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A breakfast casserole brimming with sausage and sharp Cheddar cheese makes a stress-free, crowd-pleasing brunch.
A breakfast casserole, sometimes called a strata, combines common breakfast ingredients, such as eggs, meat, vegetables, cheese, and bread, baked in a large dish. This ultra-rich version, brimming with savory sausage and sharp cheddar cheese, boasts a deep flavor, crisp golden crust, and creamy interior. It’s one of my standbys for entertaining because it can be assembled ahead of time and feeds a crowd. 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 good recipe! This breakfast casserole will save you time and effort during those busy holiday mornings — prep it the day before, and when morning comes, simply pop it in the oven for an effortless and delicious brunch.
What You’ll Need To Make Breakfast Casserole
Start by cutting the bread into cubes. Set aside.
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.
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.
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.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture.
Cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about one hour, uncovered, until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.
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A breakfast casserole brimming with sausage and sharp Cheddar cheese makes a stress-free, crowd-pleasing brunch.
- 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
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter.
- 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.
- 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.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Made this casserole last night and came out perfect and delicious! Quickly added it to “my recipe box “ and look forward to having it again for dinner with salad! 🙂
Good morning, I’ve just made the casserole. It was delicious. What I didn’t understand was the half and half on the ingredients list … what is it about, please?
Hi Islida, It sounds like you may live outside the US? Half and Half is just a mixture of half whole milk and half cream. I’m not sure where you live, but in the UK, it’s referred to as half cream. Hope that clarifies!
Hi! I don’t have half and half on hand but I do have heavy cream and whole milk. Should I use one cup of each or all of one or the other in place of the half and half? Thank you so much!
I’d go with one cup of each. Enjoy!
Like nearly everyone else, I thought that this casserole was absolutely delicious! Changes I made thanks to helpful commenters were: Add two 4 oz. cans of Hatch green chilis drained (will add 4 cans next time); 2 tsp. of Dijon mustard in the egg mixture; 1 red bell pepper, sauteed w/onions first; one 9 oz. package of mini-croissants from the bakery, halved, toasted in the oven at 350° ’til lightly browned (about 10 min.) and then broken into bite-size pieces.
The best ingredient was that I got to share the casserole with a neighbor who suffered a recent loss. Thanks as always for all of your time & effort in helping others here, Jenn.
Absolutely delicious😊I made it on Saturday and baked Easter morning. The whole family loved it! Since my baking dish is glass I brought to room temperature and lowered temperature 25 degrees. Baked 45 minutes then increased 25 degrees for 15 minutes to brown. Perfect 💕
Can it be any simpler?? This was a fantastically easy and super delish breakfast casserole! I made mine Saturday evening and popped it in the oven Easter morning for 45 minutes since I removed it from the fridge ahead of time. I used plant sausage, vegan cheddar cheese, and Ripple half-and-half to accommodate the vegans in the group and EVERYONE loved the dish! Served with fresh pico de gallo and guacamole, yum! This will be a standard “go-to” receipe!
THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! Your egg casserole is the BEST. The eggs and bread were pillowy delicious and the sausage, parsley and cheese scrumptious… Also, I made your The Best Strawberry Shortcake – OMG THE BEST!!! I have tried so many of your recipes Jenn and every recipe has been a hit with my family & friends. You are my first go-to when searching for a recipe. Do you have an egg casserole with hashbrowns & bacon or any suggestions. Again, thank you…
Glad this was a hit (and thanks for your kind words about the recipes)! As of now, I don’t have a recipe for an egg casserole that has hashbrowns and bacon, but I will add it to my list of recipes to potentially develop. 🙂
Another EXCELLENT recipe. The only thing I did was weigh the bread in case I couldn’t find Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread (425 g). Thank you!
Absolutely delicious! This has just replaced my previous go to overnight casserole. I made this with Tennessee Pride hot sausage, a particularly spicy brand, and it worked beautifully though I’m sure any type or brand of sausage would be just fine. I made a half recipe since it was a meal for just the two of us. I prepped it in the afternoon and cooked it several hours later. I paired this with Jenn’s strawberry/orange fruit salad and a hot biscuit for a great breakfast for dinner meal. This will definitely be making an appearance at holiday brunches. Thank you for another winner!
I am planning to make this for Easter brunch. Got so much extra advice and tips from reading the reviews which were all crazy good. You are my go- to- chef for recipes, Jenn. Made your Pad Thai this last week and it was delicious! So grateful for your recipes.
Does this dish go directly from fridge to oven? Thank you
About how many cups of cubed bread is this? Thanks.
Hi Leslie, I’ve never measured the bread once I’ve cubed it, but I suspect it should about be 10 – 12 cups. Hope you enjoy!
I have a question about the amount of bread used in this recipe. You mentioned using 18 slices of bread but curious how many ounces the package weighs? The photo shows it already cut up.
Hi Chris, you’ll need 16 ounces of bread. Hope you enjoy the dish!
This recipe is in Jenn’s first cookbook listed as “Sausage & Cheddar Bread Pudding”
This is so comforting and delicious ! I made it with milk instead of half and half and it was perfect ! Thanks again.
I made 2 batches of this, one as written and one dairy free. They both came out great!
For the dairy free batch I subbed Oatly Barista Blend for the half and half and used Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheddar Shreds.
I used a good crusty french loaf because that’s just what kind of bread I prefer and let everything sit overnight. It was perfect for the baby shower I hosted and made day of prep very easy.
I really enjoyed it with some Tabasco, I thought it gave it a nice kick to break up the creaminess of the dish.
I’d love to try this recipe. I only have parmigiano-reggiano and parmesan cheeses. Can I sub either one for cheddar cheese? Also, how many gram is 2 tbsp of butter?
Hi Katherine, I wouldn’t recommend those cheeses as they don’t melt nearly as well as cheddar — sorry! And 2 tablespoons of butter is the equivalent of 28 grams.
The simplicity of this recipe’s ingredients, made it an absolutely delicious breakfast for New Year’s morning. I almost steered clear of it because Italian sausage in a breakfast dish seemed unusual to me but it is actually what elevated this dish and we loved it. Thank you Jen for sharing it with us.
Made this for New Years Day breakfast with the rest of an Italian bread (used the first half for croutons for your Caesar salad)….didn’t cut off the crusts, and it was excellent and so easy to pop in the oven. Highly recommend! Happy New Year Jenn!
I think this would have been really good but there is too much bread for the amount of egg mixture. Some of the bread rises above and gets hard. I would stick to about 10 slices of bread.