Up until now, I had a roster of breakfast casserole recipes that I considered to be very good. Then I pulled this one from the oven.
This is the golden ticket of egg casseroles. It treats you to all the best parts of the breakfast plate in a single bite. In many ways it's the only recipe I really need and want in my breakfast casserole lineup. Not only does it take well to customization (you can use any meat or cheese as a mix-in), but the egg base is also super creamy — thanks to a secret ingredient.
A Good Egg Foundation Makes It Better than the Rest
Like many things in life, the key to making a really great breakfast casserole is beginning with a strong foundation. This version makes that happen by blending in sour cream. Used in addition to milk, it delivers the most lush and creamy eggs, with a subtle tangy twist that keeps this dish from tasting too much like just eggs and cheese.
Choose Your Meat and Cheese Adventure
Because the tried-and-true classics are so reliably delicious, we loaded this hash brown casserole with ground breakfast sausage and grated sharp cheddar. But that isn't the only meat and cheese combo that works here.
If you're feeling inspired, go ahead and swap out the breakfast sausage for crumbled Italian sausage, spicy chorizo, ground turkey, or any other favorite. The same goes for the cheese. When swapping cheddar for another choice, use a cheese that melts easily, like Monterrey Jack, Gruyère, Fontina, or Gouda.
Cheesy Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
Serves 6 to 8
Cooking spray or oil, for coating the pan
uncooked breakfast sausage, casings removed
medium onion, diced
medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
kosher salt, divided
(20-ounce) bag frozen shredded potatoes (do not thaw)
whole or 2% milk
1 1/2 cups
shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
freshly ground black pepper
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or oil; set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the onion, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, add the potatoes, stir to combine, and spread into an even layer.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sour cream, milk, mustard, cheese, remaining salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Pour over the vegetable mixture.
Bake until the top is light golden-brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
Make ahead: The casserole can be assembled, covered, and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.