I just love making breakfast casseroles. We eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, doesn't matter. They're good any time, they're great to eat as leftovers, and you can pretty much throw anything but the kitchen sink into them and they're still bound to turn out perfectly. I used this particular casserole recipe when I was just trying to use up some different ingredients I had lying around.
It includes some standard breakfast casserole staples: potatoes, green and red bell peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese. The vegetables were cooked until soft (the potatoes were parboiled and the peppers and onions were sauteed) and then tossed into an 8x8 baking dish. Then, the undisputed star of the dish is added: chicken sausage.
According to one of my sons, the sausage was the best part of the meal. I think I have to agree. I've never made a casserole like this with the precooked, sometimes flavored chicken sausage you can buy so readily in the grocery stores these days. It was really delicious. The kind I happened to use this time was sun-dried tomato and provolone, but certainly any flavor would be great. I debated whether to pre-cook them before adding them to the baking dish, but since they come already cooked when packaged I figured I'd be safe. I just chopped two links of sausage into manageable pieces, added them to my pan of onions and peppers while they were sauteeing, and then took the pan off the heat once the sausages were warmed through.
Then came some shredded cheddar cheese, and finally lightly beaten eggs were drizzled evenly over the top. The whole concoction was placed in the oven and baked until the eggs were set and fully cooked, about 30 minutes or so. I allowed it to sit for a couple of minutes once it had exited the oven, just to make sure everything was all set up properly inside. I don't know if that step is really necessary, but it worked for me!
This made for a very easy and delicious weeknight dinner for us. It's one of those recipes that could also be assembled at night, and then set in the fridge overnight until you pull it out and bake it in the morning. I cut the recipe it's based on in half, so if you made the full amount it'd be great to feed a crowd. Best of all, there are so many possibilities with this. You could throw in some chopped bacon or ham, leftover chicken, mushrooms or eggplant, or even sweet potato for a nutritious spin on the potato base. Go ahead, try it out! It was so good, even my "picky one" ate it.
Potato, Sausage, and Egg Breakfast Casserole
Nonstick cooking spray
3 baking potatoes
2-3 links chicken sausage, any variety, cubed
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (2 oz.)
6 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Place the baking potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan, fill the pan with enough water to just cover the potatoes, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down slightly, and cook the potatoes until fork tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Add them to a 8x8 baking pan that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While the potatoes are cooking, heat another medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter to the saucepan to melt. Once it has melted, add the onions and bell peppers. Cook until the veggies are soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the cubed chicken sausage and continue to cook until the sausages are warmed through, 3-5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with seasoning salt. Place onion mixture into the baking dish with the potatoes.
3. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top of the vegetables. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and evenly pour on top of the sausage and veggie mixture. Top with salt and pepper, to taste, and then bake for about 30 minutes or more, until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted and slightly golden brown. (A knife or toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.) Cool the casserole just slightly, a few minutes, and then cut into wedges and serve.