My first breakfast casserole

Breakfast Casserole
Breakfast Casserole

I made this last weekend for the first time. Andy had made his breakfast casserole a month before, and I’d been disappointed in the soggy bread, so I had to try doing it differently and seeing if it came out better. I’m glad to report that it did! Following some advice I got from a fellow Flickrite, as well as some tips I picked up from Google searches of “Breakfast Casserole”, I cooked it for 45 minutes instead of 30, and I think that made all the difference. However, I started cooking it at 425º for the first 10 minutes or so until I read in some recipes that it should only be baked at 350º for 45 minutes to an hour. I wish I had done that, because the cheese melted a bit too fast and was a bit overcooked by the time I took the casserole out of the oven.

Here’s the basic recipe:

  • Difficulty: medium
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  1. Lay bread in a single layer at the bottom of a greased baking dish.
  2. Pour a mixture of eggs and half  &  half (1 part half & half to 2 parts eggs; e.g., I used a cup of eggs (4 or 5 eggs) and ½ cup of half & half) over the bread.
  3. Sprinkle with sautéed bulk sausage, caramelized onions, uncooked chopped tomatoes, uncooked chopped red & green bell peppers, or whatever else you think would taste good.
  4. Top with grated cheese. I used sharp cheddar and Monterey jack.
  5. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Bake at 350° for 45–60 minutes.

Some recipe notes:

Some recipes I found said to cut the crusts off the bread. Another said to butter the bread. Yet another said to toast the bread. Still another said to break the bread into pieces. One or two of the recipes I found said to pour the egg batter over everything, including the cheese. Personally, I like the melted cheese on the top.

P.S. It’s probably fattening. I usually like to start the morning with a fruit smoothie or a bowl of cereal, but a hot, heavy breakfast like this is great on a weekend or special occasion. Enjoy in moderation. =)

Andy’s Breakfast Casserole

Andy's Breakfast Casserole

Andy told me he would be making his breakfast casserole this morning. He had never made this signature dish in our five years together, so hm… but here’s his recipe:

Lay bread slices in one layer on bottom of greased baking dish, pour over the bread a mixture of eggs and half & half. Cover with crumbled breakfast sausage (bulk sausage, the kind that you buy in a crimped tube), and sautéed onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Top with shredded cheese.

Andy let it soak in the refrigerator  overnight. Then he baked it for about a half an hour the next morning. The flavors were good, but the bread was soggy. If we were to do it again, I would say don’t leave it in the fridge overnight; just make it in the morning, and cook it in a hot oven (400°) for at least 45 minutes. I would like to try it again, but I’d want to make sure the soaked bread got fully cooked, like French toast.