Basic Formula for an Egg Casserole
When making a lunch or breakfast egg casserole, here are the basic proportions I start out with. (This will fill a 9x13-inch baking dish or any other 3-quart dish.)
I start with an egg base of 8 to 9 large eggs and 1 cup milk. I season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and some ground pepper.
After this, the mix-ins are endless! I like to use bits and pieces of ingredients lying around the kitchen — things like the one sausage leftover from a meal this weekend — I cooked it and used it to flavor the rest of the onion and garlic in this casserole. I also had just a tiny bit of sun-dried tomatoes left over from the other casserole last week. Those went in, along with the scraps of cheese I've been meaning to clean out of the cheese drawer! I remembered that I had a bag of frozen artichokes in the freezer (which needs a spring thaw!) and those made up the bulk of the casserole, along with the eggs.
When it's all thrown together, bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350°.
Why I Love Egg Casseroles for Lunch
Everything worked together beautifully — this is a really hearty, yummy casserole that could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I think an egg casserole is a nearly perfect lunch because it is so easy to wrap up — just put a square in a take-out container or wrap it in foil. You can pack in lots of veggies and potatoes, if you want, so it's a one-dish meal. (I still like to eat mine with salad, though.)
Whether you follow my impromptu, cupboard-inspired recipe below, or whether you take this loose template and make up your own version of a lunch egg bake, I encourage you try this some weekend evening — it's a great way to stash a week of meals in the fridge in nearly no time at all.
Sausage, Artichoke & Goat Cheese Egg Bake
1/4 pound spicy Italian sausage (about 1 large sausage)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and roughly chopped
8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 3-quart or 9x13-inch baking dish with baking spray or olive oil.
Heat a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Chop the sausage into 1/2-inch pieces and cook until well-browned. Add the onion and garlic and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the onion begins to brown just a bit. Add the artichoke hearts and cook just until they are warmed through. Turn off the heat.
Whisk the eggs thoroughly then whisk in the milk, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir in the crumbled goat cheese and Parmesan cheese, then fold in the cooked sausage and vegetables from the skillet.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and the top is lightly golden brown. Serve warm or cold, with a fresh salad.
Leftovers keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
(Images: Faith Durand)