I love breakfast! Omelets and fried potatoes … gooey cheese and bacon and sausage and … and … ok, I have to stop now because I’m drooling! But you get it, right?? Nothing is better or more satisfying than a big, hearty breakfast.
And nothing is more time consuming and soul sucking than having to make such a breakfast for a large group of people — and by large, I’m talking about anything over, well, two. I mean, seriously, it’s like trying to herd cats while frying eggs! No one wants to eat at the same time, eat the same thing and even if they did, only so much will fit in a skillet at one time — and that’s if they haven’t wandered off somewhere. Some want bacon and others want sausage and there’s always that one individual who is the egg whites and tofu sort of breakfast person. Just … why?
This breakfast casserole will satisfy almost everyone … nothing about this recipe will satisfy the egg whites and tofu person, so we’ll just work around them! This is basically the kitchen sink of savory breakfast ingredients. It has eggs and bacon plus sausage with veggies and cheese all mixed together and added into a bread base. Technically, this is a savory bread pudding … but the bread pudding scoffers out there wouldn’t eat it if they knew, soooooooooooooo it’s a casserole! Shhh, don’t tell ’em and they’ll never know.
I love bread pudding and when we recently had family visit for a few days, I really needed something that I could put together quickly, would please just about everyone and I wouldn’t need to spend my entire morning cooking! Again, herding cats while frying eggs Is.Not.Fun!
So I took out an old favorite that never fails and made a breakfast that everyone would enjoy. For starters, when I make a bread pudding, whether savory or sweet, I don’t cube up the bread. I leave it in slices with the crusts on. I like that the texture of the bread is more even and the results are more consistent with a custard pie. Also, I use pre-cooked bacon and cooked sausage, so that cuts down on prep work as well. So all I really needed to do was put everything together and, wallah, it was done!
The recipe as written will feed 4 hungry people. It is easily doubled or tripled to accommodate a larger group. If I know I’m feeding a large group, I’ll make this casserole the night before, refrigerate it and bake it first thing in the morning so everyone wakes up to the aroma of “Sunday morning” … you know what I mean (and fresh brewed coffee, of course)!
When the casserole comes out of the oven, it’s gorgeous and puffed waaaaaaaay high above the dish. Allow the dish to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- 6 slices bacon, fried crisp
- 4 large cooked sausage patties, diced - approx. ½ pound
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1-2 T. butter (optional)
- 8 slices white bread, 4 per layer
- 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ t. salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Fry bacon & sausage until crisp and set aside on paper towels to drain
- Add onion and green pepper to frying pan with bacon drippings. Simmer until veggies are translucent and sweating.
- If you prefer, you can cook the veggies in butter instead of bacon drippings -- it's up to you
- Lay 4 slices of bread on bottom of 9"x12" pyrex glass baking dish in a single layer
- Sprinkle veggies evenly over bread slices and top with about ½ of the shredded cheese
- Lay down the last 4 slices of bread on top of the 1st layer
- Sprinkle sausage and bacon evenly over bread and then top with remaining cheese
- Beat eggs and then add salt, milk and cream and mix well
- Pour egg mixture evenly over bread & other ingredients (if you're making this the night before, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight)
- Put into preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes