It’s no secret the casserole is a food blogger’s nemesis. There is no good way to photograph a casserole. But breakfast casseroles are worth singing (or, you know, blogging) about. I wouldn’t say this is a “lightened up” version of Cracker Barrel’s hash brown casserole, but it’s one step closer to being healthy. In that it has a vegetable and a fruit (you know, a tomato). And it does not contain sour cream or cream of mushroom soup. Nor butter. It does contain eggs and bacon, ergo, this is a hash brown casserole for a rich and sophisticated crowd.
Should you need to feed one soon, you can get everything ready up tot he point of baking, cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap, and set in the fridge overnight. Unwrap, and place in the oven as it heats in the morning. When something is coming straight from the fridge I like for it to reheat slowly, along with the oven.
It’s a forgiving recipe, so take this list of ingredients with a grain of salt.
To make bacon, potato, and egg breakfast casserole, you will need:
- 4 slices thick bacon, cut into strips about 1/2-inch wide
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cleaned out and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup milk, fat content between 1% and 4% (whole)
- 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 cups frozen diced potatoes, unthawed (I used refrigerated hash browns)
Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13×9″ baking dish with baking spray or olive oil.
Put the bacon slices in a large skillet and turn the heat on to medium. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it is crisp. Add the onion, yellow bell pepper, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook over medium heat until all the vegetables are fragrant and soft — about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly and whisk in the milk. Whisk in the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the black pepper. Stir in the cheese, frozen potatoes, and the bacon and vegetables from the skillet. (Don’t worry; the frozen potatoes cook just fine!) Pour the whole mixture into the prepared baking dish. (At this point the casserole can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
When you are ready to bake the casserole, bake for 40 minutes, or until the eggs are firm and the top is slightly golden. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.