Today I share this breakfast casserole recipe first, because it is delicious. Second, because the original recipe is a crock-pot recipe, but I wanted to bake it in the oven. So I had to adapt it just a little bit. Since the adaptation worked so beautifully without compromising the fantastic taste, it occurred to me that others may need to bake it in the oven too.
Here’s the story behind this dish. My bestie and college roommate, Kathy, makes this crock-pot breakfast whenever we visit each other’s homes. She’s made it a few times now, and we all love it. Steve especially, since he likes to call it Kathy’s “crack” breakfast casserole.
Fast forward to just over a couple of weekends ago when I had family over and decided to serve breakfast for lunch. I told everyone we would eat at noon. Then I asked Kathy for her amazing recipe, and she sent me this link to the stockpilingmoms.com website and their Crockpot Breakfast Casserole recipe.
I realized I had a problem when Kathy shared that she usually cooked the recipe for 10-12 hours. The recipe itself called for 8 hours. I was serving at noon. Hmmmm….so I should wake up sometime between midnight and 4 AM to prepare this dish? I don’t think so. No one needs his or her beauty sleep more than I, let me assure you.
I scoured the comments section on their recipe post because surely someone had asked about making this amazing dish in the oven. And several had. The response was to direct them to other breakfast casserole posts that were intended to be baked and not slow cooked. But those recipes weren’t the “crack” breakfast casserole recipe! I wanted what Kathy had hooked us on, not something different.
I fully disclose that I did not create this mouth-watering dish. And if you want to serve at breakfast time, using the original recipe from stockpilingmoms.com might be your best bet. But, if for some reason you need to make this using a faster method, then check out my adaptation.
Let’s make the “crack” breakfast casserole
The original recipe calls for sausage, or bacon, or both. In my mind, both is the way to go.
And here are my adaptions, and my reasons behind them:
- The original recipe called only for green onions (or scallions), raw. Scallions usually have a strong flavor. Long, slow cooking would given them the opportunity to release much of that onion flavor, throughout the cooking liquid, into the entire casserole. Baking it more quickly, in my mind, meant I could lose some that of that yummy flavor. So I added regular onion, diced.
- The diced green pepper was also added raw to the original recipe. But I was afraid both the diced pepper and the diced onion I added would still be too firm after baking, so I sauteed them in the grease left over from browning the breakfast sausage, just until they started to soften.
- Likewise, frozen hash browns do well in a crock-pot, but may not have fully cooked or may have released too much water that might not have fully cooked off in the oven. So I defrosted the hash browns before adding them to the casserole.
- And finally, the oven tends to dry things up more than a slow cooker, so I added an additional 1/4 cup of milk.
To save myself some time before my family showed up, I prepped the cooked ingredients first thing in the morning and put them in the refrigerator. Later I just assembled the breakfast casserole when it was time to put it in the oven.
Toss everything EXCEPT the cheese, eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Make sure that the ingredients are well mixed so that you get everything in every bite.
Scramble the eggs with the milk, the dry mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk really well to ensure that there are no egg white or yolk only sections in the casserole.
Then layer the tossed ingredients in two layers, with half the shredded cheese in the middle and the other half on top, into a prepared baking dish.
Finish assembling the casserole by pouring the egg mixture evenly over the top, careful to move the pouring bowl as you go to distribute it throughout the dish.
Then bake at 350°F for 1 hour. The sides should start to turn golden and you should see slight bubbling throughout, including the center parts.
And you’ll get something that look like this. And “this”, to me, looks AMAZING!
Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes so that any liquids that remained somewhat separate in the heat of baking can be re-absorbed.
Then serve that baby up!
Delicious! So much flavor! Moist and tender. Creamy and savory. It was a hit at my family “breakfast for lunch” gathering.
Thank you, Kathy, for introducing us to your “crack” breakfast casserole. And for anyone out there, if you want to make this in a crock-pot, then you can follow the original recipe. But if the timing for you works out best using the oven, this is the recipe for you!
Breakfast Casserole, Crock-Pot OR Oven
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 30- ounce package frozen hash browns thawed
- 1/2 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 pound breakfast sausage browned and crumbled
- 2 cups shredded cheese such as cheddar or Colby Jack
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 cup green onions about 3, white and green parts thinly sliced
- 1 green pepper diced and sauteed in the sausage grease
- 1/2 medium onion diced and sauteed in the sausage grease
- Butter for greasing the pan
- Grease a 8 x 11 x 3 lasagna baking dish with butter.
- Toss everything EXCEPT the cheese, eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Scramble the eggs with the milk, the dry mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk really well to ensure that there are no egg white or yolk only sections in the casserole.
- Layer the tossed ingredients in two layers, with half the shredded cheese in the middle and the other half on top, into the prepared baking dish.
- Finish assembling the casserole by pouring the egg mixture evenly over the top, careful to move the pouring bowl as you go to distribute it throughout the dish.
- Then bake at 350°F for 1 hour. The sides should start to turn golden and you should see slight bubbling throughout, including the center parts.
- Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes so that any liquids that remained somewhat separate in the heat of baking can be re-absorbed.