Recipe Review

I Tried Ree Drummond’s “Thanksgiving Breakfast Casserole,” and I Get Why It Has 5 Stars

published Nov 13, 2023
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Ree Drummond's Thanksgiving Breakfast Casserole
Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

Thanksgiving morning can always feel kind of hectic. With so many different things that need to be cooked (not to mention the turkey that needs to be roasted for hours), feeding breakfast to the masses may seem like the last thing on your mind. So instead of having to think about what to make, why not prep this clever Thanksgiving breakfast casserole so you don’t have to think at all?

When Ree Drummond’s recipe for a Thanksgiving breakfast casserole that can be made the night before popped up on my feed, I was instantly drawn in by the idea of a Thanksgiving-flavored breakfast. The Pioneer Woman noted that if she does not have breakfast ready in the morning on Thanksgiving day, her whole family will start to eat Thanksgiving dinner before it’s even time to serve. And if that is not a feeling that I can relate to as both a cook and a man with an appetite, then I don’t know what is. I needed to try this Pioneer Woman original and I was ready to stuff my face like a Thanksgiving day turkey. 

How to Make Ree Drummond’s Thanksgiving Breakfast Casserole

Start by heating a large skillet over medium heat; add in the uncooked sausage. Cook the sausage just until browned and cooked through, about 7 to 9 minutes, give or take. Remove the sausage from the skillet and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Use the same skillet and add the diced apples, onion, and sage and cook until the onions soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for later.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together eggs, milk, and half-and-half until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Dice a few cinnamon raisin English muffins into small cube-shaped pieces and set aside as well. 

Next, grease a large casserole dish with butter and add in half of the diced English muffins as the first layer of the casserole. Add in half of the sausage, half of the apple and onion mixture, and half of the shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of the same order of ingredients, ending with a final layer of shredded cheese on top. 

Take your egg mixture and pour it evenly across the top of the casserole dish, making sure to cover all areas. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove the pan from the fridge and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes before baking. 

Preheat your oven to 350°F and remove the plastic wrap from the casserole dish and replace with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown and slightly crispy. Once ready to serve, sprinkle with chopped parsley and enjoy it while it’s hot!

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

My Honest Review of Ree Drummond’s Thanksgiving Breakfast Casserole

First of all, as a self-proclaimed breakfast fanatic, I can honestly say that I had extremely high expectations for Drummond’s recipe, and boy did it deliver. The act of combining the Thanksgiving flavors we love into a breakfast casserole is something that I wish I had originally thought of myself. And now that I have officially experienced this Pioneer Woman original masterpiece, I am disappointed I didn’t come across it sooner.

I love the idea of making breakfast ahead of time the night before, and just having to pop it in the oven in the morning. I’ve always said that if it’s easy, it’s for me, and Drummond’s Thanksgiving breakfast casserole is absolutely for me. I’ll be whipping this up for my family this holiday season — and even more so, I’ll be experimenting with different ingredients in the future to come up with my own rendition of this already fantastic dish. 

Tips for Making Ree Drummond’s Thanksgiving Breakfast Casserole

  • Cut it in half: This recipe makes enough to fill a 9×13” casserole dish and calls for a dozen eggs and two pounds of sage sausage. If you’re looking to whip up a smaller portion, all you need to do is cut the ingredient list in half and use a 9×9” casserole dish or something similar in size instead. 
  • Experiment with alternative ingredients: When it comes to breakfast, there are infinite ways to create a delicious meal. And while Drummond’s recipe is geared towards a Thanksgiving themed palate, it is also the perfect recipe to experiment with and try out alternative ingredients. As a simple change, I opted for yellow cheddar cheese rather than white cheddar. Have fun and remember that there are no mistakes — only lessons learned in the process.
  • Every oven is different: The cook time for this recipe is split into two intervals: one with aluminum foil covering the dish, and the second without. Because everyone’s oven is different, remember that the cook times should act as semi-loose guidelines and you’ll most likely need to rely on the overall look of the final product to know when it is time to remove from the oven. You’ll want the top of the casserole to be a beautiful golden-brown with little crispy bits here and there.