Breakfast Casserole

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

In need of a brunch dish that’s both delicious and easy? My breakfast casserole, brimming with sausage and Cheddar cheese, is your answer. Simply assemble it the night before and bake it to golden perfection in the morning!

Breakfast casserole in a baking dish.

If you’re on the lookout for a delicious yet stress-free brunch option, look no further than the classic breakfast casserole. This comforting dish combines traditional breakfast ingredients—eggs, meat, vegetables, cheese, and bread—baked in a single pan for ease. The best part? You can assemble it the night before and simply bake it the following morning, leaving you more time to spend with your guests.

This version, brimming with savory sausage and tangy sharp cheddar, delivers robust flavor, a crispy golden top, and a creamy center. The recipe was given to me by one of my oldest and closest friends, Kelly Santoro, who got it from her friend Corey, who got it from his mother, who originally found it in an old spiral-bound church cookbook. Such is the path of a great recipe!

“I’ve made this recipe a few times now and it’s quickly become my family’s go-to holiday or special event breakfast. So simple, so easy to prep, and so flavorful.”

Scott

What You’ll Need To Make Breakfast Casserole

breakfast casserole ingredients
  • Sweet or spicy pork sausage: Acts as the main protein and flavor base of the casserole. Around the holidays, many grocery stores offer sausage in bulk style, eliminating the need to remove casings. If bulk sausage isn’t available, you can easily remove the meat from its casings by squeezing it out or snipping the casing with scissors and peeling it away.
  • Yellow onion: Provides a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • White sandwich bread: Serves as the structure of the casserole, absorbing the egg mixture and giving body and texture to the final dish.
  • Grated sharp cheddar cheese: Adds a rich, tangy flavor that complements the sausage, while also contributing to the casserole’s cheesy, creamy texture.
  • Fresh parsley: Offers a burst of color and fresh, herby flavor, brightening the overall taste.
  • Eggs: Bind the ingredients together, creating the custard-like base that solidifies when baked, giving the casserole its structure.
  • Half-and-half: Enhances the creaminess and richness of the egg mixture, contributing to the moist and tender texture of the casserole.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Start by cutting the bread into cubes. Set aside.

bread cubes on cutting board

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break the meat into small clumps, until browned, about 10 minutes.

browning the sausage

Transfer the sausage to a large mixing bowl, leaving the fat in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium, then add the onions to the pan along with 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook the onions, stirring constantly, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

cooking the onions

Add the onions to the mixing bowl with the sausage, along with the bread cubes, grated cheese and parsley.

sausage and onions tossed in bowl with other breakfast casserole ingredients

Toss well, then spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.

bread, sausage, and onion mixture in baking dish

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper.

eggs and half-and-half mixture in bowl

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture.

pouring the egg mixture over the bread and sausage mixture

Cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.

covered breakfast casserole

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about one hour, uncovered, until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Breakfast casserole in a baking dish.

You May Also Like

Frequently Asked Question

Can the breakfast casserole be frozen before baking?

Yes, you can freeze the casserole before baking. Assemble the casserole according to the recipe, but don’t bake it. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to two months. When you’re ready to bake, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed.

What is the best way to reheat the casserole?

The best way to reheat the breakfast casserole is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), cover the casserole with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out, and heat for about 20 minutes, or until warmed through. For individual portions, a microwave can be used, heating in 30-second intervals until hot.

Can I make this breakfast casserole vegetarian?

I don’t recommend it, as turning this particular casserole into a vegetarian dish would require too many adjustments due to its reliance on sausage for flavor. However, for a fantastic vegetarian alternative, I recommend trying my Spinach and Cheese Strata (“strata” is just a fancy term for a breakfast casserole).

Can I replace the pork sausage with chicken or turkey sausage?

Absolutely! You can substitute pork sausage with either chicken or turkey sausage to suit your dietary preferences or for a lighter version of the casserole.

Video Tutorial

Breakfast Casserole

In need of a brunch dish that’s both delicious and easy? My breakfast casserole, brimming with sausage and Cheddar cheese, is your answer. Simply assemble it the night before and bake it to golden perfection in the morning!

Servings: 6 to 8
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound sweet or spicy pork sausage (casings removed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 loaf (18 slices) white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm, crusts removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • Scant teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break the meat into small clumps, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a large mixing bowl, leaving the fat in the pan.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium, then add the onions to the pan along with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook the onions, stirring constantly, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the onions to the mixing bowl with the sausage, along with the bread cubes, grated cheese, and parsley. Toss well, then spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper.
  5. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Bake for about one hour, uncovered, until puffed and golden brown. Slice into squares and serve immediately.
  7. Note: The cook time is based on cooking the bread pudding directly out of the refrigerator. If it's left to sit out at room temperature before baking, check for doneness after 45 minutes.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: To freeze the casserole before baking, assemble it according to the recipe, but don't bake it. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to two months. When you're ready to bake, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 669
  • Fat: 44 g
  • Saturated fat: 20 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 32 g
  • Sodium: 1098 mg
  • Cholesterol: 251 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • Hi Jen,
    Could I omit the cream since we are all lactose intolerant and could I use bacn instead of sausage due to allergies?
    Thanks,
    Veena

    • — Veena Olson on July 11, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Veena, It won’t work to omit the half-and-half here, but you could substitute lactose-free whole milk. And while I think this is best with sausage, you could get away with using bacon. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on July 12, 2024
      • Reply
    • Thanks!!
      I found lactose free half and half.
      Veena
      I love your recipes

      • — VEENA OLSON on July 12, 2024
      • Reply
  • Just made this for visiting family…a real hit. It took about 15 minutes to put together with the help of a sous chef granddaughter. If you live in Florida, I used Publix English Muffin bread torn into pieces… so good. Made it just as written but might think of using green onions next time for a bit of color. Thanks for the recipe! Mj

    • — Mj on June 11, 2024
    • Reply
  • One more question! In some of the recipes you say not to brown the onions. Why?

    • — Kristiana on May 20, 2024
    • Reply
    • When I say that in recipes, it’s because I want the the onions to be nice and tender, but not cooked too far beyond that point. And for garlic – if you brown it, it can take on a bit of a bitter flavor.

      • — Jenn on May 21, 2024
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    Quick question… 95% of the bead we use around here is homemade. Is there a way to more accurately quantify how much bread I should use for this recipe? This time it is challah, if that helps at all 🙃 Thank you so much for the insight!! Your recipes are the best!!
    Kristiana

    • — Kristiana on May 20, 2024
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! 😊 I’ve never measured the bread once I’ve cubed it, but I suspect it should about be 10 – 12 cups.

      • — Jenn on May 21, 2024
      • Reply
  • No comment but a question, your thoughts on using croissants as a substitute?

    • — Ellen on April 2, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Ellen, you could use croissants, but it will be very rich.

      • — Jenn on April 3, 2024
      • Reply
  • Followed all directions. Had to bake longer than recommended as it was still cool inside.
    Not much flavor and somewhat dry. Disappointed.

    • — Ginny on March 31, 2024
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe. I love how versatile it can be. I have made it as written but also with sourdough bread, jalepeno cheddar bread, stale baguettes, or whatever I have on hand. It’s delicious. Thank you Jenn.

    • — Jeni on March 30, 2024
    • Reply
  • I have a family of two, is there a way to successfully cut this recipe? I would love to avoid waste, we just could not eat a 9 X13 pan. Thank you

    • — Jamie on March 29, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jamie, you can cut the recipe in half and use an 8 x 8 baking dish. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on March 29, 2024
      • Reply
  • Wow! This breakfast casserole was so good! I made it twice this week for a family vacation breakfast. The first time I only let it sit for 30 minutes before baking. The 2nd time I let it sit overnight. Both were amazing, however, the one that sat overnight was definitely more creamy. Both were great and the family couldn’t say which was better, just different textures. Thank you for the amazing recipe! We also made your cheesecake. Your recipes are a staple in our house.

    • — Kristi on March 28, 2024
    • Reply
  • We love this recipe and have it every Easter! Thank you!
    Grandson’s birthday party is the day before Easter so it’s a busy day. How would the casserole fair if I made it two days before I baked it instead of one?

    • — Sally Brenton on March 28, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Sally, that should be fine (and so glad you like it)! Happy birthday to your grandson 😊

      • — Jenn on March 28, 2024
      • Reply

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.