As a general rule, I don’t do casseroles. I am bothered by the blurred lines. Where does the meat stop and where do the veggies begin? I get extremely annoyed by anyone that says, “It all ends up in the same place.” I don’t care where it ends up, I care about what happens at stop number one, my mouth.
So, I don’t usually do casseroles, but it was fifty degrees in Maine today and I made a breakfast casserole for dinner. You wouldn’t think that warm weather, yes fifty degrees is shorts weather in Maine, and my deciding that a casserole was acceptable would rely on one another, but they do. As soon as we woke up, we put on pants and left the house. No breakfast, no checking our email, we just went. If the dog hadn’t bowled us over to get into the sunshine himself, there’s a good chance we would have forgotten him in our haste to get the hell out of the house. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth. It was the first time we had seen the sun accompanied by warmth in at least three months. We were on a mission to suck every bit of vitamin D out of the day that we could.
Hours sifting through rocks on the beach searching for the elusive blue sea glass and throwing the Frisbee for the dog while Layla shrieked with joy, left me with next to no time to prepare dinner. My mother-in-law always makes a breakfast casserole for family brunches and swears that it is the easiest thing to make. I finally asked for the recipe because it is the first casserole I have ever truly enjoyed that didn’t include pasta and a pound of mozzarella cheese. I made a few tweaks and it is one of our favorites.
This casserole is a great make-ahead dish. You can throw it together the night before you’re expecting breakfast guests and pop it in the oven an hour before you eat and voila, no mess the morning of.
- 1 pound breakfast sausage
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- ½ loaf soft Italian bread
- Dice green pepper, mince garlic clove and remove sausage from casing if needed.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sautee green pepper, garlic and sausage until sausage is cooked through and browned. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl beat together eggs and milk, set aside.
- Tear Italian bread into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add sausage, green pepper and garlic mixture to the bread. Also add 1 cup of the cheddar cheese to the bowl. Toss ingredients.
- Add egg mixture to the bread mixture and mix well so that the bread begins to absorb the egg.
- Pour mixture into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Let the dish sit in the fridge for at least an hour. It can sit in the fridge overnight if needed.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place remaining 1 cup of cheese on the top of casserole. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until the middle of the casserole is set with little give.