I think everyone has breakfast for dinner every once in a while. It's not unusual for us to have french toast with bacon or loaded omelets every few weeks for dinner. We are breakfast food lovers in our house, but with my husband leaving so very early every morning for work, it isn't often that we sit and enjoy a big, home-cooked breakfast during normal breakfast hours. So, we sneak it into our dinner rotation every now and then.
So, it's funny that this recipe is called "Rise and Shine Breakfast Casserole" since we don't usually have it during the part of the day when we're rising!
I've been making a version of this recipe for years. I've always called it by the recipe title above. Mine has usually had some kind of a crust or soaked bread in it, however. So, when I came across a very similar recipe without bread or a crust posted by Ashley on her blog, Center Cut Cook, I decided to try her version. And, wouldn't ya know it ... I liked it much better! She calls her version "Amish Breakfast Casserole." (She posted that she adapted the recipe from All Recipes.)
I don't always put potatoes in mine. When I do, they are chunky bites of spuds. In Center Cut Cook's recipe, shredded potatoes are a key component and I really liked it this way! She, also, used cottage cheese in her recipe, which is something I had never tried!
She does mention that this recipe can be changed up using different types of meats or veggies ... ham would be delicious in this! Spinach or various kinds or colors of peppers would be tasty, too! Whatever you like!
With our ten-year old son at work for the day with my husband, I knew they were probably wanting a mega comfort food type of dinner when they came home. So, I was leery about making this tonight. I wondered if it would be satisfying enough to feed my manly, hard-working men.
But, they absolutely loved it! I served it with some toasted, buttered bread and fresh fruit. It was a big hit!
Touchdown for mom! (And, thanks, Ashley, for enlightening me to a new version!)
I followed the recipe from Ashley's blog pretty much to a tee. I did change a few minor things, however, as reflected in the recipe below.
1/2 pound bacon, cookedDirections:
1/2 pound breakfast sausage, crumbled and cooked
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (or to your liking)
2 - 3 large baked potatoes, cooled, peeled and shredded (about 4 cups)
1/2 onion, finely minced
1/4 of a green pepper, chopped finely (optional)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (if you cannot find shredded, use finely chopped chunk or sliced)
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
Drain freshly-cooked bacon and sausage on paper towel. I cook my bacon in the oven on a baking tray and my sausage in a skillet on the stove top.
Then, lightly cook the onions and peppers on medium heat in the same skillet used to cook the sausage. Do not allow onions to brown.
Crumble the bacon into small pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic powder and hot sauce. Stir in the cottage cheese and all but a handful or so of the other two cheeses (reserve to top casserole before baking).
Stir in bacon and sausage. Reserve 1/4 cup of each to, also, sprinkle on top of casserole before baking.
Stir in cooked veggies. Then, pour in beaten eggs and gently combine.
This mixture will almost fill a 9 x 13 casserole dish if you'd like to make that large of an amount at one time. Or, you can divide the mixture in half in two smaller pans ... bake one half now and reserve by freezing the other half for a different time (this would be perfect to make ahead for a special brunch or Christmas morning).
Grease your pan size of choice, spread mixture into pan and top with remaining cheese, bacon and sausage.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes or until center appears set. Broil for a couple of minutes at the end if you desire the cheese to brown up a bit more.
Allow to cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve. I garnished with a few sliced scallions.
NOTE: This can be made ahead of time and put in the fridge or freezer, as mentioned above. If you freeze it, pull it out and store in the fridge overnight to thaw. Bring the casserole to room temperature before baking.