Itís always nice to wake up on a weekend morning and have a nice, hearty breakfast before playing the day away. But, itís not always so nice to put a lot of effort into cooking when the weekends are for relaxing and having fun. Breakfast casseroles are a great way to prepare breakfast ahead of time and enjoy a nice morning.
This particular breakfast casserole recipe was first introduced to my family a few generations ago and has become a traditional breakfast favorite on holiday mornings when there are turkeys and hams to bake and potatoes to mash and no time to think about cooking breakfast. It is best when prepared the night before and allowed to rest overnight.
This recipe makes 10-12 servings and can easily be doubled or halved depending on your family size. We usually double it because even if there are only a few of us, it makes great leftovers.
3 c herb seasoned croutons
2 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1-1/2 lbs ground sausage, browned (1/2 hot is good; all hot is better!)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3 c whole milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
In a 9x13 greased casserole dish, spread all croutons on the bottom, then sprinkle the cheese over the croutons and then add the sausage, making sure all three layers are spread fairly evenly.
Mix beaten eggs and 2-1/2 cups milk. Pour over layered ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix soup and Ĺ cup milk and pour over casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.
Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with fruit and Tabasco sauce (if you like extra spice like me!)
The herb seasoned croutons in this casserole really give it a lot of flavor. You can also add diced vegetables like peppers and onions, mushrooms, or tomatoes (remove seeds).
If youíre looking for a slightly different flavor you could use sausage with sage, add fresh mushroom and onions and switch the cheddar cheese for Swiss.
If you want to make this further in advance or make several to freeze, you can get inexpensive foil pans and freeze the casserole. Just allow the casserole to cool before putting it in the freezer. Make sure you wrap it well to prevent freezer burn. When youíre ready to eat it, take it out of the freezer the night before to thaw. Prepare the morning part as usual. These can be frozen 3-6 months.
What traditional breakfasts does your family make?