the rest of the grated cheese over the top. Cover with cling film and leave overnight in a cool place or the fridge.
6. The next day, take the casserole out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake the casserole in a pre-heated oven, see step 1, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it is set, puffed up and golden brown.
7. Cut into squares and serve immediately.
Inspired? For more breakfast and brunch recipes, visit Great British Chefs collection.
This is a genius idea. All the hard work's achieved the night before and only requires popping in the oven for a tasty and substantial breakfast treat! I am so going to make one on Christmas Eve for the big day, and although your bacon, sausage and tomato version looks LUSH beyond belief the smoked salmon, bagel, creme cheese and dill mix sounds utterly divine!!
21 November 2013
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