Last year, I discovered the joy of the Christmas morning casserole. But first, some background..
For years, I carried on the same tradition as my mother when it came to Christmas morning. She’d buy these delicious fruit topped iced rolls and on Christmas morning (much like honey buns), put a pat of butter on top of each, and warm them in the oven. Then we would bask in the sweet, buttery goodness before diving headfirst into a sugar coma.
Wanting to carry on the tradition, I tried in vain to find these prepackaged, overprocessed iced rolls of my youth. When I couldn’t, I decided to switch to the pop-open-the-can-and-bake cinnamon rolls. And our Christmas tradition was born.
As you can imagine, the early morning excitement of Christmas, followed by ingestion of many stocking sweets, followed by a breakfast that would kill most diabetics, made us all a bit irritable as our sugar crash hit. So last year, I decided to do an overnight egg casserole that I could just take out of the fridge an bake. And then in addition to our cinnamon rolls, we’d have some protein.
If you know the casserole I’m talking about, it’s loaded with some sort of breakfast meat, TONS of white bread, and some eggs and cheese. Delicious but not healthy enough to offset the sugar. So this year, I’ve created my own version of the casserole. I haven’t tried it as a make ahead but it’s easy enough that you can wake and bake and have a tasty way to start the holiday.
Fadra’s Apple Maple Chicken Sausage, Egg, and Hash Brown Casserole
Let me start by giving credit where credit is due. I was researching some casserole ideas and came across this Sausage-Hash Brown Casserole but I’ve changed it significantly enough that I feel comfortable calling it my own.
1 package of al fresco ® Apple Maple Chicken Breakfast Sausage links
1/2 30 oz. package of frozen shredded hash browns
1/2 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take out in 8×8 inch baking pan and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Slice all breakfast sausages. Heat a skillet over medium heat with 3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil (olive oil or vegetable oil works fine). When heated, add the frozen hash browns and sausage and let cook for about 4 minutes. Flip the hash browns and sausage over and continue cooking until desired crispness.
Add 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese to the mixture and stir gently until cheese is melted. Place the mixture in the greased baking pan.
Measure out 1 cup of milk and add 4 eggs. Whisk or shake until completely blended Pour over the hash brown mixture and pace in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until eggs are set (you should be able to insert a knife and have it come out clean).
Serve with fruit or if you’re like me, serve it right along side that cinnamon roll. And then drink some coffee. You’ll need it to get through the rest of the day.
Note: While this isn’t a make ahead casserole, I did bake this for dinner one night and reheated the leftovers in the microwave. I actually think it was even better the next day!
Whatever you choose to eat on Christmas morning, enjoy!
Thanks to al fresco for sending me complimentary samples of their Country Style and Apple Maple Chicken Sausage Breakfast Links. They are delicious!