If cold leftover pizza is a breakfast you'd rather leave as a college memory, but the idea of pizza for breakfast still appeals, then this recipe is for you. Breakfast pizza is a regional speciality of the Midwest, where you can find pizza topped with sausage, egg, and cheese at the local pizza joint as well as the gas station.
While you can make the entire pizza from start to finish in about an hour on a weekend morning, you can also make most of the toppings the night before and bake this pizza up in less than 30 minutes any day of the week.
Casey's General Store Breakfast Pizza
The most infamous Midwest breakfast pizza was born from a chain of convenience stores in Iowa called Casey's General Store. Casey's locations make and sell breakfast pizzas all day long. Standard pizza dough is topped with their signature cheese sauce, sausage, scrambled eggs, and cheese. While you can switch out the other toppings, the cheese sauce really is the secret to making a breakfast pizza like Casey's.
Making the Toppings
The premise of breakfast pizza is a pizza topped with standard breakfast fare. Ours gets sausage, hash browns, and scrambled eggs, but you can easily swap the sausage for cooked bacon or leave off the hash browns. This recipe reads long, but you can make the cheese sauce, cook the sausage and eggs, and grate the cheese the night before and just assemble the pizza the next day.
- Cheese sauce: You can make the cheese sauce the night before and store it in an airtight container. Or feel free to use a prepared product such as Cheese-Wiz instead.
- Sausage: Bulk breakfast sausage is the way to go here. Cook it up the night before.
- Eggs: I'm usually not an advocate for cooking scrambled eggs in advance, but between the cheese sauce and the cheese on top, the pre-cooked eggs will steam to reheat and won't dry out in the oven. These can be cooked the night before as well.
- Frozen hash browns: While homemade hash browns are tastier, using frozen hash brown potatoes and thawing them in the fridge overnight will save considerable prep time.
Breakfast pizza is a great way to use up leftovers. Cube leftover frittata (or breakfast casserole) and put that on the pizza instead of the scrambled eggs, or swap the hash browns for leftover roasted vegetables from last night's dinner. The formula of pizza crust + cheese sauce + cheese + toppings will make those leftovers exciting again.
How To Make Breakfast Pizza
What You Need
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk, divided
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
8 ounces uncooked breakfast sausage, casings removed
4 large eggs
1 pound pizza dough
1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Large nonstick frying pan
- Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Make the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until the butter-flour mixture loses its sheen, about 1 minute. Whisk in 1 cup of the milk and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside to cool slightly while you make the rest of the toppings.
- Cook the sausage and eggs: Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. While the sausage cooks, whisk together the eggs, remaining 1/4 cup of milk, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove the cooked sausage to a paper towel-lined plate. Leave the sausage's fat in the pan and pour in the egg mixture. Scramble the eggs until almost cooked through but still moist, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Roll and dock the pizza dough: Roll the pizza dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Use the tines of a fork to "dock" (poke holes in) the pizza dough, working from the middle out to within 1 inch of the edge. This will prevent the dough from getting soggy from the steaming cheese sauce.
- Sauce the pizza: Spread on the cheese sauce in a thin, even layer as you would pizza sauce. You might not use all the cheese sauce.
- Top the pizza: Sprinkle the sausage onto the cheese sauce, followed by the hash browns, and finally the scrambled eggs. Sprinkle the pizza with the mozzarella cheese, remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, and scallions.
- Bake: Bake until the cheese is melted and and the crust is golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cool and slice: Let the pizza cool for 10 minutes; this gives the cheese sauce time to set and prevent it from oozing out. Slice and serve.
- Storage: Leftover pizza can be stored tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in an oven or toaster oven for best results.