Some recipes for breakfast casseroles use bread on the bottom, but I prefer hashbrowns since I don't like soggy bread. I typically like to make my standard breakfast casserole in the oven, but this time I knew we would be a little tight on time after dinner since Sonny D had a haircut scheduled. Plus it seems that egg dishes can take a long time to bake, longer than I expect, so I busted out my slow cooker and pulled this together in the morning so it would be ready when we got home at the end of the day.
This is a good recipe because you can use it to clear out those extra little bits of veggies and meats you've got in the fridge. In the freezer I had a partial package of hashbrowns, a couple breakfast sausages (the package has too many for our family of 3 to eat at once but not enough for another full meal), a few pieces of pre-cooked bacon, and some home-frozen shredded zucchini. I had also planned to use some cottage cheese since I realized I had a container of it in the fridge that I had purposely bought for a recipe, but I couldn't remember what specific recipe I had planned for. I think it was this breakfast casserole, but I don't know. But I forgot about adding it when it came time to make it.
InspirationThis was cobbled together from about 5 recipes, but when I compared them, it's isn't really like any one of them, so I'm not going to mention any source. Just like that a brand-new recipe is born!
You can skip the cheese to make it dairy-free and use a non-dairy milk. To make it vegetarian, use your favorite non-meat crumbles or skip it. It's also super-flexible so you can add whatever veggies you like. Just be sure to cook the veggies first so they're not raw. You'll also want to watch the amount of moisture, some vegetables are pretty moist and you might want to reduce the amount of milk.
Ingredientsmakes 6 servings
- about 8 ounces frozen hashbrowns (I had an open large bag)
- couple breakfast sausage links, cooked and cut up into bite-sized pieces (I had four links)
- 4-6 slices of bacon, cooked and cut up (I had 6 slices)
- 1/2 onion, diced and sauteed
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (mine was frozen, so I defrosted it and squeezed out the moisture)
- 6-8 eggs (I used 6 eggs but you could easily add more)
- 1/3 cup milk (I use almond milk)
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
DirectionsMy medium-size slow cooker (5 qt oblong with bottom heat) is non-stick, but if yours isn't, you'll want to spray it with cooking spray.
Put the hashbrowns in the bottom of the slow cooker and put the sausage bits on top.
In a 4-cup measuring cup or medium bowl, use an immersion blender to blend the eggs, milk, dry mustard, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. I had planned to use the stick blender attachment, but I didn't plan ahead and mine was in the dishwasher while it was on the 'wash' cycle, so I used the whisk attachment instead. You can definitely mix the eggs up by hand with a fork or whisk, I just prefer breaking them up really well.
|Chopping up sausage, onions sauteing in the background.|
|Cutting up bacon.|
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
VerdictI wanted to add green chiles for extra "flava", but I ran out of time when I was putting this together before work. I was also really disappointed that I forgot the cottage cheese, but I was in a hurry.
I think this dish was actually cooked by lunchtime, but I didn't actually check to see if it was cooked all the way through. When I was home in the middle of the day for lunch, I stuck a clean kitchen towel under the lid since it seemed like there was a lot of condensation and I didn't want dinner to get soggy. When I unveiled it to serve, I thought it might be a little overcooked since it had been in there so long, but everything was so creamy! I probably could have increased the milk to 1/2 cup for more moisture, but 1/3 cup was fine too.
I had more leftover meat bits to add to this recipe than I expected, and it was great. Lots of sausage and bacon chunks. And it was perfectly seasoned, I was afraid that it would be not salty enough in some areas or too salty from the processed meats.
Husband Jeff and I loved it, he had two servings. I wish I had taken the time to add the green chiles since Sonny D didn't eat any of it, totally refused to try it even though it was eggs and meat, two things he loves. Toddlers. He'll probably love it when we bust it out for leftovers.